Radwanska passes Niculescu test to advance in Doha

 25 Feb 2016 - 1:25

Radwanska passes Niculescu test to advance in Doha
Agnieszka Radwanska at the Qatar Total open.


DOHA: World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska yesterday recovered from a double break to Monica Niculescu to ease past the unseeded Romanian, 7-5, 6-1 in the Qatar Total Open tennis tournament which continued at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. 
Grabbing the opening set, Radwanska played impeccable tennis throughout, striking 31 winners to just 15 unforced; Niculescu wasn’t too far behind with 24 winners and 32 errors.
“I think she has the best hands on tour, very tricky player and very uncomfortable to play against,” Radwanska said of her opponent during her on-court interview. 
“I knew it was going to be tough and a long one. What can I say? She really made me play my best tennis, so I’m very happy to win that match in two sets”. 
 “I think when you play someone like Monica, you know there will be a lot of weird shots all around the court, and every shot is going to be different. She had a lot of highlights herself!”
In her six appearances at the Qatar Total Open, Radwanska has reached the quarterfinals or better five times, but is still looking for her first final in Doha.
Asked about the increasing parity that the WTA has seen in 2016, the reigning BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global champion theorized that the upsets are part of what makes her tour so fun to watch.
“I think this is women’s tennis; you never know what’s going to happen! Every day, we’re playing different, but it makes us interesting. We’re always fun to watch, a lot of different scores, a lot of surprises on the way to the final.
“That’s the way we play!”
Up next for Radwanska is the winner of the third round between No.9 seed Roberta Vinci and wildcard Cagla Buyakakcay, who upset defending champion Lucie Safarova in her opening match.
Meanwhile, Chinese sensation Zheng Saisai, who surprisingly knocked out Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber from the Qatar Open, claimed another high-profile scalp yesterday when she outplayed 21-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets.
Zheng, 22, won 7-6 (7/1), 6-1 to march into the final eight in Doha.
The world number 73 won in an hour and 35 minutes against Bouchard, who is returning to the circuit from a freak injury she sustained at the US Open last September.
Zheng’s victory came just 24 hours after she dumped Kerber out with a 7-5, 6-1 win. 
Surprises continued to mount during the Qatar Total Open after Tuesday saw seven seeds knocked out. There were more shock exists yesterday and among them were the number five seed and double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki. Kvitova was defeated by Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1. Ostapenko is ranked 78 places behind world number eight, Kvitova. 
Meanwhile Russia’s Elena Vesnina - who came through into the main draw as a qualifier - beat former world number one Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 in 2 hours 37 minutes. 
Earlier yesterday, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro crushed Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets to advance to the quarter-finals of the seven-day tournament. 
In another match yesterday , Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko shocked fifth seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic to reach the last eight of the tournament.
Ostapenko, who is 18 years old, won 5-7, 6-2, 6-1. 
The Latvian said: “I feel really great that I could play like this. It was one of my best matches. It was really great and I’m really happy.” The Qatar Total Open concludes on Saturday. 

The Peninsula