It’s Agnieszka Radwanska’s 28th birthday today - happy birthday Aga! And if you’re not already a fan of one of the most talented players on the tour, we at Tennis Channel will try to convert you right now.
Here are seven reasons - in no particular order - to be an Agnieszka Radwanska fan:
1. She’s had historic results. Radwanska may be one of the best players not to win a major yet, but she’s come so close, reaching the Wimbledon final in 2012 - the only Polish player in the Open Era, male or female, to reach a Grand Slam final. She’s also been ranked as high as No.2 in the world.
Here are some highlights of the win over Angelique Kerber that took her to that Wimbledon final:
2. Those hot shots. Throughout any given season the tennis world is treated to a barrage of Radwanska hot shots - here’s one from Miami a few years ago that almost broke the internet:
3. Her nickname is Ninja. Radwanska has inspired a few nicknames over the years because of her penchant for hot shots, but the one that seems to have stuck the most is Ninja. And she loves it.
“People have called me ‘Ninja’ or ‘The Professor,’ and that’s the greatest compliment because I want to make those shots that people ask, ‘How did she do that?’” she wrote in The Players’ Tribune.
4. Her priceless reaction to… this. We’ll let you have a look for yourself at this one:
5. She’s a fan favorite. Literally - she’s been voted WTA Fan Favorite Player Of The Year the last six years in a row. Whether it’s her smile or how well she engages with her fans off the court, it’s working.
Here’s Radwanska taking time out from the WTA Finals in 2014 for a video chat with a fan:
6. She loves talking about cheesecake. At Indian Wells in 2014, after years of talking about how much she loves cheesecake and how she goes to the the Cheesecake Factory whenever she has the chance, Radwanska actually signed on to become the restaurant’s first ever sports endorsement.
“I really love cheesecake - it’s my favorite dessert - and I was a big fan of the Cheesecake Factory for so many years,” Radwanska said when it was first announced almost exactly three years ago. “I think everyone knew how much I loved the Cheesecake Factory, and suddenly they found out as well!”
7. She could go viral again at any given moment. That stab volley from Miami isn’t the only hot shot tennis fans couldn’t stop clicking on - here are five more of her works of art from over the years: