Following their first meeting in 2014 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska and Italy’s Flavia Pennetta will meet once again, this time in the final of the BNP Paribas Open. This marks the sixth time the two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Radwanska leading the head-to-head series 3-2. While the Pole may hold the overall lead, Pennetta earned the most recent victory in Dubai last month.
Radwanska reached the finals at Indian Wells by avenging her loss to Simona Halep in the semi-final round. The Pole stormed to a 4-0 lead in the opening set before closing it out 6-3. Halep was more competitve in the second set, as she broke for a 3-1 lead, but that only boosted Radwanska effort as she reeled off five of the next six games to close the match out, 6-3 6-4.
“I played her a couple of weeks ago, so I kind of knew how she’s playing – obviously she had really great results for the last couple months,” Radwanska said afterwards. “First of all, she’s a very solid player. A lot of things come back and she’s really playing deep balls. What I was trying to do today was play aggressive from the beginning of the match and really just try to go for my shots. I was lucky.”
Radwanska has now managed to avenge one of her few losses this season and will now look to avenge another one: her second round loss to Pennetta at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
“Unfortunately I lost to her the last time – we played in Dubai,” Radwanska said. “I think similar to Halep, I’m looking forward to playing her and getting a little bit of revenge. It’ll be a tough one.”
While it may not have been the prettiest of contests, No. 20 seeded Flavia Pennetta upset top seed Li Na to arrive at the finals of the Premier Mandatory event at Indian Wells. While Pennetta has played three regular Premier-level finals before, winning Los Angeles in in 2009 and finishing runner-up at Los Angeles and Zürich in 2008, this could arguably be considered her biggest one yet.
“I have to be really aggressive. I have to go for winners,” Pennetta said of Radwanska. “But I can’t rush too much, because she’s a wall. I mean, I have to make seven times the winners against her.
“But I played really well against her in Dubai, so I hope to play the same way this time.”
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska in Three Sets