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Radwanska reaches quarter-finals in Auckland

Polish player makes light work of Romania’s Halep

Gulf News

Auckland: Polish world No 4 Agnieszka Radwanska advanced easily to the quarter-finals of the ASB Classic women’s tennis tournament on Wednesday, beating Simona Halep of Romania 6-3, 6-1 in the second round.

Top-seeded Radwanska dropped her opening service game but then clicked into gear, breaking Halep twice to take the first set, then swept through the second set to win the match in just over an hour.

The slightly-built Radwanska was able to impose her natural game of soft touches and oblique angles, making few mistakes while forcing Halep into 38 unforced errors.

She will now face Russia’s Elena Vesnina in Thursday’s quarterfinals after Vesnina beat No 6 seed Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2, 6-3 in her second round match.

Radwanska, third-seeded former champion Yanina Wickmayer and eighth-seeded Mona Barthel of Germany are the only seeds still alive in the tournament after Wednesday’s second round.

Second-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany fell to unseeded Johanna Larsson of Sweden 7-5, 6-7 (1), 6-3 in a match which stretched for more than two and a half hours. Sixth seeded Shvedova fell to Vesnina, joining the fourth, fifth and seventh seeds who lost in the first round.

Wickmayer, who beat Romina Oprandi of Switzerland 6-3, 6-0, will now face compatriot Kirsten Flipkens who beat Pauline Parmentier of France 6-2, 6-2. Parmentier ousted seventh-seeded Christina McHale of the United States in the first round.

“I’m really happy after two tough matches against tough opponents,” Wickmayer said.

“It was the first time I’ve played (Oprandi) so it was a bit searching but I’m very happy with my game.”

Barthel beat two-time former champion Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 7-6 (6), 6-2 and will face Larsson in the quarterfinals.

Jamie Hampton of the United States beat New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic 6-1, 7-6 (5) and Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands beat Heather Watson of Britain 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in matches between unseeded players.

Radwanska was by far the most impressive player in action on Wednesday. After serving for 4-3 in the first set she won eight of the next nine games to reach the quarterfinals.

“I was running a lot in the first set,” she said. “I knew (Halep) was a very consistent player and I knew I would have to work hard to get into the match.

“I’m just very happy with the way I’ve played in the first two rounds.”