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Monica's fitness trainer said that Monica was working on strength conditioning and explosiveness. Does this mean that Monica can become even more powerful with her groundstrokes and serve? I would hope so. She really needs this to improve her chances against Venus, Lindsay, and Serena; the only conceivable players that could give her trouble in my not so humble opinion.

By the way, I am new to this board. So, hello to everyone here.
 

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Monica has a heck of a lot of power in her all-round game. However I think she is really trying to work on getting even more power on her serve. As we've seen over the years, that serve of hers has become more of a weapon and the miles per hour she clocks have been getting consistently higher. We never would have seen her hit a serve at 110mph before but she has gotten it up that high, maybe even higher. She really sees it as important to have a big weapon in the serve if she wants to compete on the highest level and I tend to agree.

Sometimes before we saw that Monica didn't really use her full power though on her groundstrokes and that's for a number of reasons. One was because of her lack of fitness, esp in a tight third set, she would back of because she was tired. The second reason was because she was "pushing" the ball, not confident enough to strike it big consistently on the important points.

However, these are two aspects of her game and her psyche which improved tremendously even last year. Her fitness is going great. And she is also getting her killer instinct back, that instinct which told her to go all out and take those chances on the big points.
 

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If you're asking whether Monica can hit the ball harder? No, no one can!

She's so dynamic and breathtaking that I don't think she can spank it any harder.

I think she CAN and WILL improve her serve and fitness.

I pick her to be top 5 next year <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Monica and Lindsay are the two purest strikers of the tennis ball. In my opinion quickness is what she really needs. She must get to the ball faster in order to set up for those awesome groundies. She has everything else to be in the top 5.
 

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I belive Monica could be in the top 5 next season (or maybe in the top 3). If she stays fit like in the last few months, she can beat everyone.
 

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Sounds like Monica is doing exactly the right thing.

She HAS to get stronger. Unless she loses 30 more pounds (I do NOT recommend this) Monica will never again be as fast as she was in 1990. So she isn't going to compete on footspeed. Lindsay doesn't compete on footspeed either. She's the hardest hitter on the tour, the most pure 'power player'. And right now, she's the best player on the tour. That's a model that Monica can duplicate. Power and accuracy. Can Monica get a serve as big as Lindsay's? It's possible. Monica's taller and heavier than Serena, and Serena can serve with anyone. Will Monica GET a serve that big? No. But she can improve it.

I can't see Monica returning to the top five.

Venus, Kim, Jenn and Lindsay are staying in the top five. Venus and Kim are still improving. Lindsay's the best on the planet right now. Jenn hasn't won since the French, but she's making finals and semis, and that's enough for a top five spot. (Note that Lindsay and Venus are both holdoing top five spots while losing a lot of time to injury. They aren't going anywhere.)

That leaves ONE opening for a bunch of players with perceptible weaknesses.

Martina - True, she can't beat a top ten player who has any power at all, but that can/will/MUST change. She's too good otherwise to lose to players who just hit the ball hard and keep it in the court.

Serena - Well, she has to show up and play at least fifteen tournaments. If she does, top five for sure.

Amelie - Fragile psyche.

Justine - Injuries

Monica- Conditioning (still). The second week of the 2 week tourneys always shows the flaws in Monica's conditioning.

Jelena - Flavor of the month. Has the Lindsay Davenport 'shoulder slump' when things go poorly.

I expect those six players to compete for the #5 ranking. And at l;east four of them will actually hold it next year. But I can't see Monica ending 2002 with a ranking that high.
 

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Volcana good post. Monica should not emulate Lindsay but Jcap. She should get fitter and quicker because she will not overpower her major competitors. Lindsay is good but she is not the best. Venus is. If you don't want to take my word for it...........ask her.
 
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