WIMBLEDON, England – Steady backhands and forehands were all it took for Agnieszka Radwanska to reach her first Wimbledon final.
The third-seeded Pole won five straight games to take the first set, and held on after taking an early lead in the second to beat Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4 Thursday in the Wimbledon semifinals.
"This is a dream from when I was kid," the 23-year-old Radwanska said. "I'm playing tennis almost 18 years, and of course everybody's dream is to play the final of a Grand Slam."
Radwanska will face either four-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams or second-seeded Victoria Azarenka in Saturday's final. They were playing the second semifinal on Centre Court.
In the men's semifinals, defending champion Novak Djokovic will face six-time winner Roger Federer on Friday, while Andy Murray will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Radwanska is the first Polish woman to reach a major final since 1939, when Jadwiga Jedrzejowska lost in the French Championships.
Playing on Centre Court, both Radwanska and Kerber started well but soon started to show their nerves.
Each held at love in their opening service games, but Kerber broke for a 2-1 lead when Radwanska's backhand drop shot went wide.
It was one of only six unforced errors for Radwanska.
"We both were a bit nervous in the beginning," Radwanska said. "Of course this is the semifinals, so you really want to try your best, but sometimes too much, and your hands a little bit shaking.
"After a couple of games, I just relaxed a little bit. I was really focusing on every point."
Following that stumble, Radwanska's consistency came through. She held to 3-2 and then won the next four games to take the set.
In the second set, Radwanska converted her third of three break points in the match to take a 3-2 lead and held the rest of the way.
Kerber finished with 26 winners, six more than Radwanska, but had 14 unforced errors.