Re: Mona Barthel - Volume 2
Like Hisagi, I also see the semi as a pretty tough match, I'd put Mona as favourite but I think it could be awkward. One key factor here is Flipkens' serve. Don't underestimate her ability to hit serves that are very difficult to return even without possessing the kind of pace the biggest servers have. I'm not sure if Flipkens will be able to serve well enough to neutralise Mona's ridiculous talent for aggressive returns, but if she is able to do that Mona could be quite troubled.
Another key aspect will be whether Mona can deal with Flipper's slice bh well enough. If Mona hits good hard deep shots against that slice then Flipkens will be in trouble. It's very difficult to slice against a deep ball, the slice doesn't half-volley well and usually has to back off against depth or switch to a topspin half volley.
Kirsten is a very opportunistic player, quite often she'll be defending for a whole point and then get one opportunity to attack which she takes. Whereas Mona is a player who imposes power from the backcourt consistently throughout the entire point, Kirsten (by virtue of her bh) has to wait for opportunities to suddenly strike. So if Mona is able to maintain good depth and pace she might be able to deny Kirsten many chances.
I wouldn't underestimate Flipkens' tactical savvy either. Mona has more ability but Kirsten will be using all her know-how to try to steal the win. I think the battle between Kirsten's above average serve and Mona's big return might be the biggest key. Kirsten needs to find a way to get damage from her first serve and to survive the second serve points in order to give herself a chance.
I can follow your well-considered arguments quite well. Kirsten is some sort of a Brad Gilbert of the WTA-Tour and this match could turn out to be a tricky one. But under normal circumstances and with a lot of confidence on Mona's side she should be in a leading position.