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Tennis: Radwanska claims Korea Open; Chan, Xu win first WTA doubles title

Agnieska Radwanska's victory in the KDB Korea Open helped the World No. 4 qualify for the season-ending WTA Championships.

Agnieska Radwanska’s victory in the KDB Korea Open helped the World No. 4 qualify for the season-ending WTA Championships.

September 23, 2013: World No. 4 Agnieska Radwanska beat Russian third seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-7(6-8), 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the KDB Korea Open in Seoul for her third WTA singles title of the year. Radwanska’s victory also secured her place in the season-ending WTA Championships for the third successive year.

 

China’s Xu Yifan, 25, and Taiwan’s Chan Chin-wei, 28, each won their first WTA title when they beat top seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 7-5, 6-3 in the doubles. Xu and Chan had earlier upset the tournament’s second and third seeds to reach the final, and continue a positive year for Chinese and Taiwanese players.

 

The top-seeded Radwanska, 24, needed two hours and 45 minutes to eventually beat Pavlyuchenkova, 22, and record her 13th win in 18 WTA finals.

 

The first set was almost half the match – one hour and 11 minutes – as Pavlyuchenkova rallied from 3-0 down and fought off four set points in her 5-6 service game to take a one-set lead.

 

But Radwanska bounced back, the Pole winning the first three games of the second set on her way to winning 6-3. The third set stayed on serve through the first nine games, before Radwanska broke once more on her way to securing the title.

 

“I’m very happy, especially after a great match – almost three hours of great tennis at a really high level,” said Radwanska, a Wimbledon finalist last year and semi-finalist this year.

 

“It was a very close match – tight sets, all of them – but I was just a little bit better in the important moments. At the end of the third set I think I was playing a little bit more aggressively than she was, and managed to win a couple more points than her in the end.”

 

Radwanska was particularly fond of Seoul, an international event, but with a $500,000 purse.

 

“I really enjoyed my whole week,” Radwanska said, who next headed to Tokyo for the Toray Pan Pacific Open. “Everything and everyone was great. It was nice to see the crowd getting bigger and bigger every day, and they really appreciated the tennis.

 

“I didn’t see much of the city while I was here though. I arrived a little bit late and I was playing almost every day. But I think this is the reason I have to come back here again and see something other than the courts! I hope to be back next year.”

 

Radwanska’s two previous WTA titles this year came in the first two weeks of the year, in Auckland and Sydney. She is the fourth player to capture three or more WTA titles so far this season, after Serena Williams (with nine), Simona Halep (four) and Victoria Azarenka (three).

 

Radwanska finished runner-up at Bank of the West Classic (Stanford) and was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon, Qatar Total Open (Doha), Sony Open Tennis (Miami) and Rogers Cup (Toronto). After the US Open she surpassed $13million in career prize money and is now one of the top 20 earners in WTA history.

 

Pavlyuchenkova may not have come away with the title, but found positives in her performances in Seoul.

 

“It’s tough losing this match after fighting so long and coming so close,” the Russian said. “It’s difficult and frustrating, but in tennis you can be up then down, you lose some and you win some.

 

“I’m actually proud of myself. I had a great week. I showed some good tennis and it was a great final. I was pretty tired, not only after a few tough matches, but even coming into the tournament after being in the US then the jetlag, so I’m proud to be in the final and come so close to the title.”

 

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