TENNIS

Radwanska beats Konta to win China Open

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska holds the trophy after defeating Britain's Johanna Konta
Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska holds the trophy after defeating Britain's Johanna Konta REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska beat Great Britain’s Johanna Konta in straight sets to take the title in the China Open final.

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With her win over Konta, Radwanska denied the Briton her biggest career crown on Sunday.

The third-ranked Pole, who cruised through the tournament without dropping a set, sealed her second title in Beijing with an ace for a 6-4, 6-2 win.

The victory was Radwanska's 20th career crown but there was more on the line for Konta, 25, who was making a bid in the Chinese capital for what would have been her second and biggest title.

It was the second time the pair have met after Radwanska beat the Briton in a two-hour, three-set battle in Cincinnati in August.

Despite the loss, by reaching the Beijing final Konta has amassed enough points to break into the top 10 - the first British woman to do so since Jo Durie in 1984.

When the new leaderboards are released Monday it will be the first time since computerised rankings were introduced that a British man (Andy Murray) and woman are ranked in the top 10 at the same time.

Konta claimed two top 10 scalps en route to the final, sixth-ranked Karoline Pliskova and number eight Madison Keys, but she was kept on the defensive on Sunday.

The Briton, usually a solid baseliner, repeatedly pushed to the net as she tried to shift the match momentum in her favour, but it was a risky strategy that cost her 29 unforced errors.

"Against a player like Agnieszka, who is basically a human wall, you definitely do try to look to get the upper hand in any way possible. I felt I was going to try on that avenue," Konta told reporters after the match.

The Pole, nicknamed 'The Magician' for her ability to conjure up shots, bowed out in the fourth round of the U.S. Open last month, also won the Connecticut Open and Shenzhen Open earlier this year and has qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore.

And by reaching the China Open final, Konta also moved into the top eight of the Road to Singapore - the race to reach the WTA Finals later this month.
 

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