Radwanska looks to improve on grass

Radwanska looks to improve on grass

EASTBOURNE - Agence France-Presse
Radwanska looks to improve on grass

Agnieszka Radwanska. AFP photo

Last year’s Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwarska is hoping to improve her grass-play consistency on what she calls her favorite surface as she starts her grand slam preparation as women’s top seed at the ATP-WTA Eastbourne International.

The fourth-ranked Pole has had her ups and downs on the lawns, losing on the South coast in the first round a year ago but going on to make a surprise appearance in her first major final facing Serena Williams in the title match at the All England club later.

“It’s good to be back, even if last year was not so good for me here,” said Radwanska, heading a field with nine grass-court title winners in the women’s draw.

Radwanska cannot decipher why she loves grass so much, especially since she only steps onto it for the brief Wimbledon period. But the secret may lie in the fact that she and her sister Ursula train on synthetic grass at home.

The Krakow right-hander added: “We don’t have any hard courts in my city, and certainly no real grass. In the winter, synthetic grass is all we have.”

Radwanska hopes to get enough polish on her grass game this week to make another big impression when Wimbledon begins on June 24.

High hopes

“I hope I can make the final again and maybe go even further. Playing a grand slam final is so special, it feels like nothing else in the sport. I’m defending the final there so of course there is pressure. But I just try not to think of it and play my game.”

Former world number one Ana Ivanovic, the number seven, became the first seed to fall as she lost to Russian Elena Vesnina 2-6. 6-4, 6-3.

Marion Bartoli, the 2011 titleholder got off to a 6-3, 6-2 start over Flavia Pennetta.