Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu
You're right. I forgot about the complexity of the ranking system.
However, I fully expect Monica to be ranked around #30 at the end of the year.
I can easily see her entering Baku or Tashkent this year again to gain more easy points. She has to make the best out of the clay season now, where I don't expect much from her in Madrid and Rome.
However, I hope for a great R1 draw in Paris, because those 100 points more or less can decide over of couple of ranking spots. Maybe she can also take advantage of a depleting field in Strasbourg, but as you said, she needs a SF to improve her ranking in that regard.
In regard of US Open and Wimbledon, I can see her beating nearly every unseeded player in the draw, but AO has taught me how brutal the randomness of draws can be.
Allowing for a few exceptions here and there, I agree. Then again there are numerous players in the top 32 that I would also fancy Monica's chances against. Of course being unseeded Monica can always draw a really nasty seed 1st round and if that happens, that's that for advancing to the 2nd round. It just shows how important it is getting into that top 32. As things stand that looks a remote possibility for either of the summer slams. But if Monica can get some W's at those two slams she has a very decent shot at being seeded for the US Open. And once she gets into the top 32 she really ought to stay there providing she doesn't hit another big slump like she did last year.