The Associated Press
The Associated Press
SYDNEY — Agnieszka Radwanska claimed back-to-back WTA titles by dispatching Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-0, 6-0 in the Sydney International final Friday.
A week after winning in Auckland, the Pole reinforced her billing as the top-seeded player in Sydney when she claimed her 12th career WTA title and her ninth straight match to start the 2013 season.
Radwanska faces Australian qualifier Bojana Bobusic in the opening round of the Australian Open next week.
In the men’s bracket, Kevin Anderson of South Africa beat Julien Benneteau of France 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8) in a match between players separated by a single ranking point to reach the men’s final.
Last year’s runner-up, Benneteau edged Anderson by the solitary point to claim the 32nd and last seeding at next week’s Australian Open after Anderson passed up the chance to earn ranking points by representing South Africa at the Hopman Cup.
Anderson had a small revenge on Friday when he beat Benneteau in a thrilling match of almost 21⁄2 hours.
He moved on to face Australia’s Bernard Tomic, who kept up his outstanding early season form to beat third-seeded Andreas Seppi 7-6 (8), 6-4 to reach his first ATP Tour final.
Tomic, known for his volatile temperament, showed fortitude in overcoming heat stress caused by 104 degree temperatures to beat Seppi for his seventh straight win.
He has the chance to become the first Australian winner of the Sydney tournament since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005, and the first 20-year-old to win the title since Roger Federer in 2002.
Ranked 36th, Anderson played his way into his fourth tour final and remained on course for his third title, rallying from a set down to beat the 35th-ranked Benneteau.
Benneteau broke Anderson’s powerful serve twice, in the fifth and ninth games, while dominating on his own serve to take the first set.
Anderson fought back behind his improved serve to take the second set, serving four aces and adding nine clean winners to reclaim the initiative.
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