Victory good start as Radwanska eyes No 1
It was the ASB Classic title this weekend, but will it be the Australian Open in three weeks?
The world No 4 Agnieszka Radwanska was head and shoulders above the rest of the field in Auckland this week and she showed the difference between a player that high in the rankings and all of those at No 18 (Julia Goerges' placing) and below is cavernous.
This is the first time Radwanska has won her opening tournament of the year and it sets her up not only for 2013, but also the Australian Open which starts in eight days.
"To play five good matches here and not even dropping a set, I think I am ready for the next tournament and the Australian Open, so it's a great start," Radwanska said last night.
Serena Williams will be the favourite for the Australian Open. Winning Wimbledon, the Olympics and US Open confirmed her status as the world's best women's player, even though Victoria Azarenka tops the rankings.
But the clock is surely ticking on Williams' career and there is little that separates Radwanska from Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, while the gulf between the top four in women's tennis and the rest being as big as it is in the men's game.
Radwanska, who will play in Sydney next week, did make it to No 2 in the world last July before dropping to No 4 and says a target for 2013 is to reach the top.
"Last year I was pretty close, just a couple of matches. I am going to try again this year," she said.
Of course, something that will help her achieve that is winning the Australian Open later this month. She has made it to the quarterfinals three times and the plan for this Grand Slam is to go one step further.
"I like Australia very much and this tournament as well," she said, referring to the Classic. "This year for sure I am going to try to go one more step and to do at least the semifinal. But you never know, this is tennis, this is sport, but I will try to do everything in my power to do that, but we'll see."