Wuhan R1: (10) Agnieszka Radwanska vs Venus Williams
Agnieszka Radwanska arrives in Wuhan full of confidence after claiming her first title of the year last week in Tokyo, The draw hasn’t been kind to the Pole, Radwanska will come up against Venus Williams in the first round at Wuhan. There is no time for complacency for Radwanska, the Pole is ranked 9th in race to Singapore standings and needs another solid week to remain in contention for her 5th consecutive appearance at the WTA Finals.
Agnieszka Radwanska was in vintage form in Tokyo last week, easily her best tournament of the year. The Pole clinched her second title in Tokyo without dropping a set, picking up straight set victories over CoCo Vandeweghe, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova, Dominika Cibulkova and Belinda Bencic. Radwanska’s 6-2 6-2 demolition of Belinda Bencic in the final was particularly impressive, Aga hit 28 winners and just 15 unforced errors in one of her best performances of the year. It will be a little tricky for Aga to adjust to the conditions in Wuhan with such little time between tournaments, the conditions in Wuhan are much quicker than Tokyo.
Venus Williams will be in action this week for the first time since the U.S Open. Venus played some decent tennis on route to the quarter-finals in New York before succumbing to her younger sister in three sets. Venus is still an outside chance to qualify for Singapore, she will need a very deep run in Wuhan to remain a slim chance.
Aga and Venus have built up quite a rivalry over the last couple of years. The American holds a 7-4 head-to-head record over the Pole and has won the last two encounters between the pair. Both of those victories came earlier this year, a 6-3 2-6 6-1 win at the Australian Open before a 6-4 1-6 6-3 win in Dubai.
Radwanska heads into this match with form on her side but Venus should be the fresher of the two. I still think Radwanska has a good chance, Aga played sublime tennis in Tokyo and will arrive in Wuhan full of confidence. Aga has more to play for this week, the Pole knows that she requires another deep run in Wuhan if she is to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska to defeat Venus Williams in 3 sets