After the loss in the Roland Garros first round against the German Annika Beck, Agnieszka Radwanska begins the grass season after a first part of the season to forget. But on grass something changes, the results come and then on the hard-court, where she won 13 titles on 16 won in career, wins in Tokyo and in Tianjin, qualifying to the WTA Finals for the seventh time in career despite everything.
The dream of Agnieszka Radwanska starts in Singapore. The Polish player started the tournament with two losses in a row and then only amazing performances: was two points away from losing the first set and being out of the tournament against Halep, won in straight sets and also with a little bit of luck, reached semifinals.
Then another incredibile encounter against Garbine Muguruza yesterday and today put the icing on the cake beating Petra Kvitova 6/2 4/6 6/3. Kvitova was leading head to head 6-2 even if last time they played against each other was 2011.
and is in the final, against Petra Kvitova. Both won onyl two matches to arrive there, last time it happened was 2003 (Amelie Mauresmo), and 2009 (Venus Williams), both didn't win the title. In contrary of them, 'The Teacher', this is the nickname that Muguruza gave her, conquers the trophy beating Kvitova for the third time in her career on nine matches.
It can be a turning point in her career, a turning point that was almost reached. Yes, a big title was lacking. The match: It's a nightmare start for Kvitova, who got broken at the beginning. In the first set the Czech made 16 unforced errors and only eight winners and three double faults.
Radwanska just played a perfect set of tennis. She stayed solid, let her defense and shot-making get into Kvitova's head, and let the Czech implode. In the first game of the second set, Kvitova plays a protracted service game and she just can't hit through Radwanska.
It was a better game from her but Radwanska's running everything down and putting the ball in awkward space. On 3-2 for Radwanska, the match changes: Kvitova breaks at love with a sharp cross-court angle forehand return and re-finds her game, making less unforced errors.
On 5-4 the Czech gets break points at 15-40 and breaks with a clean forehand return winner. The stats are very different than the first set' one. Kvitova made 20 winners and 14 unforced errors, 4 winners and zero unforced for Agnieszka.
As a matter of fact Petra decides the match in both negative and positive way. In the third set Kvitova wins shows off a great touch, hits powerful and breaks Radwanska, who reacts.The Polish wins a grueling cat and mouse point that saw both players play some lung-busting defense.
That was the point of the match so far. One point later she earns two break points at 15-40. She looks to have nailed a return on the line but the call was called out. Radwanska doesn't challenge, but she should have. It was in.
No matter, she breaks back on a return winner on the very next point. The Polish holds, but Kvitova hasn’t been the same since that tiring point on 2-0. Kvitova keeps coming to net, but popping ball too much, getting passed time & time again.
Aga breaks, up 3-2. The emotions are many, every point and every shot counts even more. On 3-2, Kvitova breaks back but a magnific backhand down the line by Aga, makes the difference. The Polish leads 4-3 and serve. Petra tries everything, but this time can't do anything, this time is finished.
Agnieszka, who made five unforced errors in the entire match, can finally exult, cries due to the joy, it's the most important moment of her career, it's the title that dreamed since many years and that was lacking.
The Teacher will never forget these 125 minutes. And why can't she win a Grand Slam? Only one player has ever won the WTA Finals and finished their career without a Slam: Sylvia Hanika of Germany, who beat Martina Navratilova to win the Finals in 1982.
Every other champion either already won a Slam or went on to win at least one Slam in their careers. Also Read: Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis Clinch WTA Finals, End Season Unbeaten