Sydney, Australia (Sports Network) - Agnieszka Radwanska will enter the
Australian Open as one of the favorites, especially if her play to start 2013
is any indication.
Radwanska has yet to drop a set in nine matches this year and punctuated her
preparation for the first Grand Slam of the season with a 6-0, 6-0 rout of
Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova on Friday in the final of the Sydney
Cibulkova had taken out a trio of top 10 players en route to the final,
beating Petra Kvitova in the first round, Sara Errani in the quarterfinals and
Angelique Kerber in the semis. She was no match for the fourth-ranked and top-
seeded Radwanska on Friday.
Radwanska needed just 62 minutes to earn her 12th career title. She did face
four break points against her serve, but saved each one and broke Cibulkova
six times in 11 opportunities.
"I didn't really expect this at all," said Radwanska, who also prevailed in
the season-opener last week in Auckland. "She's a great player, a top player,
and she had some great wins all week, so I really didn't expect that score at
Radwanska dominated the latter stages of the match, winning 22 of the last 25
points to complete the first double-bagel in a final since Marion Bartoli beat
Olga Puchkova in the 2006 Quebec City finale.
"It was the first time something like that has happened to me," said
Cibulkova. "I was losing every game -- and actually I felt I could win every
game I lost until 6-0, 1-0. But when I lost that 1-0 game again in the second
set, I just completely broke down and stopped thinking about what I had to do,
and how to play well. I was just thinking, 'Oh my God, what is happening?'"
Cibulkova fell to 2-5 lifetime in finals and has yet to beat Radwanska in four
all-time meetings. She will open play next week at the Australian Open against
Radwanska, who reached her first Grand Slam final last summer at Wimbledon,
has been a quarterfinalist each of the last two years in Melbourne. She will
start play next week against Bojana Bobusic.
The Sports Network