Biofile: The Urszula Radwanska Interview
Don't be fooled by appearances: though she weighs in at a slender 123 pounds, Urszula Radwanska is in fact a head banger.
You won't find the younger sister of 10th-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska in a family mosh pit slam dancing with her sister while blasting Pantera tunes, but get her on the court and Urszula, regarded as the more emotionally-expressive (read: "feisty") of the Polish sisters, has been known to slam heads.
"In practice, my sister played a lob. I was on the net," Urszula recalls. "I play like between the leg shot and I hit one guy in the head. It was a guy who was working there (at the tournament)."
The 18-year-old Urszula beat Madison Brengle to win the 2007 Wimbledon junior title, was the 2007 US Open junior runner-up and swept junior Grand Slam doubles titles at the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
"Her older sister, Agnieszka Randwaksa, has already proved she's one of the best in the world and Urszula has that same competitiveness," Nick Bollettieri says. "She's not a big girl, but she moves very well, hits her groundstrokes extremely well and consistently and she's got that feisty spirit. You've got to watch this girl because she's had the junior results and wants to make her mark at the pro level now.
She's off to a pretty good start. Radwanska played through qualifying and beat two top 35-ranked players — Francesca Schiavone and Aleksandra Wozniak en route to the Hobart round of 16 in January. One of her biggest wins came at the expense of her older sister, a 6-4, 6-3 triumph in the opening round of Dubai. Urszula topped that win by defeating sixth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells en route to the fourth round this week.
"Oh, I thought it was tough. I was trying not to think who was across the other side of the net. It’s always tough to play against a sister," said Urszula after beating her older sister. "But she’s sick and she told me after the match that because of the doubles she was still playing, but if she wouldn’t play today doubles probably she would have retired. So she’s not feeling good."
Scoop Malinowski, who plays tournament tennis with the same frenetic fervor Ivan Putski brought to the ring, caught up with Urszula for this Biofile interview.
5-foot-8, 123 pounds.
December 7, 1990 in Ahaus, Germany.
"My favorite tennis player is Serena Williams. I like her because she plays a very aggressive game. (Ever talk to or meet her?) No, no [smiles]. I mean, I saw her in locker room but she's like big star."
"I mean, my hobbies are going to cinema, listen to music, watching some films."
"I think it's Freaky Friday."
Favorite TV Shows:
"I don't know, I don't watch like shows."
"I like Green Day, Eminem.
Last Book Read:
"Oh my gosh [smiles], last book is I think from school something I think."
First Tennis Memory:
"When I start — I don't remember when I started because I was very young. The first tournament was in Germany. I was six-years-old. It wasn't like a normal tournament. My father (Robert, a teaching pro) was playing to us and we need to put every ball into the court. My sister won this tournament, I was fourth."
"Every Polish food [smiles]. And especially dumplings."
Favorite Ice Cream:
"Vanilla ice cream."
"I'm just trying to be focused before the match. I'm just sitting in the locker room. I don't know. I don't think about the match. Just like when I come to the court, then I'm thinking about the match."
Greatest Sports Moment:
"Win Wimbledon (juniors in 2007)."
Most Painful Moment:
"When I lost at Wimbledon 2006 and I had match point in the semifinals. Three match points."
"Wimbledon. Warsaw, J&S Cup."
Funny Tennis Memory:
"In practice, my sister played a lob. I was on the net. I play like between the leg shot and I hit one guy in the head. It was a guy who was working there [smiles]."
Embarrassing Tennis Memory:
"Yeah, one time I lost against my sister seven years ago — 6-0 6-0 in tournament in Poland, under 12."
Favorite Players To Watch:
"I like to watch Rafael Nadal, he's like full of energy."