WTA Finals: Agnieszka Radwanska Edges Garbine Muguruza To Reach First Year End Championships Final

WTA Finals: Agnieszka Radwanska Edges Garbine Muguruza To Reach First Year End Championships Final

Agnieszka Radwanska rallied against all odds to beat an in form Garbine Muguruza 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the finals of the Year End Championships for the very first time.

Mariam Khan

The world has seen Agnieszka Radwanska make an emphatic comeback this year after she was supposedly down and out during Roland Garros. She has since won thirty five of her matches and lost twelve, winning two titles in the procession of the Asian swing to cement her place in the WTA finals. Despite having ousted Simona Halep, the first seed, in her last match, Radwanska came into this match on the backfoot after having lost matches to both Maria Sharapova and Flavia Pennetta. On the other hand, Garbine Muguruza was spirited and in tremendous form, beating all three of her opponents in the Round Robin stage. What was even better for the Spaniard; she had a 4-2 lead on the head to head against the Polish player.

It took being a set down for Radwanska to come into her own during the match and tire her opponent out on the other side of the net. Despite Muguruza's level dropping after the first set, it took a lot of intelligent play for Radwanska to clinch the match.

Radwanska Takes High Quality Set Through Tiebreak

As expected, Muguruza came into the match full of confidence and charging, breaking the Radwanska serve in the very first game and running away to a 2-0 lead. However, Radwanska stood firm and rallied to win the next four games; it seemed she was going to run away with the set as Muguruza faltered. The Spaniard did not hold back though, and leveled the score once again—the set was now at 4-4.

The quality of tennis played was tremendous as Muguruza served 74 percent first serves in and the Polish player was not far behind with 67 percent first serves in. Muguruza was impatient near the beginning of the set but found her groove in terms of shot selection, which bore her 23 exceptional winners.

The set was destined for a tiebreak however due to some excellent defensive play from Radwanska, who raced to a 3-0 lead in said tiebreak. Muguruza decided it was time to put her foot down; she played tremendously off the ground to win back the mini breaks and win the tiebreak 7-5.

Muguruza Tires Out And Radwanska Capitalizes

After her charged comeback in the first, it seemed the set had taken its toll on Muguruza's body. Part of the blame can come from the fact that she is also in the doubles semifinals this week, but credit cannot be taken away from Radwanska, who was extremely cunning with her shot selection and her capitalization of the court.

Muguruza's unforced errors leaked as she gave away a 4-0 lead in the second set, whilst Radwanska remained sharp and hit fourteen winners to snatch any hopes of a comeback away from the Spaniard. Muguruza once again showed her fighting spirit however as she managed to break Radwanska back once, but the Polish player was absolutely relentless as she broke her opponent for a third time to take the second set 6-3.

Radwanska Edges Thrilling Decider

Muguruza was 3-0 in deciding sets against the Polish player, but it was Radwanska once again who started the set with a flier, running away with a 4-1 lead and ruining almost every chance of a comeback for the Spaniard. Radwanska shone the most here, as her tactical skill coupled with defensive play gave way for some magical shot making, and Muguruza could do nothing but watch.

The Spaniard refused to bow out easily though as she rallied to bring the set back on serve rather emphatically. Both players served beautifully at this point to hold their nerves, but serving from behind meant that Muguruza always had more pressure on her side. Ultimately it was too much to handle as she was serving at 5-6 to stay in the match, and she dumped her shot into the net after saving one match point, giving Radwanska her well earned victory.

Radwanska had much reason to be emotional after reaching the final, considering she was almost out of the tournament in the round robin stage. The victory clearly meant a lot to her as she was able to prove her worth against a fiesty and in form opponent. She will play either Petra Kvitova or Maria Sharapova in the final.