Radwanska escapes after Friedsam suffers injury

Published 01/24/2016, 8:22 AM EST
Agnieszka Radwanska


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Anna-Lena Friedsam’s giant-killing run at the Australian Open ended in tears and injury on Sunday when ailments to both legs allowed world number four Agnieszka Radwanska to snatch a 6-7 (6) 6-1 7-5 fourth round win.

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The 21-year-old German, who had never been past the second round of a grand slam before this year’s tournament, had Radwanska on the ropes when she led 5-2 in the deciding set before injury cruelly struck at 5-4.

The 82nd-ranked Friedsam, who beat U.S. Open finalist Roberta Vinci in the third round, then took an injury time out and had strapping applied to her left leg.

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“I felt pain early in the third set, but I didn’t know whether it was cramping or an injury,” Friedsam told reporters. “It’s a bad feeling.”

Radwanska held serve in the next game, but Friedsam appeared to exacerbate her injury.

The German was given a time warning on the first point of the next game when she was unable to serve and broke into tears. She managed to play on and was 15-40 down when she appeared to strain her right hamstring.

“The big thing was the serve. I couldn’t push off the leg,” she added.

“It was 5-5 when I really felt it, and I had never had it so I didn’t know how to handle it.”

Chair umpire Felix Torralba then sanctioned her again for exceeding the time limit and awarded Radwanska a point that sealed the game and gave her a 6-5 advantage.

The trainer again visited Friedman, who was in constant tears on her chair, but she managed to hobble out and complete the match and was given a massive cheer by the Hisense Arena crowd for her efforts.

Radwanska will now meet Spain’s Carla Suarez-Navarro, who beat Australia’s Daria Gavrilova 0-6 6-3 6-2, in the last eight.

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The Pole, who had to play through the pain of a leg injury in the third round, said she had felt a twinge of sympathy for her hobbled opponent but also needed to be ruthless to advance.

“Of course, it’s hard to see that,” said Radwanska, a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park in 2014.

“It’s tough because you know someone is struggling. But you really have to play your game because someone is still fighting.

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“I had no choice, just to fight till the end for each point.”

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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Dhruv George

12013 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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