Melbourne: – Fired-up fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska blasted into her fifth career Grand Slam semi-final Tuesday with a dominant straight-sets mauling of Carla Suarez at the Australian Open.
The Spanish 10th seed was no match for the popular and composed Pole whose never-say-die attitude helped her dictate the physical encounter and romp home 6-1, 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.
It is the 26-year-old’s second semi at Melbourne Park and she will play either world number one Serena Williams or fifth seed and former champion Maria Sharapova for a place in the final.
That pair take to the court later Tuesday, with Williams holding an ominous 17-0 record over the Russian dating back to 2004.
“I’m very very pleased, I knew it would be tough because she is solid, like all Spanish players,” said Radwanska.
“I tried to be aggressive and focused on my serve. I think I did a good job. I’m happy to be playing my best tennis every match.”
Radwanska, who is now on a 13-match win streak, including the Shenzhen Open title this month, had rallied back from the brink of defeat in the fourth round, but it was far easier on Tuesday.
– Rankings boost –
Both wearing pink, Radwanska coolly took an early advantage when Suarez hit a double fault to hand her a break point. A deep service return saw the Spaniard scoop a forehand wide to allow the Pole to go 1-0 up.
Ahead of the match Suarez said she was familiar with Radwanska’s tactics, but she had trouble reading them under the blazing sun as the Pole pushed her around the court.
The fourth seed comfortably held then broke again as the usually resourceful Suarez, 27, sent a loose backhand long to be in full control.
The Spaniard finally got off the mark by holding serve to stay in touch a 1-4 down but with the sweat pouring off Suarez, Radwanska kept calm to break again and romp to the set in just 24 minutes.
She was on a mission and at the start of the second set, she easily held serve before breaking again with the match in danger of becoming a one-sided affair.
But Suarez broke back in the third game, reviving memories of her fourth round clash when she rallied from losing the first set against Daria Gavrilova 6-0 to fight back and win the match.
It was short-lived with Radwanska bouncing straight back to break again but the momentum kept shifting as they traded breaks.
The Spaniard managed to hold on during a long sixth game but Radwanska grabbed the decisive break to storm 5-3 in front and served out for the match.
Suarez was bidding to make her first Grand Slam semi on her 29th attempt, and despite defeat her exploits are expected to see her return to the top 10. She is currently ranked 11.
Radwanska also had plenty of reasons to keep her run going, with her progression to the semis expected to see her move above Garbine Muguruza to world number three when the rankings come out next week.
The composed Pole, who shows few emotions on court, won the biggest title of her career at the WTA Finals in Singapore last year, with an even bigger one now up for grabs in Melbourne.