Re: LA 1st Round: King/Niculescu (USA/ROU) d. (3) Pennetta/Raymond (ITA/USA) 75 63
Outstanding win over two substantially more established and higher ranked opponents. Vania King and Monica Niculescu are two of the three youngest players in the doubles top 30. The only player ranked in the top 30 in doubles younger than these two girls is Azarenka. But while there is a very good chance in the coming years that as Azarenka's singles career continues to florish she will begin to de-emphasize her double endeavours there is practically no chance that this will happen to Monica or Vania. I think this partnership features two of the next decade's most successful doubles players.
What is interesting about both King and Niculescu is that they have both established themselves in the doubles game the same way, by playing with different partners on virtually a weekly basis. Both of these girls have had substantially more than a dozen partners since the start of 2008. And yet it seems to be working for both of them.
I'm of course really thrilled with how Monica is playing right now. She just seems to be able to play great doubles at the moment whoever she is with. I loved how well Monica worked with Yung-Jan last week and I really want to see those two play together more. But King/Niculescu is also a very intriguing interesting partnership as it pairs up two of the youngest players in the game currently making noise in the doubles.
Next up for King/Niculescu is the Italian pair of Schiavone and Garbin, a decent team but one King/Niculescu should beat. Then Monica gets another chance to pit hers skills against two of the best teams in the game in the semis and hopefully the final. I am looking forward to that.