Great hope Halep - How far now?

How far will Simona Halep go at the 2014 USO?


  • Total voters
    88

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
Personally, if I were Halep, with all great results (including on the financial side), which I'd be blind not to see and appreciate, I'd change coaches right now, as I honestly don't see any progress on the crucial technical and strategical side this year:

- STILL no slice

- STILL no volley, no occasional S-V

- not enough dropshots

- STILL no plan B to speak of (see Serena today, she applied her plan B throughout by coming to the net on each and every short ball)

- not enough coach on-court intervention to change course (perhaps Halep doesn't like that), including in today's match

just a good maintenance at a very good level, for which she should thank the current coach.

I had the same recommendation for Bouchard, even though her results aren't quite at the same level as Halep's.

Otherwise, she will continue to lack the variety of means to beat the best on a consistent basis, and will wear out her body, by her current insistance on staying parked at the baseline. She should change her style more toward's Henin's, than Clijsters'.

Am I too harsh? I don't think so. And I have had this recommendation for some time; as well, it's only confirmed by today's match.

There is a time for everything, and this is the best time for it, before putting in the hard work for the next season.

Suggestions? Paul Annacone, Stefan Edberg (even part time would help tremendously; and he might become available), Carlos Rodriguez (I know he has that academy in China, and he left even Li Na in the lurch because of it), even Justine Henin (if Mauresmo coaches, why not her? she has a tennis academy).

Now, Henin might not be available for touring as a coach for now:

Henin willing to look at coaching after having another child
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/06/henin-willing-look-coaching-after-having-another-child/51735/#.VE6bH6OQhPx
As I suggested in the above (not that that had any importance) and in many other instances (including in tweets to accounts belonging to Simona):

Romanian Halep splits with coach Fissette
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/romanian-halep-splits-coach-fissette-133325858--ten.html;_ylt=AwrBT9S021tU31AAQrdXNyoA

She has declared she wants a Romanian coach. I haven't been contacted yet :)

I wonder now if my Canadian-related advice will also find a willing audience soon.

I am available on both sides :)
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
As I suggested in the above (not that that had any importance) and in many other instances (including in tweets to accounts belonging to Simona):

Romanian Halep splits with coach Fissette
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/romanian-halep-splits-coach-fissette-133325858--ten.html;_ylt=AwrBT9S021tU31AAQrdXNyoA

She has declared she wants a Romanian coach. I haven't been contacted yet :)

I wonder now if my Canadian-related advice will also find a willing audience soon.

I am available on both sides :)
You bet the Canadians didn't wait long:

Eugenie Bouchard and coach Nick Saviano part ways
https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh-game/eugenie-bouchard-and-coach-nick-saviano-part-ways-232315499.html

I'm glad Genie Bouchard finally listened to advice broadcast here and in other places, for I've been at it for a year now.

Thanks to Nick Saviano and Wim Fissette for bringing these players here, but it was time for qualitative changes, they were treading water in some areas lately.

I am available.
 
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Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
Simona Halep hires Victor Ionita as coach, brings Thomas Hogstedt on board as coaching consultant

http://www.livetennis.com/category/livetennis-news/simona-halep-hires-victor-ionita-as-coach-thomas-hogstedt-on-board-as-coaching-consultant-20141124-0004/

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Halep confirms new coach

World number three Simona Halep has hired Romanian Victor Ionita as her new coach, her third in 12 months.

Ionita, 31, has coached another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea, who despite her current ranking of 92 had been as high as 21.

Ionita is an ex-pro, but of little note – his career-high ranking was 187.

Halep has also hired renowned coach Thomas Hogstedt, who has worked with Maria Sharapova in the past, as a consultant for three tournaments, in Shenzhen, Sydney and the Australian Open.

http://www.sportinglife.com/tennis/news/article/553/9578700/wta-tennis-simona-halep-hires-victor-ionita-as-new-coach
----

If Ionita is the coach who was with Carstea this summer in Montreal, I'm not impressed. Hope not.

Hogstedt is good as a "running-player's coach (Wozniacki, Sharapova). Perhaps he will remember his coaching of Haas and help Halep improve her net play.
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He was appointed coach of five time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova in late 2010, having previously had success coaching Tommy Haas and Li Na, who were both top 10 players under his tutelage.[3] The pair ended their relationship shortly after Sharapova's second round loss to Michelle Larcher de Brito at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.[4]
---
 
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britam25

Hall of Fame

tennis_commentator

Hall of Fame
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Mats Wilander tips Simona Halep to dominate WTA

by Reem Abulleil


Former world No1 Mats Wilander believes Simona Halep has a Novak Djokovic-like streak in her future as he tips the young Romanian to top the women’s game in the upcoming years.
Does that imply Mats thinks Halep should specialize in non-slams and wins ONE of every SEVEN slam events (as Djokovic does)? Sure, that'd be ok, but I'd prefer Halep won more slams than that (3 of ever 7, Nadal-style would be a better idea- or 3 of every 6 if you don't include the US Open he skipped).
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
Personally, if I were Halep, with all great results (including on the financial side), which I'd be blind not to see and appreciate, I'd change coaches right now, as I honestly don't see any progress on the crucial technical and strategical side this year:

- STILL no slice

- STILL no volley, no occasional S-V

- not enough dropshots

- STILL no plan B to speak of (see Serena today, she applied her plan B throughout by coming to the net on each and every short ball)

- not enough coach on-court intervention to change course (perhaps Halep doesn't like that), including in today's match

just a good maintenance at a very good level, for which she should thank the current coach.

I had the same recommendation for Bouchard, even though her results aren't quite at the same level as Halep's.

Otherwise, she will continue to lack the variety of means to beat the best on a consistent basis, and will wear out her body, by her current insistance on staying parked at the baseline. She should change her style more toward's Henin's, than Clijsters'.

Am I too harsh? I don't think so. And I have had this recommendation for some time; as well, it's only confirmed by today's match.

There is a time for everything, and this is the best time for it, before putting in the hard work for the next season.

Suggestions? Paul Annacone, Stefan Edberg (even part time would help tremendously; and he might become available), Carlos Rodriguez (I know he has that academy in China, and he left even Li Na in the lurch because of it), even Justine Henin (if Mauresmo coaches, why not her? she has a tennis academy).

Now, Henin might not be available for touring as a coach for now:

Henin willing to look at coaching after having another child
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/.../#.VE6bH6OQhPx
Hantuchova to be coached by Carlos Rodriguez
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/12/hantuchova-be-coached-carlos-rodriguez/53457/#.VJUoUcGUA

Wow, so Carlos Rodriguez was available then.

Then, plainly speaking, this was a colossal blunder by Team Halep: not to hire the coach who would have been best able to teach her the playing style she needs in order to beat the very top players: something closer to the Justine Henin style.
 

Capulin Zurdo

Hall of Fame
Hantuchova to be coached by Carlos Rodriguez
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2014/12/hantuchova-be-coached-carlos-rodriguez/53457/#.VJUoUcGUA

Wow, so Carlos Rodriguez was available then.

Then, plainly speaking, this was a colossal blunder by Team Halep: not to hire the coach who would have been best able to teach her the playing style she needs in order to beat the very top players: something closer to the Justine Henin style.
I thought it was an interesting pairing between Hantuchova and Rodriguez at this time.

I feel Halep definitely has the hunger and desire to win matches and continue to progress. Rodriguez coaching Halep does sound like a good match- up. Still, I think Halep can take the success she had this year and carry the momentum.
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
The preparation back home in Poiana Brasov in the mountains



seems to have been OK, and being (1) seed might have helped too:



for it was all happiness in Shenzhen:





 
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Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
on facebook, Halep says:
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I have been hoping I would trick my illness, which made it very difficult for me to play the finals at Shenzen Open. However hard I fought, the illness went further and here I am, in Sydney, together with my whole technical team, just to be defeated by a virus. Unfortunately, more important than the financial and emotional effort behind this is my inability to play. However, I continue to fight the illness and try to start training for Australian Open as fast as possible.
---
 

speedysteve

Legend
on facebook, Halep says:
---
I have been hoping I would trick my illness, which made it very difficult for me to play the finals at Shenzen Open. However hard I fought, the illness went further and here I am, in Sydney, together with my whole technical team, just to be defeated by a virus. Unfortunately, more important than the financial and emotional effort behind this is my inability to play. However, I continue to fight the illness and try to start training for Australian Open as fast as possible.
---
:( That's a bummer. Hope all well for the A.O
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
Halep's path at AO 2015

Knapp, Gajdosova/Dulgheru, Lisicki, Pavlyuchenkova/Erani, Ivanovic, Sharapova, S. Williams

Not so bad ...
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
Simona Halep 17-01-15 Pre-AO Interview

---
Q. How were you feeling after having to withdraw from Sydney?

SIMONA HALEP: I'm feeling good now. I'm almost now like hundred percent recovered. I have two days. I slept very well. I ate very well. So I feel prepared to start this tournament. But still I have time, two days more, to feel like hundred percent.

Q. How different was your off-season? You changed coaches. Was there something you wanted to work on?

SIMONA HALEP: Just improve in my game more and more. I did in my serve very well in the off-season, and as well in my forehand. I'm moving better than last year. I'm working hard every day. I changed because I just wanted to change something, and I did. I think was a great idea for myself. Always I took my decisions and work very well. I think very good decision I had in the past.

Q. You posted a lot of pictures on Facebook of training in the snow and ice back home. How difficult is it to transition to warmer weather?

SIMONA HALEP: I have like three weeks already here because I played in Shenzhen. Wasn't too hot there. That was a good thing for me. I like to train in snow, when it's cold outside. I just had my preparation, my own preparation home, because many players are going where the weather is better or it's very hot in USA and other places. But I preferred to stay home, stay close to my family, to recharge my batteries. I feel good home. Just I was like 20 days practicing in the snow and I was running a lot.

Q. What is the best advice you ever received for helping to deal with the heat?

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, good question. Just to take easy, day by day. Just to have like no panic. Sometimes when you come from winter to summer, when it's very cold and you come here and it's hot, you feel like dizzy sometimes during the day. But I just stay cool and try to adapt very quickly. I don't have like big advices about this.

Q. What did you work on in the off-season?

SIMONA HALEP: My serve and my forehand. But I worked everything on my game. More on my serve. I did very well I think in Shenzhen.

Q. For power or for placement?

SIMONA HALEP: Both of them, and also I changed a little bit my technique.

Q. You made huge strides since a year ago. What surprised you most about your season, how successful you were?

SIMONA HALEP: I'm not surprised that I had big results last year because two years ago I just started to win some titles. I had more experience than before. I was improving a lot I think in my game. I'm much stronger now than before. My game is complete now, I think. I believe in my game. I think I was a little bit, I can say, surprised with the finals in French Open because I didn't expect that I can play finals after just one quarterfinals in Grand Slam. But, you know, I had nothing to lose there. Was my favorite tournament, because I won in juniors, and I feel very well there. I was trying everything on court. Everything went in the right way at that tournament. I felt very well. Sometimes is very good to be close to your home because more people can come to watch you and can support you. So was a perfect tournament for me. That's why I think I played the final. Then I had in Singapore the second big result. I played well, as well, there. I cannot say that I was surprised, but still I was very happy in the end of the year that I did few big results.

Q. After such a great year, do you feel more pressure coming into this year?

SIMONA HALEP: No. It's better than last year. I can say now I feel no pressure. I have just to play my game during the matches and to see how good I can be, how many results I can do, how many matches I can win. So my goal is again to go to Singapore and to win matches with top players. Just I have no pressure.

Q. Do you feel this year's Australian Open feels more wide open, like many different players could win?

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I can say that all the players from here have a chance to do this. I was thinking a few days ago that even if I am third in the rankings, I have my chance, but is not like I have to be in the semifinals or in the finals. Everyone from top 20 I can say has their own chance to win this title. You saw Pliskova, last week she played very well. Kvitova as well. Everyone can win this title. The tournament is open I think for everyone.

Q. Does that actually make it less pressure?

SIMONA HALEP: I think, yes. I don't want to think I have to win this tournament, be in the semifinals or quarterfinals. I want to take match by match and looking forward to start this tournament, to start first match, because will be a tough match, and to see how good I can be this tournament because it's a tough tournament.

Q. When you're in Romania, do people leave you alone?

SIMONA HALEP: So-and-so. Sometimes when I go in the city, it's tough, because everyone is coming to ask for a picture. It's tough to stay relaxed, but when I practice, yeah, I'm alone. I feel good home.

Q. You said in Singapore that you were going to reward yourself with something, that you would buy yourself something.

SIMONA HALEP: I didn't yet.

Q. You had the whole off-season. You didn't buy yourself something?

SIMONA HALEP: No. I will do maybe this year.

Q. Melbourne is a big shopping city.

SIMONA HALEP: I did already some shopping. But not very big things. Just to motivate myself.

Q. Do you work on your English in the off-season as well? You're getting much better.

SIMONA HALEP: I wanted to do some lessons, but I didn't have time. Sometimes you want something, but you have other priorities. I just speak more with my team in English sometimes. I started to read a book now again in English. With my computer to translate some words, I improve how I can.

Q. Do you speak two languages then?

SIMONA HALEP: Yes. I understand a little bit of French and Spain, but it's tough to speak.

Q. How are things going with Victor so far?

SIMONA HALEP: Good. The things are going good. I know him for a long time because he is Romanian. Like we played both in Bucharest before. It's good. He's relaxed. We feel each other in a good way. I can say not really that he's listening me, but he's listening what I need and what I want to do in that day. So I think that's the best way to work with a coach.

Q. What book are you reading?

SIMONA HALEP: I don't say because I said about Harry Potter and everyone was asking me. It's English book.

http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2015-01-17/201501161421468568716.html
---
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
Simona Halep vs Karin Knapp - to open 2015 AO on Rod Laver

Tough for Halep: plays someone #51, who hits a very hard ball
 
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Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
bleacherreport.com dismisses Halep:

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Quarterfinal predictions: Williams def. Wozniacki, Kvitova def. Radwanska, Ivanovic def. Lisicki, Bouchard def. Sharapova

Final prediction: Williams beats Bouchard in two sets

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2332843-australian-open-2015-complete-predictions-for-mens-and-womens-draw
---

My feeling is they are high on something.


tennis.com's Tignor is different:
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Semifinals: Kvitova d. Wozniacki; Sharapova d. Halep
Final: Sharapova d. Kvitova

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2015/01/full-flux/53637/#.VLsQKMmRiuI
---

Let's see ...
 
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Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
1st match for Simona Halep at the 2015 AO

not too comfortable in her game (26 errors)
but in the end a 2 set victory against a difficult opponent, Knapp.

I don't see the technical progress (no slice, no volleying, 1 dropshot), mostly baseline, not really the all-court she needs to beat the very best. Let's hope it will be enough to repeat at least the last year's result (QF), but for time being the supposed elements on which she's worked lately (serve, FH) were not that visible.

But I guess everybody is sluggish at the beginning of a new season (including Serena, we know). Let's see the rest of the journey here.

Yes, with others, I see the extra muscle.

Congratulations for a victory in relatively difficult conditions (the sun light is amazing).
 
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tennis_commentator

Hall of Fame
Probably wouldn't want to go outside of comfort zone in the first match, first got to judge the court surface a bit, so use her usual baseline game to begin with.
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
bleacherreport.com dismisses Halep:

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Quarterfinal predictions: Williams def. Wozniacki, Kvitova def. Radwanska, Ivanovic def. Lisicki, Bouchard def. Sharapova

Final prediction: Williams beats Bouchard in two sets

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2332843-australian-open-2015-complete-predictions-for-mens-and-womens-draw
---

My feeling is they are high on something.
They are high on BS, that's what they're on: Ivanovic is out already. Easier path for Halep in QFs, naturally, if she gets there.
 

rufusbgood

Semi-Pro
For a chuckle, check out the final minute of the replay of the Gajdosova match on the AO site,where the commentator gushes about the "straight sex win".
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
Very controlled, impressive 1st set by Halep against Matek-Sands, who shows variety that should be imitated by Halep (slice, net play)
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
Simona Halep's transcribed interview after the match with Bethanie Matek-Sands
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http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2015-01-23/201501231421996012835.html

Friday, 23 January, 2015

Q. How would you rate your game for now? Are you pleased with your game?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I'm okay with my game. I played well today, better than the second round, so this thing is good. She was very strong and I just wanted to play my game, but, you know, it was a great, great match for both of us. I was hitting aggressive and I stayed very close to the baseline. I served well. So I'm happy with my game now.

Q. What do you expect for your next game against Yanina from Belgium?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, she beat me every time when I played her, but next round will be a new day. I have my chance to win it. But I expect a very tough match. She's very tall and she's very strong. So I have to wait and to prepare myself to be ready before the match.

Q. Can I ask about your new racquet, how you're getting on with it and how it differs from the racquet you were using last season.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it has more control, you know, also power I have with it. I like a lot. You know, if you feel good and if you like it, you want to play with it. I have more control and more power with it. I think now it's the best racquet for me.

Q. When you first started training with it did you like it straightaway, or did it take you a little while to get used to it?
SIMONA HALEP: No, straightaway. I just took it and I liked it.

Q. About Yanina, would you ask Wim Fissette some advice about her game?
SIMONA HALEP: No.

Q. You don't have contact anymore?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I don't have contact anymore.

Q. What makes it tough to play against Yanina?
SIMONA HALEP: She was in the top 20 in the past. I know her, that she's strong. She hits the ball very, very strong. Yeah, when I played against her. Was like few years ago, so now it's other story because I improved a lot in my game. But still I will be very focused for every point and I will fight for the match. She serves well. She hits with both sides very well. I have to move very quickly and just to stay, make my game, to be aggressive, and to play fast.

Q. She likes to play top players like you. How is it for you to play against a girl who is the underdog? Is that more dangerous?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I think for me, in my opinion it's the same. If I play with top players or if I play with like 20 or 30 on the rankings, is the same thing. I think every player it's very tough now to play with because it's the highest level in tennis. So we have to be careful to take every match very, very focused and to be very serious during the match, because you have to fight for every point. So, I mean, I expect a tough match, so I'm prepared to play.

Q. Last year was an incredible year for you. What has changed in the way people look at you? Do you feel expectations are maybe higher or...
SIMONA HALEP: You know, last year I played great in Grand Slams. I did my first final. So that gave me more confidence now to play in Grand Slams. Everyone I think is expecting that I have to win every match - from Romania. I know what I have to do. I know what I want to do. I'm working hard every day to do many more results. We'll have to see. It's not easy.

Q. How is it for you in Romania? Are you a big star?
SIMONA HALEP: I think I am now, yeah. We have a small country, so everyone knows me now. It's not easy, but it's nice, as well. I enjoy.

Q. You were back home in Romania during the off-season. How long did it take you to get used to the conditions here?
SIMONA HALEP: It was very, very cold in my country, about minus 10 degrees. But I started in Shenzhen where wasn't too hot, like 15, 20 degrees, so it was good. I needed just few days to adapt. So it was fine if I won there. So everything was good there, yeah.

Q. So the hot weather training is less important than getting good training wherever?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I like to train home, so every time I'm going home to practice everything.

Q. Can I ask why you decided not to work any more with Wim Fissette?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, we had a good season together. But, you know, was my decision. I just wanted to change something. For me, you know, I mean, I have confidence in myself that I can play at the highest level in tennis. So I believe in my chance. Now I'm happy with my team. Was my decision and I'm happy with it.
----
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru


Team Halepeno!
(the lady on the left is Julia Moldovan, physio. Thomas Högstedt is on the right)
 
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Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
Difficult test for Simona Halep in prime time tomorrow on Rod Laver:

Women's Singles - Round 4

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
vs.
Simona Halep (ROU) [3]
 
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