Agnieszka Radwanska became the 16th lady to claim 500 career victories on Thursday courtesy of a stunning 7-6 6-1 victory over Simona Halep. It was one of Aga’s best performances of the season, a mixture of creative brilliance and aggression.
Aga slumped to 0-2 in the red group after disappointing losses to Maria Sharapova and Flavia Pennetta. Aga needed to defeat Halep in straight sets to keep her Singapore campaign alive and she did just that. Aga now needs Maria Sharapova to defeat Flavia Pennetta in straight sets in order to advance to the semi-finals for a second year in a row in Singapore.
Aga was down 1-5 in the first set tiebreaker and seemed almost certain to lose the set. However Aga would raise her level to a stunning high and win the next 6 points to claim the crucial first set. The second set was a formality, Aga was always in control and never allowed her level to drop. A surprisingly ruthless performance.
Aga seemed to adopt a new aggressive mindset in this match, hitting 30 winners (10 more than Halep), the Pole’s forehand was particularly effective. Aga was also at her creative best, coming up with multiple hot-shots which are sure to be replayed over and over again.
If this was Radwanska’s last match of the year, it’s a wonderful way to end the season. Aga can learn a lot from this victory, she always looks so much more dangerous when she maintains an aggressive attitude, particularly against a fellow counter-puncher. Hopefully this victory was a sign of things to come in season 2016 and beyond.