World No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska got her new season off to a fine start with a straight-sets win over Flavia Pennetta as Poland beat Italy at the mixed teams Hopman Cup yesterday.
After Radwanska edged past the 31st-ranked Pennetta, the Poles clinched the tie in unlikely circumstances, when the 288th-ranked Grzegorz Panfil was handed victory over Andreas Seppi in the men’s singles after the Italian retired due to illness.
That gave Poland, nominally the tournament’s top seeds, but outsiders for the tie after Janowicz’s withdrawal, an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the Group A encounter.
They were also handed the mixed doubles in a walkover for a 3-0 win in the first tie of the tournament.
Radwanska only arrived in Perth the night before her match against Pennetta, but looked in good touch in cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 win against the Italian, who has been ranked as high as 10th in the world.
The match was closer than the scoreline suggested, with the Italian creating six break points to Radwanska’s four. While the Pole claimed all of hers, Pennetta was unable to convert any as she was punished by her own errors.