Squat shots, jumping backhands, tense rallies, sliced angles, clever drop shots--we saw it all yesterday when Agnieszka Radwanska and Sorana Cirstea played each other in Indian Wells. When she's "on," Cirstea has every shot in the book--and a few that might not be in the book. But the clever Romanian player isn't always on, and even when she is, she tends to fade when things get really tough. But for two sets yesterday, she helped bring some needed color to the desert.
I looked forward to this match all day, because, who better for a clever shot-maker to play than Radwanska, the very definition of "clever shot-maker." I wasn't disappointed. Cirstea went down 0-3 in the first set, but got things even again and forced a tiebreak, which she won 7-3. The second set was as good as the first. Radwanska went up 5-1, but Cirstea fought back impressively. She broke Radwanska at love when Radwanska served for the set at 5-3, but she was then broken back at love, which gave the 3rd seed the set.
That last break-back was a sign of things to come, as Radwanska progressively dominated the final set, taking it 6-4.
The fun will continue, however. Radwanska's next opponent will be Maria Kirilenko, who's pretty clever in her own right. I look forward to that match, also.
In other Indian Wells news: Klara Zalpalova beat Dominika Cibulkova, Sara Errani won her 15th straight match of the season, and Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino upset 14th seed Roberta Vinci. In doubles, 3rd seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik advanced to the quarterfinals, 4th seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina also advanced. Also, Kimiko Date-Krumm and Casey Dellacqua defeated Lisa Raymond and Sam Stosur.