MELBOURNE, Australia - On a day when the soaring temperatures were wreaking havoc all around Melbourne Park, Agnieszka Radwanska maintained her cool to defeat Olga Govortsova and keep her quest for a maiden major on track.
Despite being afforded the luxury of playing under the roof on Hisense, Radwanska looked intent on keeping her time on court to a minimum, requiring a mere 24 minutes to wrap up the first set.
Perhaps it was all too easy for the Pole, because the precision that had characterized the opening set was conspicuous by its absence at the start of the second. Govortsova, sensing the opportunity to force her way back into the contest, obligingly upped the ante and bludgeoned her way to a 2-0 lead.
This high-risk approach could last only so long, though, and from 4-2 down Radwanska embarked upon her comeback.
Having drawn level at 4-4, the No.5 seed claimed the decisive break three games later before calmly serving out for a 60 75 win.
"I started really well today," Radwanska said. "I think then she tried to play more aggressive in the second set, I stepped backwards and suddenly I was a break down.
"But I'm just very happy that I could manage to win that second set and finish the match."
Radwanska was similarly happy with the tournament's decision to close the roofs on the show courts, sparing her from the worst of the Melbourne sun.
"Today for sure I was lucky to play indoors," she added. "I saw a lot of matches in the morning and the players were not as lucky as me. But even indoor was ridiculous.
"We are obviously trying to prepare for this weather and doing everything we can to survive those matches, but it's tough. You can see in the changing room the players who have just played a match because they're so red.
"It's tough for everybody, but I think tomorrow is the last day and on Saturday it will be normal, so that's good."
A sterner test awaits in the form of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who proved too strong for Mandy Minella in her second round, running out a 62 62 winner. Radwanska has met the Russian four times previously, and despite winning three of these, she was pushed hard in their two meetings at the back end of last season at the US Open and in Seoul.