Thursday, January 12, 2017

Strycova rallies past Wozniacki in a thriller, Radwanska secures the last semifinal spot at Apia International Sydney 2017

Aga Radwanska secured the last spot in the semifinals by defeating Ying-Ying Duan in straight sets 6-3 6-2. In a rematch of the last week first round match at Shenzhen Open, where the Polish saved 3 match points, Radwanska played a more solid and consistent game against the qualifier. "Sometimes you play people two or three weeks in a row, like Caroline and I had last year in Asia, but I'm definitely more happy with this performance than in Shenzhen." During the first half of the first set, the players exchanged some breaks of serve and from 3-all, the world nº3 took control of the game and won the next 9 of 11 games to close the match after one hour and 20 minutes. The Polish was quite pleased with her performance and more satisfied that her match was scheduled for the evening session, avoiding the heat. "I was warming up at 4 pm and it was still very hot, so I was a little bit lucky to play this evening. I was watching the first match here and it was unbelievably hot - the guys were playing amazingly". After the victory, in her on-court interview, Agnieszka declared that she´s just happy to be through in another semifinal in Sydney "It's another semifinal here, so I'm very happy with that."

In the first match of the day,  Barbora Zahlavova Strycova rallies past Caroline Wozniacki in an epic thriller match 7-5 6-7 6-4. Strycova started strong by leading 4-2, but the Dane recovered the break by leveling the score at 5-5. The next two games the Czech played more accurate and secured the first set. In the second set, it was the opposite, Wozniacki was the better player to start and led by 3-0, but some minutes after she found herself a game from being out of the tournament. Somehow, she found her best tennis to show an impressive comeback in the tiebreak by being down 0-5 and won the next 8 of 9 points to level the match. The decider featured 5 breaks of serve, and despite the fact that the former world Nº1 was 3-1 up, the veteran proved why she is one of the most difficult players to beat by turning the set and the match in her favor after 3 hours and 27 minutes. "At the beginning of the third set, I was down and not moving very well. But then I was saying to myself, keep going. Don't say anything. Don't be negative. Just play point by point. That actually helped me. And I was playing very well when it was 3-3, the game, even I lost it. And then I was confident in finding a way to finish it." In her on-court interview, she found resources to show her sense of humor and joked that after such a tough battle she can eat whatever she wants "On the positive side of things, I can eat whatever I want now because I have burned a lot of calories today!" 

So, in the first semifinal of Apia International Sydney 2017, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova will face Agnieszka Radwanska. The match is scheduled for tomorrow, not before 4 pm local time on Ken Rosewall Arena. 

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