Agnieszka Radwanska’s US Open woes continued yesterday (Wednesday) as China’s Peng Shuai toppled the fourth seed Pole 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round.
Radwanska, a former Wimbledon finalist who counts this year’s Australian Open among two other grand slam semi-final appearances, had hoped to make it past the fourth round at Flushing Meadows in her ninth attempt.
But the 39th-ranked Peng put paid to that, breaking Radwanska three times en route to the victory sealed with a backhand winner on her third match point – her 28th winner of the contest.
“She’s tough to play,” said Peng, who beat Radwanska at the same stage of the US Open in 2010. “I kept running, I fought. It was amazing. I will try to keep going.”
Peng’s best prior US Open showing was a round of 16 appearance in 2011.
Although Peng has failed to lift a trophy in six WTA finals appearances, she has tasted victory in doubles. In February she became the first Chinese player to reach No1 in the world when she went top of the doubles charts thanks to her success with Hsieh Su-Wei.
Radwanska came into the tournament in a positive frame of mind after winning the title in Montreal earlier this month but the Pole has never found the US Open a happy destination.
She said: “It always is disappointing (to go out), especially in the first week of a grand slam. But I think here it’s not really a new thing for me unfortunately.
“There is just something here that I can’t really pass those rounds. I have couple of years to try. Hopefully one day I will do it.”
Radwanska did not feel she gave a bad performance, saying: “Every game was pretty tight. But I think in the important moments she was just playing a little bit better.”
There was disappointment, too, for 21st seed Sloane Stephens, who from a set and 3-0 up against Johanna Larsson slumped to a 7-5, 4-6, 2-6 loss. There was a notable victory, meanwhile, for 17-year-old Belinda Bencic, who defeated 31st seed Kurumi Nara 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
In other early action, French 22nd seed Alize Cornet dismissed Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round – matching her best US Open run.
Hantuchova had won six of their nine prior encounters, including at the 2012 Olympics. But Cornet controlled this one, breaking Hantuchova four times en route to the win in an hour and 22 minutes.
With top seed and two-time defending champion Serena Williams having a day off, world No2 Simona Halep was the top seed in action. She reached the third round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Jana Cepelova.