Friday 23 February 2018

Agnieszka Radwanska cruises into semis after crushing Li Na

Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland keeps her eyes on the ball during her women's quarter-final
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland keeps her eyes on the ball during her women's quarter-final

Paul Hirst

Agnieszka Radwanska maintained the feel-good factor surrounding Polish tennis after she saved four set points before winning a tie-break to hit the front in her Wimbledon quarter-final against Li Na.

Having seen compatriots Jerzy Janowicz and Lukasz Kubot make the last eight of the men's draw yesterday, the focus was on Radwanska today and the fourth seed eventually delivered after a roller coaster first set on Centre Court.

Li drew first blood, breaking to move 1-0 up with less than one minute on the clock.

Radwanska, who was runner-up to Serena Williams last year, hit back immediately when Li netted a forehand following a tense rally.

Radwanska, the highest-ranked seed left in the draw, spurned two break points in the eighth game and Li took full advantage, sending down a forehand winner off Radwanska's serve to move 5-4 ahead.

The Chinese had four chances to finish the set off, but she wasted them all and Radwanska broke back to level at 5-5.

Radwanska earned two set points in an error-strewn tie-break and she took the first one available to win the set 7-5 before rain briefly interrupted play.

Radwanska wasted little time in stamping her authority on the second set.

Li saved one break point in the third game with a big backhand winner, but the Chinese could not rescue a second break point when she netted.

Li, wearing heavy strapping on her right knee, tried to vary her game in order to break back, coming to the net on several occasions, but the tactic did not work.

That was until the eighth game, when Li ventured off the baseline to convert her first break point of the set with a smash.

Radwanska had a chance to regain the break straight away, but this time Li kept her cool and opened up an angle to send down a forehand winner.

Radwanska then buckled under pressure, losing the set 6-4.

Serving to stay in the set, the Pole offered up two break points and, unlike in the opener, Li grasped the opportunity with both hands, forcing Radwanska to net after pinning her to the baseline with a powerful forehand.

Radwanska then called for a medical time-out as she received treatment on court for an injury to her right leg.

Press Association

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