No.4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens in straight sets to make the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
WTA Staff

DUBAI, UAE -Agnieszka Radwanska

overcame the challenge of Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens in straight sets to make the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

"It's always challenging to play someone for the first time and I didn't know exactly what to expect," said the No.4 seed. "It was a slow start from my side but I'm just happy to win my first match here in two sets. The first match is always tough. These are tough conditions and a little windy so the ball is flying everywhere but hopefully, match by match, it will be better."

Mertens, who upset Tsvetana Pironkova in the opening round, gained the immediate break in the opening game to gain confidence at the start of the first meeting between the pair. But from then on, it was all Radwanska, the Pole surging back to take the opening set 6-3 before clinching the second set 6-2.

Radwanska, who won the tournament in 2012, will next face teenager Catherine Bellis who backed up her opening round win over Yulia Putintseva with another straight sets win over Laura Siegemund.

"It's always great to go back to a place where you've won before and I'm going to do everything in my power to hold this trophy again," added Radwanska. "It's now a meeting with someone I haven't played before so another change for me. Another young and very talented player so I hope I can win the first game and we'll see how it goes."