2017 Wimbledon player profile: Agnieszka Radwanska

2012 Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska loves playing on the grass courts at SW19, and the Pole is still got the talent to win a Slam but as each year goes by, the chances diminish. Will 2017 finally be Radwanska's year to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish?

2017 Wimbledon player profile: Agnieszka Radwanska
Radwanska reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last year but lost to Cibulkova in a three-set thriller (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty)

Former world number two Agnieszka Radwanska has struggled for victories in 2017. Only at three events this year has the 2012 Wimbledon runner-up managed to win back-to-back matches at an event. The Pole has slid down the rankings, and she is currently ranked at number ten in the world, and she will be delighted to be back on her favored grass courts.

Notable results to date

Radwanska began her preparations for the Australian Open where she reached the final four in 2014 and last year. She made her first quarterfinal of the year in her first event in Shenzhen losing to Alison Riske, and the Pole reached her solitary final of 2017 so far a week later in Sydney. Radwanska recorded straight sets victories over Christina McHale, Ying-Ying Duan, and Barbora Strycova before getting completely outplayed by Johanna Konta. The downward spiral began at the Australian Open for Radwanska after defeating Tsvetana Pironkova in a three-set tussle in the first round, she suffered a second round defeat at the hands of Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who went on to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal in 18 years.

Radwanska struggled to deal with the pressure at the Australian Open (Photo by Mark Kolbe / Getty)
Radwanska struggled to deal with the pressure at the Australian Open (Photo by Mark Kolbe / Getty)

The Pole's woes continued at the back-to-back North American Premier Mandatory events at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and Miami, where she once again failed to register back-to-back wins for a single tournament. Former US Open semifinalist Peng Shuai upset Radwanska in the third round in Indian Wells, and Lucic-Baroni overpowered Radwanska once again in their third round meeting in Miami.

The Pole continued to struggle during the North American hard court swing (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty)
The Pole continued to struggle during the North American hard court swing (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty)

The clay court season was abrupt for the former world number two which she would have been proud at, as she has low expectations when she plays on her least favorite surface. The 2012 Wimbledon finalist lost to Ekaterina Makarova in her first clay court match at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix event indoors in Stuttgart. She was unable to compete at the third Premier Mandatory event of the year in Madrid, and the second Premier 5 event of the year in Rome due to a foot injury. It remained to be seen if Radwanska would compete at Roland Garros but she did. Surprisingly, she was able to record back-to-back victories for the first time in four months when she thrashed France's Fiona Ferro in the first round, and Alison Van Uytvanck, a quarterfinalist two years ago in a comeback three-set victory.

Radwanska managed to win back-to-back matches at the French Open but failed to reach the second week again (Photo by Adam Pretty / Getty)
Radwanska managed to win back-to-back matches at the French Open but failed to reach the second week again (Photo by Adam Pretty / Getty)

Grass results leading up to Wimbledon

The world number ten was due to participate at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham to get her preparations underway for Wimbledon. However, she was one of a few high profiled players to withdraw from the Premier event in the Midlands city. Nevertheless, she is due to compete at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, where she will be looking to get some matches under her belt ahead of Wimbledon.

Best Wimbledon result

At the age of 23, Radwanska became the first Pole male or female to reach a Grand Slam singles final. The former world number two was seeded third when she fell to Serena Williams, who was seeded sixth at the time, and the American claimed her fifth Wimbledon women's singles title in the process.

The Pole was ruthless in her first four matches at SW19 in 2012. Radwanska thrashed Magdalena Rybarikova, Elena Vesnina, Heather Watson and Camila Giorgi with no player managing to take more than six games over two sets against Radwanska. In her third quarterfinal at SW19, Radwanska was up against Maria Kirilenko, the 17th seed. It was the first seed that Radwanska faced throughout the fortnight and it was the toughest match she had at that point. Radwanska defeated the Russian, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in a tough tussle, and she defeated eighth seed Angelique Kerber, 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals to reach her first Slam final. Despite taking a set of the American, she was unable to defeat Williams, losing the match, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.

Radwanska (right) was unable to claim the Venus Rosewater Dish losing to Serena Williams (left) in a three-set final in 2012 (Photo by Julian Finney / Getty)
Radwanska (right) was unable to claim the Venus Rosewater Dish losing to Serena Williams (left) in a three-set final in 2012 (Photo by Julian Finney / Getty)

Radwanska was the fourth seed a year later in 2013, as she reached her second successive semifinal at Wimbledon. She blew a big opportunity to take advantage of a depleted draw as Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova all fell before the quarterfinals. Radwanska defeated Li Na in the quarterfinals, which ensured that there will be a first-time Grand Slam champion. The Pole lost to Sabine Lisicki in a three-set thriller, 6-4, 4-6, 9-7.

In 2015, Radwanska was seeded 13th, she didn't drop a set en route to her fifth quarterfinal at SW19. She defeated Madison Keys in three sets in the quarterfinal, and in her third semifinal appearance in four years, she lost to Garbine Muguruza in three sets, who lost to Serena Williams in the final.

Last year, Radwanska lost to Dominika Cibulkova in one of the WTA matches of the year at Wimbledon. Both players saved multiple match points but ultimately, the Slovak came out on top, 6-3, 5-7, 9-7, who advanced to her second Wimbledon quarterfinal. The Pole has a good record at Wimbledon as she has only failed to reach the second week on two occasions out of 11 visits.

How Radwanska's game translates to Grass

Radwanska is a counterpuncher which means that her game should be not suited to grass as it is more favored to aggressive players with firepower. It is evident as 15 of the last 17 champions at SW19 including the Williams sisters who have claimed 12 of those titles, Petra Kvitova twice and Maria Sharapova once in 2004 have those attributes. Nevertheless, she has made her brilliant defensive game work on this surface as she implements drop shots in her game, and lobs. She is unpredictable and likes to mix up the play.

Radwanska is very good at absorbing the big hitter's power by taking time away from them. Nevertheless, the Pole could get outhit by the big hitters, and she will need to be careful at Wimbledon. Providing that there will not be any more withdrawals ahead of her in the rankings, possibly Elina Svitolina. Radwanska will be seeded ninth, and she will be hoping to have a good draw, and claim the Venus Rosewater Dish for the first time after missing out in 2012.