Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska has been unable to follow up her recent heroics of a run to the Wimbledon final, with the No.2 seed crashing out in the opening round of the Olympic Games to German Julia Goerges 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-4.
For Goerges, stepping on to court - let alone springing the upset - was a milestone in itself.
"It was great. It was my first time representing Germany at the Olympic Games and it's my first time also on Centre Court at Wimbledon," she said. "I know if I play well it's dangerous for anyone and it was today, a lucky day. I'm relaxed here when I'm with the other athletes in the Village."
As the rain bucketed down outside, under the roof of Centre Court it was the German who made the stronger start, breaking in the opening game. Despite relinquishing the lead, she eventually snared the first set 7-5 in 49 minutes on the back of an impressive 18 winners, including eight off her sling-shot forehand wing.
Both women were convincing on serve in the second set, neither facing a break point or serving a double fault throughout its duration. With Goerges holding to love to stay in the set she again stormed to 40-0 on serve at 5-6 before tightening up with two unforced errors. She steadied with an ace to force the second-set tie-break, where the Pole races to a commanding 5-0 lead.
From here, the set must have looked all but over for Goerges, given she was up against one of the most consistent players in the game, but her ever-reliable ace count would ensure she avoided any chance of an embarrassing 7-0 blot against her name.
A rolled crosscourt forehand winner gave Radwanska four set points but the German wasn’t about to let her efforts in the second set – which included an impressive 12 aces – go to waste. She staved off a trio of set points to leave Radwanska just three points from a straight sets exit.
Finally, the Pole would display the resilience which has taken her to No.2 in the world, holding her nerve to send the contest into a decider. She carried the ascendency into the third set, breaking early for a 2-1 lead.
An authoritative two-fisted backhand volley winner from Goerges brought up a chance to peg proceedings back on serve and when a Radwanska backhand found the net the German fist pumped and sent an almighty “C’mon” in the direction of her crew.
After a gutsy hold for 5-4, the German piled the pressure on the silver-medal favourite, a huge forehand down the line bringing up two match points. She would need only one, with another thumping forehand sealing the upset after two hours and 16 minutes.
Goerges finished the match with a whopping 20 aces to Radwanska’s eight and more than double the winners, 56 to 24.
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