LONDON (Reuters) - Agnieszka Radwanska enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes as she made her wealth of grasscourt experience count to dispatch American hope Madison Keys and reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the third time in four years.
Six weeks after perishing in the first round of the French Open to Germany’s Annika Beck, Poland’s finest stands two wins away from becoming the first player from her country to claim a Wimbledon singles title following a 7-6(3) 3-6 6-3 victory.
“After that match in Paris, I wouldn’t expect being in the semi-final here, that’s for sure,” said a beaming Radwanska, who had suffered a wretched season before finding her feet on grass.
The 2012 runner-up, who at 13 is the highest seed left in the bottom half of the draw, needed six set points to seal the first set while the second slipped away after a bouncing net cord handed her 20-year-old rival a break in the eighth game.
Keys, one of three Americans to reach the women’s quarter-finals along with world number one Serena Williams and Coco Vandeweghe, produced a 106mph thunderbolt to draw level.
That was one of 12 aces she fired down on Tuesday which prompted John McEnroe to observe: “That serve of hers is such a big weapon. It can save her”.
However, being the tournament’s leading ace lady -- with a total of 59 -- could not carry her over the finishing line.
Radwanska inched closer to victory by breaking in the eighth game of the decider and finished Keys off with a forehand.
She will meet Garbine Muguruza in Thursday’s semi-final.
Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ken Ferris