LONDON (Reuters) – Agnieszka Radwanska avoided becoming the second of the top three women’s seeds to lose at Wimbledon on Thursday, beating Croatia’s Ana Konjuh 6-2 4-6 9-7 after her opponent took a tumble and needed treatment in the penultimate game.
Konjuh, ranked 103rd in the world, had three match points herself but, with the contest poised at 7-7 and 40-15 on Radwanska’s serve, the Croat stepped on a ball she was chasing and rolled her right ankle, collapsing at the chairs in tears.
Konjuh played on, heavily strapped, but with her movement limited, the third-seeded Pole held her nerve to claim the victory after being booed by a section of the crowd for playing a drop shot to bring up her second match point.
Earlier, French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, seeded second, was ushered out of the grasscourt major by unheralded Slovak qualifier Jana Cepelova.
Radwanska knew she had been in a battle against her 23-year-old opponent, and hoped it would steel her for the longer fight.
“Players who won the grand slam, they always have something like this on the way,” she told reporters.
“Sometimes it’s a little bit easier to play after you know that you probably shouldn’t even be here any more.”
(Reporting by Alison Williams, editing by Ed Osmond)