WTA Rising Stars Impress Radwanska
Published July 29, 2014 12:14
STANFORD, CA, USA - Agnieszka Radwanska may only have turned 25 in March, but she is already starting to feel like one of the WTA's elder stateswomen.
"There are so many younger girls playing so well," Radwanska said during Monday's All Access Hour in Stanford. "This year, definitely Eugenie Bouchard, she's been really good, especially in the Grand Slams - one semi, one final. I think it's a very good year for her and of course she's playing great tennis.
"But it's not only her, there are other girls coming up, and they're 17, 18 years old, so it can make some of us feel pretty old! You know, time flies. It feels like two years ago that I was 18, and I remember those times really well: my first matches on tour; first time playing against big names in big stadiums; the first time I was on TV - I was so nervous before I went on court."
Radwanska, who broke the Top 50 one month before her 18th birthday, also remembers her rapid ascent through the tennis ranks and the emotions that came with it.
"I remember also those times going on court and losing, then a few months later going on court and beating someone in the Top 30, then a few more months later, someone in the Top 10," she added.
Such is the strength and depth of the current Top 100, Radwanska admits that emulating her own teenage achievements is a stiff challenge.
"The tour is definitely a lot stronger now. I can really feel that now from the first round at tournaments. Sometimes you get an easy scoreline, but usually it's someone who I have to really push myself 100% to beat.
"There's no easy matches now. Even when you play someone outside the Top 30 or 40, you have to play your best tennis to win the match."
By her high standards, Radwanska disappointed at both the French Open and Wimbledon, failing to make it beyond the fourth round at either tournament. However, following some rare time away from the circuit, the Pole is refreshed and raring to go ahead of the North American hardcourt season, which begins against Varvara Lepchenko at this week's Bank of the West Classic.
"Of course, I wanted to do better in some tournaments, especially the Grand Slams in Paris and London," she said. "They weren't as good as I wanted them to be, but tennis is a sport where we don't really have time to think backwards, because next week or in two weeks we have another big tournament and you're already thinking about your next match.
"I think this is the only time of year when you can have a small vacation. I mean, not two weeks, but at least a few days and of course I enjoyed it and being home for a few weeks. But I was back on court soon and practicing hard for the hardcourt season. I'm ready."