Agnieszka Radwanska’s rhythm on grass was mastered by Monica Niculescu, who bounced the former Eastbourne champion out of the delayed Nottingham Open semi-finals.
Radwanska, who accepted a wildcard invite to the tournament following her dreadful clay court season, had dominated on the English grass until meeting the Romanian 24 hours after schedule due to the English rain.
And Niculescu was in red-hot form to reach the final with a deserved 145-minute 7-5 4-6 6-0 triumph.
Polish ace Radwanska breezed into a 3-1 lead only for both players to drop their service games.
Radwanska, a very popular figure on the circuit and especially at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park, was serving for the set at 5-3 but was outplayed and outpowered.
And the Pole fluffed two set points in the next game before breaking Niculescu for the second time of asking in the 12th game.
The second set saw both players up their game with deadly accuracy and ferocious shots, with Radwanska dropping her serve twice compared to the Romania just once that divided the pair.
Suddenly Radwanska showed exactly why she had collected just two victories throughout her clay court campaign and slipped out of the world’s top 10, by making unforced errors and setting shots up for Niculescu to power past her.
A rapid set was sewn up within 29 minutes without Radwanska making any impact, with severe question marks as to how she will bounce back from such a poor set and return to her usual high standard.