Agnieszka Radwanska may be having a tough time of it on-court in 2017. A foot injury and a viral illness have dented what looked to be a promising start to the season for the former world No.2 after she reached her 28th career final in Sydney.
But there is an air of calm about the Pole as she returns to defend her Connecticut Open title.
While on-court results have not met her usual expectations, a pair of rings on her finger alludes to her fulfillment away from her day job.
In July, Radwanska married her long-term hitting partner, Dawid Celt, in her hometown of Krakow, Poland.
Dominika Cibulkova admitted a break from the game due to injury and nuptials of her own sparked s surprise run to claim last season’s WTA Tour Finals in Singapore.
Could a wedding prompt a change in fortunes for Radwanska?
“To be honest, in tennis not really,” Radwanska grinned. “Of course, I’m married but it’s not going to change anything.
“This year, it was a tough year for me. I was struggling with health, a couple of viruses and injuries. That was the one good thing I’ve had this year. Hopefully it’ll go better from the wedding now.”
Still holding on to a top 10 ranking, Radwanska opens her title defense against former world No.7 Eugenie Bouchard on Tuesday night. It’s a tough draw on paper, despite the Pole having claimed all three prior encounters.
Against the likes of a heavier-hitting Bouchard, Radwanska has to find a way to outwit if she’s to outplay.
She’s not the strongest of women on tour but it’s that exceptional all-court nous and touch which has earned her nicknames, such as “the Ninja” and “the Magician”.
“I really like those nicknames. I think it’s because I mix up everything and I can do everything on court,” Radwanska said. “Obviously on court I cannot really be that powerful. I’ve never served like the other girls so I always need to find the key to win points against them.”
At 28, the Pole has seen a gradual progression in the women’s game. The depth has grown and the style of play has continued to shift to favor the power-hitter.
“It’s getting harder and harder,” Radwanska said. “There’s a lot of young up-and-coming players really playing great tennis and the new generation is coming as well.
“It’s more athletic and more powerful and everything is going that way – faster and faster.”
Fortunately, Radwanska feels there will still be room for the crafty players of her ilk as the game continues to change.
“It’s changing for sure but I think there’s always going to be a balance.”