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Radwanska Moves On, Lepchenko Up Next

Nine tournaments, nine quarterfinals: Agnieszka Radwanska continued her sparkling season.

Published May 10, 2012 12:00

Radwanska Moves On, Lepchenko Up Next
Agnieszka Radwanska

MADRID, Spain - World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska kept her impeccable consistency going at the Mutua Madrid Open, hanging tough against Roberta Vinci to reach her ninth quarterfinal in nine WTA tournaments this year.

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The No.4-seeded Radwanska rallied from 3-1 down to take the opening set in a tie-break, then got the lone break of the second set in the second-to-last game, serving a love game to close the crafty Italian veteran out, 76(1) 64.

"It was a close one, just a few points in each set," Radwanska said. "Roberta was playing very well. Especially here it's hard to run because the courts are slippery, and her serve was a big weapon the whole match today, so there were pretty much no breaks. She started very well and it was really tough.

"I'm very happy I could win today and get to the quarterfinals here."

Vinci had been serving big all week, firing 22 aces to 10 double faults - but Radwanska has been serving even more cleanly this week, hitting a combined total of 15 aces to zero double faults (against Vinci she was five and zero).

In her eight previous tournaments this year, Radwanska has won two titles (Dubai and Miami), reached three semifinals (Sydney, Doha and Stuttgart) and another three quarterfinals (Australian Open, Kuala Lumpur and Indian Wells).

Awaiting Radwanska in the quarters is American qualifier Varvara Lepchenko, who continued her best ever run with a two-hour, 46-minute grinder over Anabel Medina Garrigues, missing out on two match points at 6-5 in the second set but eventually putting the Spanish No.1 away anyway in the third, 61 67(3) 63.

Lepchenko is now through to the third and by far biggest WTA quarterfinal of her career, having previously gone this far (but no further) at International-level events at Ponte Vedra Beach in 2010 and Memphis earlier this season.

Radwanska has beaten Lepchenko in both of their previous meetings, but both of them have been tough - Lepchenko won the first set in their first meeting and was very close to doing the same in their second meeting earlier this year in Doha, facing double set point in the first set but winning, 75 61.

"I was really in trouble at the end of the first set," Radwanska said after the Doha match. "When it was 5-4, 40-15 for her, I was thinking I lost the set already and that we would just keep playing. But when you're on the court it doesn't matter what score it is, you just fight until the end. I did a few good shots and won that game, and then after that felt more and more confident.

"It's always tough to come back, especially with her lefty serve being so tough to break. I'm happy I came back and closed this match in two sets."

All four quarterfinal matches are on the Friday schedule: No.1 seed Victoria Azarenka plays No.8 seed Li Na; No.2 seed Maria Sharapova plays No.9 seed Serena Williams; No.5 seed Sam Stosur plays Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka; and then the aforementioned Radwanska-Lepchenko match-up.

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