WUHAN, China -- No.9 seed Agnieszka Radwanska scored her fifth career win over Wimbledon semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova to start her week at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open on Monday, 6-4, 7-5.
Playing Rybarikova for the first time in four years, Radwanska earned a hard-fought two-set victory in over two hours on Court 1, coming from an early break down in both sets to reach the second round.
The Pole found herself having several opportunities to break Rybarikova's serve in the match, as the Slovak served at 43% and struck 10 double faults.
As it turned out, Radwanska needed every one of those chances as the World No.28 took her first lead with a break in the third game of the match.
After twice navigating a hold after being taken to deuce to lead 4-2, Rybarikova lost serve for the first time in the seventh game, part of a four-game swing in Radwanska's favor which saw the No.9 seed take the opening set.
Though Rybarikova secured a four-deuce game on her fifth break point to open, the momentum soon swung towards the Pole in emphatic fashion, as Radwanska won 13 of the next 15 points to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
The Slovak hung tough despite her deficit, working her way out of a 0-40 hole by winning five straight points in the sixth game, and saving two match points on her own serve in the eighth.
Another lengthy game went Rybarikova's way as Radwanska served for the match, and she ran her streak to three straight with her most emphatic hold of the match to level at 5-5, looking to take the Pole to a decider for just the second time in six career matches.
However, Radwanska had a late resurgence, restoring order with her second love hold of the set, and toughing out a decisive fifth break of serve to move safely through to the next round.
The Pole will face Julia Goerges in the next round, after the German came from 4-1 down in the first set to defeat Daria Gavrilova, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.