issues Open warning with easy Sydney win
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[January 13, 2017]
By Nick Mulvenney
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Britain's Johanna
Konta turned up the heat to overpower Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-2 in
a one-sided final at the Sydney International on Friday and claim
her second career WTA title.
The world number 10 reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open
last year and will be a major threat again next week going by her
form in the warm-up tournament in the city where she was born and
raised until her early teens.
The 25-year-old had lost both her previous meetings with Radwanska
but simply brushed aside the world number three with a 82-minute
display of aggression and power at the Olympic Tennis Centre.
"I was born here, so this is a very special moment for me," Konta
said after receiving the trophy. "I'm actually really happy."
Voted the WTA's most-improved player last year when she won her
maiden title in Stanford, Konta's rise to the top 10 has been as
much a mental battle as it has been about talent and skill.
She kept her cool despite temperatures reaching 32 degrees Celsius
at the Olympic Tennis Centre, only showing any sign of nerves with
an ill-judged and executed drop shot on her first championship
The 27-year-old Radwanska, twice a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park,
admitted she had been powerless to prevent the Briton claiming the
title the Pole had previously won in 2013.
"Well done Jo, it was unbelievable tennis today, I couldn't have
played any better," she said.
Konta came out clearly looking to make the most of her advantage in
height and weight over the petite Radwanska and although her
aggression came with risks in the form of a string of unforced
errors, it was highly effective.
[to top of second column]
Britain's Johanna Konta kisses the trophy after winning the Women's
Singles final at the Sydney International Tennis Tournament in
Sydney, Australia, January 13, 2017. AAP/Dan Himbrechts/via REUTERS
served out the first set to love after 45 minutes and, after a chat
with new coach Wim Fissette, who warned her to ignore any
distractions, broke Radwanska in the opening game of the second
stanza with a fierce backhand crosscourt winner.
Thereafter, there only ever looked like being one winner and the
Briton sealed victory with a seventh ace of the match on her second
Konta opens her second main draw Australia Open campaign against
Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, while Radwanska will face Bulgaria's
Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round in Melbourne.
(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)
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