Agnieszka Radwanska has topped her year off with a bang, qualifying for the end of year WTA Finals in Singapore.
Difficult Start To The Season
Having started the year with a fall down the rankings, dropping outside of the top 10, the Pole could be forgiven for giving up. However, this did not happen. Parting ways with Martina Navratilova, her coach for only four months, Radwanska had seen her ranking drop during this time. The Pole was also being beaten by much lower ranked players and ones who had never beaten her before. One example was Heather Watson, the Brit shocked Radwanska in Indian Wells back in March, as she was defeated in straight sets to an opponent who had previously never taken a set from her.
Following the split with Navratilova, the Pole still had a few problems with her game and confidence. Needing a good run at a tournament or two, Radwanska was still struggling as May saw her ranking drop outside of the top 10 for the first time since 2011. The 2015 French Open saw the Pole suffer her third career first round loss at a Grand Slam. Radwanska needed some wins, and fast, to earn the better draws and get back up the rankings if she would be able to close in on the year end finals.
More Consistent Results
Grass seemed to be a better surface for the Pole as her results started to improve. In Nottingham and Eastbourne, Radwanska reached back to back semifinals defeating American Sloan Stephens in the Eastbourne Semi final. In her first final of the season she eventually lost in three sets, but the improvements were clearly noticeable. At Wimbledon, the Pole progressed to the semifinals before losing again in three sets. This was the run needed as Radwanska found herself back inside the top 10, with a chance now to qualify for the year end finals.
Onto the hard court swing and with consistent results in most tournaments, reaching the quarter finals or better (except for the glitch of the first round loss in the Western & Southern Open, and the US Open where Radwanska lost in round three). Radwanska finally managed to win a title in Tokyo defeating Belinda Benic to get her own back on the Eastbourne finalist. The Pole became the first player to win the event twice since it moved to hard court. The tournament in Wuhan saw Radwanksa at number nine in the race to Singapore, with those immediately above her within reach.
Continuing her run on the hard courts in the Asian swing, Radwanska was much more consistent now, reaching the semifinals of the China Open before being knocked out by Garbine Muguruza. The Pole was certainly now closing in on securing one of the eight spots for the end of year finals in Singapore. and decided to play the event in Tiajin. Here, Radwanska made her third final of the year, winning her second title of the year. In doing so Radwanska secured one of the sought after berths in Singapore, also making it the fifth straight year of qualification. With Serena Williams missing the event to rest and recover, could this be the year that Radwanska wins the final event of the WTA season?