| LONDON, July 6
LONDON, July 6 Serena Williams was a firm
favourite to win her fifth Wimbledon title on Saturday even
before her final opponent Agnieszka Radwanska revealed she was
struggling with a respiratory illness.
The American sixth seed served more aces in her semi-final
win over Victoria Azarenka than the Polish third seed has
managed all tournament but Williams will not be under-estimating
a player who will become world number one if she wins her first
grand slam title.
"She's definitely resting up for tomorrow," the 30-year-old
Williams told a news conference on Friday. "She's looking good
and getting ready. This is a big thing."
Radwanska has won three titles this year to climb to number
three in the world, reward for a player without a particular
strength to her game but also few weaknesses.
"Radwanska has been playing well," Williams said. "She won
Miami. She's been consistent this year, more consistent than I
"That already tells me from the beginning I really need to
go out there and be ready to hit a lot of shots and be ready to
"She has great hands and she does everything so well. If I
come out flat, I won't win."
Since the American won the last of her 13 grand slam singles
titles at Wimbledon in 2010, she has had to deal with a gashed
foot and serious health problems that threatened to end her
After overcoming those hurdles, she is eager to step back
into the winner's circle.
"Oh, my gosh, it would mean a lot to me," she said. "But I
have to get there. I have to go out there and fight for this.
This is by no means going to be easy. Never, ever do I
underestimate any opponent.
"Hopefully I'll do it. That would be awesome."
Radwanska, 23, used her crafty all-court game to great
effect in her straight-sets victory over eighth seed Angelique
Kerber in the semi-finals but she has lost both career matches
against Williams, albeit four years ago.
"I played Serena a couple of times, but it was long time
ago," she said. "I didn't play her I think in last two years.
"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
"I don't really have anything to lose, so just going to try
Radwanska, who missed her news conference on Friday due to
her illness, said she would have to be cute to combat Williams's
"Every player is different but most of the players are very
powerful," she said. "I'm just going to try to mix it up
"Unfortunately I have picked up an upper respiratory
illness, which is affecting my nose and throat. I have been
playing a lot of matches here in the rain and cold wind, and I
haven't been well for a few days.
"The most important thing is that I'm feeling good on the
court and playing some good tennis, despite not being able to
talk much away from the court.
Despite not feeling well, Radwanska is relishing the
prospect of facing the four-times Wimbledon champion.
"It is going to be another challenge, especially here on
grass. She's playing amazing tennis at the moment," the Pole
"Everyone dreams when they are a kid about becoming number
one, so I'm very happy to have a chance to play for the top
ranking. But there is still one very tough match to go."
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)