Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska scrapes through first round of Shenzhen Open
Defending champion battles for nearly two and-a-half hours to overcome lowly ranked Duan Yingying of China
Top seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was made to work hard to beat lowly ranked Duan Yingying of China 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5 in the first round of the WTA Shenzhen Open on Monday.
Radwanska, ranked third in the world, took nearly two and-a-half hours to overcome a stiff challenge from her 103rd-ranked opponent, winning fewer of her first service points but slamming down seven aces to Duan’s four.
The Pole saved three match points in the third set on her way to claiming victory.
“The first match in any tournament is always difficult,” said Radwanska. “Duan played really well. Although her ranking is not very high, her power and serve are pretty good.”
Duan said: “I’m not as good as top players when facing key points. I was thinking too much when the match points came.”
Second seed Simona Halep of Romania triumphed in a three-set thriller 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 over Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, formerly the world’s top-ranked female player.
Halep bounced back after a second-set loss to win a place in the second round against Katerina Siniakova, who defeated home-town favourite Peng Shuai 6-3, 7-5.
Third seed Johanna Konta of Britain made a strong start to the tournament with a dominant 6-2, 6-0 performance over Caga Buyukakcay, taking less than an hour to defeat her Turkish opponent.
Konta enters 2017 as a top-10 player for the first time in her career. She will face 27-year-old American veteran Vania King.
Fourth seed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland pulled out of the tournament on Monday due to an abdominal injury.
Additional reporting by Xinhua