What does Nicole need to be better? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2008, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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What does Nicole need to be better?

I think her strokes are OK but she should improve her return.. she isn't the worst returner in TOP 20-30 for sure as some people said but she needs to improve her footwork and movement. I also think she has gained some weight but it isn't so dramatic, she looked well in FED CUP but still her movement is crappy.. it hasn't been improved since 2007 I think.. she should work on it.. I think fitness,movement and footwork should be the key of 2008 to improve, of course also her return but I think she can play with it though.. I think she has to improve her footwork and movement the most..

what do u think?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

I agree with you on Nicole needing to improve her footwork and movement. It looks very poor at times. Another i like to see her improve on is her mental focus. She really needs to learn how to keep it together mentally especially in tough situations in big matches, which she has failed to do.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2008, 08:58 PM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

So many things.

- Fitness
- Movement (shots on the run) & Defense
- Footwork
- Return of serve (shortening the swings)
- Shot selection (when to be patient, when to go for her shots)
- Consistency from the baseline
- Mental toughness
- Focus
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2008, 09:10 PM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

maybe getting rid of Radek
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2008, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek. View Post
So many things.

- Fitness
- Movement (shots on the run) & Defense
- Footwork
- Return of serve (shortening the swings)
- Shot selection (when to be patient, when to go for her shots)
- Consistency from the baseline
- Mental toughness
- Focus
I think these things come with maturity.. but agree with you..
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 29th, 2008, 01:39 AM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corpuscle View Post
I think these things come with maturity.. but agree with you..
Of course, but she's almost 19 now and has had a few years on tour.

To be honest, her mental toughness hasn't improved that much.
She may not take it out on Gatorade bottles and balls anymore, but there is still plenty of negative emotion.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 29th, 2008, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek. View Post
Of course, but she's almost 19 now and has had a few years on tour.

To be honest, her mental toughness hasn't improved that much.
She may not take it out on Gatorade bottles and balls anymore, but there is still plenty of negative emotion.
I think there'll be always some negative emotions.. but at least Nicole knows she has to improved it.. I think she has improved it a little.. she closed out all matches this year when she served for the match I think except match vs. Rybarikova.. so maybe it's a sign of a little improvement.. but I think Nicole will improve a lot..

I also think that people are just pathetic with what she did against Ivanovic.. I KNOW that Nakamura is just world number 110 but Nicole crushed her and I'm sure she had to play well and now she had just an off day against Ivanovic because she started well.. I saw the match since 2-2 in the second set and Nicole was just off, NO EMOTIONS, no good serve, no movement.. she looked as she's sleeping.. I didn't understand that.. I don't know what happen..

I'm sure Nicole will play well in Indian Wells and Miami.. she has two weeks to improve.. I hope she will take advantage of it..
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 29th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

Well, I think she should improve on her movements as you said and her mental... I mean, she seems to be so weak sometimes . She has to get some maturity and be patient and strengh, to not give up when she sees that she's loosing.


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 2008, 02:02 PM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corpuscle View Post
she isn't the worst returner in TOP 20-30 for sure as some people said
"Some people" = Corswandt

OK, since Srebotnik is top 30, I'll concede that Nicole has only the second worst return game in the top 30.

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Last edited by Corswandt; Mar 1st, 2008 at 02:11 PM.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 2008, 02:06 PM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek. View Post
So many things.

- Fitness
- Movement (shots on the run) & Defense
- Footwork
- Return of serve (shortening the swings)
- Shot selection (when to be patient, when to go for her shots)
- Consistency from the baseline
- Mental toughness
- Focus
I) her fitness is perfectly OK for a player of her size. I have never seen her lose a match on account of deteriorating movement and/or lack of stamina.

II) her movement will never be good; what is her team supposed to do, saw off 10 cms of her legs so that she'll move like Cibulkova?

III) her shot selection and court sense are better than that of at least two players currently in the world's top 5.

Other than that I agree.

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Last edited by Corswandt; Mar 1st, 2008 at 02:12 PM.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 2008, 02:19 PM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek. View Post
To be honest, her mental toughness hasn't improved that much.
She may not take it out on Gatorade bottles and balls anymore, but there is still plenty of negative emotion.
Maybe she just doesn't enjoy the rush of the big moments, of the high stakes matches as much as others do. I mean, take Sharapova. Without a serve, playing messy at best, shite at worst on her least favourite surface, against a tricky opponent and also against an increasingly hostile crowd at Lenglen, MP down. She has just been given another chance to prove herself, and she relishes it. She lives for that shit.

The stuff the punditry, the h8t0rz, even ourselves, say in here, about how she always fails to deliver in big matches against top opposition, particularly if things get tight, don't you think Nicole's camp and Nicole herself are aware of that as well?

Nicole hasn't shown much spirit in her most recent losses to higher ranked players this year. I wouldn't be surprised if she has lost faith in her own ability to compete with the elite - which is understandable, after so many heartbreaking losses and missed opportunities. All of that has taken its toll, and would probably have shattered the confidence of a titan, let alone of a 19 y.o. under pressure to deliver.

If you've read my ridiculously verbose writeups on GM, you'll know I'm afraid most of the problems with Nicole's game are unsolvable. That wouldn't be disastrous in itself though (recent experience shows players shooting up the rankings on account more of lucky breaks than actual improvements in their games), if Nicole hadn't shown to be somewhat injury prone (one of the reaons: too much wrist on all of her strokes). She can't schedule like Chak/Sveta/the Serbians/Danka (i.e. whore every tournament in sight and keep her fingers crossed in the hope of landing at a section of the draw without Henin, Serena, Sharapova or somebody else who happens to own them). She has to play a limited schedule, entering relatively few events, usually those with stacked fields. This means that, to get back to the top 10, she'll have to beat top players, something she has so far failed to do on a consistent basis. So right now she seems to be at a dead end.

But don't get me wrong; I think her team's scheduling is brave and commendable; you can only achieve actual improvements by playing and beating the best, not by was bulking up one's ranking and titles tally out of tournaments with depleted fields and out of taking advantages of openings on draws.

This being said, and on a more personal note, my attitude towards Nicole has always been different from the one I have towards some of my other faves. I often got seriously pissed off at some of Lena D.'s losses since I thought (and still think) that, had she managed to build a proper game, including a halfway decent serve, around her unsurpassed athleticism and ball striking skills, she could have been another Clijsters. With Nicole, I never get angry or feel that disappointed, no matter how awful the loss (exception: loss to Krajicek at Charleston) since I've always found her game occasionally spectacular and always wildly entertaining, but ultimately ineffective. With Chak it's a bit the same: I'm amazed that she wins matches at all, and I'm always very protective towards her, going "Ooooh, poor little thing, always up against cavewomen twice her size!", even if she's playing Camille Pin.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 2008, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

why do you think she has the second worst return in top 30?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 2008, 03:25 PM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

She needs to train harder.That's all in my opinion.

No way her fitness is good at this moment.That's why she played some bad matchs at the Ao and Dubai.Against Jankovic, at Sydney she won thanks to her serve and her heart (because she knows how to beat Jankovic and isn't afraid) but she was lost during the big rallyes most of the time.We can clearly see that she couldn't hit some balls that she could hit before.

The problem right now it's that she has distractions off the court because of her recent marriage-or future but in making (yes, we can say it now ).She doesn't try as hard as she should do to be at her best.And in tennis's world with a lot of competition, it means you drop off on the rankings rapidly and can't play at a high level.Tennis at this best is an addition of details.And I think (I'm persuaded) that Vaidisova doesn't work on her details right now.I would say her career will be over (for the best she can do) if she is in the same position in two years (at 20-21).It isn't good but it is not the end of her career.Just don't forget that in tennis, everything can change in one match. (especially when you're young).

Plus, she has a very bad scheduling.She wants to play Amelia Island after Miami while the green clay is obviously a surface where she struggles a lot.She won't gain point like that.

With a good shedule, a lot of work, she could be in the top 10.

She has a potentiel of a top ten player.For the rest, she needs to work even more harder.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:45 AM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

She's better than several players who are ranked ahead of her and that's what's frustrating.
They have good weeks where they get big wins and win the tournament.
But Nicole is better than some of them.

When will it be her turn?
She's overdo from a breakthrough, IMO.

She's only lost to very good players this year (Sveta, Serena, Ana), but still all three of those losses were disappointing in their own ways.

The main thing is confidence right now.

Last edited by Derek.; Mar 2nd, 2008 at 03:52 AM.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:48 AM
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Re: What does Nicole need to be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corswandt View Post
I) her fitness is perfectly OK for a player of her size. I have never seen her lose a match on account of deteriorating movement and/or lack of stamina.

II) her movement will never be good; what is her team supposed to do, saw off 10 cms of her legs so that she'll move like Cibulkova?

III) her shot selection and court sense are better than that of at least two players currently in the world's top 5.

Other than that I agree.
1. Her fitness has been great over her career. But I think she hasn't recovered to the fitness level she was at before her illness.

2. Of course her movement will never be good, but it can at least be decent (i.e. Ivanovic).

3. She usually does choose the right shot, but often goes for too much when she doesn't have to. This can still improve.
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