Wickmayer Clears First Hurdle In Oeiras

Former champion Yanina Wickmayer fended off a second set fightback to defeat Urszula Radwanska in the first round of the Portugal Open.

Published April 28, 2014 12:13


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OEIRAS, Portugal - Yanina Wickmayer began her clay court season with a hard-fought win over Urszula Radwanska at the Portugal Open on Monday.

The Plot
Oeiras was the site of Wickmayer's first career title, which she won as a fresh-faced 19-year-old back in 2009. However, she arrived for this year's title looking to rediscover this winning touch, following early defeats at her last two tournaments, Miami and Katowice.

Radwanska, who missed the end of 2013 and start of 2014 with a shoulder injury, has also been struggling for form of late, failing to make it beyond the first round on any of her past five WTA outings.

The Turning Point
Despite her recent struggles, Wickmayer looked confident from the off, striking her groundstrokes with real conviction and captruting an early break on her way to the opening set. As the match progressed, though, Radwanska began to find her range, frustrating the Belgian with her endless retrieving and intelligent shot selection.

Her game continued to flourish in the second, building a 5-3 lead after getting the better of an early flurry of breaks. However, with the set at her mercy, she could not find the knockout blow, as Wickmayer reeled off the next four games to close out a 64 75 win.

"It was tough. I mean, it was my first match on clay, so that's always a bit strange in the beginning," Wickmayer said. "But I think I did quite well and I tried to stay in the rallies and be aggressive whenever I could. She's a tough opponent, gets a lot of balls back and plays quite smart, so I'm pretty happy with my match today.

"It was my first time back on Centre Court since I played the final so it was a very nice feeling."

What's Next
In the second round Wickmayer will play either Alexandra Cadantu or No.4 seed Roberta Vinci.

"It'll be another tough one," Wickmayer said of the possibility of playing Vinci. "She plays very good tactics and is very smart so it's going to be very tough for me. I'll have another day of practice tomorrow, prepare well and try and have another good match."

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