How Radwanska transitioned from a tennis player to successful hotel owner
Traversing the globe for 14 years as an expert tennis participant, Agnieszka Radwanska grew to become one thing of a lodge connoisseur. What number of a whole bunch, 1000’s of nights on the street would possibly that be?
“That’s query,” she mentioned just lately from her dwelling in Warsaw, Poland. “Many, many, many.”
An informed guess can be within the neighborhood of three,000.
“There have been instances I used to be touring a lot, altering accommodations and nations so typically, that you simply’d get up and never know the place you’re,” Radwanska mentioned. “Oh, sure, so many instances.”
In 2017, one yr earlier than she retired from the WTA, Radwanska solved that little downside by creating her personal lodge in Krakow. The germ of the thought got here from her mom, Marta. AGA Tenis Flats by Radwanska – discovered at agatenis-apartments.com – is a fancy of distinctively designed luxurious flats within the coronary heart of town.
“I’m residing in Warsaw and she or he’s in Krakow, a three-hour drive away, so my mother’s caring for all the pieces,” Radwanska mentioned. “She’s doing an incredible job, as a result of it isn’t straightforward. Typically issues don’t go your means. Typically issues occur.”
Radwanska has found that there’s an enormous distinction between being the visitor and the host. It’s not nearly an even bigger, higher toilet, or a view of the park. It’s extra concerning the employees, she defined, and the sensation that guests have all the pieces they want.
“After staying in accommodations your complete life,” Radwanska mentioned, “you see issues from the opposite facet. Earlier than, as a visitor I used to be asking questions and perhaps typically complaining. Now you’re listening to the issues and attempting to make the friends glad.
It was way more concerned than both she or her mom imagined.
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“If one thing is improper,” Radwanska mentioned, “you must repair it. You attempt to make folks glad, as a result of the friends are a very powerful a part of this enterprise.”
The enterprise of tennis, Radwanska has come to know, helped put together her for the lodge enterprise. Every participant at that elite stage is their very own CEO, making dozens of day by day selections – small and enormous – that every one go towards enhancing the underside line.
“You might be alone on the court docket,” Radwanska mentioned. “You need to battle with so many issues. In fact, it’s good to be on prime, however you must work a lot, sacrifice so many issues. Every part – particularly the matches which are misplaced – offers you an enormous lesson.
“In tennis you see all of the completely different nations, all with their completely different cultures. The stuff you be taught on the court docket, you should utilize off the court docket. It’s an enormous expertise that you should utilize anyplace.”
Radwanska’s exceptional profession itself is an instance of constructing a enterprise “from zero.”
She described the early days, when damaged, battered tennis sneakers have been the one selection, when cash was tight and journey was tough. Her lack of an enormous shot dramatically influenced her evolving type of play. A startling number of slices, lobs and drop pictures made her tough to decode; selection, mobility and anticipation have been her calling playing cards.
The Wall Road Journal’s Tom Perrotta as soon as noticed that Radwanska was “probably the most tactically sound, delicate tennis participant on the planet.”
From 2006-18, she gained 20 titles. In 2012, the yr she reached the Wimbledon ultimate, Radwanska’s rating peaked at No.2. Her ultimate document of 594-269 was good, excellent, for a profitable share of .688.
She gained the 2015 WTA Finals in Singapore and for six consecutive years, from 2011-16, she gained the WTA’s Fan Favourite Award. For 5 straight years, from 2013-17, she was the winner of Shot of the Yr. Radwanska is taken into account by some specialists to be the perfect participant by no means to gather a significant trophy.
Selecting up from her mom’s suggestion, Radwanska invested a few of her greater than $27 million in prize cash in a contemporary constructing in her hometown. In fact, she was nervous.
“You by no means know the way it’s going to be,” she mentioned. “Particularly, as a result of it’s a tough enterprise. Krakow is a vacationer metropolis. It has so many accommodations and flats. However the thought was to strive one thing new. It was an enormous change.”
Not solely is Radwanska a lodge knowledgeable from expertise, but in addition by schooling. Rising up, she studied tourism at a number of universities in Krakow. And, drawing from her successes all over the world, she created 10 flats named and adorned with these match themes: Singapore, Miami, Sydney, Tokyo, Istanbul, Montreal, Beijing, Dubai, Tianjin and, in fact, Wimbledon.
“Additionally my mother’s thought,” Radwanska mentioned. “You don’t see that anyplace. I’m the primary participant to have type of the lodge that includes the completely different cities. I’m glad that I might be the primary one. It’s one thing good for the folks. Motels might be the identical in all places, and that is so completely different.
“There’s an vitality there, and you’ll see how my profession was. A variety of souvenirs, issues I received on the tournaments, the racquets, the balls. I’m all the time glad that individuals maintain coming again. Some folks, many instances they arrive to the identical place. I inform folks, `You possibly can all the time strive a special one every time.’”
As we speak, at 32, Radwanska confers typically together with her mom concerning the enterprise. She nonetheless performs tennis commonly and watches the matches on tv, staying on prime of the day-to-day actions of WTA gamers.
She’s now a mom herself, chasing after 15-month-old son Jakub.
“A distinct chapter of my life,” she mentioned. “Additionally very difficult. I get pleasure from dwelling, not touring as a lot. I’m certain he’ll be enjoying tennis. I’ll present him the actual sports activities – not simply pc video games.”
The endurance realized in instances of adversity helped put together her for the worldwide pandemic.
“COVID-19 coming made it actually tough,” Radwanska mentioned. “Folks weren’t touring and nothing was taking place anyplace. I’m not going to complain, although, as a result of so many had it worse.
“Enterprise is actually good, particularly at trip time, it’s normally full. It’s good to see folks touring once more, having fun with town and the lodge. I’m actually glad about that.”