The WTA tour’s craftiest competitor Agnieszka Radwanska will begin her Wimbledon campaign on Monday afternoon, when she steps across the court from Andreea Mitu, whom she has never encountered before on the professional tour.
It has been a relatively strong season for Radwanska, as she reached the semi-final at the Australian Open and the final at Indian Wells, which boosted her ranking No. 3. While she did lose to Alize Cornet in the Katowice semi-final, she rebounded with a strong 2-0 weekend for her Fed Cup team, but would have her momentum halted in the quarter-final round of Stuttgart, when she lost to eventual champion Maria Sharapova. She would lose to Sharapova a second time at the Mutua Madrid Open semi-finals, where she barely managed five games against the Russian. From there, she would suffer a third round loss to Jelena Jankovic in Rome and another third round exit at the French Open, which dropped her ranking to No. 4.
This string of bad luck would extend to her grass court debut, as she lost her Eastbourne opener to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Radwanska won the grass-court tournament in 2008, but she has since fallen in the first round four times and not won a match at Eastbourne since she reached the quarterfinals in 2011.
After going on a three-match losing streak to end her clay court season, Andreea Mitu rebounded with three straight wins in the Wimbledon qualifying round, which included wins against Vickery, Kumkhum and Falconi, to set up an opening round contest against the Polish No. 1.
This is the first time these two competitors cross paths on the professional tour. While the odds will certainly favour Radwanska, who should live up to her billing as one of the top seeds at the event, Mitu has had more matches so far on the Wimbledon grass – albeit on the outside courts instead of the main three courts – while Radwanska lost her only grass court match this season. Is an upset on the horizon? Unlikely, but it will be interesting to see if the crafty veteran is troubled in her opening round match at The Championships.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska in Straight Sets