Australian Open 2013: Radwanska Defeats Watson
By Nick Howson | January 18, 2013 12:44 PM EST
British No.1 Heather Watson crashed out of the Australia Open after a straight sets defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska in the third in Melbourne.
Having progressed to the last 32 in Australia for the first time in her career having beaten Alexandra Cadantu and Ksenia Pervak, Watson came into her second meeting with Radwanska as an outsider to match her best grand slam performance.
And after missing two break point chances in the opening set, the match went to the formbook as Radwanska, unbeaten in her last 11 matches, took the opening set 6-3.
Watson was again guilty of failing to convert more break point chances at the start of the second, before the world No.4 secured a double break of serve, before serving out the set 6-1 to book her place in round four.
After Laura Robson's win over Petra Kvitova on Thursday, Watson was looking to continue Britain's success at the opening grand slam of 2013, which had seen two women reach the last 32 of major for the first time since 1991.
Watson came into the contest keen to avoid the mistakes made during the pair's only other meeting, at Wimbledon last year, where the 20 year old won just two games on her way to a straight sets defeat.
And her change of strategy, which preyed on early Radwanska errors, appeared to be paying dividends as she yielded two break points from the fourth game.
The No.4 seed recovered and then created three break points of her own in the very next game, taking the third with a punishing forehand down the line.
Having held serve also, the Pole then used successive passing shots on the forehand and backhand side to set up further break points as Watson began to be pinned back on the baseline. A double fault secured a 5-2 lead.
But Watson cut the arrears with a break of her own as her power game came to the fore as Radwanska spurned the opportunity to close out the set, but she soon had her lead, capitalizing on the Brit's nervy serve.
Having hit eight winners to Radwanska's seven in the opening set, Watson knew her movement would have to greatly improve in the second should she have designs on preventing a straight sets defeat.
As with the opening set, two break points came and went for Watson early on, the second saved by her Polish counterpart after an audacious drop shot from the baseline, before a long overhead volley provided a get-out clause for the 2012 Wimbledon runner-up.
And to complete the pattern from the first set, Radwanska created a break point chance in the next game, which she duly took for a 2-0 lead.
A rain delay sought only to postpone the inevitable as Radwanska quickly clocked up a double break of serve which she duly converted to complete a comfortable passage into the last 16.
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