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Radwanska continues blazing-hot start

MELBOURNE, Australia — Agnieszka Radwanska extended the best winning streak of the year to 11 matches as she rolled into the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu this morning.

The No. 4-ranked Radwanska won leadup tournaments this month at Auckland and Sydney and is unbeaten this year.

"I can play even better," said Radwanska, who lost the Wimbledon final to Serena Williams last year. "I didn't really expect I could win that many matches in a row, and hopefully I can keep going."

Her last two trips to the Australian Open have ended in quarterfinal losses to the eventual champion, Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Victoria Azarenka last year.

With top-ranked Azarenka and Williams on the other half of the draw, Radwanska's main obstacles to reaching the final are 2011 French Open champion Li Na, who beat Olga Goortsova of Belarus 6-2, 7-5 to reach the third round, and potential semifinal rivals Maria Sharapova or No. 5 Angelique Kerber of Germany.

Kerber advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Lucie Hradecka, and No. 2-ranked Sharapova, the reigning French Open champion, was scheduled to play later against Japan's Misaki Doi.

Williams hurt her ankle in her opening victory Tuesday, causing speculation that her bid for a third straight major title could be in jeopardy. She has lost only one match since her first-round exit at the French Open last year.

In early women's second-round matches, No. 18 Julia Gorges beat Romina Oprandi 6-3, 6-2; Russian qualifier Valeria Savinykh upset No. 15 Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (8-6), 6-4; and Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium ousted No. 23 Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 6-0.

On the men's side, 10th-seeded Nicolas Almagro was first through to the third round with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win over fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver; No. 16-ranked Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-1; and No. 20 Sam Querrey advanced when fellow American Brian Baker retired in the second set with what appeared to be a right knee injury. Baker, who returned to the tour last year after almost six seasons out with a variety of injuries, won a first-set tiebreaker and was even at 1-1 on serve in the second. He was later pushed from Court 6 in a wheelchair.

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Key results

Men — Tomas Berdych (5) d. Guillaume Rufin 6-2, 6-2, 6-4; Nicolas Almagro (10) d. Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4, 6-1, 6-2; Sam Querrey (20) d. Brian Baker 6-7 (7-2), 1-1, retired; Kei Nishikori (16) d. Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-1

Women — Agnieszka Radwanska (4) d. Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-3; Angelique Kerber (5) d. Lucie Hradecka 6-3, 6-1; Li Na (6) d. Olga Govortsova 6-2, 7-5; Valeria Savinykh d. Dominika Cibulkova (15) 7-6 (8-6), 6-4

Today on TV: 7 p.m., Tennis Channel; 11 p.m., ESPN2

Radwanska continues blazing-hot start 01/15/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 11:49pm]

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