Agnieszka Radwanska vs Ying-Ying Duan, Sydney QF Preview

Apia International, Sydney Quarter-Final #4
(2) ?? Agnieszka Radwanska vs (Q) ?? Ying-Ying Duan

Agnieszka Radwanska and Ying-Ying Duan will go head to head for the second time in as many weeks when they battle for a spot in the semi-finals at the Apia International in Sydney. Duan came extremely close to upsetting Radwanska in the first round in Shenzhen last week, Duan held a commanding lead in the final set and had several match points but Radwanska managed to fend them off and escape with the victory. The Polish second seed will be aiming for a more convincing win on this occasion as she searches for a second Apia International title.

Radwanska has made an indifferent start to season 2017. There has been a lot of attention on Radwanska and her strange racquet switch to Srixon. At times Radwanska hasn’t seemed herself, especially in her uncharacteristic 2-6 6-3 0-6 loss to Alison Riske at the quarter-final stage in Shenzhen, an opponent she had never previously lost against. There has been talk that the racquet switch means Aga now has less power and that has been evident at times in the first few weeks of 2017. 

Radwanska made an alarming start to her opening round match in Sydney, quickly falling to a 0-3 15-40 deficit against Christina McHale. The American was unable to take advantage, Radwanska started to raise her level and eventually won the first set in a tiebreak before running away with the match in the second set to claim a 7-6 6-2 win. Aga is a former champion in Sydney and as the highest seed left in the draw is the favourite to win the title from here.

 

Ying-Ying Duan has made a good start to season 2017. Duan came agonisingly close to upsetting Radwanska in Shenzhen, Duan served for the match in the final set and had numerous match points but was unable to convert, eventually losing 2-6 7-6 5-7. Duan played at an extremely high level in that match and it seems to have given her a confidence boost. Duan has already won 5 matches in Sydney after coming through the qualifying draw. Duan’s most impressive performance came in the second round where she destroyed CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3 6-2 to set up a chance at redemption against Radwanska.

Radwanska will be hoping for a much more convincing victory on this occasion after her scare in Shenzhen, however Duan will have gained a lot of confidence from that match is currently playing at a high level. I suspect this could be another close match and may even be pushed to a third set. Ultimately, I doubt Duan has the ability to finish Radwanska off, just like she was unable to do so in Shenzhen. This is a good opportunity for Radwanska to show some improvement and she should get the win here, probably in more convincing fashion given she will know what to expect on this occasion.

Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska to defeat Ying-Ying Duan in 2 sets


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