Agnieszka Radwanska played through the humidity to come out clean in the opening round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open Monday. The unseeded Pole dominated over American Coco Vandeweghe winning 6-3, 6-3 on center court at the Ariake Tennis Forest.
The two met recently in New Haven where the tough Polish player dominated the match with a 6-0, 6-2 win over the struggling American. Since then the two have been on different paths when it came to the US Open. While Radwanska had her way into the tournament, the same couldn’t be said for Vandeweghe who had the home advantage but lacked the skill to compete well. Though she worked hard through qualifying, the 24-year-old couldn’t keep her success early on with consistency losing in the second round.
Radwanska mad a good effort in her quest to return into the top ten but was stopped by Madison Keys in the third round. She did move into 14th in the WTA standings, but with the majors all but done, her last opportunities were the premier events to catch some momentum. She won the tournament back in 2011 and matched it up by finishing runner-up the next year. The recent history in Tokyo may give her a good start to gain a second title in Japan.
Radwanska took a 2-0 lead in the opening set, playing her forehand well against Vandeweghe who wasn’t yet up to speed. By the time they got into the third game, Vandeweghe was ready to fight breaking the Pole on service to win on three breaks. The American played well against the shorthand service from Radwanska to get on the board. She wouldn’t be able to celebrate the lone win for long as the Pole took a 3-1 lead in the set looking to fire off the wins fast.
She gained another victory before Vandeweghe responded with a win on serve holding on the deuce draw to cut the lead in half. The Pole captured her fifth game of the set looking to put the American down in the match, but the American had a strong response to that staying alive in the eighth. It was no use when Radwanska returned to service where she launched a perfect set of shots across court to take the set with a third love service. It took 35 minutes to complete the set, which in turn caused a concern in the Vandeweghe camp that had her take a talk with her coach.
The pep talked paid off in the first game as she fought well on her serve battling through a lengthy draw on deuce before capturing the victory. Radwanska answered the call of Vandeweghe to tally a pair of wins giving her the lead once again. Vandeweghe tied with Radwanska in the fourth that gave her some huge power to go strong in the fifth.
A fight for the lead ensued between the players with Vanderweghe serving her heart out to open a lead in her favor deep in the set. After five breaks and nearly 12 minutes of play, Vandeweghe failed to hold serve falling to Radwanska. The Polish stars wrapped up her third serve of the set with an allowance of just a single point to the American, inching closer to the match win.
Trying to stay alive, Vandeweghe tried to maintain a strong service against on Radwanska in order to break her. She opened to a triple break point in the eighth but the strength from her opponent couldn’t be stopped as Radwanska forced deuce thereby breaking Vandeweghe.
It took a pair of breaks before she was able to take a 5-3 hold of the set playing for the match in the ninth. She gained her first match point where a shot from Vandeweghe ended with Radwanska firing the ball right behind her ending the 90 minute match with a straight sets win. Radwanska averaged 65 percent on her first serve landing two thirds of her shots against Vandeweghe. The second serve was on point winning points on 12 of 17.
With so much success still rolling for the Pole she will try and match it in the second round when she faces the winner between Ukrainians Elina Svitolina and Olga Savchuk on Wednesday.