Agnieszka Radwanska Keeps on Winning in Return to Tennis in Eastbourne

Agnieszka Radwanska won her second match in a row as she had to come from behind to beat Australia’s Daria Gavrilova in three-sets,5-7 7-6 (4) 6-0

It had been two months since Radwanska had last played a WTA match and she even started her preparation for the grass-court swing extremely late, which is why the former World No.2 surprised even herself in the manner of the win in her first match back against Timea Babos.

This victory was very different in terms of the manner in which she won, but it felt just as sweet for Radwanska, who found a way to win and found a solution to the game of Gavrilova, which is something that the Pole was widely acknowledged for over the years. Not just her ability to win points in a variety of ways, but also her ways to turn matches around when things weren’t necessarily going her way. This win today was another of that kind.

Radwanska raced off into a quick break lead as she won four of the first five games, but Gavrilova showed her fighting qualities and her tendency to really push her opponent to the limit and make them compete extremely hard in order to get the win. The Australian saved six break points in one game in the sixth game of the set and was mostly on top for the rest of the set, where she took five of the next six games to completely change the complexion of the match.

Gavrilova found herself in a position to serve for the match, but it was from that moment going forward that she completely lost her way and it is the months of having inconsistent results that played an integral part in her not getting over the line, despite having two match points on her racquet. Gavrilova served two of her seventeen double faults on both match points and mentally checked out from the match in the 3rd set, not winning another game in that decider. Radwanska smelled blood, sensed the opportunity was coming and then started to express herself and play the way that she played before the injuries she sustained. The final set was Radwanska at her finest, but Gavrilova really did not offer much in terms of her level as she rued her missed chances in the 2nd set.

Radwanska had plenty to say about her second win on the grass.

“Yes, well, I mean, I start very good. It was a great match till the end. But I think just the first set slip away a little bit. 4-1 up and then those long games that, you know, could end up a little bit different. Well, in the end, she was really making some good shots in the end of the first set and it slip away. Well, second set was pretty similar. Game by game, point by point. So tight, so long rallies. And then, well, two match points down, but everything was just so tight. I think serve was the key in that match. It was very important. But, you know, in important moments I think didn’t work for her, and that’s why I could come back in that second set. Obviously in that third set I was more confident. I think she got a little bit angry and not patient. Well, that was quicker set. It was good, because we didn’t spend four hours on court.”

Radwanska was rather upbeat about her win. I asked her whether these particular victories at this stage of her return meant a little bit extra to her. She replied:

“Yes. Well, I think in that stage after two months at home, I think every match it’s great to win, especially against someone like Daria. She’s playing great tennis right now, and I’m very happy that I could play really good two matches and that I could win those two matches. At the moment I have really nothing to lose and really enjoy my game and enjoy the grass.”

The Pole feels she has nothing to lose and all to gain on her return to the court. Playing with much freedom, not being too concerned about her results and simply enjoying being back on the court and competing, which is something that all tennis players really miss when they take time away from competitive action.

“Yeah, like I was saying, really enjoying being back. But also surprising myself that I can really play good tennis from the beginning. Yesterday and today, really solid, good matches. Serving pretty well. Moving very well after those two months. I really didn’t kind of like didn’t expect that. I’m really happy the way I play, and I just hope I can play better and better.”

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