What I say today was absolutely awesome folks!!!
Today Monica played 4 games of absolutely almost impossibly brilliant virtually perfect tennis to beat Magda Rybarikova. The standard of Monica's tennis today was just out of this world. Magda did nothing wrong. She fought hard in almost all the points which were highly competitive. But Magda could only win three of these points over the four games. One was a return of serve winner by Magda off a very decent serve by Monica. The other two points Monica lost were points that would deserve to be in the highlight reel of a Grand Slam final. Basically Magda had to play like a top 10 player just to win a point. As for Monica, she made no errors in the entire four games. Most of the points were won on Monica's winners. She was hitting her forehand slice to perfection but all of her other shots were working too. She could hit hard and flat, add topspin, anything. She attacked the net at every opportunity and was deadly there making some incredibly difficult volleys. Sometimes words can't convey how good something is and that is how I feel writing this. Nothing I write can sum up just how great Monica played today. I wish I had those four games on video to show people so they would believe me. I could watch such a video again and again. It was that good.
Magda actually played really well over the four games but while she hit a lot of super shots everything came back. Most points were 12+ strokes. But it wasn't baseline to baseline at all. There was lots of netplay, lobs, overheads that got returned, err well Magda's overheads anyway.
One unfortunate thing I should mention, after Monica broke, held and the broke again, winning 12 out of 13 points, Magda called an injury timeout to disrupt Monica before serving for the match. As I've said before I like Magda but this was a bit disappointing. But Monica didn't let it affect her and won to 30. Despite the bit of rather bad sportsmanship from Magda I did feel very sorry for her after the match. She played some fine tennis and yet she had only three points to show for it, a match that she must have expected to win overnight was taken from her in a brutal manner. After the match, Magda looked shattered and nobody could blame her.
I started this thread last year after seeing Monica in the Wimbledon qualies at Roehampton. I titled the thread "The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu". Never before have a felt more justified in doing so. The tennis I saw Monica play today was truly amazing and remarkable.
Next up is Szavay. I didn't see Szavay's 1st match so I can't say how well she is playing, but I know how well Monica is playing. I also know that the bookmakers rate Monica as a real longshot to win. I however believe this is Monica's match to win and will be very suprised if she doesn't.
Oh, one last thing. I was a bit disappointed that after seeing Monica put in such a great performance today there was no thread to acknowledge the win in the general forum. I hope that doesn't happen when she beats Szavay.