Radwanska"s major ambition

The 2016 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global was officially launched on Friday evening at Marina Bay Sands, with a public draw for the singles tournament followed by a gala dinner.

Yesterday morning, however, the world-class professionals swopped their dazzling dresses and gowns for more familiar attire, as the attention shifted back to what they are ultimately here for: To win the year-end WTA Finals.

The only one of the eight who has done just that is Agnieszka Radwanska, who won it last year after defeating Petra Kvitova in the final.

A year on, the 27-year-old returns looking for similar success yet also determined that her status as defending champion will not weigh on her mind.

"There is always a little bit more pressure when you"re defending a top title," she said at yesterday"s press conference, before heading to the Singapore Indoor Stadium for a 45-minute practice session on Centre Court.

"But, when you"re in the top five or top 10, you"re pretty much defending a title every week more or less.

"I try to not really think about it and, of course, just try to repeat what I did last year.

"It"s always great to be back in a place where you have a lot of good memories and, with how time flies, I really feel like it was only a week ago."

There has been talk that this year"s WTA Finals is lacking some star quality in the absence of Serena Williams (injury) and Maria Sharapova (drug ban).

Still, Radwanska will certainly be entertaining the fans at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this week.

Nicknamed "La Profesora" (The Teacher) for her variety in her strokes and ability to make the toughest of shots look simple, Radwanska has, in this year alone, won the WTA Shot of the Month four times.

Asked about her reputation of producing magic on the court, the world No. 2 drew chuckles from the crowd as she replied: "I surprise myself sometimes as well!


"On court, you don"t have much time to thinkā€¦ Tennis is getting faster and faster, so everything is pretty much a reaction.

"Sometimes, when you have half a second to think what you"re going to do with a shot, most players maybe will hit it as strong as possible.

"I can"t really hit as strong as the others, so that"s why I"m always just using my head and trying to do something else."

Despite her success at the WTA Finals last year, Radwanska is still searching for her first Grand Slam title - her sole final appearance at Wimbledon in 2012 ending in defeat by Williams.

Having seen current world No. 1 Angelique Kerber do just that at the age of 28, winning both the Australia Open and US Open this year, the Pole is not giving up on that dream just yet.

"I think that is the goal for everyone," Radwanska added.

"Angie (Kerber) did an incredible job this year and showed everyone it"s possible to beat Serena in a Grand Slam final and be on top.

"I think next year will be very interesting for a lot of girls.

"But, of course, that"s still the goal for me and, hopefully, I still have a couple of years to try."