LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - Good shoes, a relaxed mind after negotiating a perilous tournament for top seeds and her experience 12 months ago are standing Agnieska Radwanska in good stead for a tilt at another run to the Wimbledon final.
The Pole eked every last sinew of energy out of her aching legs to reach the semi-finals on Tuesday after finally dousing Li Na’s flame with a battling 7-6(5) 4-6 6-2 victory in a gripping Centre Court match.
Radwanska, her right thigh tightly strapped after a medical timeout at the start of the second set, and requiring attention to her left leg before serving for the match at 5-2 in the third, held her nerve to prevail after spurning seven match points.
Massage, treatment, rest and watching compatriots Jerzy Janowicz and Lukas Kubot clash in the men’s quarter-finals on Wednesday are foremost in her plans before the fourth seed faces German Sabine Lisicki on Thursday.
“It’s not really the injury. My legs are a bit overused. A lot of treatment and massage tomorrow and I will be ready for the semi-final,” she told reporters.
Radwanska came through another three-set battle with Tsvetana Pironkova on Monday having also been taken the distance by Madison Keys in the third round.
“A lot of tennis the last couple days, so it’s been really tough,” she said.
“Especially on grass... everything comes to your legs.”
The Pole has, at least, not been getting as closely acquainted with the green turf as some at this year’s championships with slipping and sliding players eyeing the courts with suspicion and scepticism.
“Just good shoes,” came a smiling Radwanska’s answer when asked how she was keeping a sure footing.
The 24-year-old has long been in the upper echelons of the women’s game but it was not until last year that she reached her maiden grand slam final at the All England club.
Plenty wrote her off even before she even took to the court against Serena Williams but she made the nervous American work for her fifth Wimbledon title in three intriguing sets.
That experience is helping her maintain her focus this year.
“Being in the final of a grand slam, this is a very good experience... especially that I‘m in the semi-final of the same grand slam,” she said.
”So I know how it is, what I have to do, you know, to be in the final again.
“The bigger pressure is in the first week. Now I‘m just more relaxed. I will just go on court and try my best again without that big pressure.”
Radwanska, at four, is the highest seed remaining after the demise of Williams, beaten by Lisicki in the fourth round, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova.
“I think it was huge surprise for everyone, I guess,” she said of Serena’s exit.
“The last couple of months she was winning pretty much everything.” (Editing by Ed Osmond)