Agnieszka Radwanska moved on smoothly for a second match at the Nature Valley International Thursday afternoon.
The returning star of the sport played comfortably against the fifth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko giving her very little to build on beating her down in a 6-2, 7-5 straight sets win on Court 1 at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne.
A second meeting between the two had Radwanska still facing heavy opposition in the tournament.
Despite not getting the chance to take on Petra Kvitova who withdrew before their round of 16 match, the Polish superstar looked to contain the edge on her young opponent.
The two met back in 2016 on the hard courts of New Haven where the once top ten contender took down the Latvian in straight sets.
Ostapenko hasn’t dropped a set yet while Radwanska had to make a statement in her return to the sport. With her ability to find comfort, the 29-year-old would look to dictate early and deny the world number 12 any chance of turning the tables.
They went together holding one another through the first few games until Radwanska found a point to break the Latvian in the fifth. After the lead was in hand, the Polish star focused on keeping Ostapenko at bay giving her very little to hit on the return.
It took a toll on how she served to Radwanska, failing to get many points in court with the unforced errors racking up quickly. It handed her opponent plenty of speed to rush through five games in a row taking the first set in 46 minutes.
The 29-year old saw 80 percent coming from her first serve and 12 of 15 points won from it.
The second went much like the first with Ostapenko trying to stay locked in with Radwanska who served to stay in the lead.
She found her chance to take control in the sixth breaking Ostapenko with well-placed shots out of her reach, but it wasn’t enough to walk away with the set. The 21-year old broke back in the seventh keeping in touch with the Polish star before holding to level at four-all.
In a chance to turn the match around, the Latvian earned another break in the ninth but couldn’t contain a service hold to close out the set and force a third to be played.
Radwanska had one shot to overtake and try to shut down Ostapenko who had yet to find any consistency in her game. Despite having to play on deuce due to a double fault, Radwanska managed to hold firm and take a 6-5 lead with Ostapenko once again on the verge of defeat.
The Latvian served but couldn’t keep the unforced errors away as she sent just enough of them wide to bring an end to her day against Radwanska who moved into the semifinals after one hour and 29 minutes.
“It was a tough match,” Radwanska said during her on-court interview. “She’s a big fighter, she was fighting till the end and I fought very good then she started playing very aggressive with her game and it was very tight in that second set and just really happy that I could win and do it in straight sets.”
She finished the day with four aces and eight winners while converting on seven of 13 break points. Though she kept her winners to unforced errors in check, the same couldn’t be said for Ostapenko who recorded big numbers on both fronts.
The 38 unforced errors were the giant that brought a demise to her offense making it too difficult to overcome. While it would give her time to prepare for Wimbledon on Monday, the veteran player on the WTA tour would get set for a semifinal match facing the winner between Aryna Sabalenka and Karolina Pliskova on Friday.
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