Konta dazzles to win Sydney title
Johanna Konta produced a masterful performance to dismiss Agnieszka Radwanska and claim her first Apia International Sydney title.
Johanna Konta on Friday night won her second WTA title after overwhelming world No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska in the final of the Apia International.
The crowd were treated to a jaw-dropping display of powerful, athletic tennis under lights from the Brit, who dismissed the second seed 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 22 minutes.
It was Konta’s first win over Radwanska, a victory that will see her climb to world No.9 when the new rankings are released on Monday.
Konta, who won her first WTA title in Stanford last July, did not drop a set in five matches this week in Sydney.
“I think I’m just overall happy with how I was able to progress throughout this tournament,” Konta reflected.
“I felt each match that I was playing I was thinking a little more clearly and was, just, I guess, getting that much more match-tight, as the saying is.
“But overall, very happy with the match I played today. I really felt I definitely maintained a high level throughout and I made it very difficult for her to do much today.
“Going into any match against Aga – I played her twice before – I knew it had to be nothing short of what it was today if I was to have a chance of coming through.”
After Radwanska began the match with a confident hold, Konta dominated. She won the next three games against the frustrated Pole, who looked slightly out of sorts and unable to wield her patented racquet magic.
Konta, on the other hand, was doing everything right.
She set up many points with powerful first serves, took decisive cuts at Radwanska’s anaemic delivery and frequently scored the first strike in rallies.
Radwanska struggled to read Konta’s serve and control her own returns, and soon the Brit has pocketed the first set.
The second was even more one-sided.
Konta, holding break point in the opening game, erred in her judgement when she left a gettable lob from Radwanska and it floated in.
Yet it was quickly forgotten. Konta brought up a second with a running passing shot winner and then forced an error from Radwanska thanks to a powerful return, to break.
Executing powerfully and relentlessly from the baseline, Konta built a 4-0 lead, and aced Radwanska to make it 5-1.
Two games later, she showed only one sign of nerves, when, on her first match point, she played a panicky drop shot that missed the mark.
Yet again, she never let this lapse derail her. She forced an error with a heavy forehand to gain a second championship point, and sealed victory with an ace.
It marked Radwanska’s only loss in her last seven WTA finals over an 18-month period.
“She was just playing unbelievable tennis from the beginning till the end,” Radwanska said.
“Normally you’re thinking on the court that she can’t play like this whole match and it’s gonna be even game or two that, you know, you can go forward because she’s gonna have some worse couple of games. But she didn’t.
“She was just playing whole match so aggressive with pretty much everything in, and I couldn’t do much.”