(October 23, 2012) No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska defeated defending WTA Championships titleholder No. 6 Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2 to open round-robin play in the “White Group” in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Radwanska won the first seven points of the match and rushed out to a 3-0 lead in the first set. Kvitova broke to get the match back on serve, but was broken again at 3-4 and the Pole held to close out the first set 6-3.
In the second set the Czech Kvitova was broken in her first two service games, broke back once but never got back into the set.
“For sure was a little bit up and down, especially with the serve,” said Radwanska. “Was a lot of breaks. I think she didn’t really use her serve like was really always her big weapon.
“I think today she wasn’t serving that good, that’s why I could really break her a couple of times in the set. I think it was the key for me in that match. But, you know, the first match is always tough. I think we all might play different the next matches.”
This was Radwanska’s first victory over Kvitova (1-4) and she talked about what she did differently this time around.
“I saw the statistic before the match and I thought it would be nice to change,” the Pole said of her losing record against the Czech.
“But it’s always tough, especially for the first match. Every week is different surface, especially here. It’s really hard to adjust.
“Just very happy that I could play really my best tennis today and close that match in two sets.
Radwanska liked the court conditions: “It’s actually slow, slower than the usual hard court, so for sure it was a good move that I was here a little bit earlier and trying to adjust to that surface for couple of days before.
I think was the good move.”
She’s very smart and she knows what I will play, Kvitova said of her opponent. “She knows which side I will choose. That’s why I think she’s reading the game very well.
“I mean, she’s really dangerous player because you never know if she’s playing slice or dropshot or she can just play on the line or the cross.”
Kvitova, who committed 41 errors in the match admitted she was nervous:
“I was nervous all the match. I felt my fingers weren’t still moving and I didn’t move on my legs.
“I’m disappointing in myself. I had a lot of errors and it wasn’t good tennis from my side.
“Yeah, but still, I mean, it’s the Championships and I have a second chance.”
For Kvitova the loss snapped her 25-match indoor win streak and it was her first loss at the Year-End Championships for her career – she went undefeated in 2011.
TEB BNP PARIBAS WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS – ISTANBUL 2012
October 23-28, 2012
Results – Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Round Robin – Red Group
(3) Serena Williams (USA) d. (5) Angelique Kerber (GER) 64 61
Round Robin – White Group
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (7) Sara Errani (ITA) 63 62
(4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (6) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 63 62
Order Of Play – Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Stadium (from 17.00hrs)
1. Serena Williams vs. Li Na
2. Victoria Azarenka vs. Angelique Kerber
3. Maria Sharapova vs. Agnieszka Radwanska