• Wimbledon, Day 11

Radwanska into final after ending Kerber's dreams

ESPN staff
July 5, 2012

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Agnieszka Radwanska booked her place in her maiden grand slam final with an impressive victory over Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon on Thursday.

The world No. 3, who has never previously been beyond the quarter-finals of a grand slam, will return to Centre Court for Saturday's final after defeating Kerber in straight sets, 6-3 6-4.

She will now face Serena Williams in the final, after the four-time champion ended Victoria Azarenka's hopes in a two-set slugfest.

"I'm so happy. I really played very good today," Radwanska told the BBC afterwards. "I had a tough quarter-final and it was good to have a day off and rest because it's always tough against Angie."

It was a deserved win for Radwanska, who took an hour and ten minutes to become the first Pole since 1937 to reach the final at the All England Club.

Although she dropped an early break to her German opponent, she rallied back and dominated almost every rally from that point onwards as Kerber employed some impressive recovery shots to stay in the contest.

With both players having never previously gone beyond the semi-finals of such a big event before, nerves understandably played a part in the opening passages of play. It was Kerber who managed to keep a lid on her emotions, as she exploited Radwanska's wilder shots to move 3-1 ahead with a break early on.

Radwanska can become world No. 1 with a victory this weekend, however, and she gave an illustration of the ability she holds as she roared back - breaking twice in succession to claim the first set with five games won in a row.

The second stanza was a more competitive affair but it followed the same pattern - with Radwanska bossing the exchanges with her groundstrokes and Kerber dashing around behind the baseline in a bid to get the ball back in play.

The German was valiant but her efforts ultimately proved in vain, as Radwanska picked up the early break she needed and fended off any subsequent challenges on her serve - she was asked to save just one important break point - as a lobbed return from a stretching Kerber landed wide and ultimately confirmed Radwanska's triumph.

"We both were a bit nervous at the beginning, of course," Radwanska noted. "You really want to try your best but sometimes you want it too much and your hands are shaking about, but after that I concentrated on every point."

Jadwiga Jedrzejowska was the last Pole to reach the final at Wimbledon, 75 years ago. On that occasion she lost in three sets to Britain's Dorothy Pound.

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