Nicole's 2006 In Review
Nicole started off the year by making the semis in Sydney and reaching her 2nd 4R at a GS in Melbourne. After making the quarters of Tokyo she took a break due to injury and came back for the green clay tournaments.
After suffering early losses Nicole take another break due to injury again I think. Then after defeating Golovin 11-9 in the third for Fed Cup, she lost 2R in Rome to Hingis after putting up a brave fight. In Strasbourg Nicole won her 6th WTA Tour title beating Peng in the final.
Nicole's big breakthrough came at Roland Garros where she took out the #1 player in the world, Amelie Mauresmo to reach her first GS QF. Nicole then took out the reigning Wimbledon champion, Venus Williams in the QF to reach her first ever GS SF. After leading 7-5 5-*3 and then serving for the match at 7-5 5*-4, Nicole let Kuznetsova come back and her cinderella run was over.
Nicole fought her way to the 4R of Wimbledon, making that her 4th consecutive 4R or better at a slam. Nicole lost to Na Li who was in very good form in three tough sets. Nicole then started her summer hardcourt campaign with a SF in Stanford and then another SF in San Diego. Nicole withdrew form Montreal in order to make sure her shoulder was ok for the US Open.
At the US Open Nicole made another 3R at a GS, but this time she didn't make it to the 4R as she fell to eventual semifinalist, Jelena Jankovic, in three sets.
Nicole lost her first match in Beijing to Ai Sugiyama in another three-setter. But Moscow proved to be much better as she came back from 1-6 2-5 down, saving 3 match points, to score her 2nd win over the then #1, Amelie Mauresmo. In the semis Nicole put up a good fight, saving 6 MP's before falling to Nadia Petrova.
In Zurich Nicole was upset by Tatiana Golovin 6-2 6-0, which most did not see coming. After losing early in Zurich, Nicole regrouped and made the QF of Linz where she met Jelena Jankovic, the one who knocked her out 3R @ the USO. Nicole was able to get revenge and then met Nadia Petrova in another semfinal. Nicole lost this one quite easily and that was it for her 2006 season.
Nicole finished the year in the top ten for the first time with a 39-16 W/L and one title.
So, how would you rate Nicole's season on a scale of 1-10?