Agnieszka Radwanska smiled when she was asked if she has “unfinished business” here at Roland Garros from last year, when she was playing great – on a surface that isn’t her best – before the weather literally rained on her parade.
Radwanska hit out at French Open organisers last year, following her fourth round exit to Tsvetana Pironkova, for forcing them to play while it was raining.
This year, the Polish No9 seed came to Paris coming off of a foot injury that kept her out of both Madrid and Rome, meaning she only played one match on clay ahead of Roland Garros. She also hadn’t won back-to-back matches this season since Sydney in January, prior to this fortnight.
The lack of preparation though has not stopped Radwanska from reaching the third round after battling past Alison Van Uytvanck 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-3 on a sunny and warm Thursday morning. She next faces Frenchwoman Alize Cornet on Saturday.
“You called it very good, unfinished business. Well, hopefully the weather stays like that. But, well, you never know,” Radwanska told reporters on Thursday.
“But, yes, I’m really feeling good in this heat, and of course it was not easy, it was really hot and two-and-a-half hours on court. But, well, yeah, for sure it was better that way than for sure it was last year.”
Radwanska’s foot injury caused her pain even when she was walking, the 28-year-old had told reporters in Madrid earlier this month. She says there are still lingering effects but that she does not feel pain on court.
“I feel 100 per cent on court. That’s the most important thing. So of course I still need to take care of the foot a lot. I’m always saying, spending more time on the table than court, but that’s the part of the day and the preparation,” she explained.
With clay being Radwanska’s least favourite surface, and it is one that requires lots of running, and specific movement, did she consider skipping the French Open – which would have snapped her streak of playing 43 consecutive Grand Slam main draws – and focusing on the grass season ahead?
“To be honest, if you’re talking about the Grand Slam, if I make that kind of decision, it would have to be so bad and I wouldn’t even walk normally. And of course I would wait till the last minute to make that decision,” said Radwanska.
“Of course clay, it’s never been my favourite surface. I’m not expecting miracles here, but I will try my best. I’m playing really what I can do this year on the clay, this is also Grand Slam. So it’s as important as Wimbledon or Australian Open. That’s why I really want to play here, and do my best.”
Radwanska’s dress is certainly something.. pic.twitter.com/hVh4vU91cs— Jimmie48 Photography (@JJlovesTennis) June 1, 2017
Roger Federer, who won the Australian Open last January in his first official event back from a six-month injury absence, decided to forgo the clay season to strengthen his chances at Wimbledon next month.
Asked if she would ever “pull a Federer” and do that, Radwanska said: “Well, I wish. It’s not that easy, especially comparing me to Federer, let’s come back to reality.
“I have a different position. But, well, I think it’s hard decision, also for him just to skip one Grand Slam to do good at the other one.
“I don’t think I can do that, especially skipping Grand Slam, but I could skip Rome and Madrid. I had to. But anyway, for me, it’s only four tournaments on clay. It’s still not much, but sometimes even too much for me.
“I’m really trying to play all of those every year, but there is always something happening exactly at that time. That’s why I’m skipping it.”
Against Van Uytvanck, Radwanska hit 18 winners against 16 unforced errors and was 23/29 at the net. Her Belgian opponent, a former quarter-finalist at Roland Garros, fired 46 winners but was dogged by 45 unforced errors.