It seemed that no one could bring down Agnieszka Radwanska at the Australian Open. The high seeded Pole worked her magic that tamed Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig to win 6-4, 6-0 at Margaret Court Arena Friday night. Swift movements and ball position were the supporting cast to Radwanska’s advancement to the round of 16.
Another first time meeting for Radwanska had her facing the Puerto Rican who has been impressing while on the game and fighting to make a comeback. Puig avoided elimination in a long match with Kristyna Pliskova that went to a tiebreak in the second set before playing things out in a long 61 minute third with Puig winning 9-7 due to a special tiebreaker.
Radwanska hasn’t been in that situation before and doesn’t see herself doing so against Puig as she conducted her victories well to stave off playing a third set. The fourth best player in the world has her eyes set on a seventh trip to the round of 16 and sixth consecutively.
When starting the first set, she experienced a challenge from Puig who answered well on both the serve and winning the important breaks to stay level with Radwanska. They went through eight games until Radwanska won a critical game on serve to lead 5-4.
Puig had a chance to save the set from closing and nearly had it but the Polish star fired a line drive that the Puerto Rican couldn’t reach in time. It sent things into deuce where both players were delivering shots away from one another. After two breaks, Radwanska got it done ending the set in 49 minutes.
During the break between sets, Radwanska took a medical timeout to have her lower left leg treated due to a previous injury that began to bother her again. After a quick tape up by the trainers she got back on court to start her run to win a third match in straight sets.
Radwanska was still unstoppable going into the second set as her streak grew to three straight winning on the opening serve. Her dominance became too much for Puig who was straining under the pressure to compete at Radwanska’s level. It went from three games to winning the last six straight for the Polish star as she climbed closer to victory and a possible sweep of the set.
Strategic shots from Radwanska and a rush to respond by her opponent were becoming the factors of how well she dictated the pace on court. Puig had a couple of winners in the fifth game but it wasn’t enough to get her from the inevitable scenario that the bagel would go in favor of the fifth seed. She got it in very quick fashion that shutout Puig in the second set in 27 minutes.
The match as a whole was completed in 1 hour and 16 minutes with the Polish star maintaining a 78 percent success rate on serve landing 28 of 36. Recording just 11 errors throughout the match was reason for her calm composure of playing through any level of adversity to come her way. Next up will be Roberta Vinci of Italy who would be Radwanska’s biggest challenge since the tournament began five days ago. As the number of players decrease the degree of challenge for the Pole will rise come Saturday.