What’s gone wrong with Radwanska’s game? In 2008, Radwanska joined the ranks of the upper echelon, the top ten. A period of questionable results saw her fall out of the top ten at the end of 2010. She regained her form, won some titles, and was back in the top ten at the end of 2011. Since then, Radwanska has consistently gone deep in tournaments and won titles. For a while, it appeared as if Radwanska would always find a way to turn a match around in her favor, until recently. Although it’s not the end of the season, her performance to date has been less than impressive. If she continues in this fashion, she will end the year ranked outside the top ten.
The decline in Radwanska’s results and ranking may not be as drastic as Nadal’s, since she never won a major neither was ranked number one. Yet, the similarity in the current state of their games cannot be denied. Is Radwanska also suffering from a lack of confidence, or is it a lack of conviction? Or perhaps it’s a combination of both? Despite her diminutive figure, Radwanska embodies calm and steely determination, so I doubt she lacks conviction. However, her game, like Nadal’s, depends on speed and the ability to change the trajectory of the ball. She is losing matches because her questionable mental state creates a distraction, which results in confusion in shot selection and execution. The cycle perpetuates itself, low confidence > lose a match > lose more confidence and > lose more matches. How do they break the cycle before too much damage is done?