Agnieszka Radwanska was the protagonist in two longest matches of the 2012 WTA Championships. After defeating defending champion Petra Kvitova at the opening of the $4,900,000 tournament, the Pole toiled for three hours and 12 minutes before losing to Maria Sharapova 5-7 7-5 7-5 past 2 a.m. on Wednesday night, while today she ensured a semifinal clash with lethal Serena Williams, by working for three hours and 29 minutes to defeat first-time qualifier Sara Errani 6-7(6) 7-5 6-4. It is actually the longest best-of-three-set match in the year-end Championships ever!
Errani has yet again failed to beat a Top 5 player and now her record against the elite is 0-23, even though her own ranking is No.7. Today’s marathon contained 18 breaks of serve, four in the first set and seven in the second and third sets. After clinching a see-saw first set in the tiebreak, Errani opened the second set with a 2-0 lead. Radwanska approached, though, and held multiple break points at 4-all. Errani saved them all, but Radwanska won the next three games at love and another three to build a 3-0 lead (two breaks) in the third set. Errani returned one break of serve and an abnormal series of breaks continued before Errani finally held to get closer to Radwanska, 4-5, but the Pole also held her serve this time, celebrating on the first match point.
Radwanska’s prospects are not bright for tomorrow’s semifinal against Serena. Radwanska is exhausted, while Serena is on fire, practically unbeatable anyway. (photo: Ralf Reinecke)