Just a few months into their collaboration, Agnieszka Radwanska and Martina Navratilova have called it a day.
The partnership between the tennis legend and the veteran Polish player, looking for some sort of extra zing to make a jump from consistent top-10 player to Slam contender, always seemed like a bit of odd pairing – more a seeming reaction to the new trend towards adding so-called “super coaches” than anything else.
But whatever it was, it’s over.
Here’s the statement from Radwanska:
“I just wanted to thank Martina for her time and efforts over these last few months. It was a great experience to work with one of the all time greats. However, we both agreed that as Martina could not commit 100% to the project than it was not going to work as a long-term partnership. We will stay friends and I wish her all the best in her personal and professional life.”
There was probably more to it than that; these types of statements are always bland, polite and ultimately, not very revealing.
It was hard to get a sense about whether Navratilova was really, really excited about this, although there’s no real way of knowing. We’ve seen her working here and there with players, notably some of the Aussies, but generally speaking this was uncharted territory for her.
Certainly anyone who expected Radwanska to suddenly play Navratilova-style tennis were dreaming. But it was hard to discern any type of modifications to Radwanska’s game over the last few months, even if these things take time to get incorporated.
She retained her full-time coach, Tomasz Wiktorowski, who also is the captain of the Polish Fed Cup team and has been with her full-time since Radwanska and her father Robert gave each other some space.
The bottom line is that Radwanska – not unlike most of the top-10 players not named Serena or Simona, is not having a great season so far.
Radwanska has lost to Garbiñe Muguruza twice, to both Kuznetsova and Sharapova at home in Fed Cup, to Heather Watson, Carla Suárez Navarro and Camila Giorgi (at her home event in Katowice). She was crunched, 6-1 6-1, by Timea Bacinszky of Switzerland in a key Fed Cup playoff tie last weekend (also in Poland). She lost in the first round in Stuttgart to Sara Errani.
During the week, father and former coach Robert also weighed in, because hey, why not add more to the pile? He says Radwanska should fire Wiktorowski, because, well, we don’t quite know why. It does seem have something to with Polish tennis issues beyond his daughter, i.e. Fed Cup. There’s always an agenda somewhere.
At any rate, a Martina-less Radwanska will take on the clay-court season, which did not get off to a good start in Stuttgart.
Here is some video of Navratilova and Radwanska working together on the practice courts at Indian Wells last month.