RADWANSKA WINS TOKYO & BACK IN TOP 10

2015-9-28


TOKYO, Japan - Agnieszka Radwanska put on a near-flawless performance to end the run of WTA Rising Star Belinda Bencic, win the Toray Pan Pacific Open title and secure a return to the Top 10.

Bencic came into the final on all kinds of momentum, beating beat back-to-back Top 10 players in the last two rounds, Garbi馿 Muguruza and Caroline Wozniacki. One more win would have pushed her into the elite herself for the first time - the first teenager since Wozniacki five years ago to do that.

The Swiss had also beaten Radwanska in their only previous meeting - the Eastbourne final this year.

But it was a completely different story in Tokyo, as the No.7-seeded Radwanska was in control against the No.8-seeded Bencic from start to finish, storming out to a 6-2, 4-0 lead and, after Bencic won the next two games, sprinting through the last two games to close the Swiss teenager out, 6-2, 6-2.

Radwanska produced nearly twice as many winners as unforced errors on the day: 28 to 15. Bencic, meanwhile, was still solid with an almost even differential of winners to unforced errors, 21 to 23.

How did she solve the Bencic riddle? "I ran a lot! Belinda really pushed me to play 200%, and the pressure was always in the back of my head. I knew I was playing one of the best players in the world, but this is the final and you just want to win, so you do whatever it takes to win every point."

And so, Radwanska came away with her first WTA title in more than a year - her last one came at the Rogers Cup in Montr閍l last August. This was also the milestone 15th WTA title of her career.

One more note - the Toray Pan Pacific Open is now the first WTA event Radwanska has won twice.

There are a couple of other benefits for the Polish sensation now - not only is she projected to bounce back into the Top 10 on the WTA Rankings, from No.13 to No.8, but she's also going to move into the Top 10 on the Road To Singapore leaderboard, picking up valuable points in the race to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, which is less than a month away.

The former World No.2 didn't know she was going back into the Top 10 on the WTA Rankings until the on-court interviewer told her. "Oh really? I didn't even know that!" Radwanska beamed. "Well, I think we are all playing to be one of the best in the world, and if you're not first, then at least Top 10!

"I'm just so happy to be back in that Top 10. It's very, very tight now. There are a lot of young players coming up, so many players who deserve to be Top 10, so I'm just happy I can be No.8 now."

And on her move up the Road To Singapore leaderboard? "The Asia tour is key for me to go to Singapore, so I think this week I did a great job to give myself a better chance to go back there again."

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