Friday, 22 January 2016

Radwanska a threat

Fourth seed Aga Radwanska is in the sort of form that guarantees concern from any player drawn to meet her in this year's Aus Open, including Monica Puig, her third round rival today on Margaret Court Arena.  Monica has been playing ok herself, losing to Kuznetsova in the Sydney final a week back.
This is more than a few steps up in class though, and Aga is a tough Polish mountain to climb for the 52nd ranked player from Puerto Rico.

Aga opened with a good service game hitting a service winner early and wrapping things up with a winner from her forehand wing.  Monica was convincing with winners from both sides and coasted to 1-1.

Aga survived the third game despite Monica hitting three clean forehand winners and setting up break point.  The fourth game saw two more forehand winners and an ace from the Puig racquet as she drew level at 2-2.

Aga was not coming up with winners, although her drop shot in the fifth game was a gem, but she caresses the ball around the court in such a way as to make it impossible at times for her opponent to play a meaningful shot in reply.  Big winners are not as necessary in large quantity.  Aga led 3-2 after holding her serve once more.

Monica did likewise, contributing to her personal highlight reel two more winners, one from either side.
Games were 3-3.

Two winners assisted Monica to break the Radwanska serf in the seventh game but Monica's elation was short lived, as a clutch of unforced errors immediately gave the break back and games were 4-4.

Two backhand winners in the ninth game from Monica enabled her to create two break points, but that was it for the girl from Puerto Rico.  Aga hit three winners, a forehand, backhand and unplayable serve, on her way to winning the game, and every game thereafter.

Yes, the fourth seed methodically tore apart the Puig game, firstly breaking serve to win set one 6-4. Monica gave up a 40-15 lead thanks to four winners, three forehand and one backhand, from Radwanska.

The second set was just a whitewash with a whole lot of unforced errors from Monica and better tennis from Aga whose consistency of ball striking, and refusal to commit errors unless forced,  often pushes opponents into frustration, and that is what happened today.

6-4 6-0 to Aga and into the fourth round.

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