Radwanska displays US Open credentials

Agnieszka Radwanska’s impressive Rogers Cup victory means she might just be the player all others fear at the upcoming US Open.

The Pole appeared to be back to her very best in Montreal across the week as she dropped just one set to Sabine Lisicki in the third round before wins over Victoria Azarenka and Ekaterina Makarova en route to the final against Venus Williams. The fact she then blew away the American 6-4 6-2 in another convincing display to lift the trophy will have been noted by her competitors as they all prepare for Flushing Meadows.

Radwanska has seemingly recovered from the poor run of form that affected her earlier this year and her Rogers Cup success was her first title since she reached the final in Indian Wells back in March. Things were not looking too good ahead of Montreal after she lost her opening match in Stanford last week so not many would have predicted her claiming the title beforehand but she proved again that when she gets her game together she can beat the rest and best in the world.

Some will argue that Venus was jaded following her gruelling semi-final victory over sister Serena in Canada but Radwanska’s display suggested she would have beaten anyone in any shape on the day. Radwanska often relies on her clever use of placing shots rather than the sheer power often associated with the Williams sisters and she was controlled throughout, making very few unforced errors. 

Third seed Radwanska won four games on the spin in the first set to carve out a deserved 4-1 lead after Williams had initially gone 1-0 up. 

Williams did rally but failed to make the most of two break points and, after battling back to 4-3 she was beaten 6-4 in the first set. The American struggled with her serve throughout the final – a fact underlined by stats that showed afterwards she had just a 42 per cent first-serve success rate, while she won just one point out of 12 in the second set. 

After the two traded breaks to leave the encounter level at at 2-2 early on in the second set, Radwanska then won the next game to love before dominating the rest of the action. Williams failed to win another game and the title was Radwanska’s.

The Pole moved up to number three in the Road to Singapore behind Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep following the win and she now looks well placed to enjoy herself in New York.

Those two, plus the Williams sisters, and Petra Kvitova and Azarenka will all have eyes on the top prize but Radwanska’s showing in Montreal means she could just be the one to beat again.

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