Tonight in Stanford, 5th seed Maria Sharapova defeated 3rd seed Agnieszka Radwanska 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. As always, Radwanska was like a gnat that Sharapova kept swatting, but that would not go away.
It always frustrates me to watch the Polish number 1 because she has a clever, top-level game--one of my very favorites to watch--that is neutralized by her almost total lack of a second serve. In tonight's match, Radwanska stayed steady and let Sharapova make a number of errors. But the 5th seed slowly found her groove, and--though it took her five match points--won the match after a two-hour fight. Sharapova hit 40 winners and made 40 unforced errors, which pretty much says it all.
In tomorrow's final, Sharapova will play Victoria Azarenka (whom she has suddenly begun emulating by screaming when she misses a shot), the tournament's 8th seed, who is playing with a wild card.