Radwanska Outdoes Venus, Reaches SFs
Published March 28, 2012 12:00
MIAMI, FL, USA - After an electric two weeks that saw her beat some of the biggest names in the game in just her first tournament since the US Open, Venus Williams' run at the Sony Ericsson Open finally came to an end in the quarterfinals Wednesday with a straight set loss to Agnieszka Radwanska.
Williams, who was contesting her first WTA event since the US Open due to illness, won the first four matches of her comeback, most notably stunning World No.3 Petra Kvitova in the second round. Taking on the No.4-ranked Radwanska her power game looked sharp early on, as did her net game; but after missing a point to make it 5-all in the first set the momentum swung completely in Radwanska's favor, and Williams' errors started piling up.
The No.5-seeded Radwanska advanced to the semifinals with a 64 61 victory.
"She has had some time off the last couple of months, but she's still a great player. I really had to play very well to beat her," Radwanska said. "I was ready for it. She's a great champion. When you play against top players, you have to be focused on the important moments, and I played very consistently today and especially in the tight moments. I really did some great shots today."
"Out of all the matches, today was probably the one where I had the least pressure in terms of playing someone who was going to maybe hit winners on me or put pressure on me," Williams said. "So it was disapointing not to feel my best today. I was able to keep it close in the first set and try different strategies, but it was definitely a mentall battle, and today I didn't conquer the mental part.
"Agnieszka's a great player though. With someone like her you have to be really consistent and move forward at the same time. Typically I like playing someone like her. I feel like I have all day until I feel like moving forward. Normally it has been a great match-up for me, but today she had more answers."
Williams was constantly on the attack early on, though Radwanska's winners to errors ratio was just too solid - in the first set Williams was +4 (20-16) while Radwanska was +6 (11-5). The Polish star did bring out the weapons when she needed them though - she finished the set off with back-to-back aces.
"I was trying to get to the net to shorten the points, but even when you get to the net it still takes good footwork and positioning, and you have to be 100%," Williams said. "I feel good at the net, definitely, and confident. I don't know if I missed an overhead this week. But it just wasn't the answer today."
Radwanska talked about playing a World No.134 named Williams. "I don't think we can really look at the rankings when somebody hasn't played for a couple of months," she commented. "Of course she's not No.134 in the world. She's for sure a Top 5 player. The ranking this week actually doesn't matter."
Williams still leaves Miami with positive thoughts: "I'm disappointed, but it's been a great tournament. I think I learned a lot from this tournament in terms of how to prepare and what works. I just have to be there mentally every day.
"But I could have had this result on Day 1."
"They're both great players, so it doesn't matter who I'm going to play, but playing the same player almost every week is not that fun, right?" Radwanska joked, referring to playing Azarenka four times already this year - and losing every time. "Sooner or later we're going to play against each other, but if we're going to play for the fifth time this year and it's only March, then it's a lot!"