WTA Tianjin: Kovinic To Meet Radwanska In Final
Photo credit: Tianjin Open

WTA Tianjin: Kovinic To Meet Radwanska In Final

Danka Kovinic and Agnieszka Radwanska were victorious in their respective semi finals and will meet in the final of the 2015 Tianjin Open.

Max Gao

It was semi finals Saturday at the 2015 Tianjin Open as the last four women standing were looking to book their place in the final. At the end of the sixth day of play in the Northeastern city of Tianjin, it was determined that Danka Kovinic would meet Agnieszka Radwanska for the title. This final will be their first meeting.

Kovinic Downs Jovanovski, Makes More Montenegrin History

Montenegrin number one Danka Kovinic defeated fellow WTA rising star Bojana Jovanovski 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-2 to advance to her maiden WTA-level final. In the opening set, just one break separated the two and it was Kovinic who was able to use her opportunities when they presented themselves, which eventually won her the opening set 6-4. In the second, both women exchanged breaks and holds of serve, which ultimately resulted in a second set tiebreak. In that seven-point shoot out, it was Jovanovski who was able to get off to the better start, and the Serb didn’t look back. As a result, it was the Serbian number three who was able to get the better of Kovinic in the second set tiebreak, winning it by seven points to two. In the decider, Kovinic showed great maturity and regrouped from her disappointment of losing the second set. After clinching two breaks, the 20-year-old served out the match to love to book her place to book her place in the final. With this victory, Kovinic makes Montenegrin history, becoming the first player — male or female — to make the final of a WTA event, while representing Montenegro.

Radwanska Demolishes Pliskova

Kovinic’s opponent in the final will be second seed Agnieszka Radwanska. Radwanska continued her great week at the 2015 Tianjin Open with a comprehensive 6-3, 6-1 win over third seed Karolina Pliskova. The Polish number one has yet to drop a set in Tianjin en route to this stage of the competition, and looked clinical against a dangerous opponent. Pliskova, who was beginning to play some of the tennis that broke her into the top 10 just a month ago, looked a little fatigued but didn’t play a bad match at all, but was unable to hurt Radwanska — even with her big serve. “I don't even think I played a bad match today. She was just much better with everything — the serve, [the] returns,” Pliskova said after the match. “I was trying to make the pressure on her and she was defending pretty well from the baseline, and serving quite well.”

On the other hand, the second seed played exceptionally well and got one step closer to qualifying for the WTA Finals in Singapore. “It was definitely my best match of the week,” Radwanska said in a press conference after advancing to the final. “I knew I had to play well — she's a top player — and I think I did everything right today. Everything worked the way I wanted it to.”

What Sunday’s Final Means For Kovinic and Radwanska

For Danka Kovinic, she will be looking to make even more Montenegrin history. If she wins the title, not only will she be the first Montenegrin to win a WTA title, she will break into the top 50 for the first time of her career.

For Agnieszka Radwanska, she will be attempting to win her second WTA singles title of the season and 16th overall, as well as qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore, which will begin in less than nine days. If she were to qualify, Radwanska would qualify for the prestigious year-end championships for the fifth year in succession. “Before the Asia tour I didn't really think I had a chance to get to Singapore, but I played well in Tokyo, Beijing and now here, and I'm really happy I'm so close now,” Radwanska said when asked about the prospect of qualifying for the WTA Finals on Sunday. “Tomorrow's a big day for me, to have another title and to get to Singapore. I'll try not to think about it on the court though!”

Winning tomorrow will also give the world number six some much-needed time to rest before playing against the best players in the world in Singapore. The Pole has worn kinesio tape during most her matches this week, and has accepted a wildcard into the Kremlin Cup in Moscow next week, in case she doesn’t qualify for the WTA Finals in Tianjin.