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Discussion Starter #1
Monica is famous for her mental toughness as well as those lethal groundstrokes.

Well, her shotmaking seems as lethal as ever, but I do believe her mental focus on court is suspect.

She stuggled against Stevenson and Kournikova and now lost to Martina again in the final in Tokyo.

Monica is still hitting a lot of winners against Hingis but keeps piling up the erros at the same time.

Does anyone think Monica is lacking focus on court or is her competition just that much tougher?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well in another post it was suggested stamina could be here problem and I don't think that is it.

The Monica of the past rarely gave up 5-1 leads. Yeah we know Martina is a tough cookie herself, but Seles is famous for being the best in the mental toughness department.
 

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Yeah,shes losing her mental strength I think..
 

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That is not good to be losing one's mental toughness.
Stamina can be replenished, but mental toughness is the heart of the player's game itself.
I hope this is not a fact because if it is, then Monica's career is surely doomed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I am definitely not thinking Monica is losing it. Just seems to be lacking focus in some of her matches.

It's been said time again since Monica returned to the game that she wasn't the same. However, I was thinking that was one element that was creeping back in and she still seems to have a way to go.
 

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I can't see it. She fights off way too many set points and way too many match points from way too many good players to be considered less than very strong mentally.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You are right disposable but why isn't she winning more big matches and finals then?
 

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Jakeev - There are only three players beating Monica consistently from 2000 to now. Venus, Martina and Lindsay. The whole rest of the top ten only is 3-15 against her in that span. That is to say, the quality of the opposition has a great deal to do with Monica's results.
 

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She made some big steps last year and hopefully Monica will continue to improve on her play against the top players this year :).

Her mental toughness is certainly not gone, although she is not as intense as she may have been in the past. Hopefully that will improve in the next few months as well :).
 

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I don't think Monica is even near the player she was before the stabbing.

Monica pre stabbing used to hit a lot of winners, nearly every shot was a winner, and very few unforced errors.

Monica in 1992 was the mentally toughest player i've ever seen, she had the ability of regroup after losing a point that was really amazing, she wouldn't let a match discourage.

She was very fast, you would very rarely see Monica hitting a one-handed shot, she had always time to get to the ball and hit two-handed.

Now, Monica obviously isn't the same age, she isn't as fast and as fit as she used to be, she has improved dramatically since her return last year, but no comparisson with the old Monica.

She makes more errors, she gets anxious when the ball keeps coming back (like against Martina or Venus). The old Monica would have just hit a winner.

Another difference maybe that in 1992, her only serious opponent was Steffi Graf, Sabatini was too inconsistent, Arantxa hadn't reached her peak and anyways she was a level below, and Navratilova was too old. Now you have Venus, Serena, Martina, Lindsay, Capriati, Kim, Justine, Amelie. In 1992 she had to face only one really dangerous opponent, Graf and that was likely in the final, now she needs to beat 2 or 3 to win a Grand Slam.

I've seen flashes of the old Monica, but not the whole of it. Maybe, if she stays injury free and works hard she can get there, I don't know.
 

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i watched the whole match Sunday. i am satisfied with Monica's performance although she lost. i don't think her mental toughness has weakened.

Almost every technical statistics are on Monica's side except unforce errors, the main reason led to her loss in Australia earlier. IMO, Monica should play more flexibly to reduce unforced errors.

Hard hitting of groudstrokes is her strong point. However, hard hitting does not mean hitting every ball hard because the more you hit hard, the larger angle you make, the more likely unforced errors take place. Sometimes, a light hitting can get a point instead of a hard hitting.

For example, in that damn first set tiebreak, Hingis was far away from the center court to reture a forehand and could not cover the backhand. Monica can easily win that point by just letting the ball go to her backhand. However, she hit the ball very hard, very deep with large angles. It's long just by about 1 centimeter.

Monica is a great attacker. Should she improve her stability more, no one can stop her to peak again.
 

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fingon...........ur post was amazing! u hit the nail rite on the head there. i agree with u totally. but i do think she had more opposition pre-stabbing than what ur saying........besides graf, sabatini, arantxa, navratilova, she also had conchita, jana, mary joe, jennifer, etc etc
 

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I think Monica is very mentally tough, in fact i think she is one of the strongest mentally of the top ten.

The only thing affecting her is her mobility, her groundstrokes are as hard, if not harder than 1990-92, and just as consistent too.

The reason she is appearing to be not so dominant is that so many girls now hit really hard, not just the top 10! Players are far more athletic and much much stronger. They get more balls back than back in the early 90's and they hit them back hard and deep more often, something that was not common 10 years ago.

I don't know how many times I have seen Hingis exploit Seles average mobility. All she does is serve out wide and hit Monica's return crosscourt into the open court, sending Monica scrambling, gaining immediate control of the point as Monica is often not able to hit a good 2nd shot back.

Its clear that for Monica to be a top 4 player, she needs to still shed some weight and improve her speed, she certainly has improved over the last 6 months, but more is required to get back where she really wants to be.

I think that she is also pushing herself too hard this year. She doesn't have the fitness to do this. She is putting her body under enormous strain. She got injured the last two times from doing this. Overplaying is not something Monica should be doing until she loses more weight, and we are talking 5-8kgs! She would be wise to skip Doha if she wins Dubai.
 

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This was one of the things that stabbing took away from her her amazing fighting and mental toughness.But saying that she saved 6 match points against Serena and then won! both times 40-0 down now that amazing!:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the very objective opinions in this post. I think we all want to see Monica win one more big titles before she decides to quit tennis.
 

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Yes Monica took advantage of some wonderful opportunities against both Venus and Serena. Some players always seem mentally tough. Others seem always mentally weak. Monica can be both as this years AO showed. Against Venus, she was all there. Against Martina, she wasn't. That's better than what a lot of players can claim.
 
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