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June 25, 2018

Agnieszka Radwanska

Eastbourne, England


6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Welcome back.

Q. What a way to start.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, well, I think everything was working for me today. First match is always tricky, especially after couple of weeks not playing matches and being home.

But, well, I was feeling good on court and serving pretty well. That helped me a lot today. Very important on the grass.

Well, yeah, I just hope I can play the same game tomorrow.

Q. Finishing with aces. Was it all just coming together today, or has there been a lot of preparation and getting over the injuries and all that?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, to be honest, I don't have grass in Poland, so the only preparation I had just couple days here. That was it.

This tournament is always great preparation for Wimbledon. It's always tricky, because here it's always strong tournament. Sometimes, you know, in the first round you're playing those good players and can be only one match.

Just happy that I really played good tennis, and, well, maybe just, you know, also fresh and had some good rest, as well, at home, rehab. You know, ready to go.

Q. Injury-free?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes. Yeah, yeah, it was good.

Q. Can you talk through, from April till now, what has that been like to be away for two months? And was this always the goal to get back in time for the grass?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, those two months went like two weeks. It was so quick (smiling).

Yeah, killed me, that's for sure this year. Struggling in the beginning and couldn't get back and had to miss the Grand Slam. That was always disappointing to miss a Grand Slam.

But sometimes we need to listen to your body first, and I guess that works good for me. You know, not pushing too much. And I have been playing too early so many times, and I already had my lessons couple times last year, as well.

Sometimes it's good to, you know, do the step back and start from the beginning. You know, now I'm feeling good, healthy, fresh. Of course match rhythm is always something that you need to have after a couple of matches, but playing today like this, I didn't really feel that I miss whole clay court season and didn't play a match last two months. So I guess that's good.

Q. It didn't look like there was much rust out there. Maybe we were expecting a little bit more, oh, you know, what do we expect to see when Aga gets out there? But were you surprised by how well you played?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, I think I also surprised myself, especially with the serves. I really felt good with everything. I didn't struggle with anything on court today.

Especially she's a big hitter, so of course sometimes the serve was, in the beginning of the first set, was tough, but then I just break once and then I think I was also more confident from that point. That helps me, you know, in that second set. That was much faster.

Q. Was the time away, the two months that feels like two weeks, was it more of a benefit physically or mentally?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I think both. It's always both. Especially, as you know, clay courts are not my favorite.

Q. You can say it. It's okay.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah. So, yeah. That's why I didn't cry that much (smiling). Okay, I didn't cry at all (smiling) that I missed that.

Yeah, well, like I was saying, maybe few years ago I'll play French Open because, you know, I didn't want to miss and let's play even when I'm not 100%.

But I think I'm not in that stage anymore, and I would just rather, you know, miss something and then be healthy and trying to do something big later.

Q. Was it more, like, the record of having been in all these slams, or when you look at some players like the Williamses who are much more selective about their calendar, you know, was it time to think, well, maybe they've got it right and let this one go? Was it that kind of mentality?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, actually, I was thinking about not missing a Grand Slam, and I had a good record from all those years. And I was thinking that in the beginning, but when I felt that bad in the beginning of the clay court season, I said, like, this is not going to happen because I just can't play. You're kind of thinking a little bit different ways. That's why probably few years ago I would play but not this year.

Q. Once you sort of accepted that this was going to be the end of that amazing record, was that just an easier, like, a relief? Like, okay, it's not the end of the world?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah. It was a relief. Like I was saying, a few weeks before that, I was really pushing it. I wanted to play because, you know, I had the good record and this is, you know, nice to keep that way.

But I didn't feel better after two, three weeks. You know, going there and not practice at all, it would be just silly. So I didn't feel bad not going there.

Q. So were you completely off the grid, like, not paying attention to what was going on during the clay season, not responding to text messages from other players, like, these last two months? What have you been doing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: No, actually I was watching tennis. It's not like I, you know, I don't like tennis on clay. I like to watch (smiling) even if it's on clay.

Q. Just not play?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, I was watching a lot. Madrid, Rome, Paris, of course. You know, I had some time off, as well, some nice quick vacation and then a lot of rehab at home.

So I have been in Warsaw for those couple of weeks. It was nice to be home, actually. That's why that went pretty quickly.

Q. And the injury was the foot?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: It was the back. And then actually the hip, as well. Yeah.

Q. Connected?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I think so, yeah.

Q. Lower back?

Q. On the subject of the French Open and Simona's win, did you watch that? What did you think about her finally getting over the line?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, I was watching that final, and she definitely deserved it. She played so good whole tournament. She was so consistent and so solid and so focused. She really deserved it. I'm very happy that she got that Grand Slam finally.

Q. Did you think she was going to do it? She was a set and a break down.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I was still thinking 50/50 at that point. Yeah, when she won that second set, that was -- that's it.

Q. You knew she had it in the bag?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, she wouldn't lose that again, no.

Q. Being back on the grass after the break and everything, does it feel like you have turned the page? You know, the start of the season, it was frustrating and with all the injuries and everything. Does this feel like a clean restart to this year or is there still a hangover of the other stuff? What do you feel?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think it's kind of like a new start, especially on the grass. I wish that the grass court season would be a little bit longer than those few weeks.

But, yes, I definitely know now that, you know, I cannot really add more tournaments or, you know, playing more, or because I miss something now I'm going to play more. It's not working that way.

I think at this stage I really have to think about the schedule, you know, to feel healthy and good and physically and mentally. Yeah, and just not really putting that much pressure on myself and still trying.

Q. Not that we suggest you're old or anything, but do you feel there is an element of experience and I'm not, like, a teenager and I can't just play for hours and go practice for hours? I do need to be careful?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, exactly. That's how it is. That's the truth. It's not like -- we were just talking about this like this. It's just the way it is right now.

Well, almost 30. It's not 18 anymore. It's like you feel like you can do it, but your body, not really.

That's why it's always kind of like a misunderstanding between, you know, what you want to do and your body. That's why also I think what was I think the worst mistake I did a couple of times is like I felt good and I want to do more. It's not about that. If I feel good, let's keep the same or just do everything to keep and to feel like this, not add more because I'm good. Then it's bad again.

But, well, you have to have your experience, your mistakes, and then you know.

Q. So does the time away and maybe thinking about things, I don't know, but when you talk about the miscommunication between what you want versus what your body will let you do, does the fire still burn as brightly as it did, you know, a few years ago, or is there still the ambition and the desire?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, it is. I mean, if not, I wouldn't be here. I still want to try, especially in the big events, and really get back on track.

So I'm doing whatever I can to play my best tennis and hopefully that's, like you said, kind of like a new start in that grass season, and, yeah, we'll see.

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