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October 30, 2019

Agnieszka Radwanska

Shenzhen, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Have you really missed us?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, when you're doing something for so many years... Walking into the room, Oh, my God, I didn't do it for like one year already.

Yeah, it feels good.

Q. What are your impressions of Shenzhen as the new home for the WTA Finals now?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I'm impressed with the stadium. But I know it's not the final destination here in Shenzhen. I can imagine another site that's going to be in a couple years.

Well, at the moment everything looks very good. The courts also look very beautiful. Sometimes I can just, you know, feel like I can jump on the court and play myself. It feels good to be back, yeah.

Q. What has life been like? How has retirement treated you? Was it a difficult or easy transition for you?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think both. Of course, it's less stress, more time. You not running with your calendar, know things you're going to do 10 months ahead.

But on the other hand side, it was the toughest decision in my life. You have to deal with it somehow, find your spot at home, live normal life. I think it's always combination on both.

But I'm feeling very good. I've been busy, as well, with other things. I think that gives me not thinking about professional tennis life that I just quit. Well, it's good. Time flies. It's actually a year now. Yeah, time flies.

Q. Speaking of things to keep yourself occupied, I was going through the website for your tennis apartments, obviously you have the rooms that are dedicated to some of the tournaments you won. You had a lot of success here in China. Talk about the idea behind having those different rooms. What makes the Beijing room special and the Tianjin room special?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: It's especially great to have this kind of hotel that you can enjoy, put pretty much all your life into those rooms with all badges, souvenirs, towels, racquets. Everything what I had, I just put it in there. You can really see a lot of things from the tournaments from around the world.

Of course, Beijing and Tianjin has to be there obviously. I just hope I can do more spots like that. At the moment it's only in Krakow. The goal is to do it in couple other cities, so we'll see.

Q. Right now there's a young Polish rising star Iga Swiatek. Have you ever talked with her?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, well, she's also from Warsaw, so I know her. Actually just kind of missed each other on tour. I stop and she start to play better. She start to play WTA events.

But, well, I've been also this year in the three Grand Slams, so I could watch her live, which is obviously different story than watching on TV. Well, for sure a girl with the huge potential. She can do a lot of things in the future.

Also, on the other hand side, a lot of work, as well. When she focus on the important stuff, going to have good people around her, she can do a lot.

Q. As you can see in this tournament, recently women's tennis has new faces, new champions. You can see many varieties in their tennis. Ash can hit good slices, Andreescu hit many different shots. They play similar to you. How do you see women's tennis? Are you happy with seeing that kind of play?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I think now in the women's tennis, we can see a lot of styles. Like you said, a lot of styles, a lot of also players with different ages. Even here we can see some young ones, also some older ones, as well.

Of course, Bianca can play really powerful tennis. Also when she has to play some tricky shots, she can do it as well. A nice combination of tennis, for sure.

Ash Barty is one of the best hands on the tour, nice volley as well. It's nice to see not also the powerful shots but also the really good touch.

I think it's a good combination right now in women's tennis. I'm always very excited to watch tennis. That's why also I'm here. I'm going to watch the girls live, as well.

Q. Kim Clijsters announced she's coming back to tennis. How far do you think she can go? Does it give you any ideas?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, to be honest, she surprised me a lot. For sure I didn't see that coming. Well, she's a great champion. For sure she can play still a great tennis, that's for sure.

As we know, tennis is going so much forward. You have to be really very fit. You have to really be fit to play so many matches in a row with high intensity. I think 10 years ago I remember the intensity was much lower. First couple matches you didn't lose so much energy like you're doing it now.

I really want to see how she's going to do, how she's going to feel about these differences. I really want to hear her press conference after the first match or first couple tournaments, how she feels, what's changed.

I'm very curious how she's going to do. For sure I'm going to keep an eye on it.

Q. Back to what you spent your time doing since retiring. You were on the Polish version of Dancing with the Stars. What was your favorite dance and why?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I love fast dances, so I think cha-cha and samba was one of the favorites. That was a very good experience. I think also that keeps me very busy after retirement. I started in February. That was couple months that I was dancing from four to six hours every single day, with the weekends as well. I was really busy.

I think that was good for my body, as well. When I stopped, I didn't really want to play tennis. I had enough. That show pushed me to still really work hard with different muscles. I realized on February I have some muscles I didn't know that exist. They were so tight. Yeah, that was a good experience.

Q. Serena has lost Grand Slam finals four times after coming back. Do you think she can still win it or do you think it's going to be even harder with all the young generation coming up?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, that's a good question. As you can see, she can still play the best tennis. When she's on fire, she can be in the final of every Grand Slam.

But I think at the moment it's more mentally than physically. Physically she's very fit. I think she's in a really good shape right now. I think now it's mentally.

Like you said, it's not easy to lost four finals in a row and playing another one to win it. I think everything is in the head. We'll see how she's going to manage that.

Q. How much do you still follow the tour, watching on TV? Still texting with your fellow players? What's the consensus from them, whether Caroline, Petra, about what it's still like for your friends?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, like I was saying before, I was in the three Grand Slams this year, so it was nice to catch up with all girls, see all the faces that I was seeing for last almost 15 years. Was good to catch up.

But, yes, I follow. I'm still big fan of tennis. I always love to watch tennis. That's why I'm still watching. I'm very happy to also see some Polish names in the draw, also in the women's draw, in the men's draw as well. It's always for me even more interesting to see Polish doing very good.

I know more or less, yeah.

Q. When you think back to when you won WTA Finals, do you remember what it was like going into the final round-robin?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, well, of course I remember I lost first two matches. Obviously was close, but still it was Love-2 going into the third match.

I think the most important part from that was the tiebreaker against Simona in that first set, winning from 5-1 down. From that I think my head was so loose because I know I'm at home already, I can just take the flight right after and that be it. I just make some amazing shots from there, won the first set. I still don't know how.

Of course, the second set with less pressure was much quicker. Won that second set, as well.

Then what I could do? Just wait on the match of Flavia and Maria. I remember I was working with my physiotherapist in the room at the hotel already. It was 4-1 with two breaks for Flavia. Actually we turn off the TV. Yeah, whatever...

Then suddenly, of course, my husband was then my boyfriend, he went to the gym. I was, like, so stressed he went to the gym. He was texting, She is coming back. I turn the TV back on and it was 5-4. I can't remember for who because we turn it off again. We thought it's going to be better if we turn it off.

We switch it on again I think in the second set, but we couldn't believe. I was lying on the table, Yeah, this one hurt, this one is painful. Anyway, I'm coming home. Let's come back to the hand again, shoulder, foot, in case I'm going to play another match. We were just talking, and suddenly she won.

Yeah, that was interesting day. For sure I didn't expect that.

I think then the semifinal, that was one of the best matches I ever played, especially in this kind of stage. That was a very good match with a lot of great shots. Garbine was playing amazing tennis.

I think at this moment I would like to see that match again after a couple of years how was it. Final, obviously the same, very good match. Then I fell apart after those two matches on this tough, sticky surface. Yes, it's a lot of good memories from there.

Q. You used to dominate the hotshot videos. If you had to choose, who do you pass that torch to that's still on the tour, that follows in your footsteps?

Q. Is there no one?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, there are a couple in my mind. I think it's about the good touch. So I think Ashleigh Barty, she can do that, yeah.

Q. Who has the game that is the most enjoyable for you to watch right now?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I think a lot of players. I was watching yesterday Belinda against Petra. They are both players that I love to watch. Totally different styles. It was very interesting to see.

But, of course, my friends like Angie and Cara, always watching them obviously. I think there's a lot of things going on in women's tennis. You can expect everything. You never know what's going to happened. I just like to watch women's tennis.

Q. If we narrow it down to the next generation, whose game has impressed you the most?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I think Bianca. You can see she's playing the tennis that seems like she's on tour for so many years, and she just actually started. That is very impressive from her.

Actually how she started the final against Serena, that was impressive. She wasn't scared. You could see she was without any pressure. She played 100%. That's not easy. She played great tennis.

I think at this age, on this stage, she's doing really good job.

Q. What do you miss about the tour, if anything? A lot of players say the one thing they miss is that feeling on match point, the competition. How do you scratch that itch? Are you still playing tennis? Board games?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, I think you can still travel and you can still play tennis. But this is the atmosphere at the tournaments that you cannot swap with anything else, right?

I think the adrenaline that you have waiting for your match, seeing your opponent for the next match, that's something I had all my life, even during tournaments. I think that's atmosphere that it's not there any more.

Well, I'm still traveling, so I'm not missing traveling. It's different when you don't have the racquets or you have 10 racquets in your bag and three pair of tennis shoes. That's a different traveling.

About tennis, yes, actually in the beginning I didn't play much. I really had enough. I needed a break. That was really just couple of practices before my event that was in May.

Now I started again because actually now we playing some really fun doubles with Marta, Klaudia, Paula. There are a couple of us, four of us just enjoying tennis, playing funny games, tiebreakers.

Actually we not missing the competition of tennis, we just doing this for fun, just to sweat, play good tennis and do also some tricky shots. That is fun, yeah.

Q. You are the queen of hotshots. A lot of people are saying that you are a magician of tennis. Could you talk about in matches, technically, do you practice specifically this or was it a shot of instinct, was it implementation of your plan?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think you cannot really practice these kind of shots. I couldn't really play powerful tennis like the others. I always had to find the other way to win matches. I think the touch was my escape from those players who killing the balls.

So, yeah, you can never practice. You just have it or you don't have it.

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