Twenty six year old Polish tennis ace and former World Number 2 Agnieszka ‘Aga’ Radwanska has won fourteen career singles titles and reached the 2012 Wimbledon final. Prior to joining the WTA tour in 2006, she won both the Wimbledon and French junior titles. Her prowess on the court is matched off it, being voted WTA’s most popular player for four consecutive years (2011-2014), She was also listed as the ninth highest earning female athlete in the world according to American magazine Forbes in 2012.
As a practising Roman Catholic, Aga was part of the Polish Catholic campaign, “I’m not ashamed of Jesus!” and arranged her tennis balls so that they read out “Jezus”. After posing nude for the 2013 ESPN magazine’s The Body Issue she was disqualified from the campaign.
I missed getting Aga at Wimbledon this year, so sent this quick sketch of her to a fellow Californian-based autograph collector who specialises in sports sigs.
He caught up with Aga at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, in early August. She told him she really liked the sketch and was happy to sign and dedicate it.
The amiable Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki held the WTA number one ranking for 67 weeks, a position she held year end for two consecutive years in 2010 and 2011. She was the first Scandinavian woman to hold the top spot and the 20th overall. Caroline’s game is based on a strong defensive playing style described as a “counter puncher”.
Her two handed backhand is her key weapon, tuning defence into attack, a vital component in her 23 singles title victories. She has yet to win her first Grand Slam but has featured twice in the US Open final, most recently losing the 2014 decider to close friend Serena Williams. ‘Caro’ is currently 5th in the WTA rankings.
She also ran the New York City Marathon in November last year, in a time of 3:26:33, which was good enough to qualify for next year’s Boston Marathon, but said it will be a few years before she takes on another 26 mile and 385 yard event again. She’s also a huge fan of the English Premiere League team Liverpool FC.
While I’ve managed to collect Caroline’s graph in person I haven’t been able to get a sketch signed… until now. Mainly because on the occasions I’ve met her, I didn’t have a drawing to sign.
I sent a sketch to her at the Eastbourne Tournament in June, where she reached the semis, but nothing came back. But the time I made it to Wimbledon a couple of weeks later, she had lost her fourth round match, so I missed out again. Another sig-stalker in the US stepped in to assist, getting this signed for me at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California this month.
Ever popular, she attracted a large group of admirers, so he couldn’t get a dedication, but I was pleased with the result.
Last year’s Wimbledon runner up Sabine Lisicki was among the stars taking part in the Mylan World Team Tennis Smash Hits event at London’s Royal Albert Hall earlier this month.
The annual charity extravaganza, now in its 22nd year, usually takes place in the US, but this year it was held during the Statoil Masters, to benefit Elton John’s AIDS Foundation UK. Sabine played for Team Billie Jean, joining former world number one Kim Clijsters, Tim Henman and Jamie Murray against Team Elton’s Andy Roddick, John McEnroe, Martina Hingis and Heather Watson.
The likeable German reached the 2013 Wimbledon final losing to Marion Bartoli and has a highest world ranking of 12, with four WTA titles.