Radwanska beats Venus Williams to clinch her First Rogers Cup Title.
There was a huge cheer from the crowd for both players as they entered the stadium on a hot Montreal afternoon. Despite her many years on the tour, this is Williams’ first tournament in Montreal, and her opponent is trying to become the first Rogers Cup champion from Poland.
Venus wins the coin toss and elects to serve first and finds her range quickly, holding to 30. Radwanska then falls 30-0 behind before a brilliant drop volley and a forehand winner help secure the hold. Venus opens the third game with some blistering serves – her fastest clocking 201km – but Radwanska fights back to earn the first break of the match and lead 2-1. A quick hold from Radwanska brings 3-1, and two double faults from Williams in the next then helps Radwanska extend the lead to 4-1 with a second break. In the sixth game, Radwanska’s serve goes off the boil, with Williams attacking any short serve ruthlessly to get one break back. A solid hold from Venus closes the gap to 4-3. Radwanska gets back on track, recovering from 15-40 for a vital hold, and Williams then serving to stay in the set. Williams does so to love, but Radwanska serves out the next game to win the first set in 47 minutes.
Williams’s opens serve in the second set, but is immediately broken, hitting a poor drive volley, a backhand pulled wide and a forehand dumped into the net.. A typical Radwanska defensive game follows, drawing errors from Venus, and consolidating the break for 2-0. An equally important hold, from Williams, including a stunning forehand winner keeps the match close. In the next game, the Radwanska serve is soon facing three break points, and even a rare ace can’t prevent the break, and the set is back on serve. Williams is broken right back, with a loose service game failing to register a point. In the next game a solid hold sees Radwanska closing in on the title at 4-2, which shortly becomes 5-2 as Williams is broken for a third time in the set. Radwanska starts the final game with a trademark knees on the ground forehand winner, and soon has three match points. She only needs one of them, as she fires a 167km ace to win the title in 82 minutes.
The third-seeded Pole was the more consistent player and Venus admitted in her post-match interview that Radwanska may have had a little more left in the tank than she did. Radwanska landed 69% of her first serves, and surprisingly out-acing Venus (known for hitting some of the best and hardest serves on the WTA tour) 3-1. Williams only landed 47% of her own first deliveries, double-faulted a half-dozen times, only won 27% of her second serve points, and was an abysmal 1/6 saving break points. Still, the elder Williams is experiencing a bit of a resurgence as of late after missing a lot of playing time in recent years due to illness. She played a solid week of tennis overall, and managed to beat her top-ranked sister Serena for the first time since 2009 in their Saturday semifinal.
Roddy Christie/ Front Page News
Edited by Khoa Tran