Agnieszka Radwanska showed who was boss on Margaret Court Arena Monday. Her straight sets win over Christina McHale ended with a 6-2, 6-3 win to move her into the second round of the Australian Open.
The 2015 WTA champ comes into the year’s first Grand Slam ranked fourth after having a huge comeback last season. The Polish tennis star got together with the American for the fourth time in her career where she has always been in the winner’s side taking every match in straight sets. Radwanska hasn’t allowed more than four games through two sets to McHale and will try and keep that number low once again.
McHale has been warming up her game playing at Auckland and Hobart but producing very little in the process. While she hopes to have a progressive start in the year’s first Grand Slam McHale can only expect to play as long as she can against one of the WTA’s accurate power servers.
After going down 2-0, McHale pushed in Game Three trying to show that she could move well against the Pole and answer her serve. She did indeed winning the game with a double break point shot that Radwanska couldn’t get on. By Game Three, the competition warmed up with the American forcing deuce. After three breaks, Radwanska pressured with net front presence that had her winning the game and jumping out a two game margin.
McHale pulled out another win against Radwanska in the fifth but she couldn’t stop the veteran tennis star from moving away. She went into position to lead 5-2 with the American serving up in what could have been her final chance to stay alive. She had the lead up 40-30 but when it came to playing under pressure on deuce, it was lost. Radwanska put the cap on the set watching the ball from McHale go long to end things in 39 minutes.
The second was much the same for the Pole as she still held her ground against McHale winning games but with more effort as the American had ways of pressuring her. Though they weren’t enough, she wouldn’t allow herself to be shutout by Radwanska who again held the upper hand. Six games were in the record books and Radwanska’s comfortable lead over McHale was gone. The American found some way to counteract the Pole’s skills and move into position to change the lead in her favor.
By Game Seven, Radwanska had McHale on her tail but the Pole put the jets on at the home stretch to take the next two and end the match in 1 hour 20 minutes with a huge show of force on her racket. The first match is always tough or as tricky especially when it’s hard to adjust but just very glad I could win the match in two sets,” Radwanska said during her on court interview.
She maintained a 58 percentage on her first serve landing 21 of 33 and 7 of 11 points on the break that compensated for a struggling second service. McHale’s 28 total unforced errors took away from her two dozen winners that she was able to get against the Polish star. She will have to figure out what she can do different in their next future meeting but for Radwanska it will be the thoughts of who she’ll face in the second round Wednesday.