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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Sep 23rd, 2017 12:07 AM
tie_breaker
Re: Nicole Gibbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardH View Post
Her forehand and backhand, forehand especially, have a degree of awkwardness in their production. They aren't smooth, so it's difficult for her to generate power and still be accurate.

If I were to give her one piece of advice it would be to try to hit her groundstrokes while relaxed. Easier said than done, but Nicole holds too much tension in her body and arm while she strikes the ball, so she doesn't get the whip she should have. Honestly, I feel like she has much more power in that little body than she shows- after all, she trains very hard off court. If her body was more relaxed, I think she could hit the ball much harder, with less effort. Even the serve could do with a bit more looseness. Maybe watch some of Federer's effortless forehands for inspiration. Cici, who is around the same size, has a much more relaxed swing and therefore can strike the ball harder than Gibbsy most of the time.
Maybe she needs to extend her yoga exercise to the tennis courts or spike up her drinks.

Seriously though, her ground strokes are stiff, like she is throwing darts.
She's not generating any power from her legs or hips.
It's coming from her upper body and that's not saying much.
Her movement and ground strokes is a two step process, where it should be a single fluid motion.
Her legs are usually bandaged, so I am guessing that is her archilles heel.
If you ever watch her Stanford teammate, Kristie Ahn play, you'll notice how strong her legs are, powerful movements from side to side, and much stronger ground stokes.

Cici generates power by stepping into the ball, using her legs and hips, whereas, Nicole is flatfooted and consequently, there's not enough power. Also, Cici has excellent footwork, like she's dancing out there; whereas, Nicole seems to have two left feet. Much can be said about Sloane, who is a world class dancer by comparison.

When Nicole does generate power, usually she has lots of time to set-up her feet, almost like she has to hit it at standstill. Since it is not often that she has time to set-up, her play does not appear to be aggressive. (In basketball, there are players that can shoot with accuracy when their foot is planted, but not so well on the run and visa versa.)

The only time I really see Nicole aggressive is against another pusher, who will serve it up the middle to her, where she can plant her legs. Smarter players know to run her ragged side to side. She is certainly not Kim Clijsters.
Sep 21st, 2017 04:29 PM
DcsabaS
Re: Nicole Gibbs

^ Had she played a more aggressive tennis, she could have been already a MAGNITUDE better player. This depends on her, and ONLY on her.
Sep 21st, 2017 01:31 PM
HowardH
Re: Nicole Gibbs

In Seoul Nicole beat Jang 3 and 5, before losing to Sorana 3 and 3.

Nicole is a solid player and fights really hard, she works hard at her fitness and is one of the fittest players on tour, I feel like she's getting a bit better every season, but unless she improves her technique a little on the groundies in particular, it's going to be hard for her to really break through to another level.

Her forehand and backhand, forehand especially, have a degree of awkwardness in their production. They aren't smooth, so it's difficult for her to generate power and still be accurate. However, she does have a lot of versatility in defense, she thinks well, fights hard, and she counter punches well, so she can already trouble players a lot- including top ones like Pliskova. But to beat other players on a consistent basis, she needs to upgrade a few things.

I vaguely sense that she has changed something recently in her forehand, which is good. But more changes are needed. She isn't a natural shot maker but her instincts, game sense and fighting attitude are all good, so she'll do pretty well regardless.

If I were to give her one piece of advice it would be to try to hit her groundstrokes while relaxed. Easier said than done, but Nicole holds too much tension in her body and arm while she strikes the ball, so she doesn't get the whip she should have. Honestly, I feel like she has much more power in that little body than she shows- after all, she trains very hard off court. If her body was more relaxed, I think she could hit the ball much harder, with less effort. Even the serve could do with a bit more looseness. Maybe watch some of Federer's effortless forehands for inspiration. Cici, who is around the same size, has a much more relaxed swing and therefore can strike the ball harder than Gibbsy most of the time.

As an example, look at the forehand here at 1:09, compared to the rest it is much more relaxed and therefore faster. She should try to do that- and better- all the time.

Sep 1st, 2017 11:17 PM
Wintermute
Re: Nicole Gibbs

I was super-impressed with Nicole in the first half of this match. Moving great and just the right amount of aggression.

Just needs to channel that for the future. She could reach new heights.
Sep 1st, 2017 03:59 AM
tie_breaker
Re: Nicole Gibbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardH View Post
Put up a great fight but lost 62 36 46 against top seed Karolina Pliskova.
If only she could play a full match like she did in the 1st set...
Sep 1st, 2017 03:43 AM
HowardH
Re: Nicole Gibbs

Put up a great fight but lost 62 36 46 against top seed Karolina Pliskova.
Aug 30th, 2017 07:43 PM
HowardH
Re: Nicole Gibbs

Nicole just won her first round at the US Open, defeating Cepede Royg in an up and down rain delayed match, 60 16 61.
Jun 26th, 2017 03:16 AM
tie_breaker
Re: Nicole Gibbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Srodgers View Post
Nicole won the title at the 25k Baton Rouge Finding some form again?
Coincidentally, she passes up Kristie Ahn by 5 points to jump to #116, so I doubt that had anything to do with it.
Jun 25th, 2017 10:02 PM
Srodgers
Re: Nicole Gibbs

Nicole won the title at the 25k Baton Rouge Finding some form again?
Jun 20th, 2017 03:17 AM
tie_breaker
Re: Nicole Gibbs

I thought I heard Nicole was going to hang up her racket for the remaining grass tournaments to allow her body to heal from nagging injuries...BUT now I notice that she's entered into the $25k in Baton Rouge, as last minute W/C, seeded #1 no doubt.
Jun 13th, 2017 08:49 AM
tie_breaker
Re: Nicole Gibbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by DcsabaS View Post
^ This figuring out process could have been one of her missions with her video blog!!!
Jun 10th, 2017 07:09 AM
DcsabaS
Re: Nicole Gibbs

^ I'm afraid that Nicole is still not understanding what it means to be a professional WTA player, what is the difference compared to the "Collage Tennis". She has the talent, but still she doesn't have the ROCK SOLID DETERMINATION!

And even if somebody has it, may take YEARS to find out and correct the problems. In the last year, judging from her tennis, Nicole DID NOT UNDERSTAND the problem (the weakness) of her tennis. The problem, that is correctable, but ONLY IF YOU REALIZED and ACCEPTED that it is a problem.

For comparison, the 2nd break-through that is just now happening with Simona Halep, could have happened already in 2015! But she was NOT accepting her problems, she didn't even listened to the critics! The result was her struggling during the previous 2 years. (Of course, she was struggling as a Top 5 player, at a higher level, but still it was a struggling.)

Maria Kirilenko's struggling period lasted almost for a DECADE! But even that was unnecessary! (If only she understood in time what to do...)

Nicole is still in time to become a Top 10 player. But she has to be serious about it, and has to look at how and why were able other players to do this transformation! This figuring out process could have been one of her missions with her video blog!!!

Catherine Bellis, fortunately, right now is not hindered by any visible problems. Her talents are finding the proper targets and routes.
Jun 10th, 2017 02:36 AM
tie_breaker
Re: Nicole Gibbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by DcsabaS View Post
I have seen Nicole playing with the needed aggression for an entire set!
This is already "something"!

I can compare it to Maria Kirilenko's career. She was always one of my favorites, because in her matches time after time she displayed phenomenal tennis - but only for 10-15 minutes. That was not enough for many titles or high ranking. But around 2011 she regularly played doubles with Nadia Petrova as a preparation for the 2012 Olympics, and her HQ tennis somehow stabilized. She could sustain her aggression and HQ tennis for 40-50 minutes, an that was already enough to win important matches. For instance, in Wimbledon 2012 she was among the best 4 in singles and in doubles as well, in the Olympics too, they won the season ending championship in doubles, etc. Ultimately, she became a Top 10 player. (Unfortunately, not too long after she was focusing more on her private life and motherhood. Officially still not retired.)

At least this possibility is open for Nicole too! But she has to UNDERSTAND that without being the aggressor, for a relatively smaller girl there is no big chance for big things. - She's a Stanford girl, she can understand this.

Regarding CiCi Bellis, contrary to Nicole, she seems to be on the right track on every possible aspects. She can rocket-rise in the following year at 19 ...
IMHO, Nicole hasn't fared too well on the WTA level. 3 things need to happen for her: 1) She needs to be playing well, hit her spots 2) She needs to have confidence in herself, which develops after winning a few consecutive matches 3) She needs that confidence to carry-over from her ITF matches to her upcoming WTA matches.

If she plays a string of WTA matches, without #1 and #2, it is ONE and OUT for her.
Most of her best WTA performances have been after having success at the ITF level.
This year she hasn't played in any ITF matches and is 5-12.
She hasn't won a 3 set match since 2016, which is a tale sign of where her confidence is at.

Her best performance at the WTA level was at Indian Wells in 2016, but she hasn't repeated that success since then AND she won a lot of matches prior to Indian Wells in 2016, which helped with her confidence.

Even when Nicole is playing well, I don't really see her being the aggressor or forcing errors. I see her opponent pressing, while Nicole is willing to keep the ball in all day long. Her opponents that know her game will just shorten the point and rip winners, but if they're not playing well enough to hit clean winners then advantage>Nicole AND that is Nicole's only chance of winning, until...

Perhaps she jumped to the WTA level too soon?!?!

Personally, I don't think it is a switch for Nicole that she can turn on and play aggressively.
The only person that can save her is Tony Robbins!

What I like about Bellis is that she progressively moved up to the WTA level, playing in the smaller venue tournaments. Even when she played at the 50k level, she played in Canada, where the players were less familiar with her game.
Jun 8th, 2017 07:49 PM
DcsabaS
Re: Nicole Gibbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by tie_breaker View Post
What I like I about Halep is that her intensity is fierce throughout the match. I noticed the same about Cibulkova, when I watched them both at Indian Wells this year. When you see them play, win or lose, you know they left all they have on the court.

Watching Nicole play, I don't see that intensity. She's always on the defensive, which is not surprising as she doesn't have good placement at the corners. For every 3 nicely executed points, she gives up control on 7 other points, where she continually hits it at the center of the court, while her opponent, rips it past her. When she's running side to side, she rarely goes down the line, instead hits a lob towards the center. She can't be so predictable, as its easy for the experienced players to toy with her. Her only hope is against a basher, without good control. Even some of those players are realizing that they don't need that much pace to beat Nicole, just keep in play and wait for Nicole to toss up a short ball. Even players like Cici, with not so much power, but moving forward and going for the corners and playing with higher intensity. Cici tries to end the point, while Nicole tries to stay alive in the point. I'm sure they practiced together at Stanford or Atherton.

It's kind of ironic that Cici, initially signed-up (LOI) to play for Stanford, but ended up turning pro, while Nicole played 3 years, won 2 NCAA singles title, 1 NCAA doubles title, and 1 NCAA team title. Yet, who has developed further as a pro, now...
I have seen Nicole playing with the needed aggression for an entire set!
This is already "something"!

I can compare it to Maria Kirilenko's career. She was always one of my favorites, because in her matches time after time she displayed phenomenal tennis - but only for 10-15 minutes. That was not enough for many titles or high ranking. But around 2011 she regularly played doubles with Nadia Petrova as a preparation for the 2012 Olympics, and her HQ tennis somehow stabilized. She could sustain her aggression and HQ tennis for 40-50 minutes, an that was already enough to win important matches. For instance, in Wimbledon 2012 she was among the best 4 in singles and in doubles as well, in the Olympics too, they won the season ending championship in doubles, etc. Ultimately, she became a Top 10 player. (Unfortunately, not too long after she was focusing more on her private life and motherhood. Officially still not retired.)

At least this possibility is open for Nicole too! But she has to UNDERSTAND that without being the aggressor, for a relatively smaller girl there is no big chance for big things. - She's a Stanford girl, she can understand this.

Regarding CiCi Bellis, contrary to Nicole, she seems to be on the right track on every possible aspects. She can rocket-rise in the following year at 19 ...
Jun 8th, 2017 03:10 PM
tie_breaker
Re: Nicole Gibbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by DcsabaS View Post
-

When I look at Nicole's tennis, for me it is clear as the shining sun, that she has all the skills and needed physique for a similar transition that Simona Halep got in 2013. But she has to take the control into her own hands. She has to control the rallies. Whatever is the price! (She has to go forward on the court and accept the risks of being the aggressor!) Time after time Halep had to reinforce this thing again. Her 2017 break-through is about it too. If she wants to progress, it is not enough to have world-class skills - those skills must be used, and in a very determined manner!

(Bye the way, at the net Nicole is surely better than Simona...)
What I like I about Halep is that her intensity is fierce throughout the match. I noticed the same about Cibulkova, when I watched them both at Indian Wells this year. When you see them play, win or lose, you know they left all they have on the court.

Watching Nicole play, I don't see that intensity. She's always on the defensive, which is not surprising as she doesn't have good placement at the corners. For every 3 nicely executed points, she gives up control on 7 other points, where she continually hits it at the center of the court, while her opponent, rips it past her. When she's running side to side, she rarely goes down the line, instead hits a lob towards the center. She can't be so predictable, as its easy for the experienced players to toy with her. Her only hope is against a basher, without good control. Even some of those players are realizing that they don't need that much pace to beat Nicole, just keep in play and wait for Nicole to toss up a short ball. Even players like Cici, with not so much power, but moving forward and going for the corners and playing with higher intensity. Cici tries to end the point, while Nicole tries to stay alive in the point. I'm sure they practiced together at Stanford or Atherton.

It's kind of ironic that Cici, initially signed-up (LOI) to play for Stanford, but ended up turning pro, while Nicole played 3 years, won 2 NCAA singles title, 1 NCAA doubles title, and 1 NCAA team title. Yet, who has developed further as a pro, now...
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