Radwanska wins Miami title with upset of Sharapova
By Bill Scott Mar 31, 2012, 18:55 GMT
Miami - Agnieszska Radwanska defeated world number two Maria Sharapova 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday to win the Miami Masters for the first time.
Radwanska, the fifth seed from Poland, rode out the storm from the aggressive Sharapova, who held a 7-1 lead in their series going into the finale and had not lost to the Pole since 2007.
The loss was the fourth for Sharapova in a final at Crandon Park and duplicated the Russian's defeat a year ago in the title match to Victoria Azarenka.
Radwanska earned her second trophy of the season after winning Dubai last month. She holds a 26-4 record this season, with all four of her defeats coming against number one Azarenka.
'It's just a great feeling to beat those kind of players, especially in the final and playing great tennis,' said Radwanska, whose career record in finals stands an impressive 9-2. 'I'm happy to be playing some of my best tennis.
'I really played well today from the beginning till the end. I was focusing on my serve, and I'm very happy I didn't lose it. That was actually I think the key on this match.
'I went on court against a really good player, top player, second in the world right now. And I had pretty much nothing to lose,' added the 23-year-old whose nervous coach-father left Miami before the final and expected to be informed of the outcome by text.
Sharapova was playing in her second straight Masters final after losing a fortnight ago in Indian Wells to Azarenka. She had been bidding for a 25th title from 40 finals.
'It feels tough now just now, it's not the easiest thing in the world,' said the losing finalist. 'But of course, these last two tournaments (Indian Wells and Miami) are always the toughest just because they're so close together and playing six matches in an event.
'Obviously I would have loved to be the winner, but that's just the way it goes.'
Radwanska completed her run to the title without dropping a set and avenged her most recent loss to Sharapova, which came in the Roland Garros fourth round last year.
The patient Pole struck a mere six winners and committed a dozen unforced errors in her victory in one and three-quarter hours. Sharapova, by contrast went for her shots throughout, slumping to 25 unforced errors in an opening set which lasted for 57 minutes.
In the same set, Radwanska managed a single winner, but took the early lead on her third set point with a break of the Russian.
Sharapova got out of jail in the eighth game of the second, after a pair of double-faults put her into a 0-30 position. The three-time Grand Slam champion then steadied to hold, 4-4.
Radwanska had the final word as she reached a pair of match points two games later on the Sharapova serve and claimed victory on the first form a forehand long.
Radwanska joins Azarenka (four titles) as this season's only multiple title winner. The Pole improved to 4-12 versus the world top two, after beating then number one Caroline Wozniacki at Sydney in January.
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