Wimbledon Final Preview
Published July 06, 2012 04:24
 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #3) vs.  Serena Williams (USA #6)
Head-to-head: Williams leads 2-0
When Serena Williams steps out in front of a packed Centre Court crowd on Saturday afternoon, it will be the 18th time she has contested a Grand Slam final. For her opponent, Agnieszka Radwanska, it will be the very first.
Yet despite her vast advantage in terms of experience at this level, Williams will not be taking Radwanska lightly. The Pole has been one of the WTA's most improved players in 2012, picking up three titles and rising to a career-best ranking of No.3. She also has a game tailor made for grass, and, as shown in her semifinal against Angelique Kerber, her intelligent use of angles and spins and regular forays to the net can flummox even the hardest of hitters.
Whether this is enough to jolt Williams from her stride, though, remains to be seen. In the past two rounds, the four-time champion has looked in ominously good form, cruising imperiously past defending champion Petra Kvitova and then an on-song Victoria Azarenka without dropping a set. Integral to her progress has been the serve - she has hit 85 aces in the tournament, with 24 of these coming against Azarenka - and Radwanska's success, or lack thereof, in returning it is likely to play a major role in the match's outcome.
Both of the pair's previous meetings have gone the way of Williams, although with each of these coming more than four years ago, it is unlikely to play too heavily on Radwanska's mind. Something which may, though, is the No.1 ranking; if Radwanska wins the final, she will leapfrog Azarenka and Maria Sharapova to the top of the rankings. And if she defeats Williams, few would argue she does not deserve it.
Radwanska: "I played Serena a couple of times, but it was long time ago. I didn't play her I think in last few years. But it's always tough. She's a very tough opponent and hitting the ball very well. Of course she's playing great tennis on the grass. I think I don't really have anything to lose, so just going to try my best."
Williams: "I have to go out there and win. Agnieszka has had a better year than I have. She's been way more consistent than me. She's done really well, so she's ranked higher than me. She deserves to be. You know, I have to go out there and fight for this. This is by no means going to be easy. Never, ever do I underestimate any opponent. She's out there to try to do her best."
Road To The Final
First Round: d. Magdalena Rybarikova, 63 63 (1:37)
Second Round: d. Elena Vesnina, 62 61 (0:56)
Third Round: d. Heather Watson, 60 62 (0:58)
Fourth Round: d. Camila Giorgi, 62 63 (1:06)
Quarterfinals: d. Maria Kirilenko, 75 46 75 (2:50)
Semifinals: d. Angelique Kerber, 63 64 (1:10)
First Round: d. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 62 64 (1:20)
Second Round: d. Melinda Czink, 61 64 (1:01)
Third Round: d. Zheng Jie, 67(5) 62 97 (2:28)
Fourth Round: d. Yaroslava Shvedova, 61 26 75 (1:54)
Quarterfinals: d. Petra Kvitova, 63 75 (1:24)
Semifinals: d. Victoria Azarenka, 63 76(6) (1:36)