Radwanska into Wimbledon final

  • Last Updated: July 5 2012, 21:41 BST

Agnieszka Radwanska became the first Pole for 75 years to reach a Wimbledon singles final and warned she will not be overawed by grass-court queen Serena Williams on Saturday.

Radwanska: Saw off the challenge of Kerber

The name Jadwiga Jedrzejowska does not possess the same resonance around the All England Club as Bunny Austin or Fred Perry, the last Britons, respectively, to reach the Wimbledon final and to win the title.

But Radwanska knew all about her illustrious late compatriot, who reached finals at Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open in the late 1930s.

Her Wimbledon run came in 1937, with Britain's Dorothy Round her conqueror in three sets.

It came as a thrill for Radwanska to match her Wimbledon feat but now the 23-year-old has four-time champion Williams and the world number one ranking in her sights.

Beat Williams and the ranking will take care of itself, with Radwanska jumping two places to overtake Maria Sharapova, who cannot stay at the top, and Victoria Azarenka, whose defeat at the hands of Williams leaves her provisionally number one but vulnerable.

Radwanska was still a teenager when she played Williams on the only two occasions they have met, so she was keen to play down the significance of those two matches, in which she won a combined total of just eight games.

"It was a long time ago," she said.

"But it's always tough. She's a very tough opponent and hitting the ball very well. Of course she's playing great tennis on the grass.

"I think I don't really have anything to lose, so I'm just going to try my best."

Radwanska's post-match press conference was curtailed as she struggled to speak, apparently due to a dry throat.

The strain of seeing off Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-4 on Centre Court earlier may have been having an impact.

While left-hander Kerber struck a powerful ball throughout, nobody in the women's game matches ferocity and precision quite like Williams.

"Every player is different, but most of the players are very powerful," Radwanska said.

"I'm just going to try to mix up everything."

Radwanska was a girls' singles champion at Wimbledon in 2005, and would love to go one step further than Jedrzejowska, who died in 1980, and carry off the women's title.

"I know that she was the finalist here many years ago," Radwanska said.

"I'm just very happy that I can be the second player from my country to reach the final.

"I was the first player from Poland to get to a semi-final for many years, so I think this is already a big success. And now here in the final, so it's even bigger.

"For sure this tournament is already a big part of tennis history in Poland. I'm happy to be part of that."

There will be critics ready to pour scorn on the ranking system if Radwanska, who had not reached a grand slam semi-final until this week, does claim the number one spot.

But Radwanska said: "I will do everything in my power to be number one."

At that point, with Radwanska struggling, the tournament official at the press conference called a finish.

Kerber, 24, believes it would be wrong to assume Williams will win on Saturday.

The eighth seed was impressed by Radwanska and said: "She needs to play her game. She moves very well on this court, doesn't make many mistakes. So if she plays like today, I think she has a good chance."

Kerber yesterday met up with Steffi Graf, the last German, in 1999, to reach the Wimbledon final.

"She told me that I had had a good few months and was playing very well, and also to go out there and have fun and enjoy this. To try my best, and that it doesn't matter what happens.

"I think I did a good job in the two weeks here. I'm very happy about reaching the semis."