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Agnieszka Radwanska advances to Sydney International final

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Agnieszka Radwanska advances to Sydney International final

/ 05:58 PM January 12, 2017
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland plays a shot to Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic during their women's semifinal singles match at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. AP

Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland plays a shot to Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic during their women’s semifinal singles match at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. AP

SYDNEY, Australia—Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska defeated a tired Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday to advance to the Sydney International final against either Johanna Konta or Eugenie Bouchard.

Radwanska, who will be the third-seeded player at next week’s Australian Open behind No. 1 Angelique Kerber and second-ranked Serena Williams, took just 75 minutes to beat Strycova.

It was Radwanska’s seventh consecutive win against the Czech, who toiled for 3 hours and 20 minutes to beat Caroline Wozniacki the previous day, than backed that up with a doubles match.

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“She played an unbelievable match against Caro (Wozniacki) in this kind of heat,” Radwanska said. “There were almost four hours on court with the break. I would say thanks to Caro.”

Radwanska has not lost in her past six finals.

In men’s play at Sydney, Gilles Muller beat second-seeded Pablo Cuevas 7-6 (5), 6-4 to advance to the semifinals against two-time defending champion Viktor Troicki.

Troicki had been scheduled to face No. 5 Philipp Kohlschreiber in another quarterfinal Thursday, but the German withdrew with a back injury, handing third-seeded Troicki a walkover.

Cuevas saved six set points during the first set, including two in the tiebreaker. In the second set, Muller broke Cuevas’ serve for a 4-3 lead.

Andrey Kuznetsov also advanced to the last four with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over fourth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta.

At the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, seventh-seeded Steve Johnson beat two-time champion and fellow American John Isner 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (3).

Johnson gained a vital mini-break on the first point of the tiebreaker but Isner fired down three aces to stay in the contest, only for an unforced error at the net to give Johnson a 6-3 lead. Johnson took the match on his first match point with the help of a net cord.

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“Last year I was here and my attitude wasn’t the best, but you live and you learn, you come back and I’m glad I turned it around this year,” said Johnson, who lost in the first round in 2016.

Johnson’s semifinal opponent will be fourth-seeded compatriot Jack Sock, who beat Jeremy Chardy of France 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

While Sock allowed only four break points in three sets and saved two, Chardy conceded 25 and saved 21 in a match in which he was often under pressure.

“A lot of those break points were in the first set but that’s Jeremy, he’s got a massive serve, massive forehand, big game in general,” Sock said. “There were a lot of chances I wasn’t able to convert and that was pretty upsetting, but I was able to battle through it and find a way.”

Eighth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis and unseeded Jaoa Sousa also advanced with straight-set victories. Sousa beat Robin Haase 6-3, 6-2 while Baghdatis defeated 2015 champion Jiri Vesely 6-2, 6-4.

At the WTA’s Hobart International, Elise Mertens had an upset 6-2, 7-5 quarterfinal win over top-seeded Kiki Bertens. Mertens will play Jana Fett, who beat Veronica Cepede Royg 6-1, 6-4, in the semifinals.

Lesia Tsurenko also advanced to the semis with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over American Shelby Rogers. Tsurenko will next play Japanese qualifier Risa Ozaki or Romania’s Monica Niculescu, who played their quarterfinal later Thursday.

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TAGS: Agnieszka Radwanska, Barbora Strycova, Sports, Sydney International
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