In the most unusual turn of events at the Rogers Cup quarterfinals Friday afternoon, Simona Halep came back from a devastating start against Agnieszka Radwanska.In the end, the 23 year old with all her Romanian fans cheering from start to finish took the victory 0-6, 6-3, 6-1 on centre court to advance to the semifinals.
Two of the top players rekindled their rivalry in a match that was sure to go its full potential. Radwanska, who is still climbing in the ranks hoped to upset the third ranked Romanian in the quarterfinals in what could keep her ahead in the series to date. Their previous meeting didn’t go swell for the Pole who lost to Halep in straight sets at the WTA championships last year.
Both had hard fights to get to this point, each taking their match to three sets. Radwanska avoided elimination in a last desperate charge over Alize Cornet to win 6-4 in the third. Halep used all she had left in the long match with Angelique Kerber to deny her a chance at a fifth title. This was the first time both played each other in a quarterfinal, but it would be no different as there was much at stake for the two.
Radwanska made sure she was first to break forward digging deep into her shots to take a 2-0 lead on Halep. The Romanian put pressure on her opponent after losing hold on the serve forcing deuce, but couldn’t contain the advantage firing a ball long at Radwanska losing her third straight. The Pole looked to be in complete control serving six of eight on the serve and four of six on the return.
Halep tried to make her second chance on serve more powerful to take Radwanska but she was let down while her opponent blew through breaking the serve to lead 4-0. When back on serve, Radwanska recorded a love service on Halep to play for the set in a matter of 18 minutes. Halep made one last attempt to get on the board, but the frustrations showed in her game despite forcing deuce on Radwanska. After three breaks and a struggle to gain the advantage, Halep closed the door on herself shooting the ball into the net officially being skunked in a span of 23 minutes.
The Romanian contingency that was in the crowd for Halep did everything they could do get their athlete back into the match and fight hard against Radwanska. She opened serve in the set letting loose a couple of tricks along with her skills but in the end it was a lost cause committing an unforced error and losing her seventh straight.
Halep continued to fight in the face of adversity making Radwanska run for every shot she took. It got the best of the Pole in the second game giving Halep the much needed victory she had been searching for all match. It got her fans into the match as well, creating energy to feed Halep while the getting was good. She successfully broke Radwanska on serve taking a 2-1 lead as the tide appeared to be changing in her favor.
As Halep took another victory from Radwanska, the Pole began to prevent the unforced errors that got her into the hole. The fifth went into deuce where Radwanska battle on deuce to take an important game on her serve to be a game from Halep. She blew three chances to win the break points that gave Halep a little more control on the serve. In the end after two breaks, the victory went to Radwanska who tightened the set at three all.
Halep reversed the advantage to her end imposing the Pole to play on deuce where she earned the break to regain control. Three straight errors from Radwanska gave the Romanian her first love service and a chance for the set. With a fight from the Pole, Halep held on to the set point to make the match not only a complete comeback but for a chance to make the semifinals.
She made that look more possible as the Romanian, in complete contentment with her game handled Radwanska two breaks as well as holding serve to take point at 3-0. Radwanska’s game disappeared as she was now on the losing side of things dropping her seventh game in a row to Halep.
The Romanian made it eight as she had a 5-0 grip on the set playing for the match in what was becoming a huge twist for both players involved. The Polish star somehow found a way to end the losing streak winning a love service to stay alive. Her luck evaporated quickly as Halep returned to serve where she pulled out a magnificent triple match point to end one of the most topsy-turvy matches between two superstars in their sport.
Halep ended her serve at 68 percent landing 14 of 17 on the serve to end the 1 hour and 39 match. “It was a tough match, Halep told ESPN’s Rennae Stubs on court. “She played an amazing first set and I couldn’t move my legs in the first set because I was a little bit tired, but then I kept focusing on what I had to do I changed a little bit of tactics trying to make her run more to opening and lose the mistakes. Im happy that I could beat the third top player.”
More top players stand in her way as she’ll face the winner between Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine or Italian Sara Errani who like Halep is a big favorite in Europe. “I’m coming from a long break so I’m not used to playing official matches like I have in this tournament but I need a lot of rest before I go at it in the semifinal tomorrow.”