WUHAN, China -- No.9 seed Agnieszka Radwanska moved into the third round of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open for the second straight year on Tuesday, as she defeated Julia Goerges of Germany, 7-5, 7-5, claiming her 500th main draw victory on the WTA.
The Polish star avenged her straight-set loss to Goerges earlier this year, at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in August, and increased her head-to-head record against the German to four wins and two losses.
"I lost to Julia just a few weeks ago, so I knew what I would have to do," Radwanska said of Goerges, in her on-court interview after the match. "I know that she can really play great tennis, especially now, so I’m really glad to win in two sets."
"She’s serving very good, so I’m also prepared for that, and of course when I have any chance to break, I was really focusing on that very much," Radwanska continued. "That was the key in that match. I was just better today for a few points -- that’s it."
After the first six games of the match went by without any break points for either player, the middle of the set became more complicated. Goerges was the first to hold break points, at 3-3, as the effectiveness of her forehand caught up to her stellar backhand.
But Radwanska won five straight points to erase that triple break point opportunity, and then grabbed two break points of her own in the next game after an untimely double fault by Goerges. The German fended those off, due to her speedy serve and powerful backhand.
With Goerges serving at 6-5, a crafty lob by Radwanska at 30-0 unnerved the German. Following that stunner, Goerges hit a backhand into the net and a double fault, and suddenly Radwanska had set point. Goerges shoved a forehand error into the net, giving the Polish player the first break of the match, and a one-set advantage.
Many more breaks would follow in the second set. It felt like Radwanska would cruise to victory once Goerges hit two double faults and two additional unforced errors to provide a 2-0 lead to the Pole, but the German broke right back in the very next game off of a return winner.
Radwanska then hit two consecutive backhand pass winners to claim a 3-1 lead, and once more had the momentum to ease to victory. Goerges, though, dragged the set back on serve in the very next game, with wonderful hitting off both sides giving her the break.
Another six-game stretch with no break points followed, but the German again faltered at 6-5, and another classic backhand passing shot by Radwanska set up triple match point. Goerges saved the first two with a superb volley and a solid overhead, but she hit a forehand wide on the third match point, handing Radwanska the victory in one hour and 55 minutes.
Radwanska's mobile, steady game paid off, as she had an equal amount of winners and unforced errors (12), and a solid first serve percentage. Goerges' aggressive game was in good stead today, as she had 28 winners, but she only got 44 percent of her first serves in, and converted just two of her six break points.
A quarterfinalist in Wuhan last year, Radwanska now advances to play Ashleigh Barty in the third round, after the Australian dispatched No.5 seed Johanna Konta of Great Britain on Monday.