Posts Tagged ‘Agnieszka Radwanska


Semi finals set in Stuttgart.

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Maria Sharapova came through a three-hour epic against Sam Stosur to reach the semi-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart. The world number two claimed her 10th win in 11 career meetings with the Australian but she had to do it the hard way, coming from a set down after two tie-breaks and a hard-fought deciding set. Both players’ serves held firm throughout the first set, won by Stosur on a tie-break before Sharapova responded in kind after a second set featuring one break  apiece. One more was enough for the Russian to win the decider and wrap up a 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 victory. She will face Petra Kvitova, her conqueror in last year’s Wimbledon final, after the Czech left-hander cruised past Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-4 6-4. Kvitova broke three times in a scrappy first set before taking the second with a solitary break.

Top seed Victoria Azarenka was also made to battle hard before downing Germany’s Mona Barthel in three sets. The Belarusian prevailed 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 7-5 in two hours 49 minutes, taking seven of a huge 22 break points en route, but will almost certainly have to improve on that conversion rate if she is to get past Agnieska Radwanska to reach the final. Polish fourth seed Radwanska came from a set down to beat China’s Li Na 3-6 6-2 6-3 in exactly two hours.


Agnieszka Radwanska claimed her second title of the season with a 7-5 6-4 victory over Maria Sharapova.

Agnieszka Radwanska

Radwanska, the fifth seed, needed one hour and 44 minutes to seal her triumph. The Pole, who also took the title in Dubai earlier in 2012, will now move up to a career-high position of four in the world rankings. It was a victory Radwanska founded on her own serve. Second seed Sharapova, who has now lost all four of her final appearances at the Miami event, failed to break once in the match. Radwanska was content to keep the ball in play and wait for Sharapova to make the first mistake. It proved a shrewd tactic as the Russian committed 45 unforced errors in all. “I got a lot of good wins this year against top players,” said Radwanska, who is now 26-4 for the year, all four defeats coming against world number one Victoria Azarenka. “I was trying from the beginning to focus on my serve, put my first serve in and go for it. “I think I did a really good job today and the serve was the key.”

The first set was heading to a tie-break when Sharapova, down 6-5, suddenly lost her previously solid service game. Sharapova produced two loose shots and then a volley into the net to leave her trailing 0-40 and although Radwanska wobbled with two tame returns into the net, Sharapova failed to clear the net herself to hand her opponent the set. And the second set followed a similar pattern – both players solid on serve but Radwanska coming out on top when it mattered. Radwanska fought back from 0-30 down to go 6-5 up and force Sharapova to hold serve to stay in the match. The Russian looked agitated and was let down by some reckless strokes, twice going long on returns, as Radwanska lured her into defeat.




Saharapova v. Radwanska will be evenly matched in the Sony Ericsson Final.

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Maria Sharapova booked her place in the final of the women’s event with a 4-6 6-2 6-4 victory in a topsy-turvy match against fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki. Sharapova raced into a 4-1 lead, before Wozniacki rallied to win five games in a row, taking the first set. The second was more one-sided, and the Russian edged the third to advance in two hours and 34 minutes. Sharapova told “I’m really pleased that after losing that first one, being up and playing really well and then backing off and her stepping up, I could have easily just [have gone] down in the second set. “But I really stepped it up again. I went out there and started being aggressive. I didn’t stop after I put myself in a good position. I’m extremely pleased that I pulled it out today.”

Sharapova will face fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the final after the Pole beat Marion Bartoli 6-4 6-2 in the second semi on Thursday. French seventh seed Bartoli could not repeat the heroics of her semi-final victory over world number one Victoria Azarenka, whose 26-match winning run she ended on Wednesday.


Victoria Azarenka’s winning start to the year finally came to an end as she was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Marion Bartoli.

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Bartoli was on top for nearly the whole match, but Azarenka had a chance to assert herself when she led 3-1 in the second set. That was as good as it got for her though and, with her early-season exertions perhaps catching up with her, she surrendered five games in a row, losing 14 of the last 16 games. It meant Azarenka’s winning run was snapped at 26 matches, but she told the tournament’s official website: “What I’ve done in the last couple of months, I have to be really proud of myself. “I could have maybe played better today, that’s for sure, but I gave it all I had. But Marion played really well today, and she deserves the win.”

Venus Williams’ revival came to a crashing halt at the hands of Polish fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who needed just 80 minutes to polish off the American 6-4 6-1. Williams had no answer to her younger, in-form opponent who broke her three times in the opening set and proved even more dominant in the next, blazing into a last-four showdown with Bartoli.


Radwanska wins her 8th WTA title in Dubai.

Agnieszka Radwanska claimed her eighth WTA Tour title by beating Julia Goerges of Germany 7-5 6-4 to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The 22-year-old’s extra experience told as she won the first set in just over an hour before claiming two breaks in the second to move into a 4-1 lead. Goerges, 23, dug deep and broke Radwanska’s serve in the sixth game and failed with a break-point chance at 5-4 on the Radwanska serve which could have turned the match around. The Pole recovered from that scare to seal the match at the second time of asking to triumph in one hour and 44 minutes. The Dubai triumph added to previous career titles won in Carlsbad, Tokyo, Beijing, Pattaya City, Istanbul, Eastbourne and Stockholm.

The victory also elevates Radwanska to number five in the world. Radwanska broke in the first game of the match and led 4-2, but Goerges broke back to level the first set at 5-5. Radwanska broke again in a five-deuce game to edge ahead again to gain the upper hand. “I was pretty close to losing in the first round (having been 5-3 down in the third set to Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak), so I’m extremely happy right now,” Radwanska. “Tonight I think I was just better in a couple of points, to be honest. In the important moments I was more consistent. The conditions were a little bit difficult during the match, but I stayed calm until the end. “Julia’s forehand is a very big weapon. It’s just going so fast, and sometimes I’d be moving to it right away and the ball was already behind me.” Goerges added: “Agnieszka’s a tough player and I was close to winning both sets. “There were a few balls I missed, but it was still the way I should play it. You need to dictate the game by yourself and that’s what I did. It wasn’t enough today but it was still the right direction for my game. “She doesn’t give you anything. She doesn’t make any mistakes at all. And when she does a few, it’s at 15-all or 15-0, not in the important moments.”


Wozniacki’s slump continues as she is ousted by Julia Goerges.

Julia Goerges from Germany reacts after winning a point against Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark during their semifinal match at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Caroline Wozniacki lost in the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships, falling to Julia Goerges 7-6 (3), 7-5 Friday. The former-top-ranked Dane led 4-2 in the second set, but Goerges rallied to advance in straight sets. Goerges will face Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in Saturday’s final. Radwanska defeated Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-2, 2-6, 6-0.

The fifth-seeded Radwanska took an early 4-1 lead and won the first set in 33 minutes. The Polish player faltered in the second when Jankovic broke twice. Radwanska regrouped and wrapped up the match without losing another game. She said she regained her confidence by breaking early in the third set. “She just start to play much better in the second set. I was really in trouble,” Radwanska said. “But in the third set, I was just trying to be focused on my game and just fight until the end. “I really get more confident after that, and I think she get a bit angry.”


Ivanovic advances with a win over Schiavone.

Ana Ivanovic defeated Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 7-5 Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Ivanovic breezed through the first set, holding her Italian opponent to just one game in 33 minutes. Schiavone made it competitive in the second set, but was no match for the 24-year-old Serb.

Also, fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland advanced after defeating Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-1, 6-7 (6), 7-5. Radwanska cruised through the first set in 27 minutes, but she needed another 2 hours to win her opening match. After losing the second set on a tiebreaker, Radwanska struggled with her concentration in the third. She rallied from 5-3 down to win 7-5. On Tuesday, two more players joined the list of withdrawals. Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia retired with a hamstring injury while trailing Iveta Benesova 3-1, and Maria Kirilenko withdrew from a doubles match with Sabine Lisicki against Anabel Medina Garrigues and Alicja Rosolska. Kirilenko has a neck injury but is scheduled to play Ivanovic in the second round on Wednesday, organizers said.

Later Tuesday, sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France will meet Shuai Peng of China in her opening match. The winner will play Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova in the second round. Hantuchova advanced after defeating Polona Hercog of Slovenia 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4). Third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki will open the defense of her title on Wednesday when she meets Simona Halep of Romania. Halep advanced Tuesday after defeating Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-2. Also, Lucie Safarova defeated Petra Martic 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Safarova will meet U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur in the second round. Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is the top-seeded player in Dubai. The top-ranked Belarusian will meet Julia Goerges of Germany in her opening match on Wednesday.

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, French Open winner Li Na and Vera Zvonareva withdrew because of illness or injury on Monday.



Azarenka loses her cool but moves on to join Wozniacki in the 4th round.


Wozniacki saw off the 31st seed 6-2 6-2 to set up a meeting with 13th seed Jelena Jankovic, who beat American Christina McHale 6-2 6-0. She is joined in the fourth round by third seed Victoria Azarenka, a 6-2 6-4 winner against Mona Barthel of Germany. Defending champion Kim Clijsters beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 6-2.

Wozniacki also negotiated her first two matches in straight sets, but she played with greater authority and variety against Niculescu. The Dane broke serve in games two and seven of a 36-minute opening set and races into a 5-1 lead in the second. Niculescu used her unusual sliced forehand to prevent her opponent serving out the match, but Wozniacki hit straight back to seal her triumph. Looking ahead to Jankovic or McHale, she said: “Both of them are tough competitors and it’s going to be a match with long rallies. “I’ll have to be aggressive. No matter who I face, she will be fast and I will have to take my opportunities.”

The next challenge for Azarenka comes in the form of unseeded Czech Iveta Benesova, a 6-1 6-3 winner against Nina Bratchikova. “I’m playing pretty good,” said the Belarusian, who needed four match points to get past Barthel in 88 minutes. “At the end I was not brave enough to finish the match but I’m glad I managed to in the end – I had to kick myself to finally finish it.” Azarenka destroyed Heather Watson and Casey Dellacqua rounds one and two, and it seemed a repeat was likely against Barthel. She took the first set off her German opponent in 31 minutes with two breaks of serve and only three unforced errors. Barthel showed more grit in the second and after being broken to love in game five, she had break-back points in games eight and 10. But Azarenka held firm on both occasions to come through, although not without controversy. On match point three the 22-year-old felt a Barthel return landed wide, but she had already used all of her Hawk Eye challenges. She berated both the line judge and umpire before the final point and again once she had served out the match, drawing boos from the crowd on Hisense Arena.

Elsewhere, eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska overcame Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-2 6-2 with a brilliant display. The Pole goes on to face 22nd seed Julia Goerges of Germany, who came from a set down to beat Italy’s Romina Oprandi 3-6 6-3 6-1.



“It’s just the perfect preparation. It’s two hours away from New York, same conditions, same surface, same ball.” says Bartoli.


Marion Bartoli enjoyed a winning start to her campaign at the WTA New Haven when she beat Anastasia Rodionova 6-1 6-4 in Connecticut. The Frenchwoman accepted a wildcard into the tournament as she looks for more preparation before the US Open which starts in a week’s time. She said: “It was important for me to get some more matches before the Open. “We can practice as much as we want, there are lots of practice courts.”

Fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska had a dominant 6-1 6-2 victory over Ekaterina Makarova. Radwanska will now play in-form Petra Cetkovska, who beat the Pole at Wimbledon, after the Czech qualifier beat Ayumi Morita 6-2 6-2. Eighth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova came from a set and 4-2 down to beat Vera Dushevina 3-6 6-4 6-3. Next up for Pavlyuchenkova is top-20 newcomer, Italy’s Roberta Vinci, who survived nine aces from Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic to grind out a 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory. Christina McHale, who beat world number one Caroline Wozniacki last week, followed that up with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova. Polona Hercog edged Nadia Petrova 7-5 7-5 in a close match.


Can anybody beat Serena?……Azarenka will try today.


Serena Williams remained on course for a second title in the early weeks of the North American hardcourt season after battling through to the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto with victory over Lucia Safarova. Having triumphed in Stanford a fortnight ago, the 13-time grand slam winner is two wins away from another trophy, in what is just her fourth tournament of 2011. After having a year of her career wiped out by injury and health problems between her 2010 Wimbledon triumph and this year’s short grass-court season, Williams is hungry to re-establish herself at the top of the women’s game. She is ranked 80th, so is unseeded in Toronto, and against fellow non-seed Safarova she was in early trouble. But Williams, who turns 30 next month, fought back to win 4-6 6-3 6-2 against her left-handed Czech opponent. She gained a break decisively in the fifth game of the deciding set, and then added another before serving out to love for the match, completing her success in four minutes over two hours.

The American’s wins sets up a clash with the highest remaining seed in the draw, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. Azarenka won 6-1 6-2 against Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan, the player who caused a major surprise by beating Maria Sharapova in the third round. The other semi-final will feature Sam Stosur and Agnieszka Radwanska. Australian 10th seed Stosur ended Italian Roberta Vinci’s impressive run, which included victories over world number one Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic, with a 6-4 6-1 triumph. Radwanska, seeded 13th, knocked out 11th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-3.



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