$100,000+H is effectively a Tier IV less a few points, she's definately got too fancy her chances here!
Shvedova and Jidkova are her only serious threats left in her half, so she could well make the final here. Not so sure how she'd go against Yanina, that girls on absolute fire this year! (it all started off when she got a Quali Wildcard into Auckland Open )
Thank you for everything Mercedes, now please be nice to Socrates for me, perhaps fetch him a bird or two. We love you, always.
I am afraid Monica lost to Mariana Duque-Marino 46 63 64. Once again Monica had a one set lead and let it go. It has to be said this has happened a lot this year. Too much. In fact Monica has lost nine matches this year in which she won the 1st set. Incredibly that is more than any other player in the top 100. Clearly this is a problem that Monica needs to address. I'm sure she will.
Despite this, it has been a pretty good year. Monica started 2008 ranked 155. Next week Monica will be ranked 75. She is still in with a chance of finishing the year in the top 50. One just wonders how much better the year could have been if Monica had been more effective closing matches out when she has been in a winning position. She has let a lot of pretty big fish off the hooks.
On a positive note Monica has proven her game can trouble almost every player she faces. Of her 20 loses only 9 have been in straight sets. Only 3 times has she won less than six games all year. Almost all her matches have been competitive even when she is up against the very top opponents. In contrast out of Monica's 27 wins this year all but 5 have been pretty easy straight set matches and she has won 10 matches this year losing only 3 or less games. Monica simply needs to learn to get better at closing out sets and matches and to be able to sustain her best tennis for a period of 3 hours, something she hasn't done that frequently this year. I'm sure she will get to that point, but right now to be honest, it can be frustrating being a Monica Niculescu fan.
Last edited by Shvedbarilescu; Aug 8th, 2008 at 06:42 PM.
What can one say? Yet another close competitive match. But yet another loss too. To be competely honest as fustrating as all the these loses are I would rather Monica was losing 6-4 in the third than 6-1 6-2 or something like that. Monica is in pretty much every match she plays with a chance to win. Once she gets better at handling the tight moments in a match she will win her share I'm sure.
Monica came from 4-1 down in the final set. This would have been the 10th time this year Monica would have lost a match from a set up had Monica not fought back in in the final set. But fight back she did.
I am always so happy to see Monica win a tough hard fought three setter. These are the types of wins Monica needs in order to make that next step up the rankings to the top 50. I hope this result gives Monica some more self belief and she is now able to play her best tennis for the rest of the this tournament and more importantly at the US Open.
Monica produced another really positive performance today. For the second day in a row Monica won with a great comeback effort. If anything this one was even more encouraging. Today Monica started very slowly against her opponent Vesna Manasieva and found her losing the 1st 6-3 before bouncing back to make it 3-6 3-0. But when Monica then fell behind 3-6 3-4* droping 4 games in a row things didn't look good.
But rather than throw in the towel, this is when Monica turned it on and went on a great roll. She won 9 out of the last 10 games, including the last 6 of the 3rd set to win 3-6 6-4 6-1. Following on from yesterdays comeback this is just what the doctor ordered. Matches like this will go a long way towards giving Monica the belief to close out the tight matches against the top players in the future.
Next up for Monica is Katya Bychkova. A good player but one that Monica has dealt with very well both times they have met this year, with Monica winning 1st 6-1 7-5 and then 6-0 6-2. Hopefully Monica can make it 3-0 tomorrow over Katya.
Looks like Monica is gaining form just in time for the US Open.