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Radwanska Safely Through In Doha

Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova were both in action at the Qatar Total Open on Tuesday, coming through testing opening assignments in straight sets.

Published February 23, 2016 12:14

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DOHA, Qatar - No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska moved safely into the third round of the Qatar Total Open on Tuesday with a straight set win over qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko.

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On a blustery afternoon, Radwanska had to withstand a spirited display from the World No.75, before eventually coming through, 6-4, 6-4.

As one of the game's elite, Radwanska has played much of her tennis down the years at the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex during the prime-time evening slot. It is an arrangement that has suited her well, the Pole reaching the semifinals on four occasions.

However, she began her latest title tilt in conditions not ideally suited to her eye-pleasing repertoire of strokes. "I think we all have to get used to different conditions. It was also windy. So it wasn't the easiest time to play and maybe it wasn't the prettiest match, but the most important thing is that I won and I'm very happy about that."

It has been a fine start to 2016 for Radwanska, who has built on the momentum of her victory at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global by winning in Shenzhen and then reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open.

"I had a great start to the year, obviously, and I had a good rest after Australia. But I've been working hard since so I can play the same tennis here and do as well as in other years."

Despite her lack of recent competitive action - she sat out Poland's Fed Cup tie and withdrew from Dubai because of a leg injury - Radwanska delivered a typically tidy display - decorated by the odd touch of brilliance - hitting 17 winners and the same number of unforced errors.

Radwanska will next face either Monica Niculescu or former World No.1 Jelena Jankovic.

"They're both very good, very solid opponents and it's going to be another great challenge for me," Radwanska said. "I'm going to watch the match, have some rest and be ready for tomorrow."

Also coming through a tough second round assignment was Petra Kvitova, who defeated in-form compatriot Barbora Strycova, 7-6(2), 6-4.

Last week in Dubai, Strycova made it all the way to the final and she delivered another reputation-enhancing showing. Kvitova was an early casualty in Dubai, and must have feared the worst when Strycova served for the opening set. But the No.5 seed dug deep - fending off a couple of set points - to pinch it on a tie-break.

Despite an improved showing in the second set, Kvitova's 18 winners were still offset by 30 unforced errors, leaving her with room to improve in the next round. "It was pretty close in the first set - she had a couple of set points - but I was just trying to take it point by point," Kvitova said.

The result extends Kvitova's unbeaten run against fellow Czech's to 18 matches, her last defeat coming against Lucie Hradecka in Madrid nearly four years ago.

"It was a really important win for me today. Not just for the tournament but also the season - I hope this match will help me."

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