Urszula Radwanska is firming up as the dark horse in the Moorilla Hobart International field after the qualifier knocked out the No.6 seed Aleksandra Wozniak today.
Radwanska, ranked 126, defeated world No.30 Francesca Schiavone during qualifying, and today came from a set down to take the match against world No.33 Wozniak.
“(It was an) incredibly tough match, I am very happy I won … it was a really good match,” Radwanska said.
“I just played my game; I think she became a little bit nervous (in the second set). I am really happy, really exhausted.”
Despite her form, Radwanska said she is still approaching the tournament one match at a time.
“We’ll see how I go in the second round, I can do, I think, better, so looking forward,” Radwanska said.
No.3 seed, Anna Chakvetadze (RUS), went down to Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) in a three set thriller on Centre Court.
After dropping the first set in a tiebreak, Chakvetadze took the second set 6-1. Taking an early 5-2 lead in the third set, the Russian looked in control of the match before Suarez Navarro fought back, taking the next five games and winning 7-6(5) 1-6 7-5.
“I play very good, a good first set, the second not so good, but I played very good in the third,” Suarez Navarro said.
“She’s a very good player. I think she’s going to be good this year and improve her rankings, and for me I think the same.”
Agnes Szavay, the No.5 seed, was overpowered by Anne Keothavong (GBR) in straight sets, 6-3 7-5.
In other first round matches Australians Olivia Rogowska and Jessica Moore played valiantly against their highly ranked opponents.
Rogowska started her match strongly, holding her serve and matching it with her opponent, the strong hitting Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Eventually going down in straight sets, Rogowska said she has taken plenty of lessons out of her debut Sony Ericsson WTA Tour match.
“I had fun today, it was a great experience,” Rogowska said after the match.
“I really can see myself playing here (on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour) in the future; it is just a matter of a bit more hard work and getting used to the game.”
“All the balls were coming a lot faster and a lot deeper than what I’m used to,” Rogowska said.
Moore struggled with nerves in the first set, however she fought back in the second taking an early 3-0 lead before her opponent, Olga Govortsova, fought back to take the set and the match.
“I’m disappointed. I didn’t go out and execute as well as I would liked to have and probably played a bit too nervously and let the wind affect me a bit,” Moore said.
“All credit to her, she played pretty good and didn’t give me much at all but I guess that’s what you’ve got to expect when it comes to this (competing on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour).
“I was feeling pretty confident … in practice I had a lot of good hits with some top players and you never know what can happen especially at the beginning of the year, when these top players haven’t played so many matches.”
The action continues tonight when top seed Flavia Pennetta meets Israel’s Shahar Peer.
In the doubles, Sania Mirza and Francesca Schiavone will take on Liga Dekmeijere and Ipek Senoglu.