Email
Print
Email
Print

Agnieszka Radwanska dazzles in quarterfinal win over Victoria Azarenka

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font
Agnieszka Radwanska gave no opportunity for Victoria Azarenka to come back in the third set. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Agnieszka Radwanska gave no opportunity for Victoria Azarenka to come back in the third set. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Agnieszka Radwanska unveiled her best tennis to knock out two-time defending champion, Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 to advance to her first Australian Open semifinal. The win snapped Radwanska’s seven-match losing streak to Azarenka, who had won their last 12 sets dating back to the 2012 quarterfinals here in Melbourne.

Three thoughts on Radwanska’s stunning and crowd-pleasing win:

Highlights from Agnieszka Radwanska’s victory over Victoria Azarenka

Radwanska played the perfect match: Stat sheets don’t have a column for the number of “oohs”, “aahs” and “Oh no she di’n’t!” heard during the match. If they did, then Radwanska’s 23 winners to just 15 unforced errors would seem far more impressive than they initially seem. But Radwanska came out right from the start and played contained, error-free tennis to put the onus on Azarenka to be the aggressor. It was clear from the start that the defending champion wasn’t feeling her shots today and as the match wore on, Radwanska tightened the screws. The shots off her racket became more unpredictable and the placement more uncomfortable, and when Azarenka tried to make her move to break Radwanska’s serve, she stood tall.

Azarenka brought this loss on herself: You can’t make 47 unforced errors against a player of Radwanska’s caliber, who retrieves incredibly well and can kill you by a thousand paper cuts. Azarenka’s forehand in particular let her down, as she fired 21 errors from that wing and let Radwanska off the hook far too many times. But perhaps the most surprising stat of the match is that Azarenka was able to break Radwanska’s soft serve just twice, both in the second set. That’s a clear signal that Azarenka, one of the most consistent returners in the game, was having an off day. She couldn’t put enough pressure on Radwanska’s serve — Azarenka earned just five break points in the two hour match — allowing the Pole to relax and let her artistry flow. And boy, did she ever.

WERTHEIM: Radwanska took down Azarenka with her wit, cunning and craft

Azarenka tapped out in the third set: During Azarenka’s ascendency to the top of the game in the last two years, she’s been credited for her improved on-court maturity. That all went into the Yarra River the minute things weren’t going well for her today. The crowd at Rod Laver Arena let out some boos as they watched her let out blood-curdling screams, slam balls towards the backstop and just couldn’t get out of her own negative headspace. A defending champion going out 6-0 in the final set is a pretty disappointing effort. Then again, as her t-shirt read as she came into her post-match press conference: “Deal with it.”

  • Published On Jan 21, 2014
  • 27 comments
    medgabite
    medgabite

    It is about time these women came up with a formula to win against the power hitters...took long enough.  Problem is - they are weak.  One or two of the women players are  is going to come up with a power/slice/ground stroke combo...and they all will be stunted on the sidelines again waiting for an injury or luck. 

    bongturk
    bongturk

    Great match for Aga. Vika is a one shriek pony. When the go for the lines and hit out on every shot doesn't work she has no plan B. She wasn't even smart enough to take something off her first serve which she missed throughout the match. She never seems able to think or adjust out there at all. Thankfully we won't have to listen to that caterwalling in the next two rounds. Now if we could just figure a way to muzzle Chris Evert. 

    RonReaves
    RonReaves

    Hey Courtney??? That tweet you posted that said "Aga gon' get whooped".  Umm....EPIC FAIL!!!!

    Vinny Cordoba
    Vinny Cordoba

    Serena? Check. Djoker? Check. Vika? Check. This is like the Australian Open from Heaven.

    dami1
    dami1

    My godness what a game Agnieszka has produced.. What a joy to see class and intelligence win over an other nag screaming player, that is so rare, we got to enjoy it !-D

    Marco2
    Marco2

    The last (and one of the worst) of the tormenting shriekers is gone.  Hallelujah.  Hope that Radwanska and Bouchard get to the finals.  I will have to watch some of the tennis now as it will no longer be torture to watch.

    spystud
    spystud

    Aga's highlight reel for this match alone will be 15 minutes long. That was insane.

    MarcoZ
    MarcoZ

    @bongturkI agree with your comment about Chris Evert.  She seems overly defensive about women's tennis.  Every time there was an unforced error, particularly by Azarenka, Evert makes an incredulous argument about why it wasn't an unforced error but something the opponent did to cause the unforced error.  Annoying.

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @bongturk Yes, it was lovely to see the shrieker lose. maybe, if she did not make so much noise, she could concentrate, better??? if that is possible for her!!!???

    SI_BTBaseline
    SI_BTBaseline moderator

    @RonReaves Can you fault me? Beatdown city their last six meetings. Huge credit to Radwanska. 

    Ace2020
    Ace2020

    @Vinny Cordoba You are a troll who knows nothing about tennis. Nadal is a cheat, fakes injuries and wins due to opponents UE. No wonder you are delighted Djoker got knocked out, gives the thug an easy chance. Learn about tennis and you would support any of these people before him, except Serena who is just as classless.

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @Marco2 yes, vikashrieker is gone, amen, as is SCREAMAPOVA. what a blessing. it was lovely to hear or not hear aga, who was so QUIET!!!!!!!!!

    spystud
    spystud

    @Marco2 Does your remote/computer not have a volume control?  A mute button?  Hard to call yourself much of a tennis fan if you didn't watch two of the top 5 women on this planet play a quarterfinal Slam match. 

    Vinny Cordoba
    Vinny Cordoba

    @Ace2020, yeah, Ace, Nadal has a real easy road now that the Serbian ham is out. Oh, except that he's 22-17 lifetime against the Djoker, and he's won 6 of his last 9 matches against your hero. Oops.....



    pk_sea
    pk_sea

    @Ace2020 @Vinny Cordoba Nadal is not a cheat. The only thing dirty about Nadal is his fingers from picking his butt before every serve. 

    jdane
    jdane

    @Ace2020 @Vinny Cordoba Right.  Nadal is a bad tennis player.   As only acute observers of the finer points of tennis like yourself seem to know.

    Vinny Cordoba
    Vinny Cordoba

    @cleopatra209, nice use of the ALL CAPS. And the EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!! Really drives your point home.

    Marco2
    Marco2

    @spystud I was a big tennis fan years ago, but choose not to support the WTA/ATA when they allow this obnoxious (to the players and fans) form of cheating to continue.  I will watch games where there is not all the grunting (like Nadal) and shrieking (ie Azarenka & Sharapova).  To watch a game on mute is to take away half of the beauty of the game, such as the strike of the ball with the racket . . 

    I'lll ask you one question?  Why is it that the fans (who pay admission to these events and pay the salaries of these players) are not allowed to say a word during play, yet those like Azarenka are allowed disturb play with their nauseous screams on every stroke

    My solution is simple.  Let the fans chant scream and shout all they want.  There is no reason, if the shrieks do not hinder play, that the fans being vocal should interfere with the play.  This would also have the benefit of drowning out an Azarenka.  Until there is a change I will not be attending events or watching tennis as fervently as I used to watch events.

     That said I look forward to watching the upcoming matches, including the match that will have the wonderful play from Aga and Boucher in their semifinal matches.


    SteveTheim
    SteveTheim

    @spystud@Marco2 He didn't call himself "much of a tennis fan", but simply wants to enjoy a game with volume and without having to compromise this due to a screeching fool.

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @spystud as i recall, you called me a troll. so, your comment is a reflection of you. TROLL!!!

    spystud
    spystud

    @cleopatra209 Wiki:  In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. 

    I do not post off-topic, I post about tennis.  I do not follow you around to make up nicknames every single time you post.  That's your gig.  You got your feelings hurt a couple weeks ago & still have not let it go.