WTA Rogers Cup: Agnieszka Radwanska cruises into round two

2014 Rogers Cup champion Agnieszka Radwanska was at her counter-punching best in her opening round encounter with big-hitting American Coco Vandeweghe, cruising to a straight-sets victory. Radwanska was like a brick wall in the first-round battle, sending every ball back and frustrating Vandeweghe from start to finish on her way to a 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Radwanska rewarded for constant pressure

It was Vandeweghe, who won the pair’s most recent meeting, getting off to the quicker start in the match, racing ahead 15-40 in the opening game, only to squander both break points with errors. Radwanska would waste no time in turning the momentum in her favour in the following game, grabbing a double break point opportunity of her own, but a pair of shots into the net wasted the break points. The Pole had another 15-40 opening in the following game, but again could not convert.

Coco Vandeweghe follows through on a forehand. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Coco Vandeweghe follows through on a forehand. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Finally, for the third return game in a row, Radwanska took a 15-40 lead and this time, Vandeweghe overcooked a forehand to surrender the break. In the following game at 4-2, a clearly-frustrated Vandeweghe smashed a ball into the crowd after failing to chase down a drop shot, earning her a warning from the umpire. The American had no answer for Radwanska’s brilliant court coverage and consistent ground strokes and errors continued to pour off her racquet. The Pole would hold in that game and, two games later, served out the opening set, sealing it with an unreturnable serve.

Vandeweghe can’t keep up

Looking to get herself back in the match, Vandeweghe once again brought her A-game in her first return game of the set and this time, a rare lapse from the Pole nearly gave the American an early lead. A double-fault at 30-all from Radwanska gave Vandeweghe a break point, but she could not convert. A second soon followed, but her return found the net. Radwanska would save a third break point with an ace before holding.

Radwanska won the title in Canada back in 2014. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Radwanska won the title in Canada back in 2014. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

In the very next game, the Pole made her opponent pay for the missed opportunities. A string of errors from Vandeweghe saw her fall behind break point. On break point, the American attempted a serve-and-volley and failed, sending the second shot wide to give Radwanska the early break. The Pole never looked back, adding another break in the fifth game when she curled a perfect forehand passing shot up the line at deuce before coaxing Vandeweghe into another error on break point. Three games later, the tenth seed booked her place in the second round with a pair of big serves.

By the numbers

Radwanska did a great job of returning Vandeweghe’s powerful serve, winning an impressive 46 percent of both her first and second serve return points. She also saved all five break points she faced in the match. All of the break points she faced came in the opening service game of the sets. She converted three of her seven break points. While Radwanska was equally strong on Vandeweghe’s first and second serves, it may have helped that the American only put 48 percent of her powerful first serves into play.

Radwanska awaits the winner between Timea Babos and youngster Bianca Andreescu in the second round.