Radwanska triumphs in Miami

2012-03-31 21:04
Agnieszka Radwanska (File)

Miami - Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska captured her second title of 2012 by defeating world number two Maria Sharapova 7-5, 6-4 in the final of the WTA/ATP Miami tournament on Saturday.

The 23-year-old from Krakow won earlier this year in Dubai, but this marked the biggest win of her career as she competed in Miami at a new career high ranking of fourth in the world.

Radwanska becomes just the second multiple title winner on the WTA Tour this season, behind world number one Victoria Azarenka, as she clinched the Miami crown without dropping a set in six matches.

"I got a lot of good wins this year against top players," said Radwanska, after condemning Sharapova to a fourth Miami final defeat.

"I was trying from the beginning to focus on my serve, put my first serve in and go for it. I think I did a really good job today and the serve was the key."

Radwanska clearly won the matchup of her savvy all-court game against Sharapova's power display.

She finished with one ace and hit just six winners against Sharapova but limited her unforced errors to 10 in the one hour, 44 minute centre court match.

Radwanska broke the mistake-prone Sharapova in the final game of both sets jumping out to big leads both times. She clinched the title on the first of two championship points when Sharapova hammered a backhand long.

Sharapova held serve in the first set to get to 5-5 but then her game started to unravel.

Radwanska broke in the 12th game to win the first set in 57 minutes. Sharapova made 26 unforced errors in the first set compared to just eight for the Pole.

The Pole also won the set despite hitting just one winner and it came on her backhand.

Radwanska, who improved to 26-4 in 2012, beat Sharapova for just the second time in nine career meetings, but this was the first time they had met in two years and Radwanska has made huge strides in her game during that period.

The only other time she had beaten the Russian was at the 2007 US Open.

Saturday's loss leaves the 24-year-old Sharapova still chasing her first win in Miami, the first professional tournament she would watch each year as a youngster.

Her family would make the annual four-hour trek by car to Miami from the international tennis school she was attending at the time.


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