Radwanska rolls into 3rd round at Australian Open
Switzerland's Roger Federer makes a backhand return to France's Benoit Paire during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
MELBOURNE, Australia - Already with two titles this month, Agnieszka Radwanska extended the best winning streak so far in 2013 as she rolled into the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu on Wednesday.
The No. 4-ranked Radwanska won lead-up tournaments this month at Auckland and Sydney and has won all of her 11 matches this year.
"I can play even better," said Radwanska, who lost the Wimbledon final to Serena Williams last year. "I didn't really expect I could win that many matches in a row, and hopefully I can keep going."
Her last two trips to the Australian Open have ended in quarterfinal losses to the eventual champion — Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Victoria Azarenka last year.
With top-ranked Azarenka and Williams on the other half of the draw, Radwanska's main obstacles to reaching the final are 2011 French Open champion Li Na, who beat Olga Goortsova of Belarus 6-2, 7-5 to reach the third round, and potential semifinal rivals Maria Sharapova or No. 5 Angelique Kerber of Germany.
Kerber advanced Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Lucie Hradecka and No. 2-ranked Sharapova, the reigning French Open champion, was playing later Wednesday against Japan's Misaki Doi.
Williams hurt her right ankle in her opening victory Tuesday, causing speculation that her bid for a third consecutive major title Open could be in jeopardy. She has only lost one match since her first-round exit at the French Open last year.
In early women's second-round matches Wednesday, No. 18 Julia Gorges beat Romina Oprandi 6-3, 6-2, Russian qualifier Valeria Savinykh upset No. 15 Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (6), 6-4 and Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium ousted No. 23 Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 6-0.
No. 19 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia had a 6-3, 6-3 win over Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France.
On the men's side, fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych beat Guillaume Rufin of France 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, 10th-seeded Nicolas Almagro advanced with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win over fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, No. 16-ranked Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-1 and No. 20 Sam Querrey advanced when fellow American Brian Baker retired in the second set with what appeared to be a right knee injury.
Baker, who returned to the tour last year after almost six seasons out with a variety of injuries, won a first-set tiebreaker and was level at 1-1 on serve in the second. He was later pushed from Court 6 in a wheelchair.
"Yeah, he's the last person that deserves anything like that with his five or six surgeries already," Querrey said. "He does everything right, treats his body great, just trying to come back, and then something like that happens, it's just so unlucky."
No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland rallied from two sets down to overpower India's Somdev Devvarman 6-7 (10), 3-6, 6-1, 6-0, 7-5.