Thursday, October 29, 2015

Simona Halep Bumps Tennis-wise into Radwanska in the WTA Finals

Singapore 2015 RR: Halep - Radwanska

Radwanska seems to target Halep's BH but is broken
1-0 Halep
who comes to the net for 15-0
(So Radwanka's hitting partner is her BF, it seems (as per BT's David Mercer))
2-0 Halep
2-1 Radwanska's holds with a great cross-court FH

Halep comes to net to smash, great idea
3-1 Halep
whose BH isn't too active on the DTL
but now she gets one for BP
defended with an ace by Radwanska
3-2 Halep, 1 break up
but Radwanska breaks with a lob and a again a poor Halep smash - and this is the turnaround, folks

Radwanska dominates now with great touch volleys and placed drives
4-4 Halep holds after some emotions

Radwanska with 24-stroke rally saves the BP/marbles
and is better at the net where Halep is 3-8

4-5 Halep, R holds a crucial game
Radwanska has the initiative
5-5 Halep defends 2 BPs
5-6 Radwanska defends 3 BPs

Halep is 1-9 on BPs clearly needs more punch
she serves now to get into a TB

TB 1st set
R makes two errors
5-1 Halep in the TB
but what do you know?
5-3 after a great BH smash by Radwanska
5-7 Radwanska wins TB after Halep messes up another smash

Now, after one set, Radwanska is back in the tourney, and Halep has missed the chance of deciding qualification by herself.

In the end, Radwanska beat Halep at the net, she was the shotmaker there. That's what I'm saying for two years, that Halep is NOT DOING THE WORK TO IMPROVE AT THE NET (smashes, lobs, volleys - everything needs work)
What are those coaches (Wim Fissette and Darrell Cahill including) and herself doing?

At least Cahill supports relatively well in the breaks, but Halep doesn't seem to have the energy to respond.

Halep flubs a volley then a smash: 0-40

1-2 Radwanska up

Halep fails to use a BH smash (this too missing from the arsenal)
1-6 Radwanska wins and Halep is eliminated from the WTA finals, after 3 FH errors in her serving game (two plopped in the net - always a shame for a player because show there's no energy put in the shot, that your game forgot to start from the ground up there).

A shocker. The 1st set seems to have cut Halep to the quick.

Yes, fire Darrell Cahill too, with all the $4 mil won. You hire baseliner's coaches, when you need to make advances at the net, you're paying for it in terms of GSs and WTA finals and showmanship, even if you have achievements in the points, the rankings, and the $$.

Simona Halep is unfortunately treading waters in terms of technical and strategical progress for two years now, and to me 2014 top Halep was better than 2015 top Halep. She needs a great mental coach, a great PR coach, an English coach (yes, look at Muguruza's progress in that respect), a great tennis coach, she needs a well-rounded help in all aspects of the game.

Yes, playing doubles with Horia Tecau is a great learning environment. She should also listen at the advice from Martina Navratilova.

And, yes, Justine Henin remains the model to follow by Halep.

I know Justine is Simona's idol, and that is just perfect, but we should get to the direct approach to the game, to, e.g., practical solutions to beating Sharapova and S. Williams. If Justine modified her game to beat those players (say by adopting the ATP forehand for more power and work on the ball), so should Simona. For two years of the vanilla baseliner's approach have fully demonstrated the need for another take to the power players first of all, for more variety in order to disorient them.

Congratulations to Radwanska for a great shotmaking performance.

Marius Hancu
Montreal, Canada
published at in the comments to

Top-seeded Simona Halep eliminated from WTA Finals


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