SONY ERICSSON OPEN
Radwanska Stops Venus; Reaches First Miami Semifinal
by Peter Holehan|
No. 5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska rolled on through to the women’s singles semifinals with an impressive showing topping Venus Williams 6-4, 6-1 in a brisk 80 minutes.
It is the 23-year-old Pole’s best result of her career in Miami. She had reached the quarterfinals in Miami each of the past two years. It’s a win in payback fashion for Radwanska. In the 2010 Miami quarterfinals, the two also met with Williams taking out Radwanska 6-3, 6-1.
On Wednesday, Radwanska played smart, tactical tennis pumping 76 percent on her first serves in play. She converted on 6 of 11 break point opportunities and only made 10 unforced errors.
“I think I was playing really well today, from the beginning to the end, and pretty consistent,” Radwanska said. “I think everything was working. I was also focused on my serve just and trying to break her. If I needed break points, just to take the chance. So I cannot really complain about anything.”
It is only the second time in seven meetings that Radwanska has defeated Williams. Her last victory against her occurred in 2006 at Luxembourg.
“This is a different tournament, different match,” said Radwanska, who improved to 24-4 in 2012. “So I was just ready for it. I mean, she's a great champion. Of course she had some time off last couple of months, but she's still a great player. I really had to play very well today to beat her.”
Radwanska has one WTA singles title already under her belt this year (Dubai).
She’ll play either World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka or No. 7 seed Marion Bartoli in the semis.
In comparison to Radwanska, Williams encountered many more problems with her accuracy. She struggled to get over her first serve (54 percent), failed to break on five of seven chances and littered the court with 38 unforced errors in 17 games. She came out especially slow losing her first seven points of the match.
“She's a great player,” said Williams of Radwanska. “I didn't have a good day. Unfortunately, I just couldn't press the issue. I don't feel like she did anything special. I just couldn't. I couldn't get myself to do it today. If I'm not feeling my best, then it becomes mental and I have to fight, and you have to fight and fight and fight. Today I just I didn't conquer it mentally. I have to be there mentally more than the next player.”
Williams, the oldest player through to the quarters at 31, was attempting to reach her first semifinal since the 2010 US Open. She dropped to 93-40 all-time in quarterfinal matches.
Yet, it was largely a grand success for the three-time Sony Ericsson Open champion. Williams was just the third female wild card to at least reach the quarterfinals. Ginger Helgeson-Nielsen reached the quarters in 1991 and Justine Henin made it to the semis in 2010.
Williams, who earlier knocked out No. 3 Petra Kvitova with a three-set second round win, is expected to climb inside the Top 90 rankings. She began the tournament ranked No. 134 and had been seeking crucial ranking points in order to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
Get the VIP treatment and go behind the scenes with the 2013 Priceless Experiences Program Presented by MasterCard. Go
This exclusive venue features an upscale restaurant, trendy bar and lounge area which allow guests the opportunity to escape the heat.Go