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Radwanska suffers first-round heartache

Agnieszka Radwanska

Agnieszka Radwanska

Third seed and former semi-finalist Agnieszka Radwanska was knocked out of the second round of the Australian Open by Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni yesterday, becoming the highest seed to fall in the women’s draw at Melbourne Park.

World number 79 Lucic-Baroni left Radwanska and the Margaret Court Arena crowd stunned with a 6-3 6-2 defeat of the former Wimbledon finalist in the late afternoon match.

Pole Radwanska, who reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park last year and in 2014, managed only eight winners to her opponent’s 33 and slumped to her earliest exit at the year’s first grand slam since her first round elimination in 2009.

“Losing in the first week of a grand slam, it happens sometimes and I just need to come back next year and do better,” a downcast Radwanska told reporters.

“I was trying to do things but everything was just going to her side so it’s hard to do anything.”

Radwanska’s departure follows fourth seed Simona Halep’s first round exit on Monday.

Lucic-Baroni next faces Greece’s Maria Sakkari for a place in the fourth round.

Serena wins

Serena Williams charged into the third round with an emphatic 6-3 6-4 win over Czech Lucie Safarova.

The second seeded American, bidding for a seventh title at Melbourne Park, served up a storm, clubbing 15 aces and 35 winners in the 86-minute contest under the lights at Rod Laver Arena.

Williams blew two match points in an uncharacteristic lapse but closed it out on the third with a searing forehand down the line that Safarova did well to get a racket to.

Williams next faces compatriot Nicole Gibbs for a place in the fourth round.

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