BEIJING, China - Agnieszka Radwanska blazed past Angelique Kerber to reach the China Open semis. Two more wins and she's into the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
It's one of the closest rivalries in women's tennis - going into their quarterfinal clash in the Chinese capital they were a dead even 5-5 head-to-head, and Kerber had actually won their last two.
But this one, their 11th career meeting, was all Radwanska - the No.4-seeded Pole raced through the opening set in just 26 minutes, 6-1, and after falling behind 3-0 in the second set reeled off six of the next seven games to move smoothly through in straight sets over the No.10-seeded German, 6-1, 6-4.
The stat of the match? Radwanska made four - just four - unforced errors, and hit 11 winners.
Kerber, meanwhile, had beefier but less tidy numbers, hitting 22 winners to 26 unforced errors.
"We've known each other for years. Obviously we just played in Stanford, actually a pretty long and tight match. I didn't really expect a shorter match today," Radwanska said. "But I think I was doing everything right today. I was handling all the tough conditions well. I started pretty well, too.
"Just a few games slipped away in that second set, but I was still playing my tennis anyway."
Radwanska is now two wins away from qualifying for the WTA Finals - if she wins Beijing, she's in.
And if her play in the second half of the season is anything to go by, she just might make it - having gone 15-13 from January to May, Radwanska has put together an impressive 28-9 record since June.
"It's definitely been an up and down season, a little bit, especially at the beginning of the year. I wasn't getting the results I wanted - that was a little bit frustrating, as well," Radwanska said. "And the clay court season is never great for me either, so I wasn't really surprised it went that way on clay.
"But I did much, much better in the grass court season. I had a couple of good results there. I think that helped me to be where I am right now - I have more confidence, and I have a better ranking.
"I still have a chance to go to Singapore, too - I'm still fighting for that."
? WTA (@WTA) October 9, 2015