BEIJING • Polish tennis player Agnieszka Radwanska's hopes of qualifying for the WTA Finals in Singapore were pegged back yesterday, when she lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Spain's Garbine Muguruza in the semi-finals of the China Open.
Radwanska, who would have qualified for the Oct 23-Nov 1 season ender for a fifth straight year had she won the title in Beijing, will now attempt to do so at this week's Tianjin Open.
"I'm still chasing Singapore," the former world No. 2 said. "So Tianjin, and Moscow, as well."
There are still five WTA Finals singles places up for grabs, with only Simona Halep, Maria Sharapova and Muguruza having qualified so far.
Rising star Muguruza will move from No. 5 to a new career high of No. 4 in the world rankings following her win.
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She is also close to claiming the biggest title of her career, after clinching her lone WTA title - the Hobart International-level - last year.
Awaiting her in today's Beijing final is No. 12 seed Timea Bacsinszky, who beat Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 in the other semi-final yesterday.
Muguruza registered her fourth win in a row over Radwanska. The Spaniard powered to an early 4-2 lead, before Radwanska reeled off four games in a row to claim the first set 6-4.
Then Muguruza effected the big turnaround by reeling off 11 of the next 15 games to not only take the second set 6-3 but also build a 5-1 lead in the third.
Radwanska won the next three games in a row to make it 5-4. She even had a point for 5-all, but blew it. Muguruza sealed the victory after two hours and 13 minutes.
"I know Aga is an amazing player, so I knew I had to concentrate and focus all the time and try to be more ready in the important moments," said Muguruza.
On Friday, Taiwanese sisters Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan became the seventh doubles team to qualify for the WTA Finals, with one spot remaining.