Tennis: Bencic beats Wozniacki to face Radwanska at Pan Pacific final
Teenage giant-killer Belinda Bencic outperformed top seed and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday to advance to the Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo against Agnieszka Radwanska.
Beaming with confidence, the eighth seed will carry her incredible momentum into the match against the experienced Pole, whom Bencic beat in June in the final of the Aegon International in Eastbourne, the first WTA title for the youngster.
The rising star has surprised the world this year by bagging impressive wins, beating the likes of Serena Williams and Simona Halep.
“I feel amazing to be in the final. I played for the first time here two years ago, and it was like a huge tournament for me,” Bencic said.
She said the pressure was off, because she had faced and beaten higher-ranking players in Tokyo, including Wozniacki and current world number eight Garbine Muguruza.
“If I lose, it’s OK. If I win, that’s even better,” she said.
Her victory meant the teenager has won all of her four meetings against the Dane this year.
Wozniacki said she struggled to bring herself up to her usual quality.
“I just feel like I should have served better in general and returned better,” Wozniacki said.
“Today, she (Bencic) played better than me. That’s why she won,” Wozniacki said, while declining to directly discuss her disappointing records against Bencic.
“You know, the rest of the results from my career speak for themselves,” she said.
Meanwhile, Radwanska, winner here in 2011 and runner-up in 2012, said she was prepared to face the ambitious Bencic.
“She is on fire, playing a great season, pretty much on every surface,” the Pole said, after defeating Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-1 in their semi-final match.
Radwanska, 26, said she will use the Pan Pacific final to settle their score after her three-set loss to Bencic on grass in Britain.
“I think this is a girl who can really do everything on (the) court,” Radwanska said, adding that Bencic was “playing like an experienced player” despite her age.
“I will have to play my best tennis to beat her, so I will try that,” she said.