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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Yesterday 09:37 AM
Not A Fan
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

The full draws for singles and dubs are out. She got arguably the best matchup from the qualifiers in young Blinkova and a fairy decent draw in dubs as well. Still the most important thing is to sort out all these medical issues, not much time till Tuesday tho Good luck to Monica


Australian Open

(5)Karolina Pliskova v Sara Sorribes Tormo
(Q)Anna Blinkova v Monica Niculescu
(Q)Lin Zhu v Jelena Ostapenko
Lara Arruabarrena v (31)Yulia Putintseva

(8)King/Shvedova v Wang/Wongteanchai
Kovinic/Siegemung v Schuurs/Voracova
Arruabarrena/Begu v Chirico/Mertens
Lucic-Baroni/Petkovic v (9)Niculescu/Spears
Jan 14th, 2017 09:22 PM
Not A Fan
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rads101 View Post
Though you say she took risks, which can very well be.
I meant that basically in the same way Monica later told the tournament website:
“I tried everything. I tried to come to the net, put drop shots, stay with her, but she was not missing. I tried maybe too much and I was missing. Today I felt slow on the court, not so much energy, and that counted.”

Yeah she tried to do something to end the points because Mertens was a wall, hitting every ball back. This lead to a lot of bad dropshots, unprepared rushes to the net, backhand UE's.... and only rarely to some good points that she won, like this one where Monica tries to be aggressive, comes forward but still has to win it with a winner after a 20+ shots rally:

Jan 14th, 2017 08:16 PM
Rads101
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

^ Definitely a good week. And to some extent good that she didn't push herself too much before AO, even if this was a final.

I haven't seen the match, just small extracts at the Belgian television: usually points where she made some bad decisions, like missing the chance to send a smash on an almost open court, going for a soft ball still, which gave Mertens the chance to run back and catch it... overall it really looked like she was playing safe. Though you say she took risks, which can very well be. Most likely the Belgian TV only went for a selection of shots that made Elise look good.

"I had a game plan and I'm happy it worked out" it was one of the post-match statements of Mertens. I'm not sure if there's a lot to read into that. Given Monica's particular brand of tennis, I guess a smart coach or player can come up with a strategy to defeat her. Or looking at it the other way around (to make a statement Nighty will say it was predictable ), a "good game plan" is not something that comes across as one of the strong points of the Romanians in general, and I guess Moni is no exception... so something she/they could work on for better results in the future.

Anyway, coming from the qualies, Elise really had an impressive run, taking out equally impressive names on the way, so kudos to her.

Moni --- GL in Melbourne.
Jan 14th, 2017 06:26 AM
Not A Fan
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

Definitely proud of Monica this week, reaching the final amid all these different injuries is sort of amazing (ok, with the luck of a walkover but still)
Couldn't do much in the final against such a good defensive player like Mertens. Had to take risks and lots of bad decisions since she's in no shape to rally endlessly and at the end payed the price, losing 46 16

Hope she sorts out the abdominal injury asap. Just throwing in soft serves like that will make her a walking bye even for a qualifier and there are some good names there. At least for dubs I'm hoping the serve will be better, as the 9th seeds they have a good chance at a run
Jan 13th, 2017 03:53 PM
Nightcrawl3r
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

. Had Tsurenko waited a little bit longer, the withdrawal might have been the other way around [emoji38] also given the heavier wind after the rain that was blowing like the was no tomorrow .

Final vs. Mertens in a little over hours from now on .


Good R1 in Melbourne (just don't draw Ana Bogdan ...) . Not so much for R2 ...
Jan 13th, 2017 05:01 AM
Not A Fan
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

Could be a good draw depending on who the qualifier will be. Would love a revenge for the Fed Cup loss but Pliskova is a legit top player now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not A Fan View Post
Not sure how she can play tomorrow but let's hope for the best
Well she couldn't play the SF... but because Tsurenko withdrew

So Monica will play the final in Hobart. Says she'll give her best. Let's do this

Niculescu was hampered by an abdominal injury in her quarterfinal win on Thursday night, but reassured fans she would be ready for tomorrow’s final. “Definitely. I’m going to be alright,” she said. “Tomorrow I’m going to give it my best.”
Jan 13th, 2017 03:21 AM
Tennis Fool
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

AO draw:

(5)Karolina Pliskova v Sara Sorribes Tormo
Q v Monica Niculescu
Q v Jelena Ostapenko
Lara Arruabarrena v (31)Yulia Putintseva

GL to her! Second round points to defend.
Jan 12th, 2017 11:43 AM
Not A Fan
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

Monica beat Ozaki to reach the SF but it was all down to fighting and grinding for every single point. Moni could barely serve, she just threw in soft first serves and revealed after the match that she has some abdominal issues Points took forever as Ozaki has no ability to finish points... it was a bit sad to see like 50mph serves getting returned softly through the middle by her, but anyway not important anymore...

Article with some quotes: Niculescu books semifinal spot - Hobart International - 12 January 2017 - News - Hobart International

Not sure how she can play tomorrow but let's hope for the best
Jan 11th, 2017 05:19 PM
ioana_sk8r
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

Nice as it is to have Moni get primetime playing spots, this translates to 3 am in my neck of the woods. Don't think I will get to see her play before the AO
Jan 11th, 2017 03:57 PM
Rads101
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraya! View Post
walkover in Doubles..I think Moni is still in a little pain
Actually (for once) it's not Monica, but her partner, see Not-A-Fan's post above.
Jan 11th, 2017 12:24 PM
Saraya!
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

walkover in Doubles..I think Moni is still in a little pain
Jan 11th, 2017 11:06 AM
Shvedbarilescu
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not A Fan View Post
No Safarova tomorrow as she lost to Ozaki...
Disappointed by that. I really want another Monica v Lucie match. I like Lucie and it's nothing against her, but it is damn fun watching Monica dissect her. It's been too long since we got another match-up of those two. The wait goes on...

I saw some of Risa's match against Lucie and she is playing very solidly. Might be a challenging match for Monica, or it might be very routine. It's always hard to tell how a player will cope with Monica for their 1st match up against her. I'm cautiously optimistic though.
Jan 11th, 2017 06:17 AM
Not A Fan
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

No Safarova tomorrow as she lost to Ozaki... bad news tho, they play in the evening session when the winds get crazy

In the meantime no more dubs as Spears withdrew with a leg injury (she had the left leg taped since Brisbane). I wished they could have played more matches in preparation for Oz Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcrawl3r View Post
Much better than the one vs. Jankovic IMO, although the score looks the same. 90% and 8 winners.
Moni had a balanced W/UE ratio of 11/11... which kinda pales in comparison to Flipkens' 22/14. A bit weird, you would't say Moni won easily looking at those stats

Jan 10th, 2017 03:37 PM
Rads101
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

Great match, but I'm trying to control my excitement to not jinx the next round.

It's Moni after all, the one who bageled Shuai "Halep-slayer" Zhang in the SF, only to be bageled in return by Arruabarrena in the F just few months back. Anything's possible from one day to another with her. Nevertheless --- best of luck!
Jan 10th, 2017 03:22 PM
Shvedbarilescu
Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu (Cheering Thread)

It was indeed a very good match against Kirsten. Great to see Monica looking so relaxed and confident on court.

This tournament is starting to look like a great opportunity for Monica to make her way back to the top 30.

I like her chances against both Safarova and Ozaki a lot. Ozaki is still pretty new on the tour and has only dozen main draw WTA wins. Monica feeds on inexperienced players generally. And Lucie? Well Lucie is a great player to be sure but she is also a wonderful match-up for Monica and I will always like Monica's chances any time these two play each other.

And should Monica make it to the semis as does seem very realistic, she would have to be the favourite to win the title.
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