Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na both entered the Premier-level Sydney semifinal with perfect win-loss records this season, owing to their title runs in Auckland (Radwanska) and inaugural Shenzhen (Li), but the higher-ranked Pole spoiled Li’s undefeated run, even though it was Li who had led their head-to-head 5-3, including 3-1 last season.
Li battled hard in her last night’s match against qualifier Madison Keys and today she saved seven match points before finally succumbing to tiredness and the top-seeded Radwanska, who was leading the encounter throughout.
On a better note for Li, the WTA has announced that the big Tokyo tournament that will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year will be replaced by an event in Li’s hometown of Wuhan in China in 2014. The tournament will have the prize money of about $2 million.
The other semifinal was between Dominika Cibulkova and second seed Angelique Kerber and Cibulkova prevailed 6-2 4-6 6-3. Even though Cibulkova entered the match with a 2-0 record against Kerber, both those victories happened before Kerber made it big in the tennis world and Kerber was favored for appearance in the Sydney final.
Radwanska has now won eight matches in a row and is 3-0 against Cibulkova, but the peers haven’t faced each other in years, precisely, since 2008! (photos: Ralf Reinecke)
Omair, corrected, thanks! What do you think, is Radwanska the favorite in the final? Do you think Cibulkova can pull off another upset?
This should well be a great, tight match. I am a devout Radwańska fan (I also live in Kraków!), but Cibulkova is an excellent player and I feel like she’s really on the up. In total, it could go either way. Yikes!
I am quite happy Agnieszka Radwanska won the match. The final should be good but again I will hope Radwanska tenacity will prevail at end.
Two finals in two weeks, not bad, Aga.
Radwanska has not dropped a set all year. I anticipate a victory in two tight sets.
A little correction please, Li went 3-1 against Radwanska last year. She lost in Stugart quarter-finals to Rad.
I was keeping my fingers crossed for Li Na, though. But a good win for Radwanska.
Welcome Marija! I think Radwanska will prevail. But it depends on which Cibulkova comes out tomorrow, because Cibulkova has been known to blow off huge leads. If Cibulkova finds her range early on, Radwanska will be in trouble, just like today when Li found her range she saved 7 match points, but it was too late.
I think that Domi has a good chance if she avoids the errors. Aga is going to drag her into long rallies as she likes it and try to make her finish off the point. Cibulkova can be a little hasty sometimes which would be an advantage for Aga.
So we’re all undecided 🙂 Ok, I bet on Radwanska to win, but everything can happen.
I think it will be a great match, as both players are having a good week. But I vote for Aga.