Agnieszka Radwanska has tasted success in the final of Tokyo in the past winning the title back in 2011 when it was a Premier 5 event against Vera Zvonareva but has also had disappointment in Tokyo losing to Nadia Petrova the next year however since 2014 the tournament has been a Premier event and Radwanska could become the 8th player to win the title twice. Standing in her way of this is the ever improving Belinda Bencic.
The last and only time these two met on the tour was back in Eastbourne in June. The match was quite close for two sets and suddenly Radwanska capitulated and lost the final and the third set 6-0 to the teenager and will be hoping to put that right in Sunday’s final.
Looking at both players’ runs to the final they have had some difficult battles. Aga has had to beat some inform players in Svitolina and Cibulkova but has done that very comfortable as has Bencic who has shown great ability to defeat two former Grand Slam finalists as well as a former Grand Slam champion in Sam Stosur from a set down which is the only set dropped by Bencic on route to the final whereas Aga hasn’t dropped a set, yet!
Aga’s game is all about variation. She is one of the best in the world at producing some out of this world shots. What lets her down is when she comes up against the very best she struggles to deal with their power and produce her own. I do think she is playing very well at the moment and I was totally impressed with her win against Cibulkova as watching her play is like looking into the future as she always knows what she is going to do a couple of shots ahead.
There is a possibility that Radwanska could finish the year with something she has never ever achieved since she came onto the tour back in 2006 and that is beat a top 10 player. She has beaten Pliskova this week but she did fall to 11 in the rankings on Monday so it doesn’t count!
Belinda Bencic has had no problem at all beating top 10 players this year with an exceptional record of 8-2 throughout the year and has secured two of those this week against Muguruza and Wozniacki defeating Wozniacki for the fourth time this year.
I feel like I say the same things when I write about Bencic but I can’t write anything else. She is playing so well right now and the confidence is there and to match these top players as she has done throughout the year is simply incredible. Her top 10 record is 8-2, some top ten players don’t even have a record as good as that for the year and is 15/8 against top 25 ranked players which is a good record. Her whole game is so good right now there isn’t much to fault. She did show signs of frustration against Wozniacki when she was broken in the second set but quickly focused and got the break back immediately.
This is a tough one to predict. Both are in good form and winning this would be massive in qualifying for the WTA Finals. I do think it will be three sets I can’t see either player winning in straight sets but I do think Belinda will edge it, probably not 6-0 in the final set like in Eastbourne though!