Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, runner up at Wimbledon for the first time last year, started this year's Championships in style as she defeated Austria's Yvonne Meusburger, ranked No.116, 6-1, 6-1 in 55 minutes.
Because of earlier matches taking up prolonged court time, this one did not begin until 6.55pm. And when it did an enthusiastic crowd thought they were about to witness a surprise as Meusburger captured Radwanska’s serve in the first game. But Meusburger's form was an early illusion in the gloom of the evening and Radwanska never allowed her rival to challenge her again.
Radwanska soon broke back and began to find some powerful rhythm in the hard-hitting rallies, forcing points away from the Austrian's game with her strength and accuracy.
Meusburger was broken three times in a row, leaving Radwanska 5-1 ahead. But the Pole then had to save four break points, one with an ace, before she could clinch the first set after 25 minutes.
Meusburger took the first game on her serve at the start of the second set but that was the last one she won as Radwanska maintained pressure and accuracy as she reeled off the games. At 5-1, 30-all Radwanska reached match point with a forehand winner down the line and followed up with another clean forehand winner in the corner.
Fourth-seeded Radwanska is playing at Wimbledon for the eighth time and is Poland's first Grand Slam finalist for 73 years. This year she was a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open and lost in the fourth round of the French.
Wimbledon offers her another chance to regain the status of a year ago and she took some impressive first steps.
20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...
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