Polish agility against Belgian power in final

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 05/01/2013
Agnieska Radwanska
Photosport
ROLLING THROUGH: Top seed Agnieska Radwanska has not lost a set this week on her way to the ASB Classic final against Yanina Wickmayer.

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Agnieszka Radwanska hasn't dropped a set all week at the ASB Classic and it is hard to see her standards slipping in today's final against Belgian Yanina Wickmayer.

The top-seeded Pole has looked a level above everyone else at this tournament, even though she needed to win both sets in tiebreaks against America's Jamie Hampton in Auckland yesterday.

Today, she should have too much class against Wickmayer, who will be making her third appearance in the Classic final in the past four years, winning the title in 2010.

In Wickmayer's semifinal yesterday she beat the lanky German Mona Barthel 6-4 1-6 7-6, but was pretty much given a golden pass to the final when Barthel served two double faults in a row in that third set tiebreak.

Hampton was in a similarly generous mood against Radwanska, double-faulting on set point in the first set.

The strong winds made it tough for all players to serve, but both Hampton and Barthel failed to adapt.

Radwanska knew what to do and barely threw the ball above head height with her ball toss, but Hampton did give her the toughest match of the week so far.

"In the second set I was up 4-0 and it looked like it was all over, but she started to play much better," Radwanska said.

"She had nothing to lose at that point and I couldn't do anything and suddenly it was 4-5.

"Then I was focussing on my serve and trying to win the match in two sets and I am happy to do that."

Wickmayer and Radwanska have met twice before, with one win each. The last encounter was on clay in 2011 with the Pole winning in straight sets.

However, Wickmayer realises that she is the underdog today.

"It will be a really tough match, she is top four in the world, has been top 10 for so many years," Wickmayer said.

"She has a lot of experience and is a great player, it is always tough to play her, she doesn't give you any free points and makes you work for every shot.

"It is definitely going to be the toughest match of the tournament but I am really looking forward to it. I have got nothing to lose, it is another final and that's a positive for me.

"I will go out there, try to be positive, play my best game and we'll see."

Wickmayer may be the more powerful of the two players but she doesn't have the touch and agility that Radwanska possesses.

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"She is also a strong player and serving very well," Radwanska said of Wickmayer.

"We will see about the weather tomorrow and hopefully it is going to be different.

"I have never been in the final of my first tournament of the year and it would be a good start.

"For sure, I am going to do everything in my power to win the match, having a title is a great thing, especially in a tournament that I've never won before."

- Fairfax Media

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