US Open: Agnieszka Radwanska holds off tricky Petra Martic

Tenth seed Agnieszka Radwanska reached the second round at the US Open for the 12th time in her career on Wednesday, fighting past the dangerous Petra Martic in a tight two-set encounter on the third day of action at Flushing Meadows.

In a match held over from yesterday due to the poor weather that blighted the tournament, Radwanska battled hard against the tricky Croatian, though eventually recorded a 6-4, 7-6(3) victory out on Court 5; the Pole is still yet to drop a single set in any opening round match in New York.

Radwanska proved too strong as she reached the second round (Getty/Elsa)
Radwanska proved too strong as she reached the second round (Getty/Elsa)

The Pole has largely struggled this season, reaching only three quarterfinals on the WTA Tour and falling out of the top ten just this week, and that lack of confidence perhaps showed as she failed to serve out both sets. This match, against a player who has performed well at the slams in 2017, may give her the confidence to perform well here.

Radwanska holds her nerve to close out Martic

This was undoubtedly an intriguing first round encounter, with Radwanska having struggled this season and Martic having made the fourth round at both the French Open and Wimbledon as a qualifier, though the tenth seed proved a little too consistent for her opponent today.

The early signs were positive for Martic, with the Croatian breaking in the very opening game, though Radwanska responded emphatically with an immediate break back. After a slow start, the tenth seed began to start controlling the patterns of play, breaking once again and taking a 5-2 lead in the opening set. With her back against the wall, Martic saved two set points on her own serve and then broke to even up proceedings, though Radwanska regrouped and broke to take the opening set 6-4.

Martic troubled her opponent at time but was not consistent enough (Getty/Elsa)
Martic troubled her opponent at time but was not consistent enough (Getty/Elsa)

Unlike in the first set, both women were able to hold on to their opening service games, though it was Radwanska who was able to draw the errors and control play, with the Pole racing to a 4-1 lead just as in the first set. However, Martic was able to recover from her slow start and after a strong hold when serving to stay in the match, took advantage of some nerves from the Pole to break when the tenth seed was serving for victory. The Croatian’s comeback saw her eventually force a tiebreak, though she made multiple errors and Radwanska converted a second match point to reach the second round.

Against a confident and dangerous opponent, this was generally a solid performance by the Pole, who has never made the last eight in New York; she hit 23 winners to just 11 unforced errors, compared to 32 errors from Martic. Radwanska will face Yulia Putintseva in the second round.