Radwanska: Grass changed everything last year
Originally published on 13/06/16 00:00
After a first-round defeat at Roland Garros, Radwanska accepted a wildcard for the Aegon Open in Nottingham in a bid to get some matches under her belt.
A run to the semi-finals, where she lost to Monica Niculescu sparked an upturn in form, which saw her reach the final at Eastbourne (l. to Belinda Bencic) and the semi-finals at Wimbledon (l. to Garbine Muguruza).
Radwanska went on to finish the season in some style, picking up titles in Tokyo, Tianjin before the biggest win of her career at the WTA Finals in Singapore. She started 2016 in a similar vein, winning the title in Shenzhen and reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open, Doha and Indian Wells.
Back up to world No.3, Radwanska is making her first appearance at the Aegon Classic in nine years. The 27-year-old says the return to grass last season was a major boost and she hopes it can provide another spark this year.
“Grass changed everything for me last year,” said Radwanska, who last played at the Edgbaston Priory Club as a teenager in 2007. “There have been a lot of changes this past year, from the  grass season until now. Grass is always a surface that I feel good on, on and off the court. Clay really costs me a lot of energy.
“Of course there is a bit more pressure this year because I have more points to defend but I always look forward to the grass court season. Everything is good, I’m healthy, I’m feeling good and hopefully I can do even better than last year.”
However, despite being the top seed in Birmingham, Radwanska faces a tough first-round draw against American Coco Vandeweghe, who won a second Ricoh Open title in 's-Hertogenbosch last week.
"I didn’t expect an easy draw, it is a tough tournament," said Radwanska. "We’ve played a couple of times, we've had some tough matches but never on grass so it will be a really good challenge on the grass for me. Coco is already playing well on grass. For me it will be tough, first match on the grass. It will be easier for her with already a few matches but I just hope I can play good tennis."
"The pressure is always there and of course you want to do well, especially when you are No.1 seed, but you still have to play from the beginning and its not going to be any easier for the No.1," she added. "I still have to play 100% here."