Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu
Good news regarding Monica. It looks like she will be one of the top seeds in qualifying for the US Hardcourt Tier II in Stanford next week and she is in the main draw for the Los Angeles Tier II the week after. I am assuming she is in the draw for the Tier I Canadian Open too and hopefully she will get into the main draw of that, as I expect a few players will be withdrawing from that with the Olympics coming up. As for the Olympics sadly I don't think she is likely to make it to China as her ranking wasn't quite high enough.
I suppose if a few players withdraw in the next couple of days Monica still has a chance to make the main draw of Stanford but in a way it might be better for her qualifying for that one anyway as it will give her a few warm up matches and a few extra ranking points prior to her main draw match. That of course is assuming she qualifies but as one of the top seeds in qualifying and being a fine hard court player I think that is a reasonable assumption to make. I certainly expect nothing less.
I think Monica has made a very good decision going to the US early and playing the big summer hardcourt events. These should be very suited to Monica's skills and there are a lot of ranking points available. Much better for Monica to be playing on hard courts than on clay at this point in the season, especially as Monica is substantially better on hard than she is on clay.