|Pan Pacific Open: Radwanska, Petrova seal place in the final|
29 September 2012
TOKYO: Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska moved to within one step of retaining her Pan Pacific Open title after overwhelming Angelique Kerber with a dominant performance in the semi-finals.
The Polish third-seed, who defeated 2010 champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the quarter-finals, needed just 59 minutes to score a resounding 6-1, 6-1 victory over the German fifth-seed. In the final today, Radwanska will play Nadia Petrova of Russia, who defeated eighth-seed Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-4, 6-2.
“She is a very smart player,” said Radwanska about Kerber. “She just mixed up a lot of shots and she is a lefty, so it’s always hard. I really had to stay focused from the beginning till the end to win the match. Actually, I’m very happy that I played my best tennis.”
Kerber, who received a free ticket to the semi-finals after world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus withdrew due to fatigue, struggled to keep her service games throughout the match.
Looking ahead to the match against 17th seeded Petrova, Radwanska said, “For sure, she is a very good player and she is playing great tennis this week.”
Meanwhile, Petrova overpowered Stosur in a surprisingly one-sided match. The 17th-seed, struggling with lower back pain all week, ran Australian Stosur ragged along the baseline to advance to her first final at the WTA premier five event in Tokyo. Stosur committed a string of unforced errors and Petrova closed out the match following another wild forehand from the Australian.
“It was a really good match,” said Petrova. “Samantha played very well, she defeated Maria Sharapova, one of the top players right now, but I had a good performance and I’m very happy that I served out at the end.”
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