NEW YORK, NY, USA - Agnieszka Radwanska broke a dubious pattern at the US Open on Thursday, albeit barely - having lost in the second round the last three years, she rallied for a three set win over Carla Suárez Navarro.
The last three US Opens haven't been kind to Radwanska, as she fell second round in 2009 (to Maria Kirilenko), 2010 (to Peng Shuai) and 2011 (to Angelique Kerber). And it looked that was going to become four in a row as Suárez Navarro built a 64 31 lead, and with a point to go up 64 41 too.
But something clicked for the the World No.2, who ran off the next 11 games in a row - only one of them going to deuce - for a great escape, 46 63 60.
"The beginning of the match was a little bit tough. She's a very tough opponent with a lot of spins, some slice, and a lot of different shots," Radwanska said. "Then I started to play much better and started to make her run, and I was feeling much better about my game later on, especially during the third set."
Radwanska talked about her mentality at a point away from a 64 41 deficit. "In tennis everything can change very quickly, and especially in women's tennis the serve is not that huge of a weapon, so I was just trying to fight, play more aggressive and never give up, especially because it's a Grand Slam.
"Then I won 11 games in a row."
Radwanska's win over Suárez Navarro was her 50th match win of the year, making her the third player to cross that milestone after Angelique Kerber (who did it in Cincinnati) and Victoria Azarenka (who did it Wednesday).
The other Top 4 seed on the bottom half of the draw won by a simpler scoreline, though it was still tricky - No.4 seed Serena Williams battled past María José Martínez Sánchez, 62 64, nearly going down a double break in the second set at 0-2, 15-40, but hanging on to close the Spanish veteran out in straights.
"I wasn't really happy with the way I was playing. I just wasn't happy out there today in general. I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed," Williams said afterwards. "It was just one of those days, but I'm happy I made it through."
Williams also took some time out in her post-match press conference to answer questions about she and sister Venus' on-court fashion over the years.
"I think Venus and I really started amazing style in tennis, especially Venus when she first came out," Williams commented. "I remember when she played here in '98. She had these seven fabulous dresses, which was really, really innovative, super cool, crazy cut-outs. I think it all began there.
"Of course, I followed suit and definitely came out with some fun outfits myself.
"Yeah, we love fashion."
Williams has now won 38 of her last 40 matches and has now reached the third round or better in 47 of her 49 career Grand Slam appearances, the only early losses coming in her very first one at the 1998 Australian Open (losing second round to Venus Williams) and in one of her most recent ones at the 2012 French Open (losing first round for the first time, to Virginie Razzano).