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|Radwanska puts final ambitions in reach|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 21:49|
(REUTERS) - Agnieszka Radwanska could achieve all her tennis ambitions this weekend after becoming the first Pole to reach a grand slam final for 73 years by outwitting German Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4 at Wimbledon yesterday.
The 23-year-old, who cites winning a grand slam and becoming number one as her goals, will face four-time champion Serena Williams in tomorrow's final knowing that victory would take her to the top of the world rankings.
"I will do everything in my power to be number one," Radwanska told reporters before succumbing to a coughing fit which caused the news conference to be cut short.
The third seed is only the second Pole to reach a grand slam final following Jadwiga Jedrzejowska, who was runner-up at the 1937 Wimbledon and U.S. Championships and 1939 French Championships.
When asked about her forerunner, Radwanska broke into a smile at the journalist's pronunciation of Jedrzejowska before politely correcting it.
"I know that she was the finalist here many years ago. I'm just very happy that I can be the second one here in Wimbledon being in the final," said Radwanska who won the girls' title here in 2005.
"I think she lost in three sets that year but I will try now and we will see."
Jedrzejowska was beaten at Wimbledon by Britain's Dorothy Round 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
To go one better Radwanska will need to beat Serena for the first time. The sixth seed has a 2-0 record against Radwanska and put her out of the quarter-finals at the All England Club in 2008.
"I played Serena a couple of times but it was a long time ago," Radwanska said.
"She's a very tough opponent and hitting the ball very well. Of course, she's playing great tennis on the grass. I'm just going to try to mix it up," she added.
After a shaky start on Centre Court against Kerber, Radwanska proved too consistent for her friend who led the first set 3-1 following an early break.
But the winner of February's Dubai Championships found her range and grew in confidence, forcing the left-handed Kerber to run around court.
"We are really good friends, of course, but on court we're opponents and you're trying everything to make the final," Radwanska said.
"We both were a bit nervous at the beginning, of course. You really want to try your best but sometimes you want it too much and your hands are shaking about, but after that I concentrated on every point."
Radwanska broke back to level the first set at 3-3 when eighth seed Kerber netted a forehand and did so again to lead 5-3 before serving out for the set, which she sealed with an ace in less than half an hour.
The Pole broke again early in the second set and although Kerber had one huge chance to level for 3-3, when her opponent put a backhand behind the baseline following a 16-stroke rally, she wasted it sending a forehand long.
After that, Kerber never looked like getting back into the match and Radwanska sealed victory on her first match point when the German sent the ball wide.
"My plan was to play aggressive tennis and make the points but she moved very well and didn't make so many mistakes," Kerber said.
"She's played a very good tournament here and she's still in the tournament. I think she has some chances in the final. She needs to play her game. She played very well. She moves very well on this court, make not many mistakes. If she plays like that today she has a good chance," Kerber added.
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