A week after being dumped out of the Premier Level Madrid tournament in the second round where she only managed four games against Laura Robson, Agnieszka Radwanska lost at the same stage in the Internazionale BNL Italia Premier Level tournament in Rome. The 4th ranked Pole had a bye in the first round and came up against qualifier Simona Halep of Roumania, ranked sixty placed below her. The first set was a real battle lasting fifty eight minutes, won in the end by Radwanska 7-2 in the breaker. Halep came out strongly in the second set and used all her deft clay court skills to bamboozle Radwanska, taking the set 6-1 and then the decider 6-2 in a match that lasted two hours. Halep will next meet Roberta Vinci.
After beating Venus Williams in the first round, Laura Robson, the 39th ranked British player, came up against little sister Serena, the tournament’s top seed and winner of last week’s Madrid tournament. It took the American just one an hour and a quarter to roll past the British leftie teenager 6-2 6-2 with a fine display of power tennis that was just too good for her opponent. She will take on 14th seed Dominika Cibulkova in the third round.
The 16th seeded American, Sloane Stephens, played against the 59th ranked Hollander, Kiki Bertens, also in the second round. In a closely fought match, Bertens took the first set 6-4, but the hard hitting Stephens came back in the second set to take 6-3 and then ease through the decider 6-2. She will have a tough test in the third round, as she will face 2nd seed Maria Sharapova.