Emma Raducanu kept her nerve to outlast Marie Bouzkova after losing her first service game. The pair would trade breaks for six games in a row before Raducanu edged ahead with another break, and then serving out the first set.
The Brit ran away with the second set, breaking Bouzkova three times in a row to ease into the second round, where she will face the second seed Ons Jabeur.
Despite having played far less than Raducanu this year, Jabeur leads her in all the key stats, making her the marginal favourite for this match.
Playing Styles & Prediction
Raducanu continues her comeback into the rigours of tour life, and once again showed she has the fighting spirit to come back in the first set as nether player could hold serve. The dominance in the second set shows how much confidence she is building on this return.
The same can’t be said currently for Jabeur, despite the fact she comes out in the stats a lot stronger than Raducanu. She did not play any lead-up events to the Australian Open and was bounced out unceremoniously by Russian teenager Mirra Andreev.
On paper though and on the court, Jabeur is the favourite – her canny use of the variety in her game could see Raducanu being moved all around the court like a chess piece. But every game for the Brit is about building confidence, so pushing the second seed close would be a win.
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