Radwanska defeats Zvonareva for Tokyo title
TOKYO (AP)—Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland overcame a slow start on Saturday to beat Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Pan Pacific Open.
The ninth-seeded Radwanska was down 2-0 early at Ariake Colosseum but stormed back to win the first set on the back of Zvonareva’s 22 unforced errors.
“I was a little bit nervous at first,” Radwanska said. “Those first two games went by so fast, I was just trying to do my best. I’m just happy that I woke up quickly and won the first set.”
Zvonareva came back from a 5-1 deficit against Petra Kvitova in Friday’s semifinals but couldn’t stage another turnaround in the final.
Radwanska broke Zvonareva twice to take a 5-2 lead. Zvonareva held to win the eighth game but Radwanska closed out the first set on another error from the Russian.
The fourth-seeded Zvonareva struggled with her serve, double faulting five times. She broke Radwanska to win the sixth game of the second set to make it 4-2 but any chance of a comeback was dashed when Radwanska broke back in the next game.
“I felt like I started out well and then something happened,” Zvonareva said. “It was not me on the court anymore. I will think about it and try to figure out what happened but it’s one of those things that can happen to anyone.”
Radwanska won her first singles title in three years when she defeated Zvonareva at Carlsbad in August. She also beat the Russian player in the third round at the Rogers Cup in Toronto the week after Carlsbad.
With Saturday’s win, Radwanska still has a chance to reach the WTA Championships which begin on Oct. 25 in Istanbul, Turkey.
“Before here, I didn’t have really big chances because I was around 14th,” Radwanska said. “I just knew that I had to play really well here and in Beijing just to have a chance. Now, for sure my chances are much bigger to go so I will fight to the end.”
The top eight singles players qualify for the WTA Championships. Radwanska is projected to move up to 12th in the rankings after her win here.
In the doubles final, Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond of the United States beat Italy’s Flavia Pennetta and Gisela Dulko of Argentina 7-6 (4), 0-6, 10-6.