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March 31, 2012

Agnieszka Radwanska


A. RADWANSKA/M. Sharapova
7‑5, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Great display of very intelligent tennis out there today.  Were you surprised that you were able to keep it together so proficiently?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  To be honest, yes.  No, I really played well today, you know, from the beginning till the end.  I was really focusing on my serve, and I'm very happy I didn't lose my serve.  It was actually I think the key on this match.
So, you know, I was just ‑‑I went on court, you know, I'm playing against a really good player, top player, second in the world right now.  Pretty much nothing to lose.
But, you know, it's just a great feeling, you know, to beat those kind of players, especially, you know, in the final and, you know, playing great tennis.

Q.  What was your strategy, your tactical strategy against Maria going in?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Pretty much, you know, going forward, as well, playing aggressive tennis.  I guess she's always putting some pressure.  It doesn't matter really what score it is.
It's always tough, you know.  She's really hitting the ball very hard, serving very well.  So it's never easy.

Q.  But you had lost to her many times in a row.  How does it feel?  Did you do something differently, or is your game just elevated now?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, I think I was just playing very good today.  Everything was working.  I couldn't complain about anything.
Yes, I lost against her a few times before.  I think today, you know, was very tight match.  I think I was just better for couple of points each set.  It was pretty tight.  So, yeah.

Q.  The intensity of the other tournaments you've won, the other successes you've had in your career, how does this compare?  How big a win is this for you?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, um, of course it's a great feeling to win tournament like this here in Miami.  It's the biggest tournament after Grand Slams, especially like with all the top players, you know.
You know, you have to play now six very good matches to win this tournament.  So I'm just extremely happy that, you know, I could win almost the second (indiscernible) tournament in a row after Beijing.

Q.  Last year when you won Tokyo tournament you said you are going to buy a bag or something, expensive bag or something since you got the prize money.  This time you get even bigger prize money.  I was wondering what this time you are going to buy.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  (Smiling.)  I think ‑‑ you know, didn't really think about it yet, and I didn't really have time for shopping here.  This is a good problem, right?  You're playing every day and almost every day.  So it's a good problem.
But maybe tomorrow I'll go somewhere, yeah.  (Smiling.)

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about the development of your game from the time you were young, what your father taught you about the game?  Because you certainly have a distinctive style that incorporates a lot of different shots.  Can you talk about how he taught you or how your coaches taught you to play?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, it's very hard to explain, but, you know, I think my tennis, it's just, you know, trying to mix it up, everything.
I was just, I think, born with that.  Of course my father is coaching me almost all my life, 18 years already.  It's pretty long.
But, you know, when we are practicing, we always try to improve, you know, everything.  You know, there's always something to improve.  So it's never been one shot, you know, one thing.  It's just when we practice, we practice everything.  So that's what we were doing all my life pretty much.

Q.  The dropshot that you have, sort of that tricky dropshot, how did you learn that?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, everything what I can do on court right now, it's because of my father.  So if I can do something, it's for sure because of him.

Q.  You don't make a lot of noise or expressive behavior on court.  Are you nervous out there, or are you as cool as it looks from the outside?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, depends of course, you know, what score it is and what kind of match it is, if it's final, first round.
Sometimes when I really like miss easy shots, I'm pretty angry.  But I think the main thing, especially on these bigger matches, is to stay calm and focused, because when you're getting angry, then it's not good for yourself.  Then you are pretty much thinking about this point.
The thing is just, you know, to go for it and, you know, to think about the next point.  That's why, you know, just trying to be focused and not thinking about mistakes or something what happened before.

Q.  You played the first‑round matches on the outside courts, and then you moved on the stadium court and you won them all.  Some of the other players have complained about the fact that the stadium court is a lot slower than the outside courts.  I was wondering what your view is on that.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, I was playing on the grandstand a couple matches before, but actually in this court, all the courts are pretty much the same.  But, yes, you're right.  Some of the tournaments, they're like, for sure, the outside courts are faster or different than center court.
Yeah, there's a problem then, because you start to play on the outside, and then suddenly next day you have to play on the different court.
But I'm okay with that.  I think from the beginning I'm used to change the surface pretty often.  I don't have hard court in my city, so even when I'm practicing, I practice on different surface, and then I go to the tournaments on hard court, so for me that's not a big problem.

Q.  You mentioned out there your father left today, he flew back to Poland.  Was that the plan because you didn't expect to be in the final, or was he going to leave anyway?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  You know, he change already his ticket.  I think he supposed to leave Thursday or Friday?  And then he change.
And then I beat Bartoli the other night.  He said, You know, I think you're in the final.  I think you're playing well.  So you know what you have to do, and, um, just text me after the game.  And just, Good luck.  (Smiling.)
I think he said I played her many times before, so we know each other, you know.  I pretty much know what to do out there.
So he just give me those kind of, you know, motivation.  He called me this morning and he left.

Q.  Did you change your plane ticket, or did you have a plane ticket until tomorrow?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I changed couple times already.  This is a good problem, right?  (Smiling.)
Is good this way than the opposite way, right?  You have for Sunday and you change for, for example, for like Tuesday.

Q.  I know with the style of play that you have that you don't hit a lot of winners, but were you still surprised with just one winner you still won the first set?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  I didn't really look at the statistics, to be honest.  But, well, Maria start to play, she play very aggressive tennis, so it's really hard to make any winners from her style of the game.
So she make for sure more winners in this match, for sure.  I don't even need to look at the statistics.  Yeah.

Q.  Can you talk about ‑‑ what level of tennis did your father play when he was a professional?  Have you ever seen him play on tape?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Not really.  I just saw his pictures, just, you know, from the tennis courts, but never really any of his matches, no.

Q.  What level of play did he reach in his career?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, he was playing in Poland for many years, and then we moved when I was little to Germany, and of course playing there.  Then of course playing cup matches and coaching there, some players, as well.  I think it was different time, but he didn't really play like ATP on the biggest level.

Q.  Did he coach you and your sister like at the same time?  How did it work with your sister?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Yes.  I'm still practicing actually with my sister at home.  You know, just one year different between us.  Maybe I start a bit earlier than her, but all our life we practicing together.

Q.  Now that you're No. 4, I mean, 1 is much closer, and 2 and 3.  Can you talk about what are your goals now that you have reached this pinnacle of your career?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Yeah, I'm very happy that I can be for the first time top 4.  Now it's still far, you know, even to be No. 3, 2, or even 1.
So it's still, you know, far.  But, you know, if I'm gonna play like here on the really good level, then, you know, hoping I can reach top 3 very soon.

Q.  You were so solid all the last year.  What things changed the last year?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Pretty much nothing really change.  I really have this question very often.  Didn't really change anything.  Still practicing at home in Krakow, my hometown, and, you know, nothing really changed.  The same fitness coach.
I mean, a little bit different situation with my father and my second coach, because now I just practice with my father at home and traveling with different coach.  But except that...

Q.  But you feel you improve a lot the last year or not?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Yeah, I mean, I feel really much better and confident on court, and I'm very happy that I can play constant tennis and play couple matches in a row in the good level.

Q.  Being from Krakow, one of the nicest things is that you bring a very positive impact on your country.  As you may know, many Americans think of Krakow 70 years ago of a place of death, death camps of World War II.  Growing up, this is something Boris Becker and Steffi Graf said when they were young, they always felt they want to get rid of any thoughts people thinking about the Nazis or the bad words.  I just want to know, with you being very involved today and being perhaps Poland's No. 1 athlete, if you feel that you're part of making people thinking of Poland in a very positive aim because of your excellence in sports.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Yes, for sure.  Poland doesn't have that big tennis history, I mean, except for Wojtek Fibak, that he was also top player.  The tennis is not very popular in Poland, that's for sure.
We don't have many facilities to practice.  Not so many also hard courts.  It's pretty tough, but, you know, I'm always saying that I really feel very good on my own, my hometown.  Even when I don't have this kind of things where, for example, here in the States you have pretty much on every street some courts, tennis courts, I don't have that.
But, you know, I just feel great at home.  Even when I'm there, even for two days between the tournaments, I just feel very good and I can really, you know, have a rest over there.
So I'm just very happy now that, you know, tennis is getting more popular and more people are playing tennis, also kids.
I'm just very happy that I can be part of that and now that tennis is getting more popular, yes.

Q.  How much does your new coach traveling with you contribute to today's success?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, I mean, I think my dad and Tomasz, they are both pretty much working on my success.  So, you know, I'm not gonna say any percentage, but, you know, those two guys for sure makes me, you know, play very well.  So that's why I'm, you know, sitting here in front of you guys.

Q.  How did you develop that crouching shot?  It's very acrobatic out there.

Q.  The one where you crouch down low.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA:  Well, it's just the thing that, you know, I used to do it and I don't know how, you know.  Nobody teach me that, even my dad, you know.  (Smiling.)
It's just me.  I think I was too lazy to go backwards, and I was just standing and doing the squats.  There you go.  Yeah.

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