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RADWANSKA LOOKING FOR FRESH START

2015-6-9


NOTTINGHAM, England - It is fair to say that 2015 has not exactly gone to plan for Agnieszka Radwanska. For so long a mainstay of the Top 10, a string of early exits has precipitated a slide down the rankings as well as a sudden conclusion to her coaching arrangement with Martina Navratilova.

This week, Radwanska is in Nottingham for the start of a longer than usual grass court season. And it is a change of scene that she hopes will shake her out of this unexpected funk.

"It's definitely not been a great year for me so far," Radwanska said on the eve of the tournament. "I'm just very happy that it's the grass season right now and the clay is over."

Radwanska's nadir came in Paris, where she meekly succumbed in the final set of her first round clash with Annika Beck. However, in the midst of arguably the worst run of her career, 26-year-old has managed to find a positive: "The only thing is I don't have to really defend a lot of points next year, so that's the only good thing!"

The Pole's facetiousness is nowhere to be seen, though, when the subject turns to grass. Although the well-manicured lawns of the Nottingham Tennis Centre may be a world away from the sub-zero indoor halls on which she grew up, Radwanska has always felt at home on the surface.

It is a love affair that started a decade ago with victory in the girls' singles at Wimbledon. "I love grass, ever since I played on it in 2005 at junior Wimbledon. I just love grass," Radwanska said. "Even though I don't have grass at home, it's a surface I really feel great on.'

This year, there is an extra week between the French Open and Wimbledon - a change that Radwanska is welcoming. "I feel like I've played on the surface all my life. I'm really happy to be here and that the grass season is a bit longer. Everything is so tight in that part of the season, with two Grand Slams very close to each other.

"A week makes a huge difference. You can rest in that week or you can have a couple more matches in another tournament. It depends what you need."

A good run on the grass - particularly at Wimbledon, where she was runner-up three years ago - could yet see Radwanska put herself back into contention for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

"It isn't about one target. Every tournament I go to, I want to win," she said. "Of course being in Singapore is always the goal. I'm not really close right now but I still have a lot of tournaments to go. Hopefully I can do it this year.

"You can also see different names in the Top 10. It's pretty tight. It's not easy to stay there, you have a lot of players pushing you - young ones and older ones as well, playing great tennis. It's not easy and you really have to be consistent for the whole year to play in Singapore."



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