Mattek-Sands Stuns Radwanska
Published January 07, 2014 12:13
Having already won three qualifying rounds and a first round match this week, Mattek-Sands looked like the gas was running out as she fell back 5-3 in the first set - but she caught fire from there, reeling off seven games in a row to build a 75 30 lead and barely looked back to stun the No.1 seed, 75 62.
Mattek-Sands' win over the World No.5 was the second Top 5 win of her career. The American's first Top 5 win came on the clay of Madrid in 2011 against Francesca Schiavone, who was ranked No.4.
Radwanska knew Mattek-Sands would be dangerous - she was asked about the looming match-up in her pre-tournament press conference. "Bethanie is playing good tennis," she said. "I played against her last year in Melbourne I think, and it was a three hour match. I'll definitely have to play good tennis."
It was Radwanska's first WTA-level match of the year, though she did play at Hopman Cup last week.
"I got the invitation to play Hopman Cup, and Poland was playing for the first time over there, so I was really excited to play there for the first time and see how it is," Radwanska said. "I think it's great to play something different and new. So it was a really exciting week for me, and we made the finals too.
"The match I had against Alizé in the final was a great match. I think we played on a high level from beginning to end. I couldn't finish that match in two sets - I didn't use my chances - but she really showed how she can fight until the end. She didn't give me any free points there. That's why I couldn't really close that match in two sets. But it was definitely a great match and I'm happy I won in three."
Keys leads Mattek-Sands in their head-to-head series, 2-1, though Mattek-Sands won their last one.
Also moving through to the quarterfinals on the top half of the draw were Angelique Kerber and Carla Suárez Navarro, who both won tight two-setters on Tuesday afternoon. The No.5-seeded Kerber was the first of the two to advance, absorbing seven aces en route to a 63 64 win over Kaia Kanepi. Suárez Navarro saved a set point down 5-4 in the first set and eventually edged Ekaterina Makarova, 76(4) 63.
Kerber and Suárez Navarro are tied in their head-to-head series, 1-1. Both meetings came last fall, with Suárez Navarro edging Kerber in a thriller at the US Open but Kerber getting revenge indoors at Linz.