Tennis: Special moment for Radwanska, great week for Murray

A joyous Agnieszka Radwanska with her second China Open trophy after beating Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2.
A joyous Agnieszka Radwanska with her second China Open trophy after beating Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • Agnieszka Radwanska collected her 20th career WTA title after a dominant 6-4, 6-2 victory over Britain's Johanna Konta in the China Open tennis final yesterday.

Third seed Radwanska, the 2011 champion, did not drop a set on her run to the title and closed out her win over Konta in 1hr 36min.

Konta, who is guaranteed a top-10 spot when the new rankings are released today and is the first British woman to rise so high since Jo Durie in 1984, committed 34 unforced errors against Radwanska and struggled on serve.

The Pole finished with just eight unforced errors and wrapped up victory with an ace.

"It's a very special moment, third final and second title here. It was a really special week for me and it couldn't be any better," Radwanska told reporters after the match.

"Every title means a lot, but especially here when you play against the best players in the world, in one of the biggest tournaments. It's top players from the first round and I've been playing my best tennis all week."


Andy Murray's 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) win over Grigor Dimitrov in the China Open final gave him his fifth title of the year. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Konta, who was 146th in the world just 17 months ago, has continued a remarkable rise up the rankings despite her defeat.

On her main draw debut at this year's Australian Open, she became the first British woman to reach the last four of a Grand Slam in more than 30 years, but lost to eventual winner Angelique Kerber.

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She also earned her first WTA title at the Stanford Classic in July.

"I'm very pleased with my progress over the past few years and hopefully many more places to climb. I'm just working hard towards playing matches like these," Konta said.

It was the second time the pair have met after Radwanska beat the Briton in a two-hour, three-set battle in Cincinnati in August.

They may meet again in Singapore in a fortnight for the WTA Finals.

Title holder Radwanska, 27, has already qualified for the eight-player season finale, which follows a two-group round-robin format, while Konta is still chasing points to guarantee her maiden appearance at the elite event.

The 25-year-old is currently in eighth position but could be nudged out by Wuhan Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova, who is just 10 points behind her.

The Briton is playing in Hong Kong this week, hoping to rack up enough qualification points.

Later, in the men's final, Andy Murray beat Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to claim his fifth title of the year.

The world No. 2 lost six consecutive points in the second set to be pushed into a tie-break by the unseeded Bulgarian.

But Dimitrov was unable to hold his serve in the decider, conceding the title to the Scot 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).

"It was a great week for me," said the 29-year-old Murray.

"Today's match was very high level, Grigor fought right to the end and made it extremely tough to finish it in two sets.

"I've lost quite a few matches this year, but sure it has been the most consistent of my career.

"I've managed to get into the latter stages of most of the events that I've played."

Dimitrov, 25, added that Murray was "without a doubt one of the best competitors out there".

"Credit to him today," the Bulgarian said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2016, with the headline 'Special moment for Radwanska, great week for Murray'. Print Edition | Subscribe