Radwanska’s New Haven bid ends

Polish star retires to avoid risk of aggravating injury before US Open.

Afp August 22, 2012

NEW HAVEN: Top-seed Agnieszka Radwanska retired from her opening match at the WTA’s New Haven Open with a sore right shoulder, handing victory to qualifier Olga Govortsova of Belarus.

Govortsova was leading their second-round contest 6-0, 2-1 when the Pole, the Wimbledon runner-up, called it a day.

Radwanska, who enjoyed a first-round bye, had received treatment on the shoulder after the first set and admitted she took the fast-approaching start of the US Open into consideration when she opted not to continue.

“I think the Grand Slam is the most important tournament, obviously,” said Radwanska. “I was just scared to play more. I’ve struggled with my shoulder for a couple weeks now. I needed some practice.”

Govortsova advanced to a quarter-final clash with Russian seventh-seed Maria Kirilenko, who got a walkover after Germany’s Mona Barthel withdrew before their scheduled match with a stomach ailment. Earlier, French Open finalist Sara Errani and former Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli booked a quarter-final meeting. Italy’s Errani, the fourth seed, defeated Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3, while fifth-seeded Bartoli of France survived a scare to beat American Sloane Stephens 6-1, 0-6, 6-3.

Jankovic leads seeds into Texas quarters

Meanwhile, second-seed Jelena Jankovic and Roberta Vinci advanced to the quarter-finals at the WTA Texas Open, a tune-up event for next week’s US Open.

Jankovic defeated Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 to line up a quarter-final clash against eighth-seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania, a 6-1, 7-5 winner over France’s Alize Cornet.

Italy’s Vinci encountered little resistance in a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Slovakia’s Polona Hercog. She’ll face seventh-seeded Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa, who beat New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).

Top-seed Tsonga advances at Winston-Salem

In the ATP’s Winston-Salem hard court tournament, top-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga launched his campaign with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) victory over Thomaz Bellucci.

Tsonga, who also beat Bellucci at the London Olympics, was one of 16 seeded players to enjoy a first-round bye. In the third round he will face Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky, a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Spain’s Pablo Andujar.

In other matches, second-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych needed just 95 minutes to oust Russian Alex Bogomolov 6-3, 7-5. Berdych will next play Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen, who beat German qualifier Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-3. Defending champion and third-seed John Isner of the US shook off a slow start to beat 50th-ranked Slovakian Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 while Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, who fell to Belgian Steve Darcis 6-2, 6-2. Darcis will play American Andy Roddick, the fifth seed, in the third round.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.