In Focus | Dubai Tennis Championships

Radwanska has top spot in her sights

Defending title in Dubai will be her first priority, says Pole

  • By Alaric Gomes Senior Reporter
  • Published: 19:34 February 18, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: EPA
  • Agnieszka Radwanska

Dubai: Defending her title here and becoming the world number one are the top priorities for defending Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open champion Agnieszka Radwanska.

“I hope I can be the world number one as I am working hard for that. Being No.4 is close [to that goal], but also far as there are a lot of players playing great tennis right now,” Radwanska told reporters on the sidelines of the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open that got under way at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Monday.

Agnieszka has received a bye into the second round, where she will face the winner of the first-round match between Yulia Putintseva and Laura Robson.

“I think that being number one has so much to do with the Grand Slams as there are a lot of points there. But I think I can do it. So let us wait and see when it happens,” she said.

The closest she came to a Grand Slam title was last year when she made it to the Wimbledon final, where she went down to Serena Williams in three sets. Currently ranked No.4 in the world, Radwanska holds a number of tennis accolades, including being the first Pole to reach a singles final at a Grand Slam along with winning the WTA Award for most popular player for two consecutive years.

“Lessons learnt from losing at Wimbledon? If I remember it was definitely different from any other tournament. And when I was going on court everything around was much bigger and I was nervous.

“I think the Wimbledon final is still a dream come true for me as every player dreams of being in the final of a Grand Slam. It was my first time and it was a great experience. I was nervous and I lost to Serena, but now at least I know how it feels to be in a Grand Slam final,” Radwanska said.

“To be No.1 is not about one or two tournaments, but you have to play good tournaments all the time with good results, especially in the Grand Slams.”

Radwanska started off 2012 on a high after winning titles in Auckland and Sydney. Then last week she succumbed in straight sets to the eventual Qatar Open champion Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals in Doha.

“Definitely it has been a great start to the year with two titles in a row. Winning so many matches in a row especially against some top players is a great feeling. It was pretty similar in the last few years. Last year I was pretty close to winning a Grand Slam and being World No.1. I will try this year again,” she said.

For the time-being, though, the 23-year-old Pole insists she is totally focused on defending her title here. “It’s always exciting that things are very tight at the top [of the rankings] and it’s nice to have a rivalry going. But for me, there’s no pressure. I just want to go out there and stay totally focused on my match,” she added.

“I will try not to think about the pressure and defending the points here. It’s always at the back of my head that I won here last year and I am here this year to defend the title. It’s always a tough and strong tournament here and I will try [to win].”

Gulf News