Saturday, 24 January 2015

Radwanska smashes another opponent

Agnieszka Radwanska was passed over the last year or so in the rankings by Simona Halep, but no shame there - so has just about everyone.  However she would probably be unhappy to see both Ana Ivanovic and Petra Kvitova overtake her.  So it has been pleasing to see her anger played out with such positive tennis this week at Melbourne Park, where she has thrashed Nara and Larsson for the cost of just four games, including two love sets.

It would be a tad tougher against American Varvara Lepchenko in round three - or would it ?

Aga hit a triple of forehand winners en route to an easy game one service hold, and for set one only made one unforced mistake.  She belted over a dozen clean winners and had Lepchenko wondering if the plane trip here had been worth it.  Of course it is when you consider the obscene amounts of prize money paid out for losing just as obscenely in a third round at a major.

Aga has for all her career won praise for her smarts when it comes to playing tennis, and her only shortcoming has been a perceived lack of power when compared to the bigger hitters like Sharapova and Williams.  Hingis is regularly cited as an example of one not reliant on brute strength to reach the pinnacle of the game, but Aga had been brutal on three girls this Open - they may bear mental scars for some time yet.

Varvara did turn up for her engagement in the second set and apologised for missing the first set - we really must do something about the traffic.

The first two games were full of mistakes by both girls while Radwanska had to save break points in the third to lead 2-1.  The standard lifted immeasurably in game four with winners from both sides and both ends, Lepchenko managing to fire her way out of break point trouble with some excellent shot making and an ace.

At 2-3 and 40-15 Lepchenko fell into old habits and blew her chance to level, and Aga looked set to cruise to the line.  Three games in a row put that idea on the back burner and Varvara settled into a rhythm which she hadn't enjoyed up to this point. 5-5 and a serious contest.

It would not last - at 5-6 the poor shots rolled off the racquet and Radwanska grabbed the opportunity to break and win the match 6-0 7-5.

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