WTA Sydney: Agnieszka Radwanska outclasses Barbora Strycova

Agnieszka Radwanska closes in on second Sydney International crown

Britain's Johanna Konta, who this time past year was barely ranked inside the Top 50, continued her ascension up the WTA rankings on Friday in Australia with the title at the Apia International Sydney where she beat Agnieszka Radwanska in the final 6-4, 6-2. In the third game she jumped on top of a respectable serve to capture a break, and while this advantage did not last long her relentless aggression soon began to overwhelm Bouchard.

One match point came and went due to an errant drop shot, but she sealed victory in emphatic fashion with an ace out wide to warm up for next week's Australian Open in ideal fashion. "I think it just suits my game", Radwanska said. "I played her twice before, lost twice, so hopefully I'll do a better job".

"Well done Jo, it was unbelievable tennis today, I couldn't have played any better", she said.

Time was when she would have flinched when serving out the match, but two aces - one on her second match point and her seventh of the match - secured the win. But she didn't. She was just playing the whole match so aggressive, with pretty much everything in, and I couldn't do much.

She got another game on the board but it was not enough to deny Konta a shot at her first silverware of 2017.

Rick Rycroft  AP

"I felt each match that I was playing I was thinking a little more clearly and was getting that much more match-tight, as the saying is". Radwanska continued to stroll through the start of the encounter as she consolidated the break of service with a comfortable hold of serve which extended and affirmed her lead in the scoreboard.

The 27-year-old Radwanska, twice a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park, admitted she had been powerless to prevent the Briton claiming the title the Pole had previously won in 2013.

She will contest her first WTA main-draw semifinal on Friday against Croatian qualifier Jana Fett, who beat Paraguay's Veronica Cepede Royg 6-1 6-4 to reach the final four.

Sydney-born Englishwoman Johanna Konta has enjoyed plenty of success down under, kick-starting her career in last year's open by reaching the semi-finals. "I really felt I definitely maintained a high level throughout and I made it very hard for her to do much today".

Spurred on by a partisan crowd - "it's a bit like playing Fed Cup", Konta commented to her coach Wim Fissette at one on-court coaching break - the Sydney-born Brit stayed calm against the World No.3, who'd never defeated in their previous encounters.

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