Pennetta powers past Radwanska to stay in semi-final contention

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Flavia Pennetta kept her season alive at the WTA Finals in Singapore with a straight-sets victory over Agnieszka Radwanska on Tuesday.

The US Open champion needed to win her second match of the round-robin stage to avoid an early exit from the competition, and she produced an impressive display to stay in contention for a semi-final place.

A fast start from Radwanska took the Italian by surprise in the opening games but, having fallen a break behind, she quickly battled back – her backhand working supremely from the baseline.

After levelling the match with a break of her own, Pennetta allowed Radwanska back in but the pair were soon tied again as the set hurtled towards a tie-break.

In the breaker, both players served well but it was Pennetta who found the crucial openings to bring about two set points, the 33-year-old – who will retire after this event – converting at the second attempt.

The second set was more straightforward for Pennetta as errors began to creep into Radwanska's game, the Pole finding the net all too frequently to hand her opponent points.

A break in the seventh game secured the victory, with Pennetta racing into a 40-0 lead on Radwanska's serve before converting at the third opportunity.

She should have wrapped up the win two games later but Radwanska's dogged determination kept her in the match, the world number six - who will eliminated if Simona Halep beats Maria Sharapova - saving three match points with some impressive groundstrokes.

The end was not far away, though, as Pennetta served out to love to ensure she remains competitive going into her final match with Sharapova.