Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu
Definately don't like the draw. Jamie Hampton is tough. This is a girl who this year has given both Azarenka and A Radwanska really tough matches. On the other hand her form doesn't appear to be as good as it was in Australia and she is an aggressive shotmaker and usually Monica's game does match up well against that kind of player. But definately do rate Hampton highly and that ain't the ideal 1st round that's for sure.
If Monica does get past that, it doesn't get any easier either. Carla isn't a good match up for Monica and she has been having a fine season. Started the year ranked 34, currently she is at a career high 21 and a win over Monica will in all likelihood take her into the top 20. I don't think Monica's groundstrokes trouble Carla unduly and she has the variety and discipline to handle long cat and mouse type rallies with Monica plus with her backhand she has more firepower to finish the point when she does get an opening. Carla can have off days but I think to beat Carla on what is a very slow hardcourt, Monica will have to be close to her very best. And then it is Roberta Vinci, again another match up that I really do not like.
Why doesn't Monica draw players like Goerges, Pavlyuchenkova, Safarova and Lisicki rather than players like Suarez Navarro, Vinci and Flipkens?
All hope is not lost but to get past Hampton and Suarez Navarro would be a very fine effort. Hoping for the best.