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Why They'll Win, Why They Won't: Agnieszka Radwanska

Saturday, August 24, 2013 /by

It’s hard not to love Radwanska in this age of big-ball tennis. Her game is as crafty as if it were concocted at Hogwarts. Plus, she’s demonstrated her competitive mettle by obeying the first mandate for a top player: Win the matches you’re expected to take. Although she was raised on clay, Radwanska has become a bankable player on grass and hard courts, where players who rely on power over guile flourish. This year, she won the first two main-tour events (Auckland and Sydney) on hard courts, and lost before the quarterfinals in just one event on hard courts. Her best result on a surface comparable to the Deco-Turf of the US Open was a semifinal loss to Serena Williams in Miami. But that cuts to the heart of Radwanska’s dilemma. She seems hard-pressed to punch through to the trophy presentation ceremony against top players at the more closely watched events.

Why She’ll Win: As Pat Cash once quoted fellow Aussie Bon Scott, “Every dog has his day.” And the fact that Radwanska has ensconced herself in the top four suggests that she’s a lucky break away from winning a major.

Why She Won’t: As great as her defense is, great offense always trumps it. If she were able to win more free points with her serve it might be a different story, but it’s just too easy to break her down in pressure situations.

Bottom Line: Don’t underestimate the competitive mettle of Radwanska. There isn’t a player who’s as cool under fire, and one day it will pay off. If she can get a little more pop on that serve, it could happen in New York.

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