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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 07:00 PM   #1651
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

Won 64 62 ! Classic Monica match against an erratic power player like Goerges, she didn't even to be that artistic, just throw slices around, stay in the point and the ball would fly in the stands. Great win considereing Julia slayed her 62 61 in Tokyo, proof that Monica is finally heading back in the right direction.

Also, Monica proved me wrong in this match, her slice was definitely the key shot of the match
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 07:04 PM   #1652
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

But she used it wisely today and that is making all the difference. Whenever she had the chance to creat a rally on her own, she went for the backhand, forehand slice nearly only after being drawn wide or as a means to get back into the rally or using it as an approach shot of course..
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 07:08 PM   #1653
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

Julia Goerges, this Sorana Cirstea of Germany , a perfect match up for Monica (that 2-6; 1-6 in Tokyo happened because Monica has been slowing came back to her form)
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 07:17 PM   #1654
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

Halep and Cîrstea overwhelming favourites >>>>>>>> lost in style.

Monica big underdog >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> won easily

Romanian tennis in a nutshell.
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #1655
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

Women tennis is in a nutshell!
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #1656
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

Next is Hradecka, what do y'all think ? She's the epitome of ball bashing, extremely dangerous when everything goes in, but if it doesn't...
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #1657
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

defeated her 6-4 6-4 last year in the same round, at the same stage, let's do it again.
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #1658
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

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Won 64 62 ! Classic Monica match against an erratic power player like Goerges, she didn't even to be that artistic, just throw slices around, stay in the point and the ball would fly in the stands. Great win considereing Julia slayed her 62 61 in Tokyo, proof that Monica is finally heading back in the right direction.

Also, Monica proved me wrong in this match, her slice was definitely the key shot of the match
Yeah, the slice was very effective today. Personally I would never tell Monica to drop the slice but it's true the effectiveness of Monica's slice does vary massively depending on the opponent. Basically it is such a different shot, with an extreme undercut spin that makes it quite different to most other slices and consequently players react to it very differently. For some it is a bamboozling nightmare to get back in play, or a shot that tricks you into hitting a big winner that you end up missing while for others it is like the easiest shot to get back and there are certainly a number of players who have no problem at all rallying against Monica's slice.

That said, even against those players it can be used as an attacking shot for chip and charging, a la Rybarikova, or defensively. But as a rallying shot it works against some but not against others. Which is why Monica does always need to be adapting her game every match to what works on the day. And what works against one player might not work against another and vice versa. Monica simply can't go on court doing the same thing every match. She does need to constantly be aware of which of her shots are causing the most trouble on the day, how effective getting to the net is being, whether the dropshot is worth using as a weapon or not, etc. Basically this must be one of the challenges she faces as a tennis player that other players don't have to deal with to nearly the same degree. It is though a challenge I think she will get better and better at with more experience.
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Old Oct 19th, 2012, 11:00 AM   #1659
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

Well done Moni
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Old Oct 19th, 2012, 11:30 AM   #1660
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

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That said, even against those players it can be used as an attacking shot for chip and charging, a la Rybarikova, or defensively. But as a rallying shot it works against some but not against others. Which is why Monica does always need to be adapting her game every match to what works on the day. And what works against one player might not work against another and vice versa. Monica simply can't go on court doing the same thing every match. She does need to constantly be aware of which of her shots are causing the most trouble on the day, how effective getting to the net is being, whether the dropshot is worth using as a weapon or not, etc. Basically this must be one of the challenges she faces as a tennis player that other players don't have to deal with to nearly the same degree. It is though a challenge I think she will get better and better at with more experience.
I agree a lot with that second paragraph and would take the different surfaces into consideration as well. Her game doesn't work against most opponents on clay at all, for example. Yes, her serve which is just screaming to be bashed is one story, but she struggles a lot with the lack of pace she is getting there and any decent opponent who knows how to use top spin is crushing there. On clay it's even more important for her to keep length in her shots and use the dropshot more than accurate for example.

As I said, Monica herself is far too brainless in my opinion in many matches and just sticks to pushing after a while because it's more comfortable for her and on a negative side effect, let her opponents get into rhythm which is completely against her main goal. She really has to stay active for the whole match.
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Old Oct 19th, 2012, 02:14 PM   #1661
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

Won 60 64

Not the greatest match. Lucie couldn't handle the slice, obviously, but I'd say she was also having an off-day on top of that (I mean, she was crying during changeovers...)
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Old Oct 19th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #1662
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

30% Nics enough to completely derail Lucie's game.
Couldn't win a point on the net missing easiest overheads, but nailing that slice volley approach like a queen.
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Old Oct 19th, 2012, 02:22 PM   #1663
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

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but nailing that slice volley approach like a queen.
I love that she knew exactly what shot Lucie was gonna play, maybe even before Lucie herself
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Old Oct 19th, 2012, 02:40 PM   #1664
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

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I agree a lot with that second paragraph and would take the different surfaces into consideration as well. Her game doesn't work against most opponents on clay at all, for example. Yes, her serve which is just screaming to be bashed is one story, but she struggles a lot with the lack of pace she is getting there and any decent opponent who knows how to use top spin is crushing there. On clay it's even more important for her to keep length in her shots and use the dropshot more than accurate for example.

As I said, Monica herself is far too brainless in my opinion in many matches and just sticks to pushing after a while because it's more comfortable for her and on a negative side effect, let her opponents get into rhythm which is completely against her main goal. She really has to stay active for the whole match.
Yes, agree with pretty much all of this. Not sure I would call Monica brainless exactly because when she is focused she is anything but, but her brain does desert her at times, she stops thinking, goes into what I call her "freefall" mode, and at those moments, yeah, she is brainless. One sees it happen at least once on the vast majority of her matches. What has been good this week is that she has been able to fight through these spells so they haven't cost her more than 2 or 3 games. But it is hugely important for her to always be totally alert to what she is doing and when she isn't it quickly becomes apparent.

Clay, yeah, definately her worst surface and it does tend to emphasise her main weaknesses as player, lack of a big serve or killer shot, while negating her strengths, all her wide arsenal of shots become easier for her opponent to keep in play and Monica ends up in these long rallies at the baseline. And with the kind of game she has, it isn't surprising that when it comes down to a battle of consistency of groundies from the baseline the player hitting the more unorthodox shots is going to struggle. And yes, depth of shot and the use of the dropshot are definately the two primary things Monica needs to focus on when playing on clay, that's absolutely totally the word of truth.

Oh and having said all that...isn't it nice to see Monica in another semifinal after the last few wretched months?
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Old Oct 19th, 2012, 02:52 PM   #1665
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Re: The Amazing and Remarkable Monica Niculescu

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Yes, agree with pretty much all of this. Not sure I would call Monica brainless exactly because when she is focused she is anything but, but her brain does desert her at times, she stops thinking, goes into what I call her "freefall" mode, and at those moments, yeah, she is brainless. One sees it happen at least once on the vast majority of her matches. What has been good this week is that she has been able to fight through these spells so they haven't cost her more than 2 or 3 games. But it is hugely important for her to always be totally alert to what she is doing and when she isn't it quickly becomes apparent.

Oh and having said all that...isn't it nice to see Monica in another semifinal after the last few wretched months?
You answered yourself, when she is focused and when she is confident I would say. I take the match against Knapp as an example. She easily cruised through the first set even playing some superb shots at times, but just reverted to pushing afterwards. Far too passive and yeah, brainless for a player like her just to let the opponent do and react, only replying with forehand slices.

I agree with the freefall, but that may be also caused by her temper. She is very vocal and probably loses focus by lamentating too much.

It is and it is very surprising to me, because i've already seen her on the edge of Top 100 after that week. Now, she will lose just 70 points at most, which is still enough for a spot in the Top 80 after that long injuy break and enough to avoid playing too much qualifiers in smaller events next year.

There is still a bunch of points for her to defend at the AO and especially Doha next year - afterwards more or less nothing for the rest of the season.
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