Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2013, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

Last time a Romanian received WTA Most Improved Player distinction was in 1978, when the award went Virginia Ruzici's way.
It would definitely be a nice way for WTA to acknowledge Simona's achievements in 2013 (winning 3 International titles in only 5 weeks and making her first semifinal appearance in a Premier 5).
In my opinion she sure is the most serious contender out there (guessing that the Best Newcomer of the Year award will be an American affair with Stephens, Hampton and Keys all having good chances there, and probably with Stephens snatching it eventually).

I can't wait to see if Simona will even be shortlisted for Most Improved Player. Do you guys think she has a real chance at winning it?

Also, do you think she will be among the 6 players to qualify for Sofia?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2013, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

WTA Most Improved Player (2012-1977)

Year - Player (Nationality)
2012 - Sara Errani (Italy)
2011 - Petra Kvitová (Czech Republic)
2010 - Francesca Schiavone (Italy)
2009 - Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium)
2008 - Dinara Safina (Russia)
2007 - Ana Ivanović (Serbia)
2006 - Jelena Janković (Serbia)
2005 - Ana Ivanović (Serbia and Montenegro)
2004 - Maria Sharapova (Russia)
2003 - Nadia Petrova (Russia)
2002 - Daniela Hantuchová (Slovakia)
2001 - Justine Henin (Belgium)
2000 - Elena Dementieva (Russia)
1999 - Serena Williams (United States)
1998 - Patty Schnyder (Switzerland)
1997 - Amanda Coetzer (South Africa)
1996 - Martina Hingis (Switzerland)
1995 - Chanda Rubin (United States)
1994 - Mary Pierce (France)
1993 - Magdalena Maleeva (Bulgaria)
1992 - Kimiko Date (Japan)
1991 - Gabriela Sabatini (Argentina)
1990 - Monica Seles (Yugoslavia)
1989 - Arantxa Sánchez Vicario (Spain)
1988 - Arantxa Sánchez Vicario (Spain)
1987 - Lori McNeil (United States)
1986 - Steffi Graf (West Germany)
1985 - Helena Suková (Czechoslovakia)
1984 - Kathy Jordan (United States)
1983 - Andrea Temesvári (Hungary)
1982 - Sabina Simmonds (Italy)
1981 - Barbara Potter (United States)
1980 - Hana Mandlíková (Czechoslovakia)
1979 - Sylvia Hanika (West Germany)
1978 - Virginia Ruzici (Romania)
1977 - Wendy Turnbull (Australia)
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2013, 04:45 PM
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

I like her chances, it depends who she is up against.
She may also need a good showing in US Open series.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2013, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

I have a feeling Marion will be on the shortlist, as she won her first GS in 2013. In this case, she'll be Simona's big rival.

Other important improvements this year: Kirsten Flipkens, Elena Vesnina, Stefanie Voegele & Yvonne Meusburger (but I guess she'll pass unnoticed).

Of course there were more improved players and I'm thinking Stephens, Hampton, Keys, Puig, Muguruza, Svitolina, Mladenovic, Bouchard and even Garcia, but all of these girls qualify better for Best Newcomer.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2013, 12:06 AM
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

Pretty sure this title is Flipkens'/Bartoli's with Stephens winning the newcomer award.

Simona can still have a chance doing well at the US Open, the Masters and the Mini YEC she will likely qualify for.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2013, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curcubeu View Post
Pretty sure this title is Flipkens'/Bartoli's with Stephens winning the newcomer award.

Simona can still have a chance doing well at the US Open, the Masters and the Mini YEC she will likely qualify for.
Both Bartoli & Flipkens deserve to win (Marion won a GS and Kirsten made semifinals in Wimbledon, 4th round in AO & reached 's-Hertogenbosch final), but Simona on the other hand won 3 titles in such a short time. I know she did poor in Grand Slams, but still... winning a tournament on grass right after winning one on clay must mean something.

I hope she has a good draw & a fantastic run at the US Open, apparently it's the only way she can keep her chances alive.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

No problems with Sofia. She is seeded 9th and serena, aga, and na will not play there after Instanbul. She is actually seeded 6th of 8 entries.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2013, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

Actually Simona is now the second in the Race for Sofia.

Serena, Aga, Na Li & Errani will be in YEC and with Vinci, Schiavone, Kirilenko, Vesnina & Pavlyuchenkova playing Fed Cup final, that leaves the following field for Sofia:

16. Jelena Jankovic (Bogota) – SOFIA 1
22. Simona Halep (Nurnberger, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Budapest) – SOFIA 2
30. Alize Cornet (Strasbourg) – SOFIA 3
46. Daniela Hantuchova (Birmingham) – SOFIA 4
47. Monica Niculescu (Florianopolis) – SOFIA 5
58. Yvonne Meusburger (Bad Gastein) – SOFIA 6
71. Elina Svitolina (Baku)
72. Karolina Pliskova (Kuala Lumpur)
79. Marina Erakovic (Memphis)

WC. Surely Tsvetana Pironkova
WC. Probably Ana Ivanovic
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2013, 05:28 PM
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

I see a lot of people are predicting Simona to make the Year-End top 10...that would be fantastic. I doubt it will happen, but to get to Sofia at least would be great.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2013, 12:43 AM
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie_R View Post
I see a lot of people are predicting Simona to make the Year-End top 10...that would be fantastic. I doubt it will happen, but to get to Sofia at least would be great.
I think it would need about 2,000 points or more, to enter the top ten...
I think it's almost impossible this year.
Maybe next year if it continues to improve the game, and physical endurance.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 2013, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noname29 View Post
I think it would need about 2,000 points or more, to enter the top ten...
I think it's almost impossible this year.
Maybe next year if it continues to improve the game, and physical endurance.
Top 20 seems more plausible at this point.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2013, 01:34 PM
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie_R View Post
I see a lot of people are predicting Simona to make the Year-End top 10...that would be fantastic. I doubt it will happen, but to get to Sofia at least would be great.
That's almost impossible . Not even a Grand Slam would help her make the top 10 this year. A top 20 would be perfect.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2013, 05:25 PM
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

I agree that Bartoli is probably Simona's biggest competition because of the Wimbledon victory. However, I think Bartoli shouldn't really be considered for the award because she's consistently been in the top-10 or top-20 of the rankings since 2006. Bartoli's lowest year-end ranking since 2006 was number 17. I think any serious observer of the game can see not only by looking at Simona's actual results (3 titles - only second to Serena) but also looking at her style of play that she's improved dramatically from last year. I wouldn't say that Bartoli's game has improved significantly - she was fortunate that several top players were eliminated from Wimbledon earlier than most expected.

Without a deep run into the second week at the US Open or winning a few a more titles, Simona will have a tough time winning the award when you look at the fact that the last three winners (Errani, Kvitova, & Schiavone) won or made the final of a Grand Slam during that season.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2013, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

Still second in the Race to Sofia

14. Jelena Jankovic (Bogota) – SOFIA 1
23. Simona Halep (Nurnberger, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Budapest) – SOFIA 2
30. Alize Cornet (Strasbourg) – SOFIA 3
42. Magdalena Rybarikova (Washington DC) - SOFIA 4
43. Monica Niculescu (Florianopolis) – SOFIA 5
45. Elina Svitolina (Baku) - SOFIA 6
48. Daniela Hantuchova (Birmingham) – SOFIA 7 (Alt)
64. Yvonne Meusburger (Bad Gastein) – SOFIA 8 (Alt)
72. Karolina Pliskova (Kuala Lumpur)
77. Marina Erakovic (Memphis)

WC. Surely Tsvetana Pironkova
WC. Probably Ana Ivanovic
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2013, 02:16 AM
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Re: Simona Halep - Most Improved Player of 2013?

Simona Halep is the best candidate for this award. "Improved" means someone who was bad or mediocre for a long time and suddenly got better. Bartoli was already ranked around 7th in the past and a finalist in Wimbeldon so she is not "improved", she was at this level already.
The award is also not for new upcoming players like Stevens who is a relatively new player. Halep is the best choice. She was stuck at rank 40-60 for 3 years and suddenly broke through. She is a classic example of "improved".
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