Radwanska nearing WTA Finals berth

Agnieszka Radwanska moved to within two victories of clinching a place at WTA Finals in Singapore with a comfortable first-round win at the China Open on Sunday.

The number three seed had few worries as she swept aside wildcard Wang Qiang 6-2 6-2 in Beijing.

Australia’s Samantha Stosur had a contrasting time in the first round, losing 6-1 6-2 against China’s Shuai Zhang.

Radwanska missed the chance to qualify last week in Wuhan after a quarter-final defeat to Svetlana Kuznetsova and told reporters after the win: “You are always trying to not think about pressure, especially here, close to Singapore.

“I just hope I can do it here, that’s for sure. But, well, I had the situation last year when I had to win the Tianjin Open to qualify for Singapore, and I did it. Of course, it was last-minute qualifying.

“I will try everything to qualify a bit before that this year. Everything is open. This is a big event. Everybody can do a lot of points here. It’s a little bit more pressure, but I think every year it’s kind of similar situation for everyone, especially a lot of girls this year is really close and the rankings are very tight.”

Radwanska will face Ekaterina Makarova in the second round after she beat her doubles partner Elena Vesnina 6-2 6-1.

Seventh seed Carla Suarez Navarro suffered a shock 6-1 6-3 defeat to Yaroslava Shvedova, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was another seed going home early after a 7-6 6-1 defeat to Alison Riske.

Johanna Konta raced to a 6-1 6-1 win over Anastasija Sevastova and Roberta Vinci overcame a second-set wobble to beat Saisai Zheng 6-0 3-6 6-3.

Madison Keys beat Ying-Ying Duan 6-0 4-6 6-1 and there were also wins for Timea Babos, Kristina Mladenovic , Misaki Doi and Yafan Wang.

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