The life of a top tennis player can be a roller coaster of success and disaster as Urszula Radwanska found out to her cost.
|Height:||5 ft 9 1/2 in (1.77 m)|
The younger sister of WTA Tour player Agnieszka Radwanska had just turned 19 at the start of 2010 and the world was at her feet.
As a junior, she won Grand Slam titles including the 2007 Junior Wimbledon and she ended the year as the Number 1 Junior in the World.
This was the stepping stone to her professional career as it meant she could get into WTA main draws via qualifying competitions or wild cards.
Teaming up with her sister they won the 2007 Istanbul Cup. She made her Wimbledon Championships debut in the main draw in 2008 but came up against Serena Williams in the second round who proved too strong for her.
On February 16th, 2009 the sisters met for the first time in a needle match in the 1st round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Urszula beat her sister in straight sets serving 6 aces and hitting 25 winning shots. Continuing her winning streak at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California she knocked out the 6th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. It was the highest-ranked player she had ever beaten but she lost to Caroline Wozniacki in her first-ever WTA tournament 4th round and she found herself in the Top 100 for the first time.
She went into 2010 full of optimism but lost in the qualifying competition for the Medibank International in Sydney and the 1st round of the Australian Open to the eventual champion Serena Williams.
Urszula had been suffering from back pain during the off-season and had a check-up but they thought it was nothing serious. The pain got worse and worse after the Australian Open and she had an x-ray which showed a little scratch on her vertebra. WTA official doctors told her the scratch meant a minimum of 5 weeks rest doing no exercise at all as she mustn’t move too much, and she withdrew from the tournament in Kuala Lumpur she was due to play.
In March it was decided the injury was far more serious, it was a lumbar vertebral fracture and she would need surgery.
As well as Kuala Lumpur she had to withdraw from Dubai and Indian Wells and she lost a lot of points so her ranking plummeted.
Following the operation, she had to have another five weeks of recuperation when she could not even practice so she was out of tennis for over two months. She did not return to competition until August, although she had hoped to start competing again after Wimbledon.
At the 2010 US Open, she managed to beat Anna Chakvetadze in the first round only to be beaten herself in the second.
She started 2011 with the Australian Open but lost in the first round of qualifying to Anna Tatishvili. In just over a year her ranking has slipped from being in the Top 100 to 201 as of 17th January 2010 so she has a long way to go to claw herself. However, Urszula Radwanska has shown that she has tennis talent.