Agnieszka Radwanska may have retired from WTA play a year ago this month, but she has maintained her steady gaze on the game since then. In Shenzhen, China, for the WTA Finals as an event ambassador, she spokes with the press on a range of topics—and was ready to tap a successor to her best-hands-on-tour status.

"Ash Barty is one of the best hands on the tour, nice volley as well," Radwanska said, as reported on the WTA site. "It's nice to see not only the powerful shots but also the really good touch. I think it's a good combination right now in women's tennis."


"I think you cannot really practice these kind of shots," Radwanska added. "I couldn't really play powerful tennis like the others. I always had to find the other way to win matches. I think the touch was my escape from those players who killing the balls."

Radwanska practically gushed over Barty's game, and notably, that of breakthrough teen Bianca Andreescu, who won Indian Wells, Toronto, and then the US Open this year. Forever prescient, Radwanska's choice as her hot-shot–stroking successor, Barty, added to her stellar 2019 season by winning the WTA Finals title.

Though her year was unforgettable, Barty didn't get to end with the icing on the cake this past weekend. She lost a heartbreaking third-set tiebreaker to Kristina Mladenovic and then fell in a doubles match with Samantha Stosur to lose the Fed Cup final to France in Perth.