By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd
The American qualifier was in staggering fine form to net a 7-6 6-2 1st Round success over ex-Devonshire Park winner Radwanska on Tuesday.
Hard hitter Hampton, who had tasted defeat in all four WTA Tour encounters against the world no4, turned the tables on 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Radwanska.
Poland’s no1 was slow to get her game into gear but clawed back to 5-5 when Hampton was serving for the opening set. Radwanska fluffed her only set point at 6-5 and in the resultant tense tiebreak appeared jittery to fail miserably 7-2.
The 23-year-old then overwhelmed Radwanska throughout a one-sided second set to wrap up an incredible victory – her fourth in as many days at the seaside resort’s grass court event.
And there may be no stopping Hampton, who can take inspiration after Austria’s Tamira Paszek claimed the AEGON International by scything her way through seven matches – including qualifying.
German-born Hampton admitted: “I was a little rattled against her because the last time we played something similar happened with me speeding ahead.
“So I was thinking ‘I’m not going to crack. I’m going to hold on and get to a tiebreak.’ It worked out today for me!”
Radwanska’s game may lack raw power but her intelligent play on court has paid dividends with two titles this season and an incredible win-loss record of 28-9 going into Wimbledon.
Radwanska said: “I was a little bit scared to move even though it wasn’t slippery. Playing her in the first match on the grass was tough, and the fact that she played three matches before helped her a little bit.”