MELBOURNE, Australia - Agnieszka Radwanska was given a scare before progressing to the second round of the Australian Open with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Kristyna Pliskova.
The No.26 seed lost the first set to the big-serving Czech, who mustered an impressive 14 aces to her opponent’s three. The Pole eventually found a way to grind down her opponent, who made 42 unforced errors across the match in comparison to the 16 of the World No.35, ultimately progressing thanks to a double break in the decider.
US Open finalist Madison Keys, seeded No.17 in Melbourne, enjoyed more serene progress to the next round, defeating Wang Qiang of China for her first win since that Flushing Meadows run. The American swept her opponent away 6-1 in the opening set before being tested more in the second, eventually coming through 7-5 to ease through in little over an hour.
One seed who was not so fortunate was France’s Kristina Mladenovic who was beaten 6-3, 6-2 by Romania’s Ana Bogdan. After a wretched 12-loss run to finish 2017, the World No.11’s poor form has continued into the new year, and she is now winless in her first three tournaments.
Otherwise, the seeds playing on the outside courts all progressed unscathed, although several had testing matches.
Lucie Safarova, the No.29 seed, was stretched by Australian wildcard Ajla Tomljanovic before coming through 7-5, 6-3, while Elena Vesnina, the No.16 seed, defeated Ons Jabeur 6-3, 6-4, and Barbora Strycova defeated wildcard Kristie Ahn 6-1, 7-5.
American Shelby Rogers pushed No.28 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni all the way, but eventually the Croat came out on top, 7-6(8), 5-7, 6-2.
One of the most remarkable matches of the day, meanwhile, was between Hsieh Su-Wei and qualifier Zhu Lin. The World No.82, a former doubles World No.1, lost the opening set 6-0 before claiming the second by an identical margin. After two one-sided affairs, the third proved to be far closer and ended 8-6 to the higher-ranked Hsieh.
Elsewhere, Lesia Tsurenko, Lauren Davis, No.14 seed Anastasija Sevastova and Sorana Cirstea all recovered from the loss of the opening set to progress in three.
Life was easier for Beatriz Haddad Maia, Camila Giorgi, Naomi Osaka, Marketa Vondrousova, Donna Vekic, Yulia Putintseva, Bernarda Pera, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Lara Arruabarrena, who all moved through with straight-set victories.