Radwanska channelled Kyrgios to pull off stunning 'tweener

By Iain Strachan 17 January 2017 205
Radwanska channelled Kyrgios to pull off stunning 'tweener

Agnieszka Radwanska's memorable between-the-legs shot at the Australian Open was inspired by Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios, who is one of the most talented players on the tour, according to the women's world number three.

Radwanska pulled off a brilliant 'tweener as she defeated Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

The shot was the highlight of a 6-1 4-6 6-1 victory on Rod Laver Arena, although the Pole, addressing the media after the match, admitted the improvisation was entirely forced after finding herself wrong-footed by a deep lob from her Bulgarian opponent. 

"I had no choice," she said.

"[I] just had to make the 'tweener. I did it well, I guess… I watch a lot of men's tennis. I think that helps."

Asked if she enjoyed proving herself capable of making the same type of shots as the stars of the men's game, Radwanska said: "Of course… playing entertaining tennis is great. It's nice to hear my tennis is entertaining tennis. 

"You want to win the point, it doesn't matter how. There are also some points that you don't have a choice [with]. You are so late… the ball is just going very high to other side [so] you go between your legs.

"In that case it was no choice. I just wanted to win the point. I just thought that's the best solution."

Radwanska singled out local favourite Kyrgios and Swiss great Federer as two of the best exponents of improvisation among the ATP's stars.

"I think Nick is doing this pretty good, but also Roger," she said.

"I think Roger is always very impressive because he knows where to go. He can see where the point is.

"When I was doing it, I just wanted to hit the ball and that's it. I don't know where the ball is going at all," she added, with a wry smile.

"I have to still work on that."

But does the 27-year-old, who is aiming to improve on Australian Open semi-final losses in 2014 and 2016, consider herself capable of anything the mercurial Kyrgios can do?

"I wish," she said. "But I [would be] lying to myself. [His game] doesn't make any sense. 

"But definitely I think Nick is one of the most talented players on the tour. This guy can do anything on court. 

"These kind of hands, well, you cannot really see [that] everywhere. Yeah, what this guy is doing on court is very, very impressive."

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Iain Strachan