Monica Niculescu (born 25 September 1987) is a Romanian professional tennis player. She reached her career-high singles ranking of world No. 28 in February 2012, and has three singles titles to her credit on the WTA Tour since she turned pro in May 2002, the last one coming at the end of 2016, at the BGL Luxembourg Open. Although she was a steady top 30 player for several years and enjoyed relative success in singles, she is also a doubles specialist, where she achieved a career-high ranking of no.11, in April 2018, after partnering with Grand Slam winner and Olympic medalist Andrea Sestini Hlaváčková at Indian Wells. Her biggest doubles result up to date is reaching her first grand slam doubles final at Wimbledon, in 2017, alongside Chan Hao-ching. She was also runner-up at three Premier Mandatory events: the 2015 Wuhan Open, with fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu, the 2016 Rogers Cup, with current world no.1 Simona Halep, and the 2017 Cincinnati Open, partnering former world No. 1 in doubles, Su-wei Hsieh.
|Born||25 September 1987|
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Turned pro||May 2002|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Coach||Călin Stelian Ciorbagiu|
|Career record||493–340 (59.18%)|
|Career titles||3 WTA, 1 WTA 125K, 18 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 28 (27 February 2012)|
|Current ranking||No. 138 (18 March 2019)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||3R (2011, 2012, 2014)|
|French Open||2R (2014)|
|US Open||4R (2011)|
|Olympic Games||2R (2016)|
|Career record||430–249 (63.33%)|
|Career titles||9 WTA, 22 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 11 (2 April 2018)|
|Current ranking||No. 56 (18 March 2019)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||SF (2018)|
|French Open||QF (2010)|
|US Open||3R (2009, 2010, 2016, 2017)|
|Fed Cup||31–20 (60.78%)|
|Last updated on: 30 March 2019.|
She is popular among spectators and other players alike for her unconventional style of play, employing an extreme grip as well as two hands for both her forehand and backhand. She is also best known for her trademark forehand-slice, her winning deamenour and her exceptional shot-making abilities at the net. Niculescu currently holds the Open Era record of highest first serve percentage in a year (91%-in 2011, tied with Sara Errani).
Niculescu has defeated many top 10 opponents throughout her career, having 25 wins against top 10 opponents to date.
2002–2005: Junior yearsEdit
As a junior, Niculescu had the remarkable gift to win quite easily every final she reached. Thus, before reaching the age of 18, she won eleven ITF singles finals, losing only one set:
- in Bucharest (Aug 2002), 6–1, 7–6 against Tsvetana Pironkova
- in Cavtat (Apr 2003) 6–4, 6–1 against Darija Jurak
- in Timişoara (Aug 2003) 6–2, 6–3 against Veronika Rizhik
- in Albufeira (Feb 2004) 6–1, 3–6, 6–0 against Irina Kotkina
- in Portimão (Feb 2004) 6–4, 7–6 against Nadja Pavić
- in Bucharest (May 2004) 6–2, 6–2 against Simona Matei
- in Iași (Aug 2004) 7–6, 6–0 against Raluca Olaru
- in Cairo (Mar 2005) 6–4, 6–2 against Galina Fokina
- in Ain Alsoukhna (Mar 2005) 6–3, 6–4 against Magdaléna Rybáriková
- in Antalya (May 2005) 6–2, 6–2 against Ekaterina Dzehalevich
- and in Coimbra (Aug 2005) 6–3, 6–1 against Aravane Rezaï.
She also won eight out of 14 ITF finals played in doubles, as a junior, in most of them having as a partner her older sister, Gabriela Niculescu. She played finals in girls' doubles in Roland Garros (2004, paired with Mădălina Gojnea) and twice in Wimbledon (2004 and 2005, paired with Marina Erakovic).
By the end of 2005, now already a senior player, she was No. 271 in the WTA rankings and No. 4 in Romania.
2006–2008: Constant progress as a senior, top 50Edit
Niculescu made her WTA debut in 2006 Istanbul, where she won to then junior Sabine Lisicki but could not pass the third qualification round. In 2007, she continued to play many ITF tournaments, and she also played in qualifications in all four Grand Slams and three other WTA tournaments, but only in Dubai she reached the main draw. Still, winning several ITF tournaments and gathering many small points, she finished the year 2007 in top 200.
In 2008, she reached the quarterfinals in Tashkent, and in all four Grand Slams she reached the first round, with round two reached in Wimbledon. Gathering points constantly on WTA Tour, and also including some smaller successes in ITF tournaments, Niculescu was ranked 48th in the world, and second in Romania, at the end of 2008.
2009: Setback and out of top 100Edit
Niculescu opened the season at the Brisbane International, where she lost to Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round in three sets. She also lost in the first round of the Moorilla Hobart International to Alona Bondarenko. At the 2009 Australian Open, Niculescu beat Katie O'Brien in the first round, 6–4, 6–4, before losing to Sara Errani in the second, 2–6, 3–6. Alongside Sorana Cîrstea, Niculescu was the 14th seed in women's doubles; they lost to Nathalie Dechy and Mara Santangelo in the second round, 3–6, 3–6.
In the other three Grand Slams, she did not go past round one of the main draw. Her best results of the year were quarterfinals in Tashkent and Strasbourg.
At the Open GDF Suez held in Paris, Niculescu defeated Timea Bacsinszky in the first round, before losing to eventual champion Amélie Mauresmo in the second. She then took part in the Dubai Tennis Championships. She beat Peng Shuai in the first round in three sets, 3–6, 7–5, 6–2, and then lost to world No. 3, Jelena Janković, 3–6, 2–6. Niculescu also partnered Elena Vesnina in doubles, and the two reached the quarterfinals in women's doubles; they lost to Anabel Medina Garrigues and Francesca Schiavone. Niculescu had two consecutive first-round losses, at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (fell to Anna-Lena Grönefeld) and Sony Ericsson Open in Miami (fell to Tamira Paszek). Partnering Alisa Kleybanova, she reached the quarterfinals at the BNP Paribas Open, where they lost to Maria Kirilenko and Flavia Pennetta. At the Sony Ericsson Open she partnered Kleybanova again, but they lost to second seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual.
At the end of the year, she had slipped out of top 100.
2010: Comeback to top 100, first WTA semifinalEdit
In 2010, Monica started the season in Auckland, coming from qualifying. In the first round, she lost to fifth seed Virginie Razzano, 5–7, 4–6. In doubles, she partnered Ioana Raluca Olaru, and they defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues and Carla Suárez Navarro, 7–5, 7–5. In the second round, they lost to Cara Black and Liezel Huber, 3–6, 2–6.
At the Australian Open, she lost in the first round to Jelena Janković, 4–6, 0–6. In doubles, she partnered Chan Yung-jan and defeated Monique Adamczak and Nicole Kriz, 6–3, 6–1. The pair defeated Alla Kudryavtseva and Ekaterina Makarova in the second round, 6–4, 6–4. In the third round, they lost to sixth seeds Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs, 5–7, 3–6.
In Marbella failed to qualify in singles, but in doubles she partnered Sophie Lefèvre. They defeated Kristina Barrois and Ioana Raluca Olaru in the first round, 6–3, 4–6, [10–7]. However, in the second round, they lost to Virginia Ruano Pascual and Meghann Shaughnessy, 2–6, 4–6.
She made again her best in Tashkent, where she reached her first WTA semifinals but lost to Elena Vesnina.
Although in the first half of the year she was struggling between ranks 100 and 150, by the middle of the year she reached top 100 again and ended the year as No. 82 in the world, and No. 2 in Romania.
2011: Consistent game, advance to top 30Edit
At the Australian Open, Niculescu defeated Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets, 6–0, 6–3. Facing off against the 32nd seed, Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, Niculescu cruised through the match winning 6–4, 6–1. In the third round, she lost to the 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, 0–6, 6–7.
Niculescu defeated Patricia Mayr-Achleitner in the first round and compatriot Alexandra Dulgheru in the second round, 6–3, 6–0, to advance to the third round of the US Open. In defeating Lucie Šafářová, 6–0, 6–1, Niculescu advanced to the fourth round of a Grand Slam singles competition for the first time in her career, where she lost 4–6, 3–6 to unseeded Angelique Kerber.
At the Tier-1 China Open, she shocked the world with a dominating victory over fourth seed Li Na, 6–4, 6–0 in the first round and advanced to the semifinals, where she lost to eventual runner-up, Andrea Petkovic.
She advanced to her first WTA final at the International tournament in Luxembourg, losing to Victoria Azarenka, 2–6, 2–6. En route to the final, she spent many hours on court with a 6–7, 7–5, 7–6 first-round victory over Karin Knapp, a second-round 7–6, 3–6, 6–1 win over Anabel Medina Garrigues, and a 7–5, 4–6, 6–3 win in three hours over 2010 finalist Anne Keothavong in the semifinals.
The end of the year found her as No. 30 in the world and No. 1 in Romania.
2012: Career high, small setback, still top 60Edit
Her best result was again the WTA final in Luxembourg, lost to Venus Williams.
Although in February Niculescu had reached rank No. 28, her career high so far, the inconsistent results during the season made her go down to world No. 58 by the end of the year.
2013: Steady position, first WTA titleEdit
Aside two WTA semifinals in Shenzhen and Monterrey, Niculescu won her first singles WTA title in Florianópolis.
She played in round one of all the Grand Slam events, but lost the games constantly.
Yet, winning enough games and points in WTA tournaments, she kept her Top 60 position, finishing the season as No. 59 in the WTA rankings.
2014: Second WTA title, top 50 againEdit
In all, Niculescu had an improving season, reaching round three at Australian Open, round two at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, quarterfinals in Shenzhen, Hobart and Florianópolis, and semifinals in Bucharest. The best result was her winning the WTA tournament in Guangzhou, as her second WTA title.
Thus she entered top 50 again by the end of the year.
2015: Tough matches, steady gameEdit
Much of early 2015 was particularly difficult for Niculescu, as she often faced difficult draws. For instance she drew world No. 1, Serena Williams, twice in a row in the second round of Indian Wells and Miami. While she managed to test Williams with a 5–7, 5–7 score, she was not able to win a set against her in either match. She also suffered first round losses at Shenzen, Hobart, the Australian Open, Dubai, Prague, and the French Open.
Niculescu won the Marseille clay 100K ITF tournament in June. Shortly thereafter, she defeated first-seeded Agnieszka Radwańska 5–7, 6–4, 6–0 at the Aegon Open Nottingham WTA grass tournament to earn a place in the final where she lost to teenager Ana Konjuh 6–1, 4–6, 2–6. All five matches she played went to three sets. She then lost in the first round at Birmingham to the 10th seed, Barbora Strýcová.
Niculescu earned a spot in the fourth round at the Wimbledon Championships for the first time, defeating Monica Puig 5–7, 6–3, 6–1, Jana Čepelová 6–3, 6–3, and Kristýna Plíšková 6–3, 7–5. This is the second time she has made it past the third round at a major. Despite winning the first set of her fourth-round match 6-1 and having a positive head-to-head record against the player, she was defeated by 15th-seeded Timea Bacsinszky, who took the next two sets. Bacsinszky has seen a dramatic improvement of her results, having recently also made the semifinals at the French Open.
2016: Doubles successEdit
2017: Wimbledon doubles final and first WTA 125 series crownEdit
At the Australian Open, she lost to Anna Blinkova in the first round. Then, Niculescu played doubles with Abigail Spears, but they lost in the first round to Andrea Petkovic and Mirjana Lučić-Baroni. She won the WTA 125 Series Open at Limoges on November 12.
Nicolescu plays right-handed, with powerful topspin backhand and unpredictable forehand slice. She has great volleying ability and great footwork.
Her mother, Cristiana Silvia Niculescu is a pharmaceutical sales representative; her father Mihai Niculescu is an engineer. Niculescu has an older sister, Gabriela, who was a professional tennis player and attended University of Idaho, after transferring from USC after her junior year.
Monica Niculescu cited Martina Hingis and Andre Agassi as her tennis idols. She enjoys shopping, movies, reading, and spending time with her family. Niculescu listed her favourite movie as The Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher.
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Doubles: 1 (1 runner-up)Edit
|Loss||2017||Wimbledon||Grass||Chan Hao-ching|| Ekaterina Makarova
Doubles: 3 (3 runner-ups)Edit
|Loss||2015||Wuhan||Hard||Irina-Camelia Begu|| Martina Hingis
|Loss||2016||Canada||Hard||Simona Halep|| Ekaterina Makarova
|Loss||2017||Cincinnati Open||Hard||Hsieh Su-wei|| Chan Yung-jan
|6–4, 4–6, [7–10]|
WTA career finalsEdit
Singles: 8 (3 titles, 5 runner-ups)Edit
|Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)|
|Tour Championships (0–0)|
|Premier Mandatory & Premier 5 (0–0)|
|Loss||0–1||Oct 2011||Luxembourg Open||International||Hard (i)||Victoria Azarenka||2–6, 2–6|
|Loss||0–2||Oct 2012||Luxembourg Open||International||Hard (i)||Venus Williams||2–6, 3–6|
|Win||1–2||Mar 2013||Brasil Tennis Cup, Brasil||International||Hard||Olga Puchkova||6–2, 4–6, 6–4|
|Win||2–2||Sep 2014||Guangzhou Open, China||International||Hard||Alizé Cornet||6–4, 6–0|
|Loss||2–3||Jun 2015||Nottingham Open, U.K.||International||Grass||Ana Konjuh||6–1, 4–6, 2–6|
|Loss||2–4||Sep 2016||Korea Open, South Korea||International||Hard||Lara Arruabarrena||0–6, 6–2, 0–6|
|Win||3–4||Oct 2016||Luxembourg Open||International||Hard (i)||Petra Kvitová||6–4, 6–0|
|Loss||3–5||Jan 2017||Hobart International, Australia||International||Hard||Elise Mertens||3–6, 1–6|
Doubles: 25 (9 titles, 16 runners-up)Edit
|Legend (pre/post 2009)|
|Grand Slam tournaments (0–1)|
|Tour Championships (0–0)|
|Tier I / Premier Mandatory & Premier 5 (0–3)|
|Tier II / Premier (1–4)|
|Tier III, IV & V / International (8–8)|
|Loss||0–1||Aug 2008||Connecticut Open, New Haven, United States||Tier II||Hard||Sorana Cîrstea|| Květa Peschke
|6–4, 5–7, [7–10]|
|Win||1–1||Jul 2009||Hungarian Ladies Open, Budapest||International||Clay||Alisa Kleybanova|| Alona Bondarenko
|Loss||1–2||Aug 2009||Bank of the West Classic, Stanford, United States||Premier||Hard||Chan Yung-jan|| Serena Williams
|Loss||1–3||Jan 2010||Hobart International, Australia||International||Hard||Chan Yung-jan|| Květa Peschke
|6–3, 3–6, [7–10]|
|Loss||1–4||Jul 2010||Prague Open, Czech Republic||International||Clay||Ágnes Szávay|| Timea Bacsinszky
|Loss||1–5||Jul 2011||Baku Cup, Azerbaijan||International||Hard||Galina Voskoboeva|| Mariya Koryttseva
|3–6, 6–2, [8–10]|
|Win||2–5||Jan 2012||Hobart International, Australia||International||Hard||Irina-Camelia Begu|| Chuang Chia-jung
|6–7(4–7), 7–6(7–4), [10–5]|
|Loss||2–6||Sep 2012||Guangzhou Open, China||International||Hard||Jarmila Gajdošová|| Tamarine Tanasugarn
|6–2, 2–6, [8–10]|
|Loss||2–7||Oct 2012||Luxembourg Open||International||Hard (i)||Irina-Camelia Begu|| Andrea Hlaváčková
|Loss||2–8||Jun 2013||Eastbourne International, United Kingdom||Premier||Grass||Klára Koukalová|| Nadia Petrova
|Win||3–8||Jan 2014||Shenzhen Open, China||International||Hard||Klára Koukalová|| Lyudmyla Kichenok
|Win||4–8||Jan 2014||Hobart International, Australia (2)||International||Hard||Klára Koukalová|| Lisa Raymond
|6–2, 6–7(5–7), [10–8]|
|Loss||4–9||Apr 2014||Katowice Open, Poland||International||Hard (i)||Klára Koukalová|| Yuliya Beygelzimer
|4–6, 7–5, [7–10]|
|Loss||4–10||Jan 2015||Hobart International, Australia||International||Hard||Vitalia Diatchenko|| Kiki Bertens
|Loss||4–11||Oct 2015||Wuhan Open, China||Premier 5||Hard||Irina-Camelia Begu|| Martina Hingis
|Loss||4–12||Oct 2015||Kremlin Cup, Moscow, Russia||Premier||Hard (i)||Irina-Camelia Begu|| Daria Kasatkina
|3–6, 7–6(9–7), [5–10]|
|Win||5–12||Jan 2016||Shenzhen Open, China (2)||International||Hard||Vania King|| Xu Yifan
|Win||6–12||Jul 2016||Citi Open, Washington DC, U.S.||International||Hard||Yanina Wickmayer|| Shuko Aoyama
|Loss||6–13||Jul 2016||Rogers Cup, Montreal, Canada||Premier 5||Hard||Simona Halep|| Ekaterina Makarova
|Win||7–13||Aug 2016||Connecticut Open, New Haven, United States||Premier||Hard||Sania Mirza|| Kateryna Bondarenko
|Loss||7–14||Oct 2016||Luxembourg Open||International||Hard (i)||Patricia Maria Țig|| Kiki Bertens
|6–4, 5–7, [9–11]|
|Win||8–14||Apr 2017||Ladies Open Biel Bienne, Switzerland||International||Hard (i)||Hsieh Su-wei|| Timea Bacsinszky
|5–7, 6–3, [10–7]|
|Loss||8–15||Jul 2017||Wimbledon, United Kingdom||Grand Slam||Grass||Chan Hao-ching|| Ekaterina Makarova
|Loss||8–16||Aug 2017||Cincinnati Open, United States||Premier 5||Hard||Hsieh Su-wei|| Chan Yung-jan
|6–4, 4–6, [7–10]|
|Win||9–16||Feb 2019||Thailand Open, Hua Hin||International||Hard||Irina-Camelia Begu|| Anna Blinkova
|2–6, 6–1, [12–10]|
WTA 125 series finalsEdit
Singles: 1 (1 title)Edit
|Win||1–0||Nov 2017||Open de Limoges, France||Hard (i)||Antonia Lottner||6–4, 6–2|
ITF finals (39 titles, 21 runner–ups)Edit
Singles (18 titles, 5 runner–ups)Edit
|Winner||1.||12 August 2002||Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Tsvetana Pironkova||6–1, 7–6(7–4)|
|Winner||2.||9 April 2003||Cavtat, Croatia||Clay||Darija Jurak||6–4, 6–1|
|Winner||3.||25 August 2003||Timișoara, Romania||Clay||Veronica Rizhik||6–2, 6–3|
|Winner||4.||9 February 2004||Albufeira, Portugal||Hard||Irina Kotkina||6–1, 3–6, 6–0|
|Winner||5.||16 February 2004||Portimao, Portugal||Hard||Nadja Pavic||6–4, 7–6(7–4)|
|Winner||6.||17 May 2004||Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Simona Matei||6–2, 6–2|
|Winner||7.||16 August 2004||Iași, Romania||Clay||Raluca Olaru||7–6(7–5), 6–0|
|Winner||8.||15 March 2005||Cairo, Egypt||Clay||Galina Fokina||6–4, 6–2|
|Winner||9.||21 March 2005||Ain Alsoukhna, Egypt||Clay||Magdaléna Rybáriková||6–3, 6–4|
|Winner||10.||9 May 2005||Antalya, Turkey||Clay||Ekaterina Dzehalevich||6–2, 6–2|
|Winner||11.||15 August 2005||Coimbra, Portugal||Hard||Aravane Rezaï||6–3, 6–1|
|Runner-up||1.||3 July 2006||Stuttgart, Germany||Clay||Yevgenia Savranska||6-7(4–7), 5–7|
|Runner-up||2.||17 July 2006||Darmstadt, Germany||Clay||Magda Mihalache||0–6, 1–6|
|Runner-up||3.||8 August 2006||Coimbra, Portugal||Hard||Kelly Liggan||0–6, 6-7(7–9)|
|Winner||12.||24 September 2007||Granada, Spain||Hard||María José Martínez Sánchez||6–3, 6–4|
|Winner||13.||22 October 2007||Istanbul, Turkey||Hard (i)||Oxana Lyubtsova||6–2, 6–0|
|Winner||14.||5 November 2007||Port Pirie, Australia||Hard||Hwang I-hsuan||6–1, 6–2|
|Winner||15.||19 November 2007||Mount Gambier, Australia||Hard||Lee Ye-ra||6–3, 6–1|
|Runner-up||4.||3 November 2008||Krakow, Poland||Hard (i)||Anne Keothavong||6–7(4–7), 6–4, 3–6|
|Runner-up||5.||19 July 2010||Petange, Luxembourg||Clay||Mathilde Johansson||3–6, 3–6|
|Winner||16.||19 November 2012||Nantes, France||Hard (i)||Yulia Putintseva||6–2, 6–3|
|Winner||17.||1 June 2015||Marseille, France||Clay||Pauline Parmentier||6–2, 7–5|
|Winner||18.||26 October 2015||Poitiers, France||Hard (i)||Pauline Parmentier||7–5, 6–2|
|Runner-up||1.||12 August 2002||Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Radoslava Topalova
|4–6, 6–3, 3–6|
|Winner||1.||26 August 2002||Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Iveta Gerlová
|Runner-up||2.||10 March 2003||Makarska, Croatia||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Stefanie Haidner
|6–3, 6–7(7–9), 4–6|
|Winner||2.||31 March 2003||Makarska, Croatia||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Darija Jurak
|Runner-up||3.||14 April 2003||Dubrovnik, Croatia||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Mervana Jugic-Salkic
|2–6, 6–4, 2–6|
|Runner-up||4.||11 August 2003||Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Anna Bastrikova
|Runner-up||5.||11 August 2003||Timișoara, Romania||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Julia Acs
|Winner||3.||17 May 2004||Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Lenore Lazaroiu
|Winner||4.||13 July 2004||Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Liana Ungur
|Winner||5.||9 August 2004||Târgu Mureș, Romania||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Simona Matei
|Winner||6.||16 August 2004||Iași, Romania||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Nadine Schlotterer
|Winner||7.||15 March 2005||Cairo, Egypt||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Hanna Andreyeva
|Winner||8.||15 March 2005||Ain El Soukhna, Egypt||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Laura-Ramona Husaru
|Runner-up||6.||11 April 2005||Civitavecchia, Italy||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Lucie Hradecka
|Winner||9.||2 May 2005||Antalya, Turkey||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Irina Buryachok
|Winner||9.||9 May 2005||Antalya, Turkey||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Renata Kucerkova
|6–7, 6–0, 6–0|
|Runner-up||7.||15 October 2005||Sevilla, Spain||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Sara Errani
María José Martínez Sánchez
|Runner-up||8.||3 April 2006||Athens, Greece||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Olga Brozda
|6–2, 4–6, 2–6|
|Winner||10.||9 May 2006||Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Sorana Cirstea
|Winner||11.||20 June 2006||Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Gabriela Niculescu|| Raluca Ciulei
|Winner||12.||3 July 2006||Stuttgart, Germany||Clay||Renata Voráčová|| Eva Fislová
|6–2, 6–7(4-7), 7–5|
|Winner||13.||17 July 2006||Darmstadt, Germany||Clay||Yevgenia Savranska|| Daniela Klemenschits
|1–6, 6–0, 6–1|
|Winner||14.||4 September 2006||Mestre, Italy||Clay||Renata Voráčová|| Margalita Chakhnashvili-Ranzinger
|6–4, 3–6, 6–4|
|Winner||14.||2 April 2007||Putignano, Italy||Hard||Andreja Klepač|| Jessica Kirkland
|Runners-up||9.||17 July 2006||Jounieh, Lebanon||Clay||Madalina Gojnea|| Tatiana Poutchek
|Winner||15.||10 July 2007||Darmstadt, Germany||Clay||Ekaterina Dzehalevich|| Hilary Barte
|Runners-up||10.||31 July 2007||Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Ekaterina Dzehalevich|| Sorana Cirstea
|6–0, 4–6, ret.|
|Runners-up||11.||17 September 2007||Madrid, Spain||Clay||Yevgenia Savranska|| María José Martínez Sánchez
Arantxa Parra Santonja
|Runners-up||12.||10 July 2007||Granada, Spain||Clay||Alexandra Dulgheru|| Marta Marrero
María José Martínez Sánchez
|Winner||16.||19 November 2007||Mount Gambier, Australia||Hard||Antonia Matic|| Sophie Ferguson
|5–7, 6–3, [10-8]|
|Winner||17.||10 December 2007||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Hard||Marina Eraković|| Yuliana Fedak
|Runners-up||13.||20 October 2008||Poitiers, France||Hard (i)||Akgul Amanmuradova|| Petra Cetkovská
|Runners-up||14.||27 October 2008||Bratislava, Slovakia||Hard (i)||Akgul Amanmuradova|| Andrea Hlaváčková
|Runners-up||15.||5 July 2010||Biarritz, France||Clay||Lourdes Domínguez Lino|| Sharon Fichman
|Winner||18.||19 July 2010||Petange, Luxembourg||Clay||Sharon Fichman|| Sophie Lefèvre
|Runners-up||16.||5 July 2013||Poitiers, France||Hard (i)||Christina McHale|| Lucie Hradecká
|Winner||19.||31 October 2015||Poitiers, France||Hard (i)||Cristina-Andreea Mitu|| Stéphanie Foretz
|6–7(5–7), 7–6(7–2), [10–8]|
Singles performance timelineEdit
Current up to 2018 Miami Open.
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|WTA Tour Championships||Did Not Qualify||!0–0|
|Summer Olympics||Not Held||A||Not Held||A||Not Held||2R||NH||1–0|
|WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments|
|Beijing||Not Tier I||A||Q1||SF||2R||2R||1R||1R||LQ||2R||7–6|
|WTA Premier 5 tournaments|
|Doha||Not Tier I||2R||Not Held||NP5||QF||2R||3R||NP5||3R||NP5||3R||11–6|
|Cincinnati||Not Tier I||A||2R||1R||A||2R||LQ||Q1||Q1||Q1||Q1||2–3|
|Dubai||Not Tier I||2R||A||LQ||Not Premier 5||1R||NP5||A||1–2|
Doubles performance timelineEdit
Updated up to 2016 Internazionali BNL d'Italia
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|WTA Tour Championships||Did Not Qualify||0–0|
|WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments|
|WTA Premier-5 tournaments|
|Dubai||not Premier 5||QF||A||2R||NP5||QF||NP5||5–3|
WTA Tour career earningsEdit
|Earnings ($)||Money list rank|
|2004||0||0||0||9,073[permanent dead link]||433[permanent dead link]|
|2005||0||0||0||? ||? |
|2006||0||0||0||? [permanent dead link]||? [permanent dead link]|
|2007||0||0||0||? [permanent dead link]||? [permanent dead link]|
|2008||0||0||0||249,035[permanent dead link]||67[permanent dead link]|
|2011||0||0||0||549,493[permanent dead link]||38[permanent dead link]|
|2012||0||0||0||450,393[permanent dead link]||45[permanent dead link]|
*as of 23 May 2016
Record against other playersEdit
Niculescu's win-loss record against certain players who have been ranked world No. 10 or higher is as follows:
|Player||Record||Win %||Hard||Clay||Grass||Last Match|
|No. 1 ranked players|
|Maria Sharapova||1–0||100%||1–0||0–0||0–0||Won (4–6, 6–4, 6–3) at Doha 2018|
|Victoria Azarenka||0–5||0%||0–4||0–1||0–0||Loss (1–6, 4–6) at 2013 Australian Open|
|Angelique Kerber||1–3||25%||1–3||0–0||0–0||Loss (6–0, 1–6, 2-6) at 2013 Linz|
|Kim Clijsters||0–1||0%||0–0||0–0||0–1||Loss (5–7, 5–7) at 2011 's-Hertogenbosch|
|Ana Ivanovic||0–2||0%||0–1||0–1||0–0||Loss (5–7, 3–6) at 2012 Linz|
|Jelena Janković||2–5||29%||2–4||0–1||0–0||Win (3-6, 6–4, 7-5) at 2016 Doha|
|Amélie Mauresmo||0–1||0%||0–1||0–0||0–0||Loss (1–6, 2–6) at 2009 Paris|
|Serena Williams||0–2||0%||0–2||0–0||0–0||Loss (4–6, 1–6) at 2015 Miami|
|Venus Williams||0–1||0%||0–1||0–0||0–0||Loss (2–6, 3–6) at 2012 Luxembourg|
|Caroline Wozniacki||0–6||0%||0–6||0–0||0–0||Loss (3–6, 1–6) at 2013 Luxembourg|
|No. 2 ranked players|
|Simona Halep||0–2||0%||0–0||0–2||0–0||Loss (2–6, 6–4, 1–6) at 2014 Bucharest|
|Petra Kvitová||1–2||33%||1–0||0–1||0–1||Loss (6–2, 6–7(5–7), 2-6) at 2016 Stuttgart|
|Na Li||1–1||50%||1–1||0–0||0–0||Loss (5–7, 6–4, 4–6 ) at 2012 Shenzhen|
|Agnieszka Radwańska||1–4||20%||0–4||0–0||1–0||Loss (1–6, 5–7) at 2016 Montréal|
|Vera Zvonareva||1–1||50%||1–1||0–0||0–0||Win (7–5, 3–2 ret.) at 2012 Doha|
|No. 3 ranked players|
|No. 4 ranked players|
|Kimiko Date-Krumm||1–1||50%||1–1||0–0||0–0||Win (6–2, 2–1 ret.) at 2013 Monterrey|
|Francesca Schiavone||0–4||0%||0–3||0–1||0–0||Loss (3–6, 5–7) at 2012 Stuttgart|
|Samantha Stosur||0–7||0%||0–7||0–0||0–0||Loss (3–6, 2–6) at 2015 Beijing|
|No. 5 ranked players|
|Anna Chakvetadze||1–1||50%||1–1||0–0||0–0||Loss (0–6, 4–6) at 2012 Hobart|
|Sara Errani||1–4||20%||1–2||0–2||0–0||Loss (7–5, 1–6, 2-6) at 2015 Bucharest|
|Daniela Hantuchová||1–0||100%||1–0||0–0||0–0||Win (6–1, 6–3) at 2012 Luxembourg|
|Lucie Šafářová||2–0||100%||2–0||0–0||0–0||Win (6–2, 6–0) at 2012 Beijing|
|No. 6 ranked players|
|Flavia Pennetta||0–3||0%||0–2||0–0||0–1||Loss (1–6, 4–6) at 2015 US Open|
|Carla Suárez Navarro||0–5||0%||0–4||0–1||0–0||Loss (7-5, 3-6, 4–6) at 2015 Wuhan|
|No. 7 ranked players|
|Marion Bartoli||0–1||0%||0–1||0–0||0–0||Loss (6-2, 3–6, 2–6) at 2011 Indian Wells|
|Karolína Plíšková||2–1||67%||2–1||0–0||0–0||Loss (4-6, 6–4, 3–6) at 2016 Fed Cup|
|Patty Schnyder||0–1||0%||0–1||0–0||0–0||Loss (1-6, 5–7) at 2008 Montréal|
|Roberta Vinci||0–1||0%||0–0||0–0||0–1||Loss (3–6, 7–6(7–4), 0-6) at 2012 's-Hertogenbosch|
|No. 8 ranked players|
|Ekaterina Makarova||1–4||20%||0–3||1–1||0–0||Loss (7-5, 6-7(3–7), 3-6) at 2014 Indian Wells|
|Alicia Molik||0–1||0%||0–0||0–1||0–0||Loss (6-4, 6-7(5–7), 0-6) at 2010 Barcelona|
|No. 9 ranked players|
|Timea Bacsinszky||4–3||57%||2–0||2–1||0–2||Loss (6-4, 2-6, 1-6) at 2016 Wimbledon|
|Madison Keys||1–0||100%||1–0||0–0||0–0||Win (6–1, 2–6, 7-6(8–6)) at 2013 Washington|
|Andrea Petkovic||2–3||40%||0–2||2–1||0–0||Loss (6-0, 6-7(1–7), 3-6) at 2016 Fed Cup|
|No. 10 ranked players|
|Dominika Cibulková||0–1||0%||0–1||0–0||0–0||Loss (4–6, 3-6) at 2008 Los Angeles|
|Maria Kirilenko||2–2||50%||2–2||0–0||0–0||Loss (3-6, 0-6) at 2012 Dubai|
Top-10 wins per seasonEdit
|1.||Li Na||No. 5||Beijing, China||Hard||1st round||6–4, 6–0|
|2.||Vera Zvonareva||No. 8||Doha, Qatar||Hard||2nd round||7–5, 3–2 ret.|
|3.||Petra Kvitová||No. 9||Fed Cup, Cluj-Napoca, Romania||Hard (i)||RR||6–3, 6–4|
|4.||Johanna Konta||No. 7||Beijing, China||Hard||1st round||6–1, 6–2|