Radwanska claims title number 18 in Shenzhen. Contender in Melbourne?

Agnieszka Radwanska has made the perfect start to season 2016, claiming her 18th WTA singles title at the Shenzhen Open courtesy of a 6-3 6-2 victory over Alison Riske in Saturday’s final. It has been a wonderful week for the Pole who cruised through the draw and has shown signs of improvement which could be very valuable moving forward as she continues to fight for a maiden Grand Slam title.

Aga saved her best performance of the week for the final, totally outclassing her American opponents with a perfect mix of aggressive and defensive tennis. The first set was close, one service break was all that separated the pair. It was in the second set that Aga really stepped up her game and comfortably ran way with the match. Aga served 9 aces and was not broken throughout the whole match, a great serving performance.

 

Radwanska was barely challenged in Shenzhen, claiming victory in straight sets in all 5 of her matches. The Pole has now won 3 titles in her last 3 events, having claimed back-to-back titles in Tianjin and Singapore to end 2016. It means Radwanska is one of the form players heading into the Australian Open, perhaps a maiden Grand Slam title is just around the corner?

Radwanska has clearly worked on a number of aspects of her game during the off-season but one key area that seems to have improved is her serve. Aga was broken on just 3 occasions throughout her 5 matches in Shenzhen. Aga’s first serve statistics were particularly encouraging, maintaining an average first serve percentage of 68% throughout the week and winning 80% of points behind her first serve. Of course, Aga’s second serve statistics weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either. Aga will never have a wonderful second serve but if she maintains a high first serve percentage and is able to win a good amount of those points then she will be well positioned, which was proven this week.

 

It seems like Radwanska is now in the best position she has ever been in to win a Grand Slam title. Aga seems to have finally found the right balance between aggressive and defensive tennis, something that has always held her back. Winning the WTA Finals at the end of 2015 should give Aga a new-found confidence, knowing that she can win back-to-back matches against the best players in the world at such a big event. With so many high profile players withdrawing from week 1 events due to injury concerns, Aga has to like her chances of achieving great results at the Australian Open, perhaps this is Aga’s time to shine!

Can Radwanska win a Grand Slam in 2016? let me know what you think in the comments sections 🙂 

0 responses to “Radwanska claims title number 18 in Shenzhen. Contender in Melbourne?”

  1. First, I have to excuse myself for my poor english skills… 😉

    I think her beginning this year could be similar to that in 2013…
    I would wait for the draw. Maybe we get Aga-Vika in 4.Round. Would be a great match!
    Aga has to save her energy in the first rounds or I can’t see her winning seven matches.

    • A lot will depend on the draw, there are a number of dangerous players that she could face early on, but if she wants to win a Grand Slam she needs to be able to beat anyone
      Yepp, that is good point. It is very important for Aga to save energy in her early rounds. She has actually been better at that lately, in Melbourne and at Wimbledon last year she was able to do that pretty well but still didn’t work out for her.

    • I agree, obviously Serena is her biggest problem. I think she can beat anyone, but I’m not so sure she has it in her to beat Serena at a slam. If Serena exits early, then her chances will always be much higher

  2. I think Aga will have her best chances in Melbourne and at Wimbledon. I also think that Serena will lose her dominance in 2016. Aga have to safe energy in the first rounds. Thats and important point and the draw is always an important factor in women tennis. I think the biggest treats for Aga will be Sharapova, Muguruza, Azarenka and perhaps Keys. I would predict at least a quarterfinal for Aga in Melbourne. But i think she can also reach the semis or the final at Melbourne.

    Sorry for not my best english 😉

    • Yes I agree that Melbourne and Wimbledon are her best chances 🙂

      The draw is very important, players can sometimes get lucky such as Bartoli at Wimbledon Flavia at the U.S Open.
      Those 4 players are a threat but I think Aga can beat them all if she plays her best, I look forward to seeing how far she can go in Melbourne

      • Yeah she can beat everybody of them but she have to have full energy against them. I think another point which will give Aga much self conviction is that she won the last 3 tournaments which she had played.

      • I think the problem is that she is not allowed to play her best against consistent hardhitters.
        Even if she is on fire it seems to be much more difficult for her to close out victories / get victories over hard hitters than the other way around.

        • Yepp that is true, but she can make it very hard for her opponent to consistently hit through her when she is at her very best

          • You’re a big Aga fan, aren’t you? ^^
            Of course she has to have this strength as one of the best defenders on tour.
            But she always has to hope that a hard hitter like Serena, Masha, Vika etc. aren’t at their best!

            Only recently and rather luckily I got to your site and I wonder how often you go for Aga in match-ups against most Top 10 players!
            Was almost shocked seeing your predictions for Singapore ’14 and ’15 :O

          • Yes I am a big fan of Aga and I do believe that she has a great chance to win a Grand Slam in 2016, particularly at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. She is somewhat reliant on those players not being at their best (not so much Sharapova) but that is the case with everyone when it comes to Serena.

            I try not to be biased with my predictions, I think I am good with that

  3. Winning a 3rd tier tournament shows no sign of winning any grand slam. She needs the lady luck to win a slam. I don’t see her winning one in Melbourne this year. I think you might comment differently if she played in Brisbane instead of Shenzhen without any star players.

    • I’m not saying she can win won because she won Shenzhen..? It is more to do with Singapore and the way she is playing, nothing to do with winning Shenzhen

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