NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska opened her New Haven account with a hard-earned victory against Canadian wildcard Eugenie Bouchard to move into the quarterfinals.
Radwanska came into the matchup with a full mastery of Bouchard’s aggressive game, boasting a perfect 3-0 record in the pair previous encounters, each of those wins coming on a different surface.
She continued her dominance in her first match at the Connecticut Open, surviving a late comeback bid from Bouchard with a 6-3, 7-5 victory in an hour and 45 minutes.
“I had so many chances from the beginning of the [second] set,” Radwanska lamented in her post-match interview. “So many 40-15 games, so many break points.
“When you’re not using those kind of chances against good players, there’s always trouble. But I’m very happy I could finish the match in two sets.”
Radwanska and Bouchard opened their second round encounter with a handful of tentative games, each player feeling out the other’s game. It was the Pole that struck first, as an early Bouchard double fault - one of the seven she’d strike in the match - gave her opponent the first break at 3-2.
The Canadian doubled down on her strategy of attacking the vulnerable Radwanska second serve, and it paid off right away earning the break straight back. Bouchard was coming to the net often in an attempt to shut down Radwanska’s arsenal of slices and spin, but she couldn’t keep her contained for long. The defending champion broke twice more and dodged three break points to bag the opening set.
Bouchard refused to wilt away in the second set, staying aggressive and keeping the pair on serve despite Radwanska’s all-court assault. But her efforts were undone by her mounting unforced errors - racking up 50 in total at the end of the match against her 34 winners - and untimely double faults.
A double fault from Bouchard gave Radwanska the first break of the second set and, after Bouchard got them level, another gave the Pole her first match point. But being up against the wall only served to galvanize the Canadian, who unleashed some big forehands - and took advantage of two lucky netcords, one coming on Radwanska’s second match point - to bail herself out of trouble.
Bouchard’s luck ran out after being a point away from forcing a tiebreak, Radwanska roaring back to put an end to her opponent’s late comeback bid and take the match after an hour and 45 minutes.
Back into the New Haven quarterfinals - her third quarterfinal of 2017 - Radwanska will take on No.8 seed Peng Shuai, who eased past Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-3, for a spot in the semifinals.