AUCKLAND, New Zealand - 2013 champion Agnieszka Radwanska needed two sets to move past the big-hitting American Taylor Townsend and make her way back into the ASB Classic quarterfinals.
Radwanska, seeded No.4, put together a much tidier performance than Tuesday’s grueling three-setter against Beatriz Haddad Maia, winning 6-3, 7-5 after an hour and 36 minutes.
“I think it was a great match from both of us,” Radwanska said in her on-court interview. “She made some unbelievable running shots from nowhere. She surprised me a lot of times. But I’m just so happy to be able to win that match in two sets.
“I just had to fight for each point, there were a lot of breaks, ups and downs, and you just have to keep going and not think of the past. That’s what I did today.”
She didn’t put a foot out of place for most of the opening set; Radwanska recorded just one unforced error and won 100% of points off of Townsend’s second serve.
Even a rain delay didn’t dampen her momentum, despite pausing play with Radwanska ahead 4-1 and with a 30-0 lead on the American’s serve. Upon resumption half an hour later, Townsend saved two break points but wasn’t able to escape a third as the Pole’s lead extended. The American did well to break back and keep herself in the contest, but Radwanska was too solid, drawing Townsend into unforced errors as she marched ahead to take the opening set.
Things got a bit more complicated for the No.4 seed in the second, despite breaking early to take a 2-0 lead. Each time Radwanska pulled ahead Townsend would drag herself back level, even breaking the Pole as she was serving for the match at 5-4. But she calmly broke straight back, taking the match off a trademark drop shot to take her place in the quarterfinals.
Radwanska will take on American qualifier Sachia Vickery, who took out Veronica Cepede Royg 6-2, 6-4 earlier in the day.
Also in action, No.2 seed Julia Goerges made her way in the Auckland quarterfinals after a tidy victory over Slovakian qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova in two sets.
Goerges, who capped off her career-best 2017 season winning back-to-back titles at the Kremlin Cup and the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, extended her winning streak to 11 straight matches after the 6-4, 6-0 victory.
“I’ve just played two matches this year and I’ve won them both, so I am pleased with that,” Goerges said in her on-court interview. “You can always improve what you’re doing, but I’m very happy that I have won both.”
She added: “I was serving pretty well and it really helped me in a lot of moments. I’m very happy to be in another quarterfinal.”
Goerges finished 2017 with the second-highest number of aces of any WTA player, and the German’s powerful serve was indeed the key to her tidy victory; she blasted nine aces, won an impressive 91% of her first serves, and didn’t face a single break point during the match. She outpaced her 19-year-old opponent off the ground, too, hitting 31 winners to the Slovak’s 12, with Kuzmova striking 16 unforced errors to Goerges’ 13.
Goerges will face Polona Hercog in the quarterfinals after the Slovenian took down Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-2 earlier in the day.