Radwanska Races Into Second Round
Published June 24, 2014 12:13
Last week in Eastbourne, Radwanska suffered her annual pre-Wimbledon slip-up, losing in the first round to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. It was the third straight year the Pole had fallen at the first hurdle, although, given that the two previous setbacks preceded runs to the semifinal and final at the All-England Club, it is unlikely to have set off too many alarm bells.
And there were no lingering after effects in the early stages of her match with Mitu, as she opened up a 4-2 lead on Monday evening before rain and bad light brought a halt to her progress.
The Turning Point
Perhaps it was the ominous-looking clouds lurking overhead, or just the knowledge that she would have to play again on Wednesday, but Radwanska looked in a hurry from the first point. An emphatic hold took the score to 5-2 before she closed out the set with a beautifully timed backhand return.
The qualifier's woes continued in the second set. Struggling in the face of Radwanska's unerring consistency, the qualifier won just two of the first 12 points, handing over another break when she sent a forehand long. In the opening point of the next game, the Pole gave a textbook example of turning defense into attack, finishing off a wonderfully crafted rally with a trademark squatting forehand winner.
Mitu did eventually get on the scoreboard, stopping the rot in the sixth game. It was only delaying the inevitable, though, Radwanska wrapping up a 6-2, 6-1 victory when the Romanian fired long on her first match point.