MADRID, Spain - World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska broke her six-match losing streak against Svetlana Kuznetsova in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, overcoming three match points to advance to the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Trailing Kuznetsova 10-3 in their head-to-head, Radwanska was seeking her first win against the Russian since 2008. Based on Kuznetsova's form coming into Madrid, it would be no easy task, as she made her first WTA final in over three years last week in Oeiras. Kuznetsova was looking for her 21st Top 5 win, having secured her 20th over Simona Halep a few weeks ago in Stuttgart.
Though Radwanska is titleless so far this year, her 25 match wins in 2014 coming into this clash were tied for second-most on the WTA. She was coming off a straight set triumph over World No.18 Eugenie Bouchard in her Madrid opener.
The Turning Point
Radwanska jumped out to a 4-0 lead en route to a 6-3 first set win. It appeared it could be an easy day for her when she had a 3-2, one-break advantage in the second. But Kuznetsova then caught fire and won eight of the next 10 games to win the second set and take a 4-1 lead in the third. A Radwanska rally ensued, as she reeled off four consecutive games to take a 5-4 lead and eventually it had to be settled in a tie-break. Kuznetsova took a 6-3 lead before Radwanska won five straight points to seal the 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6) triumph.
By The Numbers
The two-hour and 35-minute affair was a dead heat in a variety of statistics, with both players converting on eight of 15 break point opportunities and Radwanska having a narrow four-point advantage in total points won.
"I think until you shake hands, you're still in it," Radwanska said. "Of course being down 6-3 in the tiebreak is never a great situation, especially with her serving twice. But in tennis anything can happen. You can always turn around the match. Fighting until the end is the most important thing. That's what I was trying to do today, and it worked.
"I'm very, very happy that I could win a really great match. I knew it was going to be a really tough one. She has been playing really good tennis on clay. It was a great win for me. Hopefully, I can play good tennis again tomorrow."
Radwanska plays World No.20 Roberta Vinci, whom she is 6-1 against.