Sydney International: Johanna Konta wins 2nd title; Gilles Muller to face Dan Evans in final

Sydney: Britain's world number 10 Johanna Konta dominated the third-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska to win her second WTA title in the Sydney International WTA final on Friday.

Konta capped an impressive week and an ideal build-up to next week's Australian Open in Melbourne with a 6-4, 6-2 win over the Polish second seed in one hour 20 minutes.

It was 25-year-old Konta's second career WTA Tour victory after winning in Stanford last year and she became the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1983 to win in Sydney.

Johanna Konta holds the trophy after beating Agnieszka Radwanska at the Sydney International. AFP

Johanna Konta holds the trophy after beating Agnieszka Radwanska at the Sydney International. AFP

"I was born here in Sydney so this is a very special moment for me," Konta told the crowd at the presentation ceremony.

It was Konta’s first win over Radwanska, a victory that will lift her to world No.9 when the new rankings are released on Monday.

"I'm just overall happy with how I was able to progress throughout this tournament," Konta said.

"I felt each match that I was playing I was thinking a little more clearly and was getting that much more match-tight, as the saying is.

"But overall, very happy with the match I played today. I really felt I definitely maintained a high level throughout and I made it very difficult for her to do much today."

It crowned an outstanding week for the British star after she accounted for Arina Rodionova, Daria Gavrilova, Daria Kasatkina and Eugenie Bouchard to reach the final.

Konta ruthlessly attacked Radwanska's serve throughout the match, with the Pole doing well to save six of nine break points.

Konta went through her five matches without dropping a set.

"She was just playing unbelievable tennis from the beginning till the end," Radwanska said.

"And normally you're thinking that she can't play like this whole match and it's gonna be even game or two that you can go forward because she's gonna have some worse couple of games. But she didn't.

"Everything was coming better and better, each shot. I cannot be even angry on myself, because I think I was even playing better than in yesterday's semi-final."

It was Radwanska’s only loss in her last seven WTA finals over an 18-month period.

Muller ends Troicki's run

Gilles Muller ended Viktor Troicki's two year unbeaten run at the Sydney International with a fighting 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) victory to reach the final on Friday.

Muller, after two years coming up short in the semi-finals, went one better to advance to the Sydney final where he will face Britain's Daniel Evans.

Evans, who upset Austrian top seed Dominic Thiem in Thursday's quarters, came from a set down in the evening semi-final to account for Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

"I am excited. I am really happy with the way I played to come back in the third set again and get the job done," the 67th-ranked Evans said.

"I'm feeling pretty tired. I'll try to get some massage before I leave here and then get some good sleep ahead of the final."

Evans continues British success at the Sydney International with Konta winning the women's final and Jamie Murray into the men's doubles final.

Muller's win ended third seed Serb Troicki's bid for a third Sydney title, lasted achieved by Australian John Bromwich from 1937-40.

"I served very well today, especially in the crucial moments when I was down break points with 30-all. I always managed to serve a first big serve. It helped me a lot," Muller said.

"I'm trying to recover well and to be really fit for tomorrow for the final and then just play my game.

"When I think about it, I could have been out in the first round. I saved match points in the first round. I think I'm lucky to be there."

Luxembourg's Muller at 34 is the highest-ranked player in the top 50 without a tournament title after losing in five finals, including two last season, both on grass in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Newport.

Troicki was philosophical about his defeat: "That's tennis. That's what happens when you don't use your chances.

"It's disappointing to lose against the type of the player that normally I like to play, but today he was just too good and served too good in the crucial moments."

A single break of serve in Troicki’s opening service game was all the sixth seed needed to take the opening set.

Both players exchanged service holds in the second set to force a tie-break.

Muller was unable to convert on his first match point at 6-5, but made good on his second chance at 7-6 to wrap up the win in one hour and 29 minutes.


Updated Date: Jan 13, 2017 19:00 PM

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