Published November 20, 2014
Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska reached her first Grand Slam final with a semifinal victory Thursday at Wimbledon.
The third seed rolled past eighth-seeded German Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4 on Centre Court at the storied All England Club. Radwanska is the first Polish Grand Slam finalist in 73 years, or since Jadwiga Jedrzejowska lost in the women's title match at the French Championships in 1939.
Radwanska will meet the Victoria Azarenka-Serena Williams victor in Saturday's lucrative final. A victory over the former top-ranked star Williams, not Azarenka, would make Radwanska the new No. 1 player in the world.
Playing in her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal, Radwanska prevailed in 70 minutes as she broke an unfocused Kerber three times on as many break-point chances, compared to only one break in three opportunities for the German. Kerber also tallied eight more unforced errors than her Polish counterpart (14-6).
Radwanska broke for a 5-3 lead in the first set thanks to a pair of crucial backhand errors by Kerber, and the determined Pole would close out the stanza with a big ace.
In the second set, a series of Kerber errors led to a Radwanska break in the fifth game. And Kerber's last chance came when she had a break point, down 2-3, but she was unable to convert and Radwanska served out the match four games later.
Radwanska is now 3-2 lifetime against the lefthander Kerber, who upset the Pole in the second round at last year's U.S. Open.
"I'm so happy, it's amazing. I played very good today," Radwanska said. "It's always tough against Angie. We are very good friends, but of course on court we were both fighting for the final.
"I think we were both a bit nervous in the beginning, your hand is shaking a bit, but after a couple of games I relaxed.
"This is what I dreamed of since I was a kid. Everyone wants to reach a Grand Slam final. It is the best two weeks of my career."
The 24-year-old Kerber was appearing in her first Wimbledon and second career Grand Slam semifinal (0-2). She reached the final four at last year's U.S. Open.
The 23-year-old Krakow native Radwanska, a junior Wimbledon champ in 2005, will appear in her 13th career WTA final, seeking an 11th title. She's 3-0 in her 2012 title tilts.
Saturday's big winner will collect $1.8 million.