NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 02: Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland returns a shot against Maria Kirilenko of Russia during day three of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 2, 2009 in Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
In an injury-riddled field at the Mercury Insurance Open in La Costa, Agnieszka Radwanska fittingly emerged as the winner.
Despite the heavy tape on her serving shoulder and her first serves often clocking below 90 mph, the crafty Radwanska persevered and faced only two break points and never lost her serve in a 6-3, 6-4 upset over world No. 3 Vera Zvonareva of Russia.
"I was playing very well," said Radwanska, 22, of Poland. "I really wanted to win this tournament. I was very focused from the beginning."
It was the third-seeded Radwanska's 13th career title and earned her a winner's check of $111,000.
"I was very surprised that I didn't lose my serve," Radwanska said. "It was actually pretty impressive.
She added: Her serve wasn't causing me too much trouble, but it was very different from my last two opponents. I didn't get a chance to adjust. I couldn't find my rhythm on the return and so I couldn't put enough pressure."
Radwanska began with an early lead by gaining a service break in the fourth game.
Radwanska then skillfully proceeded through the rest of that first set, hitting a 94-mph ace that seemed to surprise Zvonareva in the set's final game. Then she deftly cracked a backhand winner up the line on her first set point.
Radwanska broke early in the second set as well, in the third game when Zvonareva, seemingly getting frustrated by Radwanska's gentle touch, began hitting her forehand too hard and long.
Although Zvonareva had more clean winners than Radwanska (25-17), she also had 28 unforced errors, compared to only 15 by Radwanska.
"She played a really good, clean match," Zvonareva said. "She played the way she usually plays. She just didn't make any unforced errors. I think it was a little bit tough for me physically after Saturday night's) tough match. I couldn't stay as aggressive as I wanted. I gave her more chances to play her game."
This was Radwanska's first career win over Zvonareva.
In two previous matches, Radwanska hadn't won a set.
Radwanska played in the same final a year ago but lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova.