Agnieszka Radwanska is a Professional Tennis Player from Poland. She entered the Top10 for the first time in 2008 and is having her best year on the tour in 2011.
Consistency, Anticipation, And Great Counterpunching Skills
Radwanska was born in 1989 in Poland. She comes from a tennis family. Her dad is a tennis coach and has been her coach for the most part of her career. Her sister, Urszula, is also a professional tennis player ranked inside the Top100 in the world.
In her very successful junior career, Agnieszka managed to gain the number 1 junior ranking in the world and won two Junior Grand Slams, at the 2005 Wimbledon Championships and the 2006 French Open.
She found success quickly as a professional. In 2008 she first entered the Top10 in the world as a teenager.
So far she has won 7 titles on the WTA tour and 2011 is her most successful season yet with two major victories at premier level events in Tokyo and Beijing!
She has never gotten past the quarterfinals stage of a Grand Slam tournament yet though.
Agnieszka Radwanska is a very consistent player who relies on good movement and great anticipation skills. She lacks real firepower compared to most of her peers though. She also plays smart, using drop-shots and coming into the net when appropriate. In many ways she plays a similar style to Martina Hingis.
Check Out This Amazing Point By Radwanska
A Pretty Unusual Playing Style!
As you could see in the video, she has really good hands, uses the slice backhand, and generally mixes up the pace well!
The forehand is Radwanska’s best shot. She likes to run around the backhand and hit inside-out forehands!
On the forehand she uses a short and compact swing with a semi-western grip. This allows her to take the ball early and go up the line easily!
Most great forehands have a rather short and compact motion and the advantage is that not much can go wrong. She is never late with her contact point and can therefore is extremely consistent with the forehand!
The Radwanska Forehand
A Short Compact Motion
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Radwanska’s backhand is also a very solid shot. She rarely makes any unforced errors, but she also doesn’t hit many winners with it except for the occasional
backhand down the line!
She takes the racket back quite low, which I believe costs her some racket head speed. Taking the racket back a little higher would allow her to use gravity and probably add a little more racket head speed. This should be a fairly easy change to make as well!
Radwanska hits a solid slice and does use it relatively frequent. I do think that her slice floats a bit too much and she also adds some unnecessary sidespin by moving the racket left to right a little too much.
Radwanska does not hit great looking volleys, but she is very crafty around the net and usually manages to get the job done.
Crafty Around The Net
Agnieszka Radwanska’s first serve can surprise people and she does win points with it. Her second serve is rather weak though and tends to get her in trouble!
Unfortunately, I was not able to find any slow motion videos of her serve, which makes it hard to analyze the stroke in detail. Even though she doesn’t have much power on her serve, she certainly does have a fluid motion.
This might be one of the rare cases where I see a rather solid motion with an end-result that is not so good. I believe that she needs to improve on a physical level, working on explosiveness and power in the right muscle groups in order to get her serving speeds up a bit more. To some extent this is of course genetic but I am sure there is room for improvement here for her!
The problem with Radwanska’s second serve is usually that she leaves it very short in the box!
This allows opponents to really jump on it and attack the ball, putting her on defense right away. She would most likely benefit from doing a lot of target practice on her second serve, with the targets set up closer to the service line!
Check Out Her Serve In This Point
Agnieszka Radwanska is one of the smartest players on the women’s tour when it comes to tactics!
She mixes up her game well, uses drop-shots and comes into the net when appropriate.
She usually doesn’t miss any easy shots and therefore doesn’t give away many free points to her opponents.
Her reliance on consistency and counter-punching is strength and weakness at the same time though! This game style makes her results very consistent and she usually doesn’t loose to players that she shouldn’t loose to very often. It also limits her in the success that she can have against the top players when they are in their best form though!
I believe in order for Radwanska to turn into a Grand Slam contender she needs to develop a bit more firepower and go for bigger shots at least occasionally.
Great Hands And A Superb Court Sense!
Radwanska is a very good mover around the court. She has a great court sense and can anticipate really well where the next ball will be coming to!
Anticipation is something that is really difficult to teach and is a real gift for a tennis player.
I do think that she could be a bit more explosive and improve in this area by focusing more on high intensity work with heavy resistance/weights.
Agnieszka seems very composed on the court and I have never seen her get very upset.
Her calmness is definitely an advantage over many other top players who tend to get very emotional on the court!
Agnieszka Radwanska is one of those players that is strong in many areas and therefore ranking her skills is not that easy. Her tactical skills allow her to play as well as she does, even though she is lacking firepower. Additionally, I think that her mental skills and the way she stays composed are a big asset compared to many of the other women on tour!
Radwanska’s second serve is definitely a weakness
and needs to be improved!
Players with good firepower, like Serena Williams, will punish her consistently for those weak short second serves!
Additionally, I believe she needs to commit to
playing a bit more aggressive!
She will of course never turn into a power-hitter, but in order to take her game to the next level I think she needs to pick out spots where she goes for bigger shots on a regular basis!
I am sceptical about her chances to win Grand Slam titles with the kind of game style that she uses right now. Being on defense too often is not the way to win Grand Slam titles in the women’s game these days!