Tennis: No indoor fireworks for Radwanska as Pole makes early exit

  • @PaulN54

Just 22 days after becoming the first Polish woman to appear in a Wimbledon singles final for 75 years, Agnieszka Radwanska made more history here yesterday when she featured in the first match to be played under a roof since tennis returned to the Olympics in 1988. Any chances of the world No 2 reaching any more milestones were quickly dashed, however, as she was beaten 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 by Germany’s Julia Goerges.

Radwanska never looked at her best, while the conditions clearly suited Goerges, a powerful but erratic ball striker. Radwanska took the second set tie-break 7-5 and appeared to have turned the match around when she went a break up in the decider, only for Goerges to pick up her form again.

The courts, which were reseeded after Wimbledon, were showing signs of wear from the first day and Radwanska said that Centre Court was very slippery. “It feels like it’s already been used for two weeks and there are a lot of bad bounces,” she said. “For sure it's not the same court that it was three weeks ago.”

Radwanska carried the Polish flag at Friday’s opening ceremony. With Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland’s flag-bearer, also losing under the roof, Maria Sharapova might have been fearful of completing a hat-trick, but coasted to a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Israel’s Shahar Peer. Novak Djokovic, another who led out his country in the Olympic Stadium, lost the first set to Italy’s Fabio Fognini but eventually won 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.

Because of the rain only 12 matches were completed, including four under the roof.  Nevertheless, this was not the first occasion when the Olympics has featured indoor tennis. When the Games were staged in London in 1908, two competitions were held: an outdoor event at Wimbledon, which was then based at Worple Road, and an indoor tournament at Queen’s Club in west London.