Radwanska tops Sharapova for title at Sony Ericsson

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jul 16, 2012 in Rat News | Subscribe

Agnieszka Radwanska, having just collected her $712,000 paycheck and trophy Saturday, said there were only two drawbacks to winning the Sony Ericsson Open women’s title 7-5, 6-4 over favorite Maria Sharapova.

She was so busy winning matches over the past two weeks she didn’t have time to go shopping; and by unexpectedly making it to the final, she and her father had to keep changing their return flight to Poland.

“But this is a good problem, right?” the 23-year-old said, smiling. “My father was supposed to leave Thursday or Friday, and he changed. I changed couple of times. It’s good this way and not the opposite way, right, if you have [a flight] for Sunday and you leave early and change for Tuesday. This is a good problem to have, to be playing every day.”

Her father, Robert, chose to keep his Saturday morning flight, so he did not get to see his fourth-ranked daughter win her biggest title to date. But a sold out Stadium Court and TV viewers watched as the Martina Hingis-like point-constructor unhinged Sharapova with her court geometry. Sharapova committed 45 unforced errors compared with 10 for Radwanska. Sharapova is more comfortable in a baseline slugfest, and Radwanska never let her find her comfort zone.

Radwanksa was 1-7 against the tall Russian heading into Saturday’s match, her only win in the third round of the 2007 U.S. Open. That is a match Sharapova would rather forget.

Sharapova was the defending champion at the time, the sport’s “It” girl. Radwanska was an unknown 18-year-old from Poland, ranked No. 30 in the world, wearing braces, and giggling about her pet rats, Flippy and Floppy. Sharapova made a lot of mistakes, and the teen knocked her off in three sets.

Radwanska is more grown up now. No more braces. No more Flippy and Floppy. But one thing hasn’t changed. She still is a shopaholic, with a particular affinity for handbags. When she beat Sharapova at that U.S. Open, she bought her sister a Louis Vuitton handbag to pay off a bet. When she won a tournament in Tokyo last year, her first purchase was an expensive purse.

She said she plans to do some shopping in Miami on Sunday before she heads home.

Sharapova, meanwhile, leaves Key Biscayne a frustrated runner-up for the fourth time. She also made the finals in 2005, 2006 and 2011. The world No. 2 is 0 for 3 in finals this season, having finished runner-up at the Australian Open and in Indian Wells, Calif., both times to top-ranked Victoria Azarenka.

Asked if experience makes it any easier to accept the runner-up trophy, Sharapova said: “It’s always tough because you do a really good job to get there. She played extremely well, was very consistent, got that extra ball back and I made that extra mistake. She didn’t give me many errors. When I had my chances at break point, I didn’t take them. When she had them, she did.”

She was particularly disappointed she didn’t capitalize on Radwanska’s less-powerful serves.

“It was just one of those days,” Sharapova said. “I definitely didn’t return well. When I did have second-serve opportunities, she’s serving at 70 miles per hour, and I’m not winning those points, there’s something wrong with that. I should have won a lot of those points, and I just didn’t.”

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