STUTTGART, Germany - No.1 seed Agnieszka Radwanska defeated World No.20 Roberta Vinci on Thursday to secure a quarterfinal berth at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and tie Dominika Cibulkova for most match wins on the WTA this season.
Radwanska came into Stuttgart with 23 match wins in 2014, one short of Cibulkova, who had to withdraw from this event with an Achilles injury. She was also looking for her sixth win in seven meetings with Vinci. The Italian had lost her opener here in all three of her previous outings, but ended that trend with a straight set triumph over Annika Beck on Tuesday. If she were able to upset World No.3 Radwanska, it would have been her third Top 5 win and 13th Top 10 win.
The Turning Point
At 2-2 in the first set, Radwanska won three straight games to grab the momentum, despite Vinci having game points in two of those games. And after winning the first set, Radwanska never looked back, getting out to a 4-0 lead to the second and going on to a 63 62 victory.
By The Numbers
It was all about break point opportunities, as Radwanska had four of them on Vinci's serve, and Vinci had three of them on Radwanska's serve. However, Radwanska converted on three of her four and Vinci wasn't able to convert on any.
"She is a very good clay court player," Radwanska said. "We have played a few times, so I knew what to expect and I knew what I had to do to beat her. I played really good tennis today. It was my first match here, which is always tricky. But I can't really complain about anything.
"Today was a pretty good match. I was playing very aggressively, not serving badly and moving okay on this surface. I think straight sets against someone who is playing very well on clay is a very good score. We'll see in the other matches, but of course, here there are no easy opponents.
"I played Fed Cup on clay, but Spanish clay is different than this, so it's just a different surface. But I got here on Monday and practiced a couple of times on this surface. It is a little bit faster and slippery, but everybody has the same conditions and you just have to get used to it."
Radwanska will square off with two-time defending champion Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals. The Russian has won eight of their 10 encounters, but the last several have been very tight. Sharapova needs to win the match to remain in the Top 10.