By Brodie Widdifield
(August 10, 2017) TORONTO, CANADA – When two players are of a similar age, it is to be expected that they will likely face each other several times through out their careers. However, there isn’t a matchup quite like the one between Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska. Both 27 and 28-years-old respectively, they teed off for the 18th time in their pro careers Thursday in Toronto at the Rogers Cup, with former No. 1 Wozniacki winning the match 6-3, 6-1.
One could hardly call it a rivalry. Both players have been friends since their junior days, and Wozniacki just recently attended Radwanska’s wedding. Wozniacki didn’t seem to think it was too different playing against someone who is not only a friend, but an opponent you have become so familiar with seeing on the opposite side of the net. “Well, I’ve known Aga since we were probably five and six or six and seven. So there’s really no surprises or, you know, any secrets. So nothing really changes. We go out there and we battle it out every time. And, you know, we’ve played each other a million times also in juniors and in practice. And, you know, we hit together a lot.” Wozniacki was aggressive from the beginning of the match, particularly on her forehand side, and was able to change direction of the ball effectively to finish points.
It’s been a resurgent year for Wozniacki, who despite failing to win a title in 2017 has made it to five finals and has seen her ranking rise to 6th in the world. However, Toronto has always been a tournament she’s had a difficult time finding success at, but was happy to joke about it after the match.
“I think it’s the only tournament where I have ever played where I’ve tried so many times and haven’t been successful at all. So obviously you think about it. And to be honest with you, I just laughed at it and I said, You know what? I’m going to change something up. So I usually have had a driver here and I changed that. And then I changed my hotel. And it’s like, I’m going to mix that up too. I’m going to try everything to try and win this time.”
Wozniacki will take on newly crowned world No. 1 Karolína Plíšková on Friday. Wozniacki leads the overall head to head 4-2, however the Czech has gotten the better of her in two of their three meetings in 2017. “Yeah, we’ve had tight matches this year. And I lost twice and I won once. And obviously she’s a great player. She’s playing very aggressive and she’s playing fast. She’s had a great year. And it’s going to be difficult, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to have fun out there.”
Brodie Widdifield is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket.