By Jake Davies
- Johanna Konta  defeats Agnieszka Radwanska  6-4 6-2
- Konta wins her second WTA title and rises to No.9 in the world
- The Brit faces Kirsten Flipkens in the first round of the Australian Open
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Johanna Konta fired a warning shot to her potential opponents when the Australian Open starts, by stunning No. seed Agnieszka Radwanska to win the Sydney Apia International title.
Johanna Konta  defeats Agnieszka Radwanska  6-4 6-2
In the early stages it looked as though it could be a long night for the British player when Radwanska reeled off the first six points of the match, but Konta responded perfectly with forehand return winners that really set the tone for the remainder of the match. The clarity of her game plan was magnificent to witness as she completely dominated one of the most intelligent players on the WTA Tour.
Konta needed just the single break to take the first set 6-4 and carried the same form into the second set. The real difference was the number of free points that Konta was able to gather from her serve. The quick service holds enabled her to swing freely on the Pole’s service games, which resulted in adding even more pressure to the service games of Radwanska. The World No.3 does not have many holes in her game, but if there is one area of her game which you can expose, it is the second serve. It is very attackable and often drops short and central in the service box. Konta had one of her best returning performances. She gripped hold of the majority of Radwanska’s second serves and left her opponent looking for answers as many forehand and backhand return winners flew past her.
The very best players in the world are relentless. At the highest level of professional tennis it is all about finding the minor areas to exploit and then executing it on the match court and Konta was ruthless in that regard tonight.
The Brit now goes into the first Grand Slam of 2017 with a lot of momentum, a great amount of confidence and a great coaching setup that can guide her to even greater heights on the WTA Tour. The semi-final showing in Shenzhen and the title win tonight in Sydney are extremely important results for Konta. She can now prepare for the Australian Open with less pressure weighing on her shoulders as she acknowledges that she has semi-final points to defend from the previous year. This second WTA title win alleviates that pressure considerably and beating a player of the quality of Radwanska would elevate Konta’s expectations moving forward.
The signs are great for British tennis. Andy Murray now sits at the top of the rankings as World No.1, Evans has started his 2017 season in great form and now Johanna Konta continues to impress against the World’s elite.
Her draw at this year’s Australian Open is going to be challenging but on this form, who would count against her making another strong run?
The Australian Open starts on 16 January.
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