No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska moved through a dramatic afternoon semifinal Saturday at the Mercury Insurance Open in San Diego with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 win over No. 2 seed Andrea Petkovic , a match that at times looked more like the triage center at a hospital than a tennis match.
Radwanska, who was plagued by a foot injury for most of late 2010, has struggled with her shoulder all week in San Diego, mummifying it with tape in order to play.
Radwanska's shoulder looked to give Petkovic a significant advantage in health at the outset of the match, and the German (who will enter the WTA top 10 for the first time on Monday) took the opening set 6-4.
But while Petkovic's muscles and joints remained intact, her guts betrayed her.
Petkovic began telling chair umpire Kerrilyn Cramer that she felt like she was going to throw up early in the second set, and at 0-4, 0-40, she sprinted off the court, through the stands, and out of the stadium in order to vomit in relative privacy.
Smart move. Because no one (well, almost no one) wants to see one of the nicer ladies of the tour have a Sampras-Corretja moment on international television.
Though the contents of her stomach had been effectively returned to sender, it took a while for Petkovic to regain her form. But after she began to digest the bagel Radwanska had fed her in the second set, Petkovic put up a good fight, climbing back from 4-1 down in the third set to eventually fall 6-4 in the final frame.
The win is an important one for Radwanska. Since she had made the final in last year in San Diego (a WTA Premier-level tournament) in 2010, Radwanska needed to make the final again to successfully defend the 320 ranking points she had earned last year. And defend she did, so her current WTA ranking of No. 13 should not drop significantly next week as it otherwise might have.
Radwanska will face the winner of the second semifinal between No. 1 seed Vera Zvonareva and No. 5 seed Ana Ivanovic in the final, which will air live Sunday on ESPN2 at 5pm EST.
Stay tuned to SB Nation's coverage of the 2011 US Open Series at SBNation.com as well as on Twitter, @DailyForehand .