Stakes Set High for Both Players
Prior to today's matchup, Agnieszka Radwanska and Madison Brengle had no previous meetings. Radwanska, the 2012 Miami Open champion, would be looking to extend her run of making the semifinals or better in eight out of the nine events she has played in since October 2015. Radwanska has undoubtedly had one of the best seasons on the WTA season thus far. Her match today against Brengle would not only prove to be a mental test--as she would be headed in with no experience with Brengle's playing style--but also, a test of her fitness. The day was forecasted to be one of the hottest days of the tournament; in many ways, this match would reward the player who could outlast the extreme conditions. Brengle, on the other hand, had her most successful year on the tour last season, where she claimed her biggest career win over Petra Kvitova (fourth-ranked player in the world at the time) and where she reached her first WTA final followed by a fourth round major appearance at the Australian Open. A win for Brengle over the second-ranked player in the world would be a huge confidence booster in what could be another record-breaking season for the American.
Slow Start for Radwanska
Radwanska started the match playing with less consistency than usual. In the first game, she struggled to dictate points on her serve, and Brengle was able to capitalize, breaking early for a 1-0 lead. Radwanska soon found herself down 3-1, but was able to recover to win 5 consecutive games to seal the first set, 6-3. As Radwanska tightened up her game by minimizing the amount of unforced errors she made, she was able to put Brengle under pressure and pin her back of the court. Brengle began forcing her shots to try to take some power away from Radwanska, yet this strategy only resulted in Brengle making more unforced errors.Ultimately, it was Radwanska's favorable winner to unforced error count that allowed her to take full control of the set, while her opponent slowly crumbled.
Radwanska Continues to Dominate
The second set commenced with the players trading holds and breaks of serve for 2-2. Brengle seemed to have recovered from the frustrations of the last set, and was playing with more patience. However, the eighty-five degree weather soon got the best of the American, who misfired in several crucial rallies to help Radwanska win four straight games. In a comfortable 6-4 6-2 fashion, Radwanska combatted the heat to propel herself into the Miami Open fourth round for the eighth time in her career. She will face nineteenth seeded Timea Bacsinszky next.