Agnieszka Radwanska had things under control against a high ranked opponent at the Australian Open Tuesday afternoon. The Pole exploded in the first set before going out with a bang on Australia Day to beat Carla Suarez-Navarro 6-1, 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena. It became her second time advancing into the semifinals in a part of her career that has so many good moments.
This was the fourth time the Euro stars have met in their seven year history where Radwanska has one game over the head of the Spaniard. Last year they had a three set fight in Miami that Suarez-Navarro succeeded in winning. While it might look as if things changed the tide, the present course that both have been on are in two different areas.
The Spaniard has struggled through her last three matches winning two of them in straight sets. The struggle she seemed to have would need to disappear before going on court against the fourth ranked player in the WTA. Radwanska only saw her game challenged on Sunday when she battled hard against Anna-Lena Friedsam to defeat her in over two hours. As the tournament closes is on a title winner, the competition heats up and only gets difficult.
Radwanska was aware of the stakes and wasted no time getting towards the goal for the day. She rallied to a three game winning streak breaking Suarez-Navarro twice and held serve. The key to getting out front while her opponent warmed up worked on holding her second time on service absorbing the pace of the Spaniard during the rallies.
Three was the charm for Suarez-Navarro as she made something happen during the fifth game. Gaining leverage was necessary for her to get on game point where she landed an ace to win. She had some great hits in the next game forcing deuce with Radwanska to split her lead in half.
She would lose it on an 18 shot rally putting too much power on the ball before committing an unforced error on the Pole’s advantage. She spiraled out of the set losing on Radwanska’s second match point that fell wide of the line. It was the 18th unforced error she put on court as her positioning at the back of the baseline was working into the Polish star’s strategy that closed it out in 28 minutes.
Knowing that more had to be done, Suarez-Navarro put her game face on and got back from a 2-0 deficit and attacked the Pole into submission to win on her serve and two breaks. Radwanska let plenty of games slip out of her hands but the sixth did not pushing strong to tie things back up. The Pole reenergized by the sound of the Australian Air Force zipping by dominated on the serve to take the lead before breaking strongly in the eighth to serve for the match. “I was fine but the sun was really annoying me more,” Radwanska joked.
Sitting on the ropes, Suarez-Navarro had great answers to stay alive but was forced into a deuce draw by Radwanska who wanted to end it. She locked the advantage with a winner before sealing the match win with an unforced error by Suarez-Navarro ending the match in 82 minutes. “I’m very pleased,” Radwanska said to Renae Stubbs after the match. “I knew it was gonna be a tough one. She’s a very solid player and I knew everything was coming back to my side. I tried to be aggressive and focused on my serve and I think I did a good job.”
She’ll face the winner between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova in the semifinal that will likely have a winner from the top draw. “I have nothing to lose and it’ll be an incredible match so ill hope to play my best tennis otherwise ill be in big trouble.”