Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland celebrates defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 20, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Agnieszka Radwanska used to practice outside in Poland during the winter, dodging behind buildings to keep the wind from becoming a problem.
That determination helped make her one of the toughest competitors on tour, and she demonstrated that Wednesday night in a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Francesca Schiavone in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic.
''While I was going to school I practiced at 7:30 when there was still ice on the ground,'' Radwanska said. ''It was like this for years with the difficult conditions. I can certainly appreciate the good conditions.''
Radwanska, the No. 1 seed in the event and ranked No. 4 in the world, won for the 10th time in her last 13 matches to improve to 34-10 this year. She won a career-high 59 matches last season.
''It's always fun to play Francesca because she has a good touch and tricky shots,'' said Radwanska, who enjoys utilizing her own selection of trick shots. ''The serve was not the key in this match at all. I think we were both struggling. I had to find a different way to win.''
Radwanska, who simply outlasted her opponent, continues to train in Poland so she can have a chance to ''lead a normal life for a few days. I appreciate being home.''
Italy's Schiavone, ranked 59th, entered the event on a three-match skid, but beat former Stanford All-American Mallory Burdette in her first match.
Radwanska beat Schiavone a fourth straight time to even the series at 4-4. They were playing for the first time in two years.
Earlier, fifth-seeded Sorana Cirstea beat American Coco Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-3 and No. 6 Varvara Lepchenko advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Austria's Tamira Paszek.
The 32nd-ranked Cirstea, Romania's second-ranked player, reached the semifinals last year. She'll meet unseeded Olga Govortsova in the quarterfinal. Govortsova upset second-seeded Samantha Stosur.
''I'm happy to be back,'' Cirstea said. ''I played well here last year and have many good memories. It's a good start to what is to come.''
Vandeweghe, who reached the final last year, went through qualifying to gain a spot in the main draw.
''It's not easy to play her,'' Cirstea said. ''She serves big and has a big game. You have to be there every single point.''
The 40th-ranked Lepchenko reached her second quarterfinal of the season. The American will face Radwanska.
''I hope to play better in each match,'' Lepchenko said. ''I'm going to focus on the things I need to do to play well on the big stages.''
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