Playing graceful, clever tennis (which, sadly, is now considered "special" and "unique") from all parts of the court, Agnieszka Radwanska showed today why some of us would be content to watch her for hours on end. The 2010 Mercury Insurance Open (formerly "San Diego," now "Carlsbad") runner-up defeated top seed Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-4 to win the 2011 championship.
Radwanska's serve has often failed her. Lately, her first serve has improved, though, and that has made her more competitive. Today, she seemed to be everywhere, finding keen angles and slivers of space, and vollying, slicing and hitting into them to perfection, over and over. It helped that Zvonareva was making too many unforced errors. From the outset, though, Radwanska controlled the match by serving well and by using her deft hands and quickness to create some highly entertaining points. The 3rd seed ended with first and second serve win percentages of 74 and 75. It was a polished performance in every way.
This is the first title Radwanska has won since she won Eastbourne in 2008, and it was long overdue. She sustained a shoulder nerve injury during the tournament, but continued to play. The injury did not appear to trouble her at all today. It should also be noted that Radwanska's father was not part of the picture today, and I have little doubt the coaching change made her more relaxed.
Top seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik won the doubles title, defeating Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 6-0, 6-2. Peschke and Srebotnik, the 2011 Wimbledon champions, are ranked number 1 in the world.