Radwanska wakes up in time to reach final

ESPN staff
May 25, 2012
Agnieszka Radwanska was 5-1 down in the first © Getty Images

World No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska recovered from a highly concerning start to advance to the final of the Brussels Open on Friday.

Radwanska found herself 5-1 down in the first set against semi-final opponent Kaia Kanepi, who looked more at ease with the pace of the court in the early stages. However, aided by a string of double-faults from her rival, Radwanska fought back to eventually secure a 7-6(8) 6-3 victory.

The name of Radwanska has been the theme of this week's tournament. Agnieszka is the tournament's top seed and favourite to lift the title, while the younger Urszula knocked out second seed Marion Bartoli earlier in the competition.

On Friday another shock looked on the cards as Kanepi raced out of the blocks, breaking twice as she applied crushing pressure to the Agnieszka first serve. At 5-1 the set looked to be heading the Estonian's way, but then she suffered an attack of nerves.

Five double-faults in the set helped Radwanska find her feet, breaking back twice to force the tiebreaker. Even then it was tight, but with Kanepi taking six of 17 points on her second delivery Radwanska stole the set 10-8 in the breaker.

Kanepi had plenty of opportunities in the second set too, breaking once and creating ten chances in total. She could not capitalise though as the scores advanced to 4-3 before Radwanska broke again, winning 11 of 13 points on her rival's second serve as she completed victory in nine minutes shy of two hours.

Radwanska will play Simona Halep in Saturday's final after the Romanian defeated Sofia Arvidsson 6-4 6-3 in the second semi. Halep broke six times to deservedly book her place in the weekend showpiece.

The final of the Internationaux de Strasbourg will see former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone take on Alize Cornet.

Schiavone was at ease against Sloane Stephens in a 7-5 6-1 triumph, while Cornet came from a set down to beat Pauline Parmentier 4-6 6-1 6-3.

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