Former Eastbourne champion Agnieszka Radwańska is all set to face Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic in the final of the AEGON International on Saturday.
Radwanksa, 26, beat her American opponent Sloane Stephens in the semi-final 6-1, 7-6, 6-2 in one-hour 58 minutes on a breezy centre court.
Radwanska, the world No.9, said, “I’m pleased to be through to the final. It’s going to be an interesting match. I will be playing her (Bencic) for the first time and that does not happen very often.
“She has had a really good season this year and is the upcoming player on tour and I’m really looking forward to it.
“More pressure is on my side but this is a final, we both want to win and we are going to fight the same for each ball game by game and we will see who is better tomorrow.”
Bencic, who beat Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta in the quarter-final made it through to the final after her opponent Caroline Wozniacki pulled-out with a lower back injury.
Bencic was 3-0 up in the first set when Wozniacki called for her trainer and after a brief discussion, they called it a day.
Wozniacki became the sixth player to withdraw from the competition as players refused to risk their health or aggravate niggling injuries ahead of Wimbledon. Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, Eugenie Bouchard, Daria Gavrilova and Wozniacki all left Eastbourne earlier than planned.
“I have had slight back problem the whole week,” Wozniacki said, “I felt like it stiffened up more today and I couldn’t move the way I wanted to I felt pain.
“I felt real bad for the crowd and everyone who came out but there is nothing I can do about it and all I can do now is look ahead to Wimbledon that’s starting in a few days and get as much treatment as possible and be ready for my first round there.”
Bencic added, “It is not the way I wanted to win. I’m a bit disappointed we could not play a proper semi-final.
“When I saw the draw before the competition I thought this is not easy and now I’m in the final. It has been a very good tournament for me I have played a lot of good matches.
“I have never played her (Radwanska) before. She has a very different style so I think it will be a real challenge but I am super excited.”
Play is due to start on centre court at 1.30pm on Saturday.
Organisers will install a big screen at Devonshire Park for Saturday’s finals at the Aegon International Eastbourne. If you have a centre court ticket or a ground pass from today (Friday) you will receive free entry to Devonshire Park tomorrow to watch the singles and double finals on the big screen. Bring your Friday ticket to the box office on Saturday morning to collect a voucher.
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