MELBOURNE, Australia - Agnieszka Radwanska came close to doing something she hadn't done yet this year - not losing a match, just losing a set - but she recovered in time to keep her squeaky clean 2013 intact, eventually rolling against Australian wildcard Bojana Bobusic at the Australian Open, 75 60.
Bobusic, who won the Australian Open Wildcard Play-off in Melbourne during the off-season, was up a break three times in the tight first set, including serving for it at 5-4. But the No.4-seeded Radwanska was just too solid when it really counted, winning nine games in a row from there to win in straights.
"The worst part of this match was the wind - I think both of us couldn't win one game from the one side," Radwanska said. "So I was just losing against the wind, pretty much. And I just didn't start aggressively enough. But I'm happy I could come back in the first set and play much better in the second set."
Radwanska is now 10-0 on the season, not losing a set in any of those matches - and she has only faced one set point, against Jamie Hampton in their Auckland semifinal (Hampton double faulted).
"For sure it's been a great two weeks for me. I can't complain," Radwanska said. "I'm very happy I've been able to play a lot of good matches and at a really high level, and not even losing one set either."
"I'm always looking forward to coming back here," the 2011 finalist said. "Today it felt like the ball here is a little heavier, so sometimes I felt I was hitting a winner but she would get the ball back in the court all the time. I was a little bit surprised. But maybe I was hitting the ball too slow, yeah.
"The most important thing is I passed the first round, and now I can think about the second round."
Li was asked about her rapport with coach Carlos Rodriguez. "I've been working with him since the start of last August. I've been feeling pretty good - I don't know how he's feeling, but he seems good! He's not only a teacher about tennis and technique, but also about my mind, how to be stronger on the court."
Many people remember Li's breakthrough run at the 2011 French Open, where she became Asia's first Grand Slam champion - but just a few months earlier, right here in Melbourne, she became Asia's first Grand Slam finalist, beating Caroline Wozniacki in the semis before falling to Kim Clijsters in the final.