Radwanska hopes grass is even greener
I was born in Krakow, Poland, and I began playing tennis at the age of 4, when my father introduced me to the game. My younger sister, Urszula, also plays, so it was nice to have someone to practice with, even at a young age. I always dreamed of playing tennis and traveling the world to do what I love.
My sport has given me the opportunity to meet so many great people and see some of the most popular cities in the world. My traveling team is made up of my coach, Tomasz, my physio, Kris, my sister, and her coach, Maciej; us Poles like to stick together.
My season started with tournaments in Auckland and Sydney, leading up to the Australian Open. I won back-to-back titles at the ASB Classic in Auckland and the Apia International in Sydney. Those two wins gave me a lot of confidence. I couldn't have asked for a better start to the year. I reached the quarterfinals of the first Grand Slam tournament of the year in Australia.
I've also been to the Middle East to play Doha and Dubai. Then it was Indian Wells and Miami in the United States. I made it to the semis in Miami, which is sometimes regarded as the fifth Slam. After that I went to Europe for the French Open at Roland Garros.
I always look forward to the Grand Slams. I work very hard during the year, and when I arrive at the majors, I want to be playing my best tennis. I try to improve on last year's results, so I got pumped up for Roland Garros. Playing on clay is very tough on your body; it's important for me to make sure I take days off to relax and give my muscles a rest. I went further than I ever have before at the French Open, reaching the quarterfinals. Sara Errani just played better to get to the semis. But the highlight was my match against Ana Ivanovic, when I played a "tweener," which got a good reaction from fans. It's not often us girls pull these shots off (they're more expected from the Rafas and the Rogers of the world) to win the point. Check it out!
This week I'm playing the Aegon International in Eastbourne, England, a warm-up tournament for Wimbledon. I made it to the Wimbledon final last year and lost in three sets to Serena. I would love to go one step further! I've loved Wimbledon since I was young and won the junior tournament there in 2005.
Wimbledon is the focal point of the summer for most of us pros. My sister and I rent a lovely house just across from the practice courts and we walk everywhere -- to the courts, the shops and the restaurants. It's a luxury we don't have at most tournaments. And the interaction with fans there is great.
I love being on the court, but it's also good to experience things away from tennis. I was on the February cover of the Polish magazine Joy. It has always been a favorite magazine of mine, and I was very happy with the way the pictures turned out. Another off-court highlight was being part of the WTA's "40 LOVE" campaign. It was a fun photo shoot at Indian Wells with the other top-10 girls.
I'm back on the grass after nearly a year. Wow, was it that long ago that I played Serena in the final?
Wish me luck, guys!