MONTRÉAL, Canada - A day after the Williams sisters stole headlines around the world with a classic match-up in the semifinals, Agnieszka Radwanska snuck through the other half of the draw and snuck out the Rogers Cup title, beating Venus Williams in straight sets to conquer the Premier-level event.
Williams had wowed the crowds all week with some vintage play, pulling off come-from-behind wins against No.6 seed Angelique Kerber, No.14 seed Carla Suárez Navarro and - as mentioned above - No.1 seed Serena Williams, her first win over a World No.1 in more than five years. She had never won a match in Canada before, and the former No.1 was busting out north of the border in a big way.
But the No.3-seeded Radwanska was quietly beating a slew of big names herself this week, players who had given her big trouble in the past - Sabine Lisicki, Victoria Azarenka, Ekaterina Makarova - and though she trailed Williams in their head-to-head, 5-3, she had won their last two quite handily.
This one went in that same direction. From the start Radwanska had Williams on edge with her court craft and tireless retrieving, forcing Williams into error after error. There were times Williams looked like she would creep back into the match - she cut a 4-1 deficit in the first set to 4-3 and had points to make it 4-all, and after Radwanska moved ahead 2-0 in the second set Williams did catch up to 2-all.
But at the end of the day Radwanska was just too steady point to point and game to game, and after just an hour and 21 minutes the World No.5 had her first WTA title of the 2014 season, 6-4, 6-2.
The numbers for the match tell the story. While Williams' game went somewhat awry, 25 winners to 41 unforced errors, Radwanska was as tidy as could be with 12 winners to just eight unforced errors.
But Williams was still thrilled with her week and shared that with the fans at the trophy ceremony.
"First off I have to say wow, this is the first time I've ever won a match in Canada since I turned professional 20 years ago - I never imagined I would get to the finals of this tournament," Williams said.
"And I have to congratulate Agnieszka on a wonderful tournament and a wonderful final," she continued. "I can't wait until we play again - I'm sure that will be many, many times in the future."
The WTA legend then hinted she would even be back again in 2016.
"I'll see you soon - I guess in a couple of years, right?"
Radwanska echoed the compliments right back at Williams.
"Venus, I just want to say great match - not just today, but it was a whole week of great tennis," she said. "And I had a really amazing week this week too. I've been playing here for years, a couple of times I made the semifinals, and I kept trying and trying, and now I've finally done it.
"I've always liked Canada, but now I think I just love Canada."
Radwanska not only wins her first WTA title of the year, and the 14th WTA title of her career, she now jumps up from No.7 to No.3 on the Road To Singapore leaderboard, the year-long journey to the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, trailing Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep.
Woohoo ??? pic.twitter.com/S9vyWbQTxi
— Aga Radwanska (@ARadwanska) August 10, 2014