As the first tennis Grand Slam of 2017 reaches its latter stages, the Australian Open has certainly thrown up plenty of surprises and shocks. Absent from the line-up in the quarter-finals include defending men's champion Novak Djokovic, plus the current world no.1 players, Angelique Kerber and Andy Murray.
All of the latter three have now won multiple Grand Slams but the same can't be said for another surprising early departure from Melbourne in popular Polish player Agnieszka #Radwanska. Fans of "The Professor" would love to see the 27-year-old make a Grand Slam breakthrough. However, after her earliest exit from one of the four majors since 2015, questions are being raised. Is she good enough to win one of those major honours?
Genuine hopes dashed
Seeded no.3 to match her current world ranking, Radwanska arrived in Australia off the back of an excellent run to the final in the pre-tournament event in Sydney, where she eventually lost to Britain's Jo Konta. Her record in Australia is very good too. She'd reached the quarter-finals in five of her past six visits and was a semi-finalist in 2016 before losing to Serena Williams.
The warning signs that more frustration would lie in-wait were there though. Radwanska made heavy weather of her first-round match, requiring three sets to oust world no.64 Tatyana Pironkova. The Bulgarian beat Radwanska at Roland Garros last year so it wasn't the easiest opening match but the 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 victory didn't leave any of her possible opponents worried.
In round two, Radwanska would face Mirjana Lucic-Baroni from Croatia. The 34-year-old has reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon before but that was way back in 1999. It was anticipated that this would be a simple win. Not so.
On the Margaret Court Arena, Lucic-Baroni rolled back the years with a powerful performance to win 6-2, 6-3. This came on the same day as Djokovic's elimination, so the headlines were obviously dominated elsewhere. Nevertheless, this is a real surprise and with Lucic-Baroni having now reached the last eight herself, you sense this was another missed opportunity for Radwanska.
Can she repeat Kerber's success?
There is no doubting Radwanska's popularity with fans across the world. She is very popular on the WTA circuit and often in contention for the Shot of the Month. Her wide-range of shot-selection abilities mean she is always a fearsome opponent. 20 WTA titles in her career can vouch for that. Her most major success came in November 2015 in Singapore. Radwanska bounced back from losing her first two matches in the group stage to win the WTA Tour Finals Championship, beating Petra Kvitova in an intriguing final.
This could have been the big breakthrough for Radwanska but it hasn't worked out yet. After reaching the semi-finals in Melbourne, there were three Grand Slam exits in the Round of 16 stage last year. Radwanska could only watch on as her close friend and regular hitting partner, Angelique Kerber made the big breakthrough instead.
Kerber had an incredible 2016. She won her first two Grand Slam titles, reached the Wimbledon final, won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and claimed the world no.1 ranking spot from Serena Williams in September 2016. Does this give hope to players like Radwanska?
It definitely does. The longevity of the Williams' sisters proves this but with talents like Karolina Pliskova, Madison Keys and Dominika Cibulkova becoming dangerous players, plus the impending return of Maria Sharapova in April, has Radwanska's best days past her by?
She has now taken part in 42 Grand Slams and still only has the one final to her name; the battling defeat to Serena at the Wimbledon final of 2012. Despite her brilliant shot selection range and excellent stamina levels, time might just be running out for Aga Radwanska to make the Grand Slam breakthrough.
As more talent emerges on the WTA circuit, 2017 could be another year of Grand Slam promise that goes unfulfilled for Radwanska.