By Jim Fuller special to EmiratesUSOpenSeries.com
NEW HAVEN - Agnieszka Radwanska’s allotted time with the media on the grounds of the Connecticut Tennis Center had been over for quite some time on Sunday afternoon, but the world’s No. 3 player was in no rush to depart the television and video cameras just yet.
Radwanska was willing to oblige when tournament officials asked her to stick around and engage in a playful segment with close friend and four-time defending New Haven Open champion Caroline Wozniacki.
Radwanska had provided answers to questions about her favorite tennis shot (the drop shot), favorite musician (Rhianna) and favorite celebrity (Angelina Jolie) among others.
Now it was up to Wozniacki, one of the 2012 Wimbledon finalists’ closest friends on tour and potential semifinal opponent her in New Haven, to prove how well she knew her fellow top-10 player. Radwanska shrieked with delight each time Wozniacki provided a correct response.
These days, it seems as if Radwanska has plenty to smile about.
Back in March Radwanska beat former world No. 1 players Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova during an impressive run to the title at the prestigious Miami event. A few months later, she made it to her first Grand Slam singles final before losing to Serena Williams in three sets at Wimbledon.
The confidence Radwanska earned from those two events are serving her well as she pursues her fourth title of 2012. Radwanska is the top seed and received a first-round bye. She will face either Vera Dushevina or Olga Govortsova in the second round.
Radwanska is hoping her fine form in Miami and at Wimbledon foretell of a strong showing at the upcoming US Open.
"I had good results on hard court winning in Miami but didn't play that good last year at the US Open so at least I don't have (many) points to defend," Radwanska said. "Those two weeks in Miami were great. I think Miami is kind of like a fifth Grand Slam, a big draw. It was more experience about winning big tournaments. If I could win Miami why not the US Open? Of course I will do everything to do that."
If Radwanska was gleeful recalling her experiences in Miami, she was downright giddy when talking about the run to the Wimbledon final.
"From the beginning of the year I was already playing pretty good tennis against top players," Radwanska said. "It was a great experience at Wimbledon being the first time in the final. It is such a different feeling when you go to center court playing the finals of a Grand Slam. I played other finals before but never for the Grand Slam. Now I know it is different. I will do everything in my power to make that happen again."
Radwanska has other goals in mind including becoming the first player from Poland to ascend to the No. 1 ranking on the WTA tour. As it is Radwanska is a revered sports figure back in Poland.
"There are not that many athletes from Poland especially playing a sport that is famous around the world," Radwanska said. "I am very happy that I am doing something good. Of course it is a nice feeling that people like my tennis as well and that I have fans everywhere in the world.
"More kids are playing tennis and I am happy I can be part of the Polish history of tennis and I think tennis is more popular than before. It is a great feeling (knowing) that I am doing something good and all of my hard work since I was five years old everybody can see that it is worth it and I am hoping you will see more Polish names on the tour."