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WTA Carlsbad - Agnieszka Radwanska v Andrea Petkovic live text commentary

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Follow live text commentary from the first semi-final of the Mercury Insurance Open tonight between Agnieszka Radwanska and the fast rising Andrea Petkovic.

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Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 Petkovic:
It's punishing tennis now with both girls giving it absolutely everything. You can feel the tension out there with Radwanska literally just clinging on. Petkovic has 30-30 and is within touching distance of levelling but seems to get a little tentative and two forehand misses give Radwanska the match. Huge intake of breath, relief written all over her face and the Pole smacks a ball into the crowd in celebration. She's into the final again and will play either Zvonareva or Ivanovic later tonight.  


Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 5-4 Petkovic:
With the finish line in sight, Radwanska is getting a little tetchy particular as Petkovic seems to have found her hitting range from nowhere. A cross-court backhand from the German, clean as a whistle gives her two game points but Radwanska's going to make her sweat for this hold, bringing it back to deuce. Petkovic though holds her nerve and we could be in for an interesting few minutes folks. Radwanska serving for it but her opponent looking the more confident.  

Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 5-3 Petkovic:
Suddenly from nowhere, Petkovic is almost looking the likelier winner. Radwanska goes for a ridiculous backhand from way behind the baseline on the first point and only finds the middle of the net. She's got her back against the wall but even at 22 she has a wealth of experience and knows exactly when to step it up, thumping a couple of winners and finding the baseline with a loopy forehand. Petkovic has to serve to keep herself in this.  

Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 4-3 Petkovic:
It's getting interesting !

Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 4-2 Petkovic:
Remember Radwanska will be feeling a teensy bit of pressure right now as she's defending runners-up points at this event, which is a huge amount so this is a vital win for her. Experienced competitor though and she moves to 40-15 fairly comfortably. However she slips over at the back of the court, nearly rolls an ankle and Petkovic recovers to break back !

Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 4-1 Petkovic:
It's not always pace that can beat your opponent, it's how clever you are and Radwanska is a perfect illustration of that. Delightfully angled return from the Pole gives her 15-15. Petkovic must be feeling desperately demoralised right now, it's hard to imagine losing ten games in a row and still feeling in with a fighting chance but she's a proud fighter and brings up two game points. Radwanska's determined to make her suffer further and grinds out some gruelling rallies to bring it back to deuce but Petkovic holds on to take her first game since the first set !  

Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 4-0 Petkovic:
Petkovic is keeping her game face on, trying desperately to make something happen but this is Radwanska at her best, she's happily soaking up all the pace from the back of the court, knowing that her opponent is over-pressing. Petkovic is just too hit and miss at the moment...a love hold from the Pole and surely victory is just a matter of time now.

Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 3-0 Petkovic:
Credit to her, Petkovic is thumping away at the Radwanska baseline at the moment but it's like playing a wall right now, except a wall with finesse. The Pole is one of the best volleyers in women's tennis and she illustrates her gossamer touch perfectly on the opening point, feathering a little half volley from around the service line for the perfect drop shot. To make matters worse for Petkovic, her serve is also being read like a book and Radwanska whips a return down the line to bring up 3 break points. In desperation, the second seed rushes the net and is picked off by a perfectly weighted lob. 9 games in a row for Radwanska and Petkovic has the trainer on again.

Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 2-0 Petkovic:
Radwanska rubs salt into the wound with just her second ace of the match to move 30-0 up. Petkovic is very keen to get on with the shorter rallies at the moment, maybe due to the heat but she's a little too keen right now and another wild forehand goes long. The German smashes a backhand return down the line but she can't string these points together at the moment and another classy net point from Radwanska gives her the hold.  

Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 Petkovic:
Petkovic comes out swinging again but Radwanska knows what's coming and she's more than prepared for it. Petkovic looks to have blown herself out here as a succession of further errors hand the Pole her seventh game in a row. I fear the worst for the German's chances now. 

Radwanska 4-6, 6-0, 0-0 Petkovic:
Whatever the reason, that break seems to have energised Petkovic as she comes out swinging from the hip. Two quick winners. Boom. However if you live by the sword, you also die by the sword and Petkovic's aggression proves her own downfall and a succession of errors sees Radwanska complete the bagel. 

Radwanska 4-6, 5-0 Petkovic:
Petkovic strolls back on court rather more slowly, I've never seen anyone move as fast as she did for that medical timeout. Comfort break maybe ?  Anyway it all makes little difference as Radwanska swiftly breaks again on the re-start.  

Petkovic appears to have given up the ghost on this set, the points going pretty quickly as the German flails the ball over the baseline....and then one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen on a tennis court as with no warning Petkovic suddenly charges off court. What on earth ? Everyone looks pretty bewildered including Radwanska herself until the umpire announces an off-court medical timeout. Whatever it is, it must be fairly serious...   

Radwanska 4-6, 4-0 Petkovic:
Petkovic is looked a tad befuddled and understandably so. This Californian heat turns the best of us to cinders when it's like this, never mind when you're trying to win a WTA Premier semi-final. However she looks fine physically out on court and the pair play out a brutal couple of rallies. Petkovic has played this match almost exclusively from the baseline but she shows fantastic reflexes at the net to poach a 15-30 lead. However it doesn't last, the German's smashing leaves a little to be desired. She shows us why she's only approached the net 8 times so far, connecting with clean air as Radwanska reels off 3 points in a row to hold.  

Radwanska 4-6, 3-0 Petkovic:
The thing with the WTA is that matches can swing round in a jiffy and that's exactly what's gone on here. Suddenly Radwanska's absorbing everything Petkovic can throw at her and she's closing in on the second break at 0-30. The German gets it back to 30-30 but she's living dangerously and she uses up the 3rd of her Hawkeye challenges for this set, all on service calls strangely enough. Radwanska continues to press and Petkovic is suddenly in all sorts of trouble in this set at a double break down. Trainer on...maybe for the heat ?


Radwanska 4-6, 2-0 Petkovic:
Maybe Petkovic relaxed a bit in that last game. She's been in this situation before though, broken right at the start of the match and she broke back immediately then. She's got a chance again though, crunching return gives her 0-30. Radwanska though spots her opponent trying to run round on a 2nd serve and aces her down the T - 30-30. Break point comes and goes for Petkovic and then Radwanska shows the kind of touch which has taken her to the top 20, beautifully flighted drop shot. 'Sneaky tennis' as Petkovic would say. More good serving from the Pole and she consolidates her break.  

Radwanska 4-6, 1-0 Petkovic:
Radwanska cutting a bit of a forlorn figure at the changeover and she has the coach down for a quick chat. A few defeatist sounding mutterings from the Pole but she's got to get on with it if she's to have any chance of turning this around. Not the most auspicious start to the set for Petkovic who double-faults and then Radwanska creams a forehand down the line to get 15-30. Suddenly Petkovic is facing break point and Radwanska seizes the moment, stepping in on a backhand return and she's made a bright start to this set.

Radwanska 4-6, 0-0 Petkovic:
Petkovic has gone up another gear, she dances around the court to strike a couple of punishing forehands to go 0-30 up. Radwanska's in deep trouble and she's struggling to get the ball out of the Petkovic hitting zone. Fireworks from the German as another searing forehand gives her 3 set points. Radwanska pulls the first 2 out of the bag but there's nothing she can do on the 3rd as Petkovic runs round her backhand to strike another thuddering blow down the line. It's been and up and down set from her perspective but that was a classy game when it mattered most.    

Radwanska 4-5 Petkovic:
Her break well and truly gone, how will Petkovic respond ? Remember she's never beaten Radwanska before and doesn't enjoy facing her. This though is a much more solid game from the German and Radwanska will be a tad frustrated, she was in all the points but just ended up missing by the tiniest of margins. Petkovic holds to love and Radwanska's got to serve to stay in the set.    

Radwanska 4-4 Petkovic:
Radwanska has a definite California tan to the envy of all of us not quite so fortunate to spent their working lives outdoors. I'm talking yours truly here. Petkovic struggling a little to contain her power at the moment but that's gonna be the story of this match, can she keep that error count down enough ?  At the moment she's doing a decent job and she gets a break point with a beautifully weighted backhand lob which dips just inside the baseline. Radwanska though is equal to the challenge, finding the acutest of angles with a forehand and holding her nerve on the drive volley. She holds and it's now 3 games a row for the third seed. How the momentum can shift in these WTA matches !      

Radwanska 3-4 Petkovic:
Radwanska opens her shoulders and creams a backhand return past the flailing Petkovic to move to 15-15. Much more of that needed from the Pole and suddenly she has a break point as Petkovic starts to over-press in these cat and mouse baseline rallies, well aware of her opponent's speed. Huge serve, big forehand averts the danger but Radwanska is beginning to look stronger in the longer rallies and she gets a second chance. And she's back in the set !  How did she stay in that point though, Petkovic dominated the rally with some thunderous hitting but Radwanska was like a gymnast around the baseline, nearly performing the splits about 3 times until the German went wide. 

Radwanska 2-4 Petkovic:
Petkovic will go into the top 10 for the first time next week. First German to do that since Anke Huber 11 years ago. Amazing how German tennis went downhill after Graf's retirement....and that's better from Radwanska who slams a cross-court forehand winner on the opening point. She's hustling a lot better in this game and gets to 40-0 as Petkovic plays a very strange drop shot which barely reaches the net. Backhand winner down the line from Radwanska to hold serve and that'll make her feel better.       

Radwanska 1-4 Petkovic:  
It could be one of those days I'm afraid for Radwanska fans, just 5 games in and already it looks like the Pole's running out of ideas. Just not getting the ball deep enough and the German's penetrating serves and groundies have her well in control at the moment. 

Radwanska 1-3 Petkovic:  
We're up and running !  Radwanska broke in the opening game but since then it's been all Petkovic, who's reeled off 3 in a row. 

22.15: Apologies for the delay in bringing you updates on the match, few engineering problems with our feed. For the time being, a quick re-cap on events so far this week....Radwanska hasn't had things all her own way, she was bagelled by Daniela Hantuchova before fighting back to win their quarter-final. Petkovic yet to drop a set.  

22.10: So Radwanska has won both previous matches pretty easy, 4&3 in Tokyo last autumn. However Petkovic has improved so much this year, she's ranked 11 in the world now and is second seed this week. Great things expected from the German in future  

21.59:  Petkovic on the challenge ahead:  "It's going to be a tough one. I don't have what you would call a good record," Petkovic said. "She just plays so sneaky. I love watching her because she knows everything to do with the ball. She has such great touch. She plays the drop shot, she comes to the net... it's a pleasure watching her, not so much a pleasure playing her"  

21.57:  Hello everyone and welcome tonight's live commentary from the first Carlsbad semi-final, can rising star Andrea Petkovic out-do the feisty Agnieszka Radwanska. We're about to find out !  

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WTA Carlsbad - Agnieszka Radwanska v Andrea Petkovic live text commentary

Follow live text commentary from the first semi-final of the Mercury Insurance Open tonight between Agnieszka Radwanska and the fast rising Andrea Petkovic

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