Raducanu returned to tennis in Australia after spending much of last year on the sidelines. Triple surgery kept her away from the sport for about eight months, and her return was pretty solid overall.
She played two events Down Under, in Auckland and the Australian Open, and won two matches. Neither of those runs was particularly impressive, but that's to be expected because it will take a while for her to find her best tennis.
We'll see if it happens in Abu Dhabi, as the first challenger is pretty tough. The Czech player had a tremendous campaign in 2021, winning over 40 matches, which didn't happen last year.
She kept a decent level for much of the year but never hit the peak of the previous year, and she's yet to this year.
They have never played against each other so far, which is not a huge surprise. Raducanu has been around only for a while, and she spent most of that time away from the tennis courts due to various injuries.
It's going to be an interesting matchup, though, because Bouzkova likes to defend, while Raducanu likes to attack. It's a clash of style and neither player is in particular form to make you think that they will cruise.
Most of the time, the offense manages to overpower the defense, and that's why Raducanu should be closer to winning this match. It doesn't mean she'll win, but her skills should suit the way Abu Dhabi courts play.
Bouzkova certainly hasn't shown a very high level recently that would make her a favourite in this match.
Prediction: Emma Raducanu to win in two sets.