• French Open, Day Six

Why Aga needs to take a leaf out of Murray's book

Jo Carter June 1, 2012
Agnieszka Radwanska rarely loses her cool on court © PA Photos

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Andy Murray is all too often criticised for his attitude on court - smacking his fist into his racket in frustration, berating himself loudly, and occasionally allowing the odd swear word to creep in.

He may be without a grand slam title, but as he demonstrated in his win over Jarkko Nieminen on Thursday, there is no questioning his desire to win.

Whether Murray falls this week or next, or even claims an unlikely victory at Roland Garros, you can be assured it will not be without its fair share of drama; a few twists and turns along the way.

By contrast, third seed Agnieszka Radwanska crashed out of the French Open with barely a whimper. Admittedly she was beaten by decorated opposition - Svetlana Kuznetsova has two grand slam titles to her name and had won 9 of their previous 12 encounters.

But the Russian has slipped to No. 28 in the world and has been in woeful form, winning just four matches since the beginning of February, while Radwanska has picked up titles in Dubai, Miami and Brussels and looked in good form in beating Venus Williams earlier in the week.

But the tables were turned in emphatic fashion in Paris on Friday, Kuznetsova dominating from the word go to clinch a shock 6-1 6-2 victory.

"It was very important to dictate, and I think I have done it well," Kuznetsova said after her win. "I fought for every ball against her. When you look at her when she plays, she doesn't have some great shots, like overpower. She moves well, she reads the game unbelievably, and she plays on the counterattack very well."

Murray may be accused of lacking aggression in his game plan, but he has plenty of fire in his belly. Cool as a cucumber Radwanska could do taking a leaf out of the world No. 4's book.

Cool, unruffled, nonchalant could all be words to describe Radwanska, who rarely, if ever, loses her temper on court. But after another underwhelming performance at a grand slam (she has never made it past the quarter-finals at a major), perhaps it is time she started losing her rag.

Now we're not talking Marat Safin losing it, there is no need to smash up any rackets, but the odd scream of frustration wouldn't go amiss.

Her good friend and rival Victoria Azarenka finally fulfilled her potential in Melbourne earlier in the year, winning the Australian Open - having tamed her inner beast.

Radwanska is the polar opposite - she needs to find her inner beast. While her unflappability is arguably one of her greatest traits, her consistency neutralising more powerful opponents, it is hugely frustrating to see her lose, looking like she doesn't really care.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Jo Carter Close
Jo Carter is an assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk