WTA Tour

Radwanska downs Konta to take China Open title

2016-10-09 15:23
Agnieszka Radwanska (AFP)

Beijing - Agnieszka Radwanska beat Johanna Konta in straight sets to take the title at the China Open on Sunday, her third crown of the season.

The third-ranked Pole -- who cruised through the tournament without dropping a set -- sealed her second title in Beijing with an ace for a 6-4, 6-2 win.

The victory is Radwanska's 20th career title and second in Beijing.

But there was more on the line for Konta, 25, who was making a bid for her second -- and biggest -- career title in the Chinese capital.

Despite the loss, by reaching the final Konta has amassed enough points to break into the top 10 -- the first British woman to do so since Jo Durie in 1984.

When the new leaderboards are released Monday it will be the first time since computerised rankings were introduced that a British man (Andy Murray) and woman are ranked in the top 10 at the same time.

Konta claimed two top 10 scalps en route to the final, sixth-ranked Karoline Pliskova and number eight Madison Keys, but she was kept on the defensive on Sunday.

After dropping her serve twice in each set, Konta tried to even the scoreline in the second, pushing Radwanska to two break points in the sixth game.

But the Pole -- nicknamed the Magician for her ability to conjure up shots -- shot a forehand down the line to save her service game.

Konta held the next with a forehand dropshot that Radwanska redirected wide.

But the world number three then served for the title, firing her only ace of the match straight down the line for her third Premier Mandatory title, one rung down from a Grand Slam.

It was the second time the pair have met after Radwanska beat the Briton in a two-hour, three-set battle in Cincinnati in August.

They will likely meet again in Singapore at the end of the month for the WTA Finals.

Radwanska has already qualified for the eight-player season finale, which follows a round-robin format, while the Briton is still chasing points to guarantee her maiden appearance at the elite event.

Konta is currently in eighth position but could be nudged out by Wuhan Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova, who is just 10 points behind her in the so-called Race to Singapore.

The Briton is playing in Hong Kong next week, hoping to rack up enough qualification points.

Read more on:    wta tour  |  china open  |  agnieszka radwanska  |  tennis


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