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Radwanska puts in polished performance

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Originally published on: 22/01/12 05:36

Today on Hisense Arena she met another fan favourite, Germany’s Julia Goerges. It was, perhaps surprisingly, their first meeting. The 23-year-old Goerges has attracted attention as part of a group of German women chasing to replace the great Steffi Graf in their nation’s tennis affections. Radwanska by contrast is flying the flag for Poland, a nation not noted yet for its tennis-playing heroes.

22-year-old Radwanska is making her 6th straight appearance here at the Aussie Open. Tennishead first caught up with her five years ago when she was 17 years-old and singled her out with a group of girls of similar age on the verge of changing the order of women’s tennis. In 2006 she was voted WTA Newcomer of the Year by the media following her rise from outside the Top 300 in the rankings to No 57, a steep ascent by any measure.

Six years ago her contemporaries included young players like Yanina Wickmayer, Sabine Lisicki and Victoria Azarenka all still around in the Top 100, but also the likes of Agnes Szavay and Alize Cornet. It is testament to the Pole’s evolving game and her character that the girl from Krakow has emerged from the group as a Top 10 player.

Her performance today was illustrative of her cool workmanlike approach to her game. She defeated Goerges 61 61 in 54 minutes, a short match most welcome in the heat with a top temperature today of 34.9 degrees. Today Agniezska made the World No.23 look decidedly average. “I was just playing very good from the beginning until the end. I was focused on my game from the first point”.

It’s a long time since she shared with us somewhere deep in the media centre at Melbourne Park the knowledge that she had two rats called Flippy and Floppy and they no doubt are both long since departed from this world. Today Radwanska is focused on her tennis. She’s playing doubles here with Daniela Hantuchova and preparing for her third Aussie Open Quarter Final.

Her next opponent is Victoria Azarenka who is a friend; they’ve known one another for 10 years since they were juniors. Vikka defeated her last week at the semi finals in Sydney. Radwanska said smiling as she came off court today, that she hoped to get her revenge. Talking about her friend she commented, “I think it’s always three sets, always tough ones. For sure I have to play 100% to beat her.”

We bet there will be plenty of people barracking for the polished silent one on Tuesday. Perhaps it will be third time lucky for the No.8 seed and she will make it to the semi-final.

You can read more about friends and quarterfinal opponents Agnieszka Radwanska and Victoria Azarenka in the January 2012 edition of tennishead magazine.

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