WTA Hong Kong: Samantha Stosur earns confidence-boosting victory over Agnieszka Radwanska

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After exactly two hours of play, Samantha Stosur clinched the best win of her comeback from a wrist injury as she ousted the fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in a blockbuster second-round encounter at the Hong Kong Tennis Open. The Australian, who was forced to sit out of action for a couple of months due to an injury picked up at the French Open, has her first top-30 victory in her comeback, with a quarterfinal spot in Hong Kong being her reward for the win.

Stosur was visibly delighted with the win, mentioning in her post-match interview, “I just kept trying to do what I’ve been doing in practice. I genuinely enjoy playing out here. I played well tonight and to be honest I’m not even sure who I’m playing in the quarters, but if I can continue to play well, hopefully I can go a lot further in the tournament.” 

Samantha Stosur in action at the China Open | Photo: Etienne Oliveau/ AsiaPac

Stosur fails to take early chances

In the battle of two players with lots of variety in their games, it was Stosur who started the match looking on fire, earning two break points in the opening game. However, Radwanska was able to come up with some good forehands and clinch the narrow service hold. Both players remained on serve until the sixth game when the enthusiastic fans finally witnessed the first breakthrough of the match. 

Radwanska breaks through and seals the first set

Stosur, attempting to outsmart Radwanska’s varied play, saw her tactics backfire on her as she made several unforced errors at the net to gift the first service break to the Pole. Looking comfortable playing on the Centre Court, Radwanska easily consolidated the break to love as she opened up a formidable 5-2 lead within a blink of an eye. Soon later, Radwanska eventually managed to seal the first set 6-3 after 38 minutes of play with an excellent backhand volley winner.

Agnieszka Radwanska in action at the China Open | Photo: Emmanuel Wong/ AsiaPac
Agnieszka Radwanska in action at the China Open | Photo: Emmanuel Wong/ AsiaPac

Radwanska looked on course for the win

A tight start to the second set saw honors being evened out between the two players, but it was the higher-ranked player who came up with a wonderfully-executed backhand sliced winner on break point in the third game to take the first break in the set, leading by a set and a break. Unexpectedly, Stosur was able to produce an immediate fightback, with Radwanska’s lobs too easy for the Australian to put away in that game, returning on serve at 2-2.

Stosur produces incredible comeback

The scores were kept tight all the way until the ninth game when Stosur faced two break points, with Radwanska earning the golden opportunity of serving out the match had she converted any of them. Yet, Stosur remained clutch in the nerviest moments and hit a forehand winner to save one of them before Radwanska sent an easy second serve return wide. This tight service hold proved to be pivotal as the former US Open champion next prevailed in a lengthy game to take the second set 6-4, coming out of nowhere to do so.

This was Radwanska's supposed last tournament of the year | Photo: Emmanuel Wong/ AsiaPac
This was Radwanska’s supposed last tournament of the year | Photo: Emmanuel Wong/ AsiaPac

Stosur outplays Radwanska and seals the bagel

The final set was more smooth-sailing than expected, and it was smooth-sailing for the underdog, surprisingly. Radwanska’s lengthy toilet break did not seem to help her regain her composure, as Stosur was simply ruthless early in the decider, jumping out to an incredible 3-0 without facing any problems.

The Australian was invincible on her serve, losing just two points behind her consistent serves throughout the final set. Radwanska was unable to find her rhythm at all, which ultimately saw Stosur claim the win in impressive fashion, serving the bagel in the final set.

Samantha Stosur moves onto the quarterfinals in Hong Kong | Photo: Etienne Oliveau/ AsiaPac
Samantha Stosur moves onto the quarterfinals in Hong Kong | Photo: Etienne Oliveau/ AsiaPac

 



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