What do you think are your expectations for the new season?
I think she'll get into the top 60.
I was thinking about her loss against Savchuk (wta #186 ). Look at her picture before the match. There wasn't any aggressiveness, they obviously hat fun together, Mandy didn't take it much seriosly. And when leaving Paris she was in a good mood.
I'm not that convinced yet that Mandy is really back as the opposition in Captiva wasn't that strong (all her opponents have been outside top 200).
In order to get to top 70 or better she needs to beat top 100 players on a more regular base (only 2 top 100 wins in second half of 2013 is too less).
Consistency has always been a problem (even after her great US Open 3d rounds) but another one is that she rarely performs well at Grand Slams when she goes into an even match or where she is the favourite. She performed much better against Stephens and Serena than she did against the qualifiers (Savinykh, Pfizenmaier).
I hope she gets a Savinykh like draw again at the next Australian Open and shows her performance of the Stephens match. I would really like her get past the first round outside of the US Open for the first time.
Mandy Minella - Sabine Lisicki - Kimiko Date
Alizé Cornet - Jelena Jankovic - Katerina Siniakova
It's all a question of mental strength. I think sometimes she just doesn't believe enough in her own capabilities. If she do so she will have more Top 100 wins. She would have beaten Stephens in NY if she hadn't lost the belief in it in the tiebreak because both players were absolutely even, maybe Mandy even a bit better on this day. There was missing only a very small piece of belief.
Her win in Captiva of course had also to do with her opponents were not that high in the ranking. So she was very confident to win these matches. This confidence sometimes misses at WTA events. Maybe too often yet but who knows what's in the future. I hope she gets to be pushed by Captiva as well. She should be able to improve her consistency.
Her strategy must be to take her oppontents under pressure und to force errors instead of just waiting for them. In Captiva she had a clearly seen pattern either finishing the points by her forehand (if the opponent gets too short) or forcing errors by her forehand (good pace and deepness) and even by backhand.
The crucial point of course is her backhand. Here she needs a bit more consistency and why shouldn't this be possible? She hits nice angles and is able to surprise by hitting the ball cross and down the line either to prepare her points. I was watching that pattern as a part of her game several times very attentively, especially in the end of the year. So pls do it against higher ranked players too. Just try it! Whenever she plays with a certain aggressiveness she improves her chances to win the matches. She should be aware of this.
She just has to believe in her strengths also against stronger opponents and if she do so she will see that even many Top 100 players are not unbeatable for her.
And yeah it would be so nice see her winning a WTA event, hope for Nürnberg