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Radwanska prefers hard courts

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Originally published on: 16/05/12 00:00

Agnieszka Radwanska usually trains on clay courts when she is at home in Krakow, but the new world No.3 says she prefers playing on hard courts. “Pretty well 90 per cent of the season is played on hard courts, so you get used to it,” the 23-year-old Pole said. “Before I really liked playing on clay, but because of the number of hard-court tournaments that I’ve played I’ve changed my mind.”

Radwanska has won nine titles on the WTA tour, including five in the last 10 months. Since last August she has won tournaments in Carlsbad, Tokyo, Beijing, Dubai and Miami – all of them on outdoor hard courts. Her best previous year was in 2008, when she won titles on three different surfaces – on outdoor hard courts at Pattaya, on clay at Istanbul and on grass at Eastbourne. Her only other tournament victory on the WTA tour was at Stockholm in 2007, which was again on outdoor hard courts.

She admitted: “It is strange because I don’t even practise on hard courts when I’m at home. We don’t even have a hard court in our city, so I practise on other surfaces. It’s just that I’ve played a lot of hard-court tournaments.”

Asked what was different about playing on clay, Radwanska said: “Pretty well everything – the bounce, also clay courts are much slower, so the matches are longer. It’s different tennis for sure.”

Radwanska is at a career-high position in the world rankings. Remarkably, she began this week’s tournament in Rome having lost to only one player in 2012. Victoria Azarenka, the world No.1, has beaten her six times this year.

“Of course I’m very happy to be No.3 for the first time in my career,” Radwanska said. “I didn’t really expect that, especially at the start of the year. I’ve just been going step by step, up the rankings, so I’m just very happy about it. I hope I can carry on playing my best tennis over the next few months.”

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