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Radwanska beats Zvonareva to win Carlsbad title

- Associated Press - Sunday, August 7, 2011

CARLSBAD, CALIF. (AP) - Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland won her first tournament title in more than three years with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over third-ranked Vera Zvonareva in the Mercury Insurance Open final on Sunday.

The third-seeded Radwanska used a steady all-around game and took advantage of Zvonareva's inconsistent play to win her first title since she took the Eastbourne grass event in June 2008.

Radwanska won despite being hampered by a nerve problem in her right shoulder that limited the speed of her serves. However, she was able to use consistent placement that did not allow her Russian opponent to take advantage. Radwanska never dropped her serve and saved the only two break points she faced.

Radwanska, who earned $111,000 for the win, had one break in each set as she snapped Zvonareva's career-best, nine-game winning streak. It was Radwanska's first final since losing here last year to Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The final figured to be a close match after each player had to win consecutive three-setters to advance. Radwanska lost the first set in each of those matches.

But Radwanska proved to be more steady.

She had the only break of the first set in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Radwanska won the set with a backhand winner down the line.

Radwanska scored another early break in the third game of the second set. Serving with a 3-2 lead, she fought off two break points in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead.

Radwanska missed her first match point before closing out the match when Zvonareva hit a forehand long.

Zvonareva, who won a hardcourt event last week in Azerbaijan, lost for the first time this season in her third finals appearance.

Radwanska, who won her fifth career title, is projected to move up one spot in the rankings to No. 12.

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