The smartest tennis player of the world women’s tennis Agnieszka Radwanska reached the semi-finals after the victory over Victoria Azarenka. Azarenka’s 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 loss in exactly two hours means the top three women’s seeds are all out at the season’s first Grand Slam tennis tournament. Top-seeded Serena Williams of the U.S. and No. 3 Maria Sharapova of Russia were fourth-round losers.
The very good analysis of the match and situation at the Australian Open was made in an article “Agnieszka Radwanska beats Victoria Azarenka at Australian Open” by Margie McDonald, The Australian.
The upsets keep hitting Rod Laver Arena and the Australian Open like earthquake aftershocks with women’s defending champion Victoria Azarenka being beaten by Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanksa.
While it might feel like a bolt of lightning striking twice after Novak Djokovic, the men’s defending champion, was startled on court by Stanislas Wawrinka last night, Radwanska is no novice.
She is the world No. 5 so defeating the world No. 2 is not unsurprising. But the manner was definitely out of the blue, with a final scoreline of 6-1 5-7 6-0.
Azarenka, who has won the last two Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cups, now completes the top three seeds tumbling out of Melbourne. First it was world No. 1 Serena Williams on Sunday and then Maria Sharapova on Monday – both in the fourth round.
Radwanska on paper was not meant to win. She had a 3-12 win-loss against the Belarussian, including losing the last seven.
“It’s always hard because I lost against her so many times. I had to play aggressive and go for every shot I could. That’s what I tried to do and I think it was working today,” Radwanska said.
She had reached the quarters-finals in Melbourne three times in a row before today. But she does have grand slam final experience, losing in three sets to Williams two years ago at Wimbledon.
“For sure the best quarter-final I’ve played … I’ve played a few here,” she told the crowd today.
“One day I had to step up to get to the semi-final, so I’m so, so happy today was the day.”
Some of her shots were not only accurate but struck from almost impossible positions on court.
“I will be 25 years old in a couple of weeks so that’s 20 years on court – a lot of practice.”
Azarenka won only 14 points in the third set, and was broken three times.
“She was aggressive. She was making everything. She was guessing right,” Azarenka said. “I was just playing a little bit too predictably.
“In the second set I managed to fight back. Third set, the first game was important. I let it go, like easily let it go. From there just couldn’t get back to it. It was tough.”
Azarenka was booed late in the match, when she smashed a ball into the back of the court after another frustrating error. She screamed loudly after losing big points to the incredibly consistent Radwanska, punched her thigh and her racket and even slapped the court. Nothing worked to change her fortunes.
“I’m not happy with what I did today, but on the court I felt like I could have played a lot better,” Azarenka said. “I can’t take away what she’s done today. She played amazing.”
ESPN commentator and 18-time slam champion Chris Evert said she had never seen the Polish champion use so much crafty play to upset Azarenka.
“She (Victoria) just doesn’t have any answers. She’s not finding any holes in Radwanska’s game today because there aren’t any,” Evert said.
Now the women’s semi-finals are complete and none of the four remaining – Radwanska, Dominika Cibulkova, Li Na and Eugenie Bouchard – have ever won in Melbourne.
The most experienced player left in the draw, is three-time slam finalist Li, while the Quebec teenager treading new ground in her tennis career, is Eugenie Bouchard.
Thirty-one-year-old Li won the 2011 French Open and has finished up with the runners-up plate in Australia twice – in 2010 against Kim Clijsters and last year against Azarenka.
Bouchard, at just 19, is only in her fourth grand slam singles, with her best result up until this week being the third round at Wimbledon.
The last teenager to win play in a slam final was Caroline Wozniacki, who at 19 lost to Clijsters in the 2009 US Open.
Li and Bouchard also have a day’s rest between the quarters and semis. Cibulkova and Radwanska have to back up tomorrow.