Rad­wan­ska hop­ing for luck and pluck in WTA Fi­nals de­fence

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska re­turns to the scene of her great­est tri­umph next week when she opens the de­fence of her WTA Fi­nals ti­tle and the 27-year-old Pole is the first to admit that luck can be as im­por­tant as skill to emerge vic­to­ri­ous in Sin­ga­pore.

Rad­wan­ska be­come the first player in the his­tory of the elite eight-woman tour­na­ment to lose two of her three round robin matches be­fore claim­ing the ti­tle af­ter she made the most of her good for­tune to se­cure a sur­prise vic­tory. Seeded fifth, Rad­wan­ska lost to Maria Shara­pova and Flavia Pen­netta and looked all but out of the tour­na­ment be­fore a straight-sets win over Si­mona Halep sneaked her through to the semi-fi­nals with a 1-2 record on sets won.

The Pole then dis­played all of her usual re­silience to rally past Spa­niard Gar­bine Mugu­ruza in three sets be­fore she held off Pe­tra Kvi­tova to claim the ti­tle with a 6-2 4-6 6-3 vic­tory.

“I def­i­nitely had cou­ple of great matches,” she told re­porters on Satur­day as she re­called last year’s tri­umph. “Ob­vi­ously not the great start but I think it’s a tour­na­ment that you can come back and a tour­na­ment that you don’t need to win ev­ery match just to win the ti­tle,” the world num­ber three added.

“There is al­ways the hope. A lit­tle bit of luck as well. De­pends of the other scores in the group and then you can still win it. So I think that’s what I ac­tu­ally proved last year.”

Rad­wan­ska ad­mits that she loves the un­pre­dictable na­ture a tour­na­ment in­volv­ing the top eight play­ers of the sea­son can pro­vide, de­spite the ab­sence of world num­ber two Ser­ena Wil­liams for a sec­ond straight year due to in­jury.

“Ev­ery year is a bit dif­fer­ent. I think it’s al­ways very in­ter­est­ing be­cause pretty much ev­ery match is 50/50 and you are really go­ing to see good ten­nis,” she added.

“But of course what’s dif­fer­ent? I’m just get­ting older and older and still glad I can qual­ify for an­other year here.”

Wil­liams’ long reign as world num­ber one was ended this year by Ger­many’s An­gelique Ker­ber, who won the Aus­tralian and US Opens with her solid base­line game and also claimed an Olympic sil­ver medal and reached the Wim­ble­don final.

“I think Angie (Ker­ber) showed ev­ery­one, all of us, that it’s pos­si­ble. You can beat Ser­ena also in the grand slam final. She def­i­nitely proved that every­body can be on the top,” Rad­wan­ska added in praise of the Ger­man. “That’s why I think it’s very tight right now. I think next year will be very in­ter­est­ing for a lot of girls.” — Reuters

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