Agnieszka Radwanska humbled Dominika Cibulkova 6-0, 6-0 in a ruthless display of all-court tennis to win her second Australian Open warm-up tournament in two weeks at the Sydney International yesterday.
The Pole, seeded fourth for Melbourne Park and a winner in Auckland last week, secured her ninth straight victory from the start of the year in a little over an hour of one-sided tennis when the hapless Cibulkova double faulted.
Radwanska tempered her celebrations out of respect for her opponent and said she felt sympathy for the Slovakian, who had beaten three top-10 players on her way to the final.
“That’s tennis and these things happen,” she said. “But I feel bad … because for sure she didn’t deserve that result.”
“It’s been an amazing two weeks,” Radwanska added. “I’ve won two titles and not lost a set. If I can play like that in Melbourne, I’ll be very happy.”
David Ferrer, the men’s fourth seed for Melbourne Park, earlier underlined his own Australian Open threat by thrashing Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-2 to reach the final of the Auckland Open and remain on course for a fourth title at the tournament.
Undoubtedly aided by a leg injury suffered by Monfils early in the first set, Ferrer needed just 49 minutes to dispose of the French former world No. 7, five minutes less than he required to win his quarter-final against Lukas Lacko.
The Spaniard will face Philipp Kohlschreiber in today’s final after the German beat American Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) in the earlier semi-final.
Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro also expended little effort in reaching the final of the Kooyong Classic, easing past Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-1 at the former Australian Open venue.
The world No. 7, who has been drawn to play a qualifier in the first round of the year’s first Grand Slam, will meet former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in today’s final at the exhibition event.
“I was better than two days ago but I need to improve a lot more,” the Argentine told reporters. “It’s our first tournament, the season has just started and it’s normal to feel strange but with time, tournaments and matches everything is going to be better.”
In the men’s draw in Sydney, Bernard Tomic overcame dizzy spells and fought off four set points in the opening set before running out a 7-6 (10/8), 6-4 winner over Italy’s Andreas Seppi to reach his first ATP Tour final.
The 20-year-old has now gone seven matches unbeaten at the start of the year, including his stunning upset of Novak Djokovic in Perth last week and is relishing the prospect of running into Roger Federer in the third round in Melbourne next week.
“I’ve been playing great tennis, and now I’m one match away to win the tournament and my first ever title,” he said. “It’s going to be a big match.”
Tomic’s opponent in the final will be South African Kevin Anderson, who clinched his place in the final with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10/8) victory over Julien Benneteau in a grueling semi-final.
The South African fired down 18 aces to get back into the contest after the Frenchman had won the first set, and wrapped up victory with a volley at the net on his third match point after an exhausting 153 minutes in the Sydney heat.
In the Hobart warm-up, Russian Elena Vesnina upset American eighth seed Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-2 to reach today’s final, where she will play defending champion Mona Barthel, who beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-4 in the later semi-final.