By Curt Janka
CARLSBAD, California â€“ If Rock beats Paper, then Wounded beat Woozy in the first semifinal of the Mercury Insurance Open. Agnieszka Radwanska endured an injured shoulder to beat Andrea Petkovic, who was battling gastrointestinal issues in a three-set thriller 4-6, 6-0, 6-4.
The match was filled with variety, depth, and drama. Petkovic hit aggressively into the corners during the first set while Radwanska played terrific defense. Petkovic found some sharp angles and big returns to take the first set with a break.
When they players started the second set, Petkovic looked less relaxed than someone in the lead should. She contested calls, burning through her challenges before the conclusion of the third game. Â At 0-3, she had the trainer visit her briefly. â€œI told the umpire that I wanted to go to the bathroom because I needed to throw up.,â€ Petkovic explained. â€œShe told me itâ€™s going to be on my time because itâ€™s right before Aga is serving.â€ She believes something she ate at lunch was the cause of her stomach trouble.
Serving at 0-4 and 0-40, Petkovic suddenly sprinted off the court. â€œI was like, okay, what is more embarrassing, running off the court like a maniac or throwing up on the court and being on SportsCenter for the next 25 years?â€ Afterwards she felt better but let her intensity drop for a while.
Down 4-0 in the third set, Petkovic found her intensity again. She won three games in a row to put some very real pressure back on Radwanska who said â€œshe was starting to play so much better, like no mistakes, going for it. Every game was very close. But you know it was a good game on my side with it was 4-3. I had a couple good shots. It was pretty close in the end.â€
Radwanska will play in the final for the second year in a row. She awaits the winner of the match between Vera Zvonareva and Ana Ivanovic. Asked about the other semifinal, Radwanska said â€œfor sure Iâ€™m going to watch today how theyâ€™re playing. Itâ€™s going to be a very interesting match. Really hard to say who is going to win.â€