MELBOURNE, Australia – Agnieszka Radwanska extended the best winning streak of the year to 11 matches as she rolled into the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu on Wednesday.
The No. 4-ranked Radwanska won lead-up tournaments this month at Auckland and Sydney and is unbeaten this year.
“I can play even better,” said Radwanska, who lost last year’s Wimbledon final to Serena Williams. “I didn’t really expect I could win that many matches in a row, and hopefully I can keep going.”
Her last two trips to the Australian Open have ended in quarterfinal losses to the eventual champion – Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Victoria Azarenka last year.
With top-ranked Azarenka and Williams on the other half of the draw, Radwanska’s main obstacles to reaching the final are 2011 French Open champion Li Na, who beat Olga Goortsova of Belarus 6-2, 7-5 to reach the third round, and potential semifinal rivals Maria Sharapova or No. 5 Angelique Kerber of Germany.
Kerber advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Lucie Hradecka and No. 2-ranked Sharapova, the reigning French Open champion, was scheduled to play later Wednesday against Japan’s Misaki Doi.
Williams hurt her ankle in her opening victory on Tuesday, causing speculation that her bid for a third consecutive major title Open could be in jeopardy.
On the men’s side, No. 4-ranked David Ferrer needed five match points before clinching a 6-0, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over American Tim Smyczek.
Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych beat Guillaume Rufin of France 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, and No. 10 Nicolas Almagro and No. 16-ranked Kei Nishikori also moved on. No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland rallied to overpower India’s Somdev Devvarman 6-7 (10), 3-6, 6-1, 6-0, 7-5.
No. 20 Sam Querrey advanced when fellow American Brian Baker retired in the second set with what appeared to be a right knee injury and next plays No. 15 Stanislas Wawrinka.