Emma Raducanu claims she has ‘nothing to lose’ against ‘home favourite’ Ons Jabeur
Emma Raducanu has heaped praise on her opponent later today, Ons Jabeur, thanking the two-time Wimbledon finalist for taking the Brit ‘under her wing’.
Raducanu won her opening round match at the Abu Dhabi Open in impressive fashion on Monday, beating world No.36 Marie Bouzkova in straight sets.
This was the 21-year-old’s first top 50 win in almost a year, after spending eight months on the sidelines following surgeries to both wrists and her left ankle.
As a result, Raducanu is now set to play world No.6 Ons Jabeur, in a first-time meeting on the WTA Tour.
The 2021 US Open champion has never beaten a top 10 player before, but appears to be embracing the challenge, as well as waxing lyrical about Jabeur.
“She’s definitely the home favourite here, rightfully so,” said Raducanu. “I really like Ons, she’s someone who’s kind of taken me under her wing as I’ve been new to the tour.”
The No.296 continued, “I’m really looking forward to it because a lot of people were saying to me [during her first-round match], ‘Oh, Ons, Ons, Ons!’ And I was like, ‘I’m playing Marie who’s ranked like 30 in the world, so that’s not an easy match!’ But I’m really pleased to have put myself in this situation, and I’m going out with nothing to lose against her.”
Although it is a first-time meeting between the pair on the WTA Tour, Jabeur did beat Raducanu in a three set exhibition match in Abu Dhabi back in 2022.
They will take to Stadium Court at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open last today, as both players bid to reach the quarter-finals of the WTA 500 tournament.
Jam-packed day in Abu Dhabi ????
— wta (@WTA) February 7, 2024
Inside the baseline…
It is certainly a very exciting prospect for Emma Raducanu to play Ons Jabeur later today, with it seeming that many believe the Brit has a genuine opportunity to obtain her first top 10 win. A lot of this is fuelled by Jabeur’s most recent match, where she was beaten by 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva and won only two games at the Australian Open. Hopefully the match will live up to its hype, with lots of winners and finesse on show.
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