Agnieszka Radwanska had her opponent overwhelmed in the second round of the Australian Open Wednesday night. The fourth ranked player in the world sent Eugenie Bouchard packing in a 6-4, 6-2 straight set score at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park. It was Radwanska’s 29th win in the Grand Slam and her eighth time going into the third round.
Two popular players in the WTA get at it for the second time in two years where the Polish star had the drive to get through her straight sets win over the Canadian at the Madrid Masters in 2012. Bouchard hung in with Radwanska as it was her debut season making a name for herself.
She pressed the opening set before bowing out in the second set where she lost the energy to compete. With the experience of playing Radwanska who was well known for her speed to victory, Bouchard’s effort would need to come from more than just chants in the stands.
Bouchard opened service in the game where her strength pushed her ahead on the board to take the game with a two point marginal win. The hold of serve passed into the hands of Radwanska where she won a game making the Canadian move before attacking with the drives into the empty sections of the court. The set saw the hold of serve succeed through four games but as Bouchard fired the ball in the fifth, her double faults gave Radwanska a challenge. The Canadian held firm on the break to keep the hold of service once more.
Bouchard took the lead in the sixth where she fired back on the return challenging Radwanska on her serve to win on the first break of deuce. The Polish tennis star answered with a solid double break point that was served up by a double fault from Bouchard. She let Radwanska back in during the eighth as the unforced errors swelled up to make the break easy for the Pole to hold with the forehand.
She took the lead at 5-4 winning two break points where the problems for Bouchard continued putting her all her efforts in jeopardy against the fourth seed. Radwanska served for the set going up 40-15 before a desperate fight from Bouchard came to rise. She forced Radwanska into deuce but after three breaks she ultimately lost control watching the set close up in 48 minutes.
The first serve percentage of Bouchard really took a toll on her fight landing 38 percent inside despite having more than three times the winners that Radwanska had. Her 26 unforced errors through the first set indicated another key problem that would have to be fixed if she planned to stay alive in the match.
Things didn’t get going for her as the second got underway with Radwanska dictating the pace with a 2-0 lead. Bouchard got back on serve saving herself from a shutout with a hold of serve in the third game with a love service sealing it on an ace. Radwanska got back her two game gap beating Bouchard with a backhander that set the pattern for the hold of serve once more. A double game point in the sixth ended with an easy drop shot that had Bouchard far from the court giving Radwanska a 4-2 commanding lead.
With not much time to recover, Bouchard had to put all her problems aside and pull out a win. A costly mistake on the opportunity gave Radwanska game point in the seventh where she won on Bouchard’s wide shot putting the Pole on serve for the match. Sitting on the edge of defeat, the Canadian aggressively went after the returns to sit on a triple break point.
It quickly disappeared as the unforced errors gave Radwanska a chance for victory on deuce. An unforced error put the Pole on match point where she watched the ball land out but challenged the call to change the decision. Video evidence showed that the ball landed just a hair from the line giving her the victory in 83 minutes
In what she hopes will be her 30th win on Friday, Radwanska will try and put an end to her the winner between Monica Puig of Puerto Rico and Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic.