Date: 16 December 2021.
Tournament: Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
Round: First round (Final).
Venue: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Category: Exhibition Tournament.
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt.
Prize money: $250,000.
Match timing: Not before 8 pm local time, 4 pm GMT, 9:30 pm IST.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Eurosport.
Emma Raducanu vs Belinda Bencic preview
Emma Raducanu and Belinda Bencic will square off in the title clash at the 2021 Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Thursday.
Raducanu created history by becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title at the US Open, as she won all 10 of her matches without dropping a set. However, the British teenager has found it difficult to sustain that form while adapting to the WTA Tour following her triumph in New York.
She participated in three tournaments after the US Open, losing in the second round twice - at the BNP Paribas Open and the Linz Open. Raducanu made it to the quarterfinals at the Transylvania Open.
Meanwhile, Belinda Bencic had a good year herself. During the first half of the season, she reached two WTA 500 finals in Adelaide and Berlin.
At the Tokyo Olympics, the Swiss won the gold medal in singles and silver medal in doubles. She continued her good form from the Olympics as she reached the quarterfinals of the next five events she competed in. Unfortunately, she withdrew prior to the start of the BNP Paribas Open due to an injury and didn't compete in the last few tournaments of the season.
Bencic returned to action at the Billie Jean King Cup to represent her country. She won three of her singles matches, with a solitary loss coming against Liudmila Samsonova in the finals against Russia.
Emma Raducanu vs Belinda Bencic head-to-head
Emma Raducanu and Belinda Bencic have faced each other only once before, in the US Open quarterfinals this year. The teenager won the match rather easily, defeating her experienced opponent 6-3 6-4, to lead the head-to-head 1-0.
Emma Raducanu vs Belinda Bencic prediction
Belinda Bencic will have a slight advantage going into this contest, as the Swiss appears to have recovered well from her injury. Bencic also played quite well during the Billie Jean King Cup, defeating Grand Slam champions Angelique Kerber and Barbora Krejcikova.
She is equipped with a good serve, though she's prone to making double faults when nervous. Bencic also likes to take the ball early on the rise and dictate play with her powerful groundstrokes.
Meanwhile, Raducanu has lost to players ranked well below her following her good showing at the US Open. The teenager is a rather good server as well, along with being an excellent returner, an aspect that was quite significant in her maiden Grand Slam victory. She also possesses strong groundstrokes off both wings, though her backhand is much more steady than her forehand.
Both players are known for their tactical acumen and adaptability on the court as well. These aspects should make it an interesting match-up to witness. Bencic will also be keen to avenge her loss at the US Open, so that'll be an added incentive for her to play her best tennis against her younger opponent.
While Raducanu will certainly put up a good fight, expect the Swiss to level their rivalry with a win this time around.