Agnieszka Radwanska: A Safe Bet for a 2012 Major?

Van SiasContributor IIIOctober 10, 2011

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 09:  Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland poses for photographers after defeating Andrea Petkovic of Germany during the final of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 9, 2011 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

It seems like winning premier level titles has become old hat for WTA player Agnieszka Radwanska, who won her second in a row this weekend at the China Open. With that done, is the stage set for her to win a Grand Slam in 2012?

Based on what has happened at the majors in the past couple years, you would have to give her as good a chance as any of her fellow competitors.

Take a look at 2010, for instance: who saw tour veteran Francesca Schiavone—who only had three career titles up to that point—winning the French Open over another player making her Grand Slam final debut, Samantha Stosur? You also had Vera Zvonareva turn into a world-beater at the game's elite events with runs to the finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.

However, that's nothing compared with what has happened in 2011: four slams, and four different winners, with three of them—Li Na, Petra Kvitova and Stosur—winning their first big title.

This shows the game is more wide open than ever before. And while some players could make moves up the rankings, such as an Ana Ivanovic type, there are others on the WTA showing they have the skills to contend for slams, like what Radwanska has been doing.

Aside from winning in Beijing this week, and Tokyo the one prior, Radwanska took the tier II/premier title in San Diego this summer. Those tournaments are some of the WTA's crown jewels, and to win three of them in a season is a tremendous result.

Along the way to those wins, Radwanska has beaten Vera Zvonareva, Victoria Azarenka and Andrea Petkovic—all of whom are top 10 players, and a place where the 22-year-old has been but hasn't able to stay due to injury.

But, she's back now: Radwanska has joined those ranks with her recent stretch of good form.

Now, provided she holds up physically in the months ahead, it could be only a matter of time before we see Agnieszka Radwanska triumphing at one of the game's biggest events.