Some pointers on her clay game:
* Well if she keeps up serving like she has throughout this season (despite some shitty performances in the early rounds in Miami), she'll have a big advantage. Her kick serve has been monstrous (has anyone checked her winning % on the 2nd serve? More often than not it's higher than her first, flat serves
), so that's a huge advantage.
* Also, her endurance has looked terrific for the past year (one of the few things that has clearly improved in her game). Long rallies really don't seem to bother her.
* Clay courts are prone to puffballs from lesser servers AKA Generation Suck, and she'll be all over that with even more time than she had during this slow-HC season.
* Her forehand (bar the Miami final
) has been quite exceptional, and it was that shot that won her Rome last year, particularly the semi against Wozniacki. It's essential for claycourt tennis 'cause you can't generate that much pace with a BH on a high bouncing ball.
* Speaking of high bounces, she's a big girl. Excessive spin/moonballs/other random junk doesn't seem to bother her much because everything usually ends up in her striking zone (with the appropriate footwork... I repeat, FOOTWORK)
* Finally, the surface DEMANDS patience, and she became more and more aware of it throughout her career.
The surface really helps her, and hopefully she makes the most of it 'cause she can do some serious damage this year IF everything comes together a la Rome 2011.
I would love to see her get used to sliding to her FOREHAND side. She does it perfectly on the defense to her backhand, but I've never seen her slide to the forehand. It would make her FH even more dangerous and hopefully Flopstedt will work on it.
One match at a time, and we'll see how it goes.