Radwanska overpowers Zvonareva in Tokyo final
Tokyo: Poland`s Agnieszka Radwanska upset Russian fourth seed Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2 to claim the biggest title of her career at the Pan Pacific Open on Saturday.
The 22-year-old, seeded ninth at the 2.05 million dollar event, started slowly when she dropped the first two games but roared back to win the next five as Zvonareva prowled the baseline muttering angrily to herself.
Once Radwanska had taken the opening set on a huge forehand down the line, she came out with all guns blazing in the second and wrapped up a dominant victory by forcing Zvonareva into another wild forehand error after just one hour and 15 minutes.
"It doesn`t matter how sore I was from a lot of tough matches," Radwanska told reporters. "Today was a final.”
The Pole, who had come through three full-set matches in a row to win the first prize of 360,000 dollars, choked back tears of joy during a courtside interview.
"It was a perfect match for me," she said. "If you don`t play high percentage and your best against Vera you have no chance. I didn`t expect to beat a great player like her 6-3, 6-2.”
"I was nervous at the start but I`m happy I woke up very quickly," Radwanska added after winning her sixth career title and second of 2011.
"I was very focused from start to finish."
Zvonareva was unable to explain her flat performance.
"I started well then suddenly I felt like I wasn`t the same person," she said with a shrug. "I don`t know what happened. It was like someone turned off a button and it wasn`t me on the court anymore."
Radwanska agreed her win demonstrated there was greater depth to women`s tennis than in recent years when it was dominated by Serena and Venus Williams or Belgians Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters.
Czech Petra Kvitova winning Wimbledon and Australia`s Samantha Stosur`s U.S. Open breakthrough underlined the game`s strength in depth, the former reaching the Pan Pacific semi-finals while latter fell at the first hurdle.
World number one Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova were also early casualties.
"In women`s tennis anything can happen," said Radwanska. "It is not just here but you see big-name players losing at grand slams.
"It`s not like it used to be when there were only three or four players winning slams. Now the top 15-20 all have the chance. It`s just the mental side."