Istanbul Profile: Agnieszka Radwanska
Published October 19, 2013 12:01
Highlights: Auckland, Sydney, Seoul (champion), Stanford (runner-up)
Grand Slam Performance: Australian Open (quarterfinals), French Open (quarterfinals) Wimbledon (semifinals), US Open (fourth round)
Win/Loss Record: 56-16
Record Against Top 10: 5-8
WTA Championships History: Semifinalist (2012), Round Robin (2011), Alternate (2009, 2008)
Having finally earned herself a place on tennis' top table last year, 2013 saw Agnieszka Radwanska consolidate her place among the game's elite.
The Pole set the tone for another campaign characterized by its consistency in January, with back-to-back titles in Auckland and Sydney before reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open where her winning run was finally halted by an inspired Li Na.
This good form continued as the tour moved to the Middle East, a semifinal in Doha followed up by a solid showing in Dubai. More success was to come stateside, Radwanska reaching another semifinal, this time in Miami, where she lost out to the peerless Serena Williams.
Radwanska's season hit its first bump in the road as the tour moved onto the red clay of Europe, with early exits in Madrid and Rome throwing a spanner into her French Open preparations. Despite her lack of time on court, Radwanska hit the ground running in Paris, cruising through the first week before encountering a Sara Errani-shaped roadblock in the quarterfinals.
An even more bitter disappointment was to come a few weeks later at the All-England Club, though. After the surprise exits of Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, Radwanska, who had flirted with disaster on a couple of occasions herself, went into her semifinal with Sabine Lisicki as favorite for the title.
It was not to be. In the standout match of the fortnight, Radwanska could not keep Lisicki's relentless onslaught at bay, eventually succumbing 9-7 in the decider.
The remainder of the summer brought a final in Stanford and a semifinal in Toronto before yet more major disappointment in the shape of a fourth round loss to Ekaterina Makarova at the US Open. Yet just as her campaign appeared to be petering out, Radwanska raised herself once more, winning an epic final in Seoul against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to breathe new life into a season that could yet finish on the highest of highs.
"It's always great to play in the Championships - I think this is always the goal for everyone because it means you're Top 8 and had a great season," Radwanska said. "It's a very different type of event because there's just eight of us playing against one another and you can expect only tough matches over there.
"I have some great memories from last year where I had some good long matches. I will remember that three and a half hour match [against Sara Errani] for a long time - my press conference was at three in the morning because I finished so late!"