China Open, Beijing
[CR9] Milos Raonic (CAN) vs. [CR24] Viktor Troicki (SRB)
Raonic is trying to regain his dominant form. Since his return to the tour after his foot surgery, he has struggled to find his footing, literally and figuratively. He is now just a tad more hesitant, still not quite sure is he can trust his foot to support him without pain. Although it’s a small degree of uncertainty, it has thrown his game off completely. In two previous matches, he dominated Troicki; yet, today, it was a totally different story. Troicki was the dominant player today, saving all break points against his serve and barely making any errors. It was a demonstration of the level of confidence felt by each player. Troicki is feeling very confident with his game, while Raonic is not quite as confident as he once was. It will take Raonic some time to get back to his top form and perhaps it’s a good thing that the season is almost over, he can use the off-season to get back into top form for the 2016 season. Troicki moves into the second round with the 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Raonic.
On the WTA side of things, Radwanska managed to hold off Barthel in a somewhat erratic match. There were numerous breaks throughout, with both players seeming to have difficulty holding on to the lead. Radwanska was visibly frustrated by her game and Barthel seemed at a loss whenever she made another errant shot. It was also another match marred by injury as Barthel had the trainer out to tend to her right wrist. Although it was not her best performance, Radwanska gladly takes the three set victory: 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. She moves on to the next round to face Madison Keys, a familiar opponent. Radwanska leads their head-to-head, 4:1; however, Keys won their last encounter. Will Keys get the repeat victory or will Radwanska re-discover her winning form?