Contrarily to Errani, Niculescu can ballbash and hit very hard off both wings, but she chooses not to against most opponents, because she doesn't need to. Having a wide array of shots and alternatives on court + using those skills to target your opponent's weaknesses hence playing high percentage tennis and forcing your opponent to play low percentage tennis = genius by today's WTA standard. You can keep convincing yourself that she just randomly sliced and diced everything and somehow won if that makes you happy though.
If Niculescu goes on court one day playing like shit she has lots of alternatives to try to scrape off a win. If Kvitova goes on court one day playing like shit all you see is balls spraying all over the place.
At least she can bash her backhand and she did it against AMG for most part of the match.
Monica isn't a genius, we fans know that, it's all about adapting your game to the next opponent you face and choose the right shot at the right time. Monica is willing to adapt, she said it in the interviews during the week herself. This alone is enough to expose many players these days with obvious flaws in their games, in Monica's case mostly the ones with brainless shot selection, poor movement and the inability to come to the net. Of course people tend to say then, that the opponents are losing the match rather than Monica winning and to a certain extempt it's really true, because Monica as you said knows exactly how to get the worst out of the other girl. Just have a look at her matches against Safarova.
She is art cinema; has more alternatives in her game than Kvitova....
I wonder why she isn't then a top 10 player instead of being at number 75
A series of injuries last year, but from now on, only 90 points to defend until Beijing. Looking very good for her to at least get back into the Top 30, yet to lose a match against someone out of Top 40 in 2013.
It's pretty obvious that Monica herself still has a lot of holes in her game herself:
- Nothing that deserves to be called serve
- Tendency to not let go after wasted opportunities in a match, breaking down under pressure
- Problems to put away sitters on the net
- Problems to create angles from the baseline
- Dependent on the opponent's pace, easy to outplay on slower surfaces because her strokes lack depth
- Can't finish points quickly on her own by attacking a weak serve for example, which can tire her out during a week
- Very vulnerable against experienced players, especially the ones who know how to play on the net
Good for her that the amount of players matching the last point reduce from year to year. That's also one of the reasons Monica is getting better every year.