Mona in 2015?
The first half of Mona’s last season was marked by a shortened off-season preparation due to a shoulder injury which was, in my opinion, the main reason for her very bad form and results during the first four months of 2014. As a result, she was only ranked 86 in April.
With the help of her new coach and also the Schüttler-Waske academy as a whole her game got some stability back and it showed in better results from May onwards. She then qualified for most of the tournaments, had decent results at the slams (but could clearly have done better there), but could barely make it past round 2 on the other hand. A highlight of course was her tournament win in Bastad. She didn’t come up with her potentially brilliant offensive game during that week, but she played with a significantly improved defense and a very good attitude so that we could say that “Grinding Mona” won her third title. After the North American and Asian tour she finished the season with a semi-final in Luxembourg and ended up #42 in the ranking.
Given the fact that she already started her off-season preparation two weeks ago and assuming that she stays injury-free this time we could legitimately hope that Mona will have a good season next year.
So my questions are: How will she perform in 2015? What will she achieve?
My prediction: At any rate, I strongly believe that Mona will keep up with her good old tradition of winning one WTA tournament which will probably be an International or maybe even a Premier. Game-wise she will start the season like she ended this one, with a certain focus on defense. That will change (due to an increased self-confidence) during the course of next year so that we will probably see Mona playing more aggressively during the second half of 2015. But this time she will have a better defense and therefore more options to adapt her game on off-days.
As a result, she will be quite consistent and have decent results during the first half of the season. In the second half we will probably be able to enjoy Peak Mona here and then again, but that comes of course with the prize of more inconsistency.
In conclusion, I expect Mona to be ranked between 20 and 25 by the end of next year.