Rad­wan­ska, Ben­cic ousted in rainy Ae­gon Clas­sic ten­nis

Cebu Libre - - NEWS -

BIRM­ING­HAM, Eng­land — Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska, the top seed, and Belinda Ben­cic, the youngest player in the world’s top ten, both fell at the first hur­dle on a day of shocks and rain­storms at the Ae­gon Clas­sic.

Rad­wan­ska, a for­mer Wim­ble­don run­ner-up, had in­tended to use the grass court event as a spring­board for an­other as­sault on the old­est Grand Slam ti­tle, but was halted 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 by CoCo Van­dewegh, a hard- hit­ting Amer­i­can ranked out­side the top 30.

Van­dewegh had never come close to win­ning a set against Rad­wan­ska’s con­sis­tently skil­ful ground strokes in four pre­vi­ous meet­ings, but used her strength and power to good ef­fect.

Even af­ter the Pole in­tel­li­gently played her way back to par­ity, Van­dewegh main­tained a fierce flat at­tack and man­aged to break serve three times in the fi­nal set.

“Last week helped me get out of tricky sit­u­a­tions be­cause I had done it be­fore,” said Ven­dewegh, re­fer­ring to her cap­ture of the den Bosch ti­tle on grass last week.

“I don’t think I played so bad to­day - she was just re­ally good,” said Rad­wan­ska, dis­ap­pointed to have had lit­tle prac­tice on grass be­cause of the bad weather. This was her first tour­na­ment on this sur­face this year.

Ear­lier Ben­cic, ar­guably the world’s most promis­ing player, suf­fered an­other in­jury just ten days af­ter a lengthy spell on the side-lines with a bad back.

The 19-year-old Swiss player’s move­ment had been painful and pon­der­ous be­fore she quit half way through the sec­ond set dur­ing her first round match against Irina-Camela Begu.

Ben­cic’s re­tire­ment gave the world num­ber 26 from Ro­ma­nia a vic­tory by 6- 4, 4- 3 re­tired, though there was hardly a mo­ment when Ben­cic had been mo­bile enough to win the match.

She took a tum­ble on the damp lush grass in the first game, and as early as the fifth game she was seek­ing help from the trainer. The in­jury was later de­scribed as a thigh strain. “I con­tin­ued play­ing more than I should have,” Ben­cic ad­mit­ted.

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