Urszula Radwanska beats Schiavone in Moscow, Safarova also wins

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After almost two years away from the game with a major back injury, Ursula Radwanska (younger sister of Agnieszka) is making great strides up the WTA rankings and, having finished 2011 at number 109, is now ranked at number 30. In the evening match at the premier level Kremlin Cup being played this week in Moscow, she took on the Italian veteran, 32 year old Francesca Schiavone, who is not having a good season in the twilight of her career and is now ranked at number 34. Radwanska held a 1-0 lead in the head to head statistic, having won their only previous encounter three years ago. Schiavone broke Radwanska in the first game and held her serve to go 2-0 up, but the young Pole then held her service game, broke back, held again to go ahead 3-2, broke again and held for a 5-2 lead before the wily Italian held her own serve but to no avail, as Radwanska served an ace on set point to take it 6-3. The second set went all Radwanska’s way as Schiavone played mostly woeful tennis with the odd flash of her former brilliance, but managed to get on the scoreboard in the 5h game to trail 1-4, but Radwanska confidently held her serve and then served out for game, set and match 6-3 6-1 in just over an hour.

In games played earlier in the day, 8th seed Lucie Safarova beat the wild card Margarita Gasparyan in three sets, Sofia Arvidsson defeated Bojana Jovanovski in straights and so did Klara Zakapalova, who took out Alexandra Cadantu. In the second round, Radwanska will take on Caroline Wozniacki, who had a bye in the first round.

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