Sharapova Into QFs, Radwanska Hits 27
Published April 25, 2012 12:00
STUTTGART, Germany - Agnieszka Radwanska won her WTA-leading 27th match of the year on Wednesday afternoon, holding off dangerous Hungarian veteran Greta Arn to reach the quarters of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
Arn, who was ranked as high as the Top 40 as recently as last year, put up some resistance, breaking serve once per set. But the No.4-ranked Radwanska broke twice per set and even showed off some improved power on her serve - she hit five aces in the opening set - to put away a 63 64 victory.
"It was my first match of the year on clay and Greta already had a couple matches here, and that's always hard," Radwanska said. "It's especially hard on clay - but it was a good match, and I'm happy how I played today."
Radwanska also commented on the difference between indoor and outdoor clay. "They're pretty different," she said. "Indoor clay really feels much faster than outdoor clay. It's very slippery indoors, and it doesn't even feel like there's that much clay on it - it feels more like a hardcourt with some clay on top of it."
Coming into Stuttgart, Radwanska was tied with Victoria Azarenka as match win leaders for the year with 26 - Radwanska inches ahead with her 27th now, although with Azarenka playing her first match of the week Thursday, against Andrea Petkovic, the World No.4 may only be up on the World No.1 for a day.
"I'm just very happy with my season so far, since the beginning of the year. I've played good matches with the top players and I really cannot complain! I hope I can keep winning more matches now that we're in the clay season."
Radwanska-Arn was one of two second round matches on Wednesday's menu, along with No.2 seed Maria Sharapova facing another qualifier, France's Alizé Cornet - that one only lasted 50 minutes, as Sharapova was leading 63 10, 30-0 when the former World No.11 retired with a shoulder injury aggravation.
"You never want matches to end that way," Sharapova said. "But my opponent today had already played four matches to get here and was obviously feeling it and having a bit of a problem with the shoulder. At this stage, a few weeks before Roland Garros in her home country, it's important for her to get well."
Sharapova was playing her first ever match at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and first match in Germany since playing in Berlin way back in 2005.
"The good thing about playing indoors is you know what conditions you're going to face, with no wind or different weather conditions," Sharapova said. "You know what you're going to get during the match, which is nice to play in."
Sharapova and Radwanska will have a day off as the rest of the field plays the second round on Thursday, with the quarterfinals set for Friday.