Radwanska, Wickmayer in final
Auckland - Agnieszka Radwanska and Yanina Wickmayer used contrasting styles to overcome blustery conditions and battle their way into the final of the ASB Classic women's tournament on Friday.
Radwanska, the top seed, relied on precision placement to survive two tie breaks before beating Jamie Hampton 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3), while third seed Wickmayer utilised power play to down Mona Barthel 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7/3).
Polish Radwanska had a scare in the the first set, dropping her serve in the 11th game, but stayed alive when Hampton double-faulted on set point.
From that let-off she took the tie break and raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set before the unseeded Hampton threw caution to the wind in a desperate attempt to stay in the match.
Despite being ranked 70th in the world, while Radwanska is fourth, the American stormed back to level at 4-4 and held serve through to 6-6. But in the tie-break showdown it was the poise of Radwanska that told.
Wickmayer, the winner in Auckland in 2010, will be contesting her third final there in four years after outlasting Barthel in a match that lasted one hour 48 minutes.
After winning the first set, the Belgian developed problems using her thundering first serve in the swirling wind and was broken three times before Barthel wrapped up the second set in just 20 minutes.
Barthel, who beat Wickmayer when they met in the Hobart WTA final a year ago, stayed with her higher-ranked opponent throughout the decisive third set until she double-faulted twice in the crucial tie-break.