Monica Niculescu

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 professional in May 2002, the last one coming at the end of 2016, at the 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 best doubles result up to date is reaching 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 former world No. 1, Simona Halep, and the 2017 Cincinnati Open, partnering former world No. 1 in doubles, Hsieh Su-wei.

Monica Niculescu
Niculescu WM19 (7) (48521795541).jpg
Country (sports) Romania
ResidenceBucharest, Romania
Born (1987-09-25) 25 September 1987 (age 33)
Slatina, Romania
Height1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Turned proMay 2002
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachCălin Stelian Ciorbagiu
Prize moneyUS$ 6,289,815
Singles
Career record519–363 (58.8%)
Career titles3
Highest rankingNo. 28 (27 February 2012)
Current rankingNo. 173 (17 May 2021)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open3R (2011, 2012, 2014)
French Open2R (2014)
Wimbledon4R (2015)
US Open4R (2011)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games2R (2016)
Doubles
Career record461–274 (62.7%)
Career titles9
Highest rankingNo. 11 (2 April 2018)
Current rankingNo. 53 (17 May 2021)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenSF (2018)
French OpenQF (2010)
WimbledonF (2017)
US Open3R (2009, 2010, 2016, 2017)
Team competitions
Fed CupSF (2019), rec 31–21 (59.6%)
Last updated on: 20 May 2021.

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).[1]

Niculescu has defeated many top-ten opponents throughout her career, having 25 wins against top-ten opponents to date.[1]

Niculescu was born in Slatina, Romania, but moved to Bucharest when she was four. She is currently coached by Călin Stelian Ciorbagiu.[1]

Tennis careerEdit

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 partnered by 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 Slam 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 Slam tournaments 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.[1] She also lost in the first round of the Hobart International to Alona Bondarenko. At the 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 Slam events, 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 Championships. She beat Peng Shuai in the first round in three sets, 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 Indian Wells Open (fell to Anna-Lena Grönefeld) and Miami Open (fell to Tamira Paszek). Partnering Alisa Kleybanova, she reached the quarterfinals at Indian Wells, where they lost to Maria Kirilenko and Flavia Pennetta. At Miami, she partnered Kleybanova again, but they lost to second seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual.

Niculescu withdrew from the Andalucía Tennis Experience and Barcelona Open due to a forearm injury.[1]

At the end of the year, she had slipped out of top 100.

2010: Comeback to top 100, first WTA semifinalEdit

 
Monica Niculescu at the 2010 US Open

In 2010, Monica started the season in Auckland, coming from qualifying. In the first round, she lost to fifth seed Virginie Razzano, in straight sets. In doubles, she partnered Ioana Raluca Olaru, and they defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues and Carla Suárez Navarro. In the second round, they lost to Cara Black and Liezel Huber, also in two sets.

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 they easily defeated Monique Adamczak and Nicole Kriz. 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.

Niculescu then played an ITF tournament in Midland, but lost in the first round to Eleni Daniilidou in straight sets.

In Memphis, she lost in the first round qualifying to Valérie Tétreault. In doubles, she reached the semifinals along with Riza Zalameda, losing to Vania King and Michaëlla Krajicek, 1–6, 4–6.

At Indian Wells, she lost in qualifying to Tamarine Tanasugarn. In doubles, together with Michaëlla Krajicek, she lost in first round to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Yan Zi, 6–7, 2–6.

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 in straight sets to Virginia Ruano Pascual and Meghann Shaughnessy.

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 to unseeded Angelique Kerber in straight sets.

At the Tier-I 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 final of a WTA 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

At the Australian Open, Niculescu made it to the third round by defeating Alizé Cornet and Pauline Parmentier, but she was defeated by then–world No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki, 6–2, 6–2.

She reached quarterfinals in Doha, where she lost to Samantha Stosur.

Her best result was again the 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 Tour 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 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 Shenzhen, Hobart, the Australian Open, Dubai, Prague, and the French Open.[1]

Niculescu won the Marseille clay $100K tournament in June. Shortly thereafter, she defeated first-seeded Agnieszka Radwańska 5–7, 6–4, 6–0 at the Nottingham 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.[1]

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.[2]

2016: Doubles successEdit

Niculescu reached a career-high ranking of 16 in doubles in July. She partnered with Sania Mirza to win in New Haven.[3]

2017: Wimbledon doubles final and first WTA 125K series crownEdit

She started her season at Shenzhen Open with a victory, defeating Zhang Kailin, but she lost her second match to Wang Qiang.

Niculescu also played at the Hobart International, where she made it to the final and lost to Elise Mertens, in straight sets.

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 125K series event at Limoges, on 12 November.

2020Edit

Playing styleEdit

Nicolescu plays right-handed, with powerful topspin backhand and unpredictable forehand slice. She has great volleying ability and great footwork.

Personal lifeEdit

Her mother, Cristiana Silvia Niculescu is a pharmaceutical sales representative; her father Mihai Niculescu is an engineer.[1] Niculescu has an older sister, Gabriela, who was a professional tennis player too and attended University of Idaho, after transferring from USC after her junior year.[1]

Monica Niculescu cited Martina Hingis and Andre Agassi as her tennis idols.[1]

Performance timelinesEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# P# A P Z# PO G F-S SF-B NMS NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (P#) preliminary round; (A) absent; (P) postponed; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

Only main-draw results in WTA Tour, Grand Slam tournaments, Fed Cup/Billie Jean King Cup and Olympic Games are included in win/loss records.[4]

SinglesEdit

Current through the 2021 French Open.

Tournament 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A A 1R 2R 1R 3R 3R 1R 3R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R Q1 0 / 13 8–13 38%
French Open A A 1R 1R Q3 1R 1R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R A A 1R Q3 0 / 10 1–10 9%
Wimbledon A A 2R 1R 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R 4R 2R 1R 1R 2R NH 0 / 12 8–12 40%
US Open A A 1R 1R 1R 4R 1R 1R 2R 2R 3R 3R 1R 1R A 0 / 12 9–12 43%
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 1–4 1–4 1–3 6–4 2–4 0–4 4–4 4–4 4–4 2–4 0–3 1–3 0–2 0–0 0 / 47 26–47 36%
National representation
Summer Olympics Not Held A Not Held A Not Held 2R Not Held 0 / 0 1–0 100%
WTA 1000
Dubai / Qatar Open Not Tier I 2R 2R A Q2 QF 2R 3R 1R 3R A 3R Q2 A Q1 0 / 8 12–8 60%
Indian Wells Open A A A 1R Q1 2R 2R 2R 2R 2R 3R 2R 1R Q1 NH 0 / 9 6–9 40%
Miami Open A A A 1R A 2R 2R 1R 1R 2R 4R 1R 3R 3R NH Q1 0 / 10 8–10 44%
Madrid Open Not Held 1R A 1R 1R Q1 1R Q2 1R 1R A A NH A 0 / 6 0–6 0%
Italian Open A A 2R 1R A A 1R 1R Q2 Q2 1R 1R A A A A 0 / 6 1–6 14%
Canadian Open A A 2R 1R 1R Q2 A A A A 2R A 1R A NH 0 / 5 2–5 29%
Cincinnati Open Not Tier I A 2R 1R A 2R Q2 Q1 Q1 Q1 Q1 A A 0 / 3 2–3 40%
Pan Pacific / Wuhan Open A A A A A A 1R A A 2R A 1R 1R A NH 0 / 4 1–4 20%
China Open Not Tier I A Q1 SF 2R 2R 1R 1R Q2 2R Q1 Q1 NH 0 / 6 7–6 54%
Career statistics
Career 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 SR W–L Win %
Tournaments 0 1 15 22 9 15 23 22 20 21 20 19 15 11 2 2 Career total: 217
Titles 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 Career total: 3
Finals 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 Career total: 8
Overall Win–Loss 0–0 0–1 8–15 10–22 6–9 21–15 15–23 22–21 22–19 20–21 26–20 11–20 9–14 8–10 0–2 0–2 3 / 217 178–214 45%
Year-end ranking 222 179 47 101 83 30 58 60 47 39 39 100 78 116 144 $6,212,165

DoublesEdit

Tournament 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 SR W–L Win%
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A A A 2R 3R 2R QF 3R 2R 2R 1R 1R SF 3R 3R 1R 0 / 13 19–13 59%
French Open A A 2R 3R QF 3R 2R 3R 2R 1R A A A A 2R 3R 0 / 10 15–10 60%
Wimbledon A A 2R 3R 2R 2R 2R 1R 2R 2R 1R F 3R 3R NH 0 / 12 17–12 59%
US Open A A 2R 3R 3R 1R 1R 1R 2R 2R 3R 3R 2R 1R A 0 / 12 12–12 50%
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 3–3 7–4 8–4 4–4 5–4 4–4 4–4 3–4 2–3 7–3 7–3 4–3 3–2 2–2 0 / 47 63–47 57%
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics Not Held A Not Held A Not Held 1R Not Held 0 / 1 0–1 0%
WTA 1000
Dubai / Qatar Open NP5 QF QF A 2R 1R A A QF 2R A A 1R A 2R 0 / 8 9–8 53%
Indian Wells Open A A A QF 1R 1R 2R 1R 1R 2R 2R 1R QF 2R NH 0 / 11 8–11 42%
Miami Open A A A 1R 2R 2R SF 1R 2R QF SF 1R 1R QF NH 1R 0 / 12 13–12 52%
Madrid Open Not Held 2R A 1R 2R A 2R 1R 1R 2R A A NH 1R 0 / 8 4–8 33%
Italian Open A A A A A A 1R QF 2R 2R SF 1R A A 2R 1R 0 / 8 8–8 50%
Cincinnati Open A A 1R SF QF 1R A 1R 1R 1R QF F 1R A NH 0 / 10 11–10 52%
Canadian Open A A 1R 1R SF 2R A A A A F 2R 1R A A 0 / 7 9–7 56%
Pan Pacific / Wuhan Open A A A A A A 1R A 1R F A A 2R A NH 0 / 4 4–3 57%
China Open Not Tier I A A 1R 1R A A 1R 2R 2R 2R 1R NH 0 / 7 3–7 30%
Career statistics
Year-end ranking 159 131 35 30 30 50 27 70 38 33 19 23 48 47 53

Notes

  • Niculescu and her doubles partner withdrew during tournament, that is not counted as loss.

Significant finalsEdit

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Doubles: 1 (runner-up)Edit

Result Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 2017 Wimbledon Grass   Chan Hao-ching   Ekaterina Makarova
  Elena Vesnina
0–6, 0–6

Premier-Mandatory/Premier-5 finalsEdit

Doubles: 3 (3 runner-ups)Edit

Result Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 2015 Wuhan Open Hard   Irina-Camelia Begu   Martina Hingis
  Sania Mirza
2–6, 3–6
Loss 2016 Canadian Open Hard   Simona Halep   Ekaterina Makarova
  Elena Vesnina
3–6, 6–7(5–7)
Loss 2017 Cincinnati Open Hard   Hsieh Su-wei   Chan Yung-jan
  Martina Hingis
6–4, 4–6, [7–10]

WTA career finalsEdit

Singles: 8 (3 titles, 5 runner-ups)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments
Premier Mandatory & Premier 5
Premier
International (3–5)
Result W–L Date Tournament Tier Surface Opponent Score
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 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, United Kingdom 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: 28 (9 titles, 19 runner-ups)Edit

Legend (pre/post 2009)
Grand Slam tournaments (0–1)
Tier I / Premier M & Premier 5 / WTA 1000 (0–3)
Tier II / Premier / WTA 500 (1–5)
Tier III, IV & V / International / WTA 250 (8–10)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 0–1 Aug 2008 Connecticut Open, U.S. Tier II Hard   Sorana Cîrstea   Květa Peschke
  Lisa Raymond
6–4, 5–7, [7–10]
Win 1–1 Jul 2009 Budapest Grand Prix, Hungary International Clay   Alisa Kleybanova   Alona Bondarenko
  Kateryna Bondarenko
6–4, 7–6(7–5)
Loss 1–2 Aug 2009 Bank of the West Classic, U.S. Premier Hard   Chan Yung-jan   Serena Williams
  Venus Williams
1–6, 4–6
Loss 1–3 Jan 2010 Hobart International, Australia International Hard   Chan Yung-jan   Květa Peschke
  Chuang Chia-jung
6–3, 3–6, [7–10]
Loss 1–4 Jul 2010 Prague Open, Czech Republic International Clay   Ágnes Szávay   Timea Bacsinszky
  Tathiana Garbin
5–7, 6–7(4–7)
Loss 1–5 Jul 2011 Baku Cup, Azerbaijan International Hard   Galina Voskoboeva   Mariya Koryttseva
  Tatiana Poutchek
3–6, 6–2, [8–10]
Win 2–5 Jan 2012 Hobart International, Australia International Hard   Irina-Camelia Begu   Chuang Chia-jung
  Marina Erakovic
6–7(4–7), 7–6(7–4), [10–5]
Loss 2–6 Sep 2012 Guangzhou Open, China International Hard   Jarmila Gajdošová   Tamarine Tanasugarn
  Zhang Shuai
6–2, 2–6, [8–10]
Loss 2–7 Oct 2012 Luxembourg Open International Hard (i)   Irina-Camelia Begu   Andrea Hlaváčková
  Lucie Hradecká
3–6, 4–6
Loss 2–8 Jun 2013 Eastbourne International, UK Premier Grass   Klára Koukalová   Nadia Petrova
  Katarina Srebotnik
3–6, 3–6
Win 3–8 Jan 2014 Shenzhen Open, China International Hard   Klára Koukalová   Lyudmyla Kichenok
  Nadiia Kichenok
6–3, 6–4
Win 4–8 Jan 2014 Hobart International, Australia (2) International Hard   Klára Koukalová   Lisa Raymond
  Zhang Shuai
6–2, 6–7(5–7), [10–8]
Loss 4–9 Apr 2014 Katowice Open, Poland International Hard (i)   Klára Koukalová   Yuliya Beygelzimer
  Olga Savchuk
4–6, 7–5, [7–10]
Loss 4–10 Jan 2015 Hobart International, Australia International Hard   Vitalia Diatchenko   Kiki Bertens
  Johanna Larsson
5–7, 3–6
Loss 4–11 Oct 2015 Wuhan Open, China Premier 5 Hard   Irina-Camelia Begu   Martina Hingis
  Sania Mirza
2–6, 3–6
Loss 4–12 Oct 2015 Kremlin Cup, Russia Premier Hard (i)   Irina-Camelia Begu   Daria Kasatkina
  Elena Vesnina
3–6, 7–6(9–7), [5–10]
Win 5–12 Jan 2016 Shenzhen Open, China (2) International Hard   Vania King   Xu Yifan
  Zheng Saisai
6–1, 6–4
Win 6–12 Jul 2016 Washington Open, U.S. International Hard   Yanina Wickmayer   Shuko Aoyama
  Risa Ozaki
6–4, 6–3
Loss 6–13 Jul 2016 Canadian Open Premier 5 Hard   Simona Halep   Ekaterina Makarova
  Elena Vesnina
3–6, 6–7(5–7)
Win 7–13 Aug 2016 Connecticut Open, U.S. Premier Hard   Sania Mirza   Kateryna Bondarenko
  Chuang Chia-jung
7–5, 6–4
Loss 7–14 Oct 2016 Luxembourg Open International Hard (i)   Patricia Maria Țig   Kiki Bertens
  Johanna Larsson
6–4, 5–7, [9–11]
Win 8–14 Apr 2017 Open Biel Bienne, Switzerland International Hard (i)   Hsieh Su-wei   Timea Bacsinszky
  Martina Hingis
5–7, 6–3, [10–7]
Loss 8–15 Jul 2017 Wimbledon, UK Grand Slam Grass   Chan Hao-ching   Ekaterina Makarova
  Elena Vesnina
0–6, 0–6
Loss 8–16 Aug 2017 Cincinnati Open, U.S. Premier 5 Hard   Hsieh Su-wei   Chan Yung-jan
  Martina Hingis
6–4, 4–6, [7–10]
Win 9–16 Feb 2019 Hua Hin Championships, Thailand International Hard   Irina-Camelia Begu   Anna Blinkova
  Wang Yafan
2–6, 6–1, [12–10]
Loss 9–17 Aug 2019 Bronx Open, U.S. International Hard   Margarita Gasparyan   Darija Jurak
  María José Martínez Sánchez
5–7, 6–2, [7–10]
Loss 9–18 Aug 2020 Prague Open, Czech Republic International Hard   Raluca Olaru   Lucie Hradecká
  Kristýna Plíšková
2–6, 2–6
Loss 9–19 Mar 2021 Qatar Open WTA 500 Hard   Jeļena Ostapenko   Nicole Melichar
  Demi Schuurs
2–6, 6–2, [8–10]

WTA 125K series finalsEdit

Singles: 1 (1 title)Edit

Result W–L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1–0 Nov 2017 Open de Limoges, France Hard (i)   Antonia Lottner 6–4, 6–2

ITF Circuit finalsEdit

Singles: 24 (19 titles, 5 runner–ups)Edit

Legend
$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Finals by surface
Hard (9–2)
Clay (9–3)
Grass (1–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Opponent Score
Win 1–0 Aug 2002 ITF Bucharest, Romania 10,000 Clay   Tsvetana Pironkova 6–1, 7–6(4)
Win 2–0 Apr 2003 ITF Cavtat, Croatia 10,000 Clay   Darija Jurak 6–4, 6–1
Win 3–0 Aug 2003 ITF Timișoara, Romania 10,000 Clay   Veronica Rizhik 6–2, 6–3
Win 4–0 Feb 2004 ITF Albufeira, Portugal 10,000 Hard   Irina Kotkina 6–1, 3–6, 6–0
Win 5–0 Feb 2004 ITF Portimao, Portugal 10,000 Hard   Nadja Pavic 6–4, 7–6(4)
Win 6–0 May 2004 ITF Bucharest, Romania 10,000 Clay   Simona Matei 6–2, 6–2
Win 7–0 Aug 2004 ITF Iași, Romania 10,000 Clay   Raluca Olaru 7–6(5), 6–0
Win 8–0 Mar 2005 ITF Cairo, Egypt 10,000 Clay   Galina Fokina 6–4, 6–2
Win 9–0 Mar 2005 ITF Ain Sokhna, Egypt 10,000 Clay   Magdaléna Rybáriková 6–3, 6–4
Win 10–0 May 2005 ITF Antalya, Turkey 25,000 Clay   Ekaterina Dzehalevich 6–2, 6–2
Win 11–0 Aug 2005 ITF Coimbra, Portugal 25,000 Hard   Aravane Rezaï 6–3, 6–1
Loss 11–1 Jul 2006 ITF Stuttgart, Germany 25,000 Clay   Yevgenia Savranska 6–7(4), 5–7
Loss 11–2 Jul 2006 ITF Darmstadt, Germany 25,000 Clay   Magda Mihalache 0–6, 1–6
Loss 11–3 Aug 2006 ITF Coimbra, Portugal 25,000 Hard   Kelly Liggan 0–6, 6–7(7)
Win 12–3 Sep 2007 ITF Granada, Spain 25,000 Hard   María José Martínez Sánchez 6–3, 6–4
Win 13–3 Oct 2007 ITF Istanbul, Turkey 25,000 Hard (i)   Oxana Lyubtsova 6–2, 6–0
Win 14–3 Nov 2007 ITF Port Pirie, Australia 25,000 Hard   Hwang I-hsuan 6–1, 6–2
Win 15–3 Nov 2007 ITF Mount Gambier, Australia 25,000 Hard   Lee Ye-ra 6–3, 6–1
Loss 15–4 Nov 2008 ITF Kraków, Poland 100,000 Hard (i)   Anne Keothavong 6–7(4), 6–4, 3–6
Loss 15–5 Jul 2010 ITF Pétange, Luxembourg 100,000 Clay   Mathilde Johansson 3–6, 3–6
Win 16–5 Nov 2012 Open de Nantes, France 50,000 Hard (i)   Yulia Putintseva 6–2, 6–3
Win 17–5 Jun 2015 Open de Marseille, France 100,000 Clay   Pauline Parmentier 6–2, 7–5
Win 18–5 Nov 2015 ITF Poitiers, France 100,000 Hard (i)   Pauline Parmentier 7–5, 6–2
Win 19–5 Jun 2019 Ilkley Trophy, United Kingdom 100,000 Grass   Tímea Babos 6–2, 4–6, 6–3

Doubles: 37 (21 titles, 16 runner–ups)Edit

Legend
$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Finals by surface
Hard (4–3)
Clay (17–13)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 0–1 Aug 2002 ITF Bucharest, Romania 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Radoslava Topalova
  Virginia Trifonova
4–6, 6–3, 3–6
Win 1–1 Aug 2002 ITF Bucharest, Romania 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Iveta Gerlová
  Nina Nittinger
6–2, 6–2
Loss 1–2 Mar 2003 ITF Makarska, Croatia 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Stefanie Haidner
  Daniela Klemenschits
6–3, 6–7(7), 4–6
Win 2–2 Mar 2003 ITF Makarska, Croatia 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Darija Jurak
  Maria Jedlicková
6–2, 6–2
Loss 2–3 Apr 2003 ITF Dubrovnik, Croatia 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Mervana Jugić-Salkić
  Darija Jurak
2–6, 6–4, 2–6
Loss 2–4 Aug 2003 ITF Bucharest, Romania 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Anna Bastrikova
  Elena Vesnina
4–6, 4–6
Loss 2–5 Aug 2003 ITF Timișoara, Romania 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Julia Ács
  Vasilisa Davydova
4–6, 3–6
Win 3–5 May 2004 ITF Bucharest, Romania 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Lenore Lazaroiu
  Andra Savu
6–4, 6–2
Win 4–5 Jul 2004 ITF Bucharest, Romania 10,000 Clay   Mădălina Gojnea   Liana Ungur
  Iris Ichim
6–4, 6–1
Win 5–5 Aug 2004 ITF Târgu Mureș, Romania 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Simona Matei
  Barbara Pócza
7–5, 6–1
Win 6–5 Aug 2004 ITF Iași, Romania 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Nadine Schlotterer
  Eva Valková
7–5, 6–1
Win 7–5 Mar 2005 ITF Cairo, Egypt 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Hanna Andreyeva
  Valeria Bondarenko
6–2, 6–3
Win 8–5 Mar 2005 ITF Ain Sokhna, Egypt 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Laura-Ramona Husaru
  Sarah Raab
6–1, 6–1
Loss 8–6 Apr 2005 ITF Civitavecchia, Italy 25,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Lucie Hradecká
  Sandra Záhlavová
4–6, 3–6
Win 9–6 May 2005 ITF Antalya, Turkey 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Irina Buryachok
  Olga Panova
6–3, 6–4
Win 10–6 May 2005 ITF Antalya, Turkey 25,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Renata Kucerková
  Kathrin Woerle
6–7, 6–0, 6–0
Loss 10–7 Oct 2005 ITF Sevilla, Spain 25,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Sara Errani
  María José Martínez Sánchez
2–6, 6–7(5)
Loss 10–8 Apr 2006 ITF Athens, Greece 25,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Olga Brózda
  Margit Rüütel
6–2, 4–6, 2–6
Win 11–8 May 2006 ITF Bucharest, Romania 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Sorana Cîrstea
  Diana Buzean
6–3, 6–0
Win 12–8 Jun 2006 ITF Bucharest, Romania 10,000 Clay   Gabriela Niculescu   Raluca Ciulei
  Neda Kozić
6–2, 6–1
Win 13–8 Jul 2006 ITF Stuttgart, Germany 25,000 Clay   Renata Voráčová   Eva Fislová
  Stanislava Hrozenská
6–2, 6–7(4), 7–5
Win 14–8 Jul 2006 ITF Darmstadt, Germany 25,000 Clay   Yevgenia Savranska   Daniela Klemenschits
  Sandra Klemenschits
1–6, 6–0, 6–1
Win 15–8 Sep 2006 ITF Mestre, Italy 50,000 Clay   Renata Voráčová   Margalita Chakhnashvili
  Tatjana Maria
6–4, 3–6, 6–4
Win 16–8 Apr 2007 ITF Putignano, Italy 25,000 Hard   Andreja Klepač   Jessica Kirkland
  Carmen Klaschka
6–2, 7–5
Loss 16–9 Jul 2006 ITF Jounieh, Lebanon 75,000 Clay   Madalina Gojnea   Tatiana Poutchek
  Anastasiya Yakimova
7–5, 6–0
Win 17–9 Jul 2007 ITF Darmstadt, Germany 25,000 Clay   Ekaterina Dzehalevich   Hilary Barte
  Tatjana Priachin
6–4, 7–5
Loss 17–10 Jul 2007 ITF Bucharest, Romania 25,000 Clay   Ekaterina Dzehalevich   Sorana Cîrstea
  Ágnes Szatmári
6–0, 4–6, ret.
Loss 17–11 Sep 2007 ITF Madrid, Spain 25,000 Clay   Yevgenia Savranska   María José Martínez Sánchez
  Arantxa Parra Santonja
6–1, 6–7(4)
Loss 17–12 Jul 2007 ITF Granada, Spain 25,000 Clay   Alexandra Dulgheru   Marta Marrero
  María José Martínez Sánchez
4–6, 1–6
Win 18–12 Nov 2007 ITF Mount Gambier, Australia 25,000 Hard   Antonia Matic   Sophie Ferguson
  Trudi Musgrave
5–7, 6–3, [10–8]
Win 19–12 Dec 2007 Al Habtoor Challenge, UAE 75,000 Hard   Marina Erakovic   Yuliana Fedak
  Anna Lapushchenkova
7–6(1), 6–4
Loss 19–13 Oct 2008 ITF Poitiers, France 100,000 Hard (i)   Akgul Amanmuradova   Petra Cetkovská
  Lucie Šafářová
4–6, 4–6
Loss 19–14 Oct 2008 ITF Bratislava, Slovakia 100,000 Hard (i)   Akgul Amanmuradova   Andrea Hlaváčková
  Lucie Hradecká
6–7(1), 1–6
Loss 19–15 Jul 2010 Open de Biarritz, France 100,000 Clay   Lourdes Domínguez Lino   Sharon Fichman
  Julia Görges
5–7, 4–6
Win 20–15 Jul 2010 ITF Pétange, Luxembourg 100,000 Clay   Sharon Fichman   Sophie Lefèvre
  Laura Thorpe
6–4, 6–2
Loss 20–16 Oct 2013 ITF Poitiers, France 100,000 Hard (i)   Christina McHale   Lucie Hradecká
  Michaëlla Krajicek
6–7(5), 6–2
Win 21–16 Nov 2015 ITF Poitiers, France 100,000 Hard (i)   Andreea Mitu   Stéphanie Foretz
  Amandine Hesse
6–7(5), 7–6(2), [10–8]

WTA Tour career earningsEdit

As of 17 May 2021

Year Grand Slam
singles titles
WTA
singles titles
Total
singles titles
Earnings ($) Money list rank
2007 0 0 0 249,035 67
2008 0 0 0 249,035 67
2009 0 0 0 315,414 67
2010 0 0 0 251,188 77
2011 0 0 0 549,493 38
2012 0 0 0 450,393 45
2013 0 1 1 406,372 62
2014 0 1 1 582,694 44
2015 0 0 0 667,180 49
2016 0 0 0 789,710 41
2017 0 1 1 672,948 48
2018 0 0 0 496,099 73
2019 0 0 0 427,648 101
2020 0 0 0 211,457 119
2021 0 0 0 77,650 151
Career 0 3 3 6,289,815 92

Record against other playersEdit

Record against top 10 playersEdit

  • Niculescu's win-loss record against certain players who have been ranked world No. 10 or higher is as follows. Active players are in boldface:
Player Record Win % Hard Clay Grass Last Match
No. 1 ranked players
  Maria Sharapova 1–0 100% 1–0 Won (4–6, 6–4, 6–3) at Doha 2018
  Karolína Plíšková 2–1 67% 2–1 Loss (4–6, 6–4, 3–6) at 2016 Fed Cup
  Jelena Janković 2–5 29% 2–4 0–1 Win (3–6, 6–4, 7–5) at 2016 Doha
  Angelique Kerber 1–3 25% 1–3 Loss (6–0, 1–6, 2–6) at 2013 Linz
  Kim Clijsters 0–1 0% 0–1 Loss (5–7, 5–7) at 2011 's-Hertogenbosch
  Amélie Mauresmo 0–1 0% 0–1 Loss (1–6, 2–6) at 2009 Paris
  Venus Williams 0–1 0% 0–1 Loss (2–6, 3–6) at 2012 Luxembourg
  Ana Ivanovic 0–2 0% 0–1 0–1 Loss (5–7, 3–6) at 2012 Linz
  Serena Williams 0–2 0% 0–2 Loss (4–6, 1–6) at 2015 Miami
  Simona Halep 0–2 0% 0–2 Loss (2–6, 6–4, 1–6) at 2014 Bucharest
  Victoria Azarenka 0–5 0% 0–4 0–1 Loss (1–6, 4–6) at 2013 Australian Open
  Caroline Wozniacki 0–6 0% 0–6 Loss (3–6, 1–6) at 2013 Luxembourg
No. 2 ranked players
  Na Li 1–1 50% 1–1 Loss (5–7, 6–4, 4–6 ) at 2012 Shenzhen
  Vera Zvonareva 1–1 50% 1–1 Win (7–5, 3–2 ret.) at 2012 Doha
  Petra Kvitová 1–2 33% 1–0 0–1 0–1 Loss (6–2, 6–7(5–7), 2–6) at 2016 Stuttgart
  Agnieszka Radwańska 1–4 20% 0–4 1–0 Loss (1–6, 5–7) at 2016 Montréal
No. 4 ranked players
  Kimiko Date-Krumm 1–1 50% 1–1 Win (6–2, 2–1 ret.) at 2013 Monterrey
  Francesca Schiavone 0–4 0% 0–3 0–1 Loss (3–6, 5–7) at 2012 Stuttgart
  Samantha Stosur 0–7 0% 0–7 Loss (3–6, 2–6) at 2015 Beijing
No. 5 ranked players
  Daniela Hantuchová 1–0 100% 1–0 Win (6–1, 6–3) at 2012 Luxembourg
  Lucie Šafářová 2–0 100% 2–0 Win (6–2, 6–0) at 2012 Beijing
  Anna Chakvetadze 1–1 50% 1–1 Loss (0–6, 4–6) at 2012 Hobart
  Sara Errani 1–4 20% 1–2 0–2 Loss (7–5, 1–6, 2–6) at 2015 Bucharest
No. 6 ranked players
  Flavia Pennetta 0–3 0% 0–2 0–1 Loss (1–6, 4–6) at 2015 US Open
  Carla Suárez Navarro 0–5 0% 0–4 0–1 Loss (7–5, 3–6, 4–6) at 2015 Wuhan
No. 7 ranked players
  Madison Keys 1–0 100% 1–0 Win (6–1, 2–6, 7–6(8–6)) at 2013 Washington
  Marion Bartoli 0–1 0% 0–1 Loss (6–2, 3–6, 2–6) at 2011 Indian Wells
  Patty Schnyder 0–1 0% 0–1 Loss (1–6, 5–7) at 2008 Montréal
  Roberta Vinci 0–1 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 Loss (7–5, 6–7(3–7), 3–6) at 2014 Indian Wells
  Alicia Molik 0–1 0% 0–1 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
  Andrea Petkovic 2–3 40% 0–2 2–1 Loss (6–0, 6–7(1–7), 3–6) at 2016 Fed Cup
No. 10 ranked players
  Maria Kirilenko 2–2 50% 2–2 Loss (3–6, 0–6) at 2012 Dubai
  Dominika Cibulková 0–1 0% 0–1 Loss (4–6, 3–6) at 2008 Los Angeles
Total 25–79 24% 19–59
(24%)
5–14
(26%)
1–6
(14%)

Top-10 winsEdit

Season 2011 2012 ... 2016 2017 Total
Wins 1 1 0 1 1 4
# Player Rank Event Surface Round Score
2011
1.   Li Na No. 5 China Open Hard 1st round 6–4, 6–0
2012
2.   Vera Zvonareva No. 8 Qatar Open Hard 2nd round 7–5, 3–2 ret.
2016
3.   Petra Kvitová No. 9 Fed Cup, Romania Hard (i) RR 6–3, 6–4
2017
4.   Johanna Konta No. 7 China Open Hard 1st round 6–1, 6–2

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Monica Niculescu stats at the WTA Tour's official website.
  2. ^ Wimbledon Draw Ladies Singles 2015 Wimbledon Draw.
  3. ^ WTATennis Mirza & Niculescu Claim New Haven Crown
  4. ^ "Player & Career Overview".

External linksEdit