Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu
Monica is as far away from a clay specialist than sun is from the moon.
It's just that some 'experts' on this board think that clay is always the best surface for any defensive minded player.
Monica doesn't play a claycourt game at all. Dulgheru - she is a clay specialist who is going for the topspin shots on both wings, crueling rallies, wide angles try to get your opponent out of position and then make a step in when there is the chance to do so.
I don't know where this 'pusher' = clay specialist myth comes from.
I know a lot of defensive minded players who suck badly on the dirt, because they are hitting the ball rather flat and it's easier to return them on slower surfaces when they set up and they don't get the pace of the opponent to counter attack. It also exposes the lack of depth on their shots.
Did you see Radwanska in Brussels last year? Even though she ended up winning, her strokes are a complete joke on clay, there is nothing on her game.