I’m not answering a particular post but, inspired by the posts above mine, I just want to share my view about Wozniacki's situation. First of all, I agree she has no excuse to lose against players like McHale, Vinci or Hantuchova. That's certainly not the best way to climb the ranking. She’s just a much better player than them. That's being said, I do not see her as an elite player. I never have and never will, unless she proves me wrong. Those would be Clijsters, Henin, Graf, the Williams sisters, Hingis, among others. With peak Sharapova not far behind. The next category would be players like Li Na, Kuznetsova, Azarenka, Kvitova in their best days. Those players would normally reach GS semifinals and being contenders for Mandatory and Premier 5 events. They should be located somewhere between 4th and 8th in the ranking.
Personally, I rank Wozniacki in the next category, with Dementieva, Zvonareva, or Radwanska. Those players would normally reach GS quarterfinals, with an occasional semifinal or a 4th round exit. They would win intermediate events (New Haven) regularly and a Premier 5 event once in a while. They should be located somewhere between 6th and 12th in the ranking.
Since I thought she was ranked too high last year, her fall in the ranking is not bothering or surprising me as much as it does for many of her other fans (however, her actual level of play certainly is). In my point of view, Wozniacki is an overachiever. She already has far exceeded my expectations. I became a fan when she was unable to pass through the third and fourth round in the Slams. At a time when she was constantly losing to Lisicki, and Cirstea and when Jankovic was toying with her.
In my POV, Wozniacki’s progression in the ranking at the end of 2010 had two causes: first, she started to put more pressure on her opponents, occasionally coming to the net and hitting the ball very deep in the court, resulting in a flow of forced and unforced errors from the ballbashers. On the other hand, the defensive players (Peer, Cibulkova, Dementieva), have always constituted a challenge for her, since she is unable to hit winners against them, while they're giving her fewer errors. She also benefited from some circumstances: the best players were playing half-schedules, some were injured or retired (Safina, Henin), and many were playing at a fraction of their real capabilities (Kuznetsova, Ivanovic, Jankovic, just to name a few). The path to the top of the ranking was wild open and Wozniacki seizes her chance. All credits to her. However, you know something is abnormal when a player like Zvonareva, who spent most of her career between the 7th and 20th rank, become number two in the world and make 2 GS finals. Inevitably, the competition would increase. It happened when Na Li and Kvitova stepped up, while Sharapova regained her form and Azarenka was greatly improving her game. At the same time, Goerges, Petkovic, Cibulkova, Lisicki and others constituted a real Top20.
Meanwhile, all the pressure was on Wozniacki, the infamous slamless number one. The girl is strong and she offered an incredible resistance to that pressure
Unfortunately, she’s just human and I think that they eventually succeeded to break her mental toughness. She’s also trying to improve her offensive skills and to reconcile her professional and personal life. That’s a huge challenge.
Personally, I think that she can add some weapons to her game without losing her defensive skills. She already did in 2010. Her service is also a lot better than it uses to be back in 2009-2010. But she must fight against her instincts. Let's not forget she has learned to play against a wall. Her whole game has been build around a defensive mindset. It brought her in the Top10, but it was never enough to beat Clijsters or Sharapova. And it will not be enough to beat the new Azarenka, Kerber or Kvitova if they play a good match. I always thought she could become a modern Clijsters, but she’ll need to improve her offensive skills to reach that level.
Right now, her main goal should be to regain her confidence. And it will come with wins. I have to say that I liked what I saw in the first round of Wimbledon. She was coming to the net, playing a good offensive match and defending well. The way she was playing, success will come soon enough. As for now, as long as she continues to win most of her matches against the players ranked outside the Top 30, and some matches against the Top 11-30, she’ll maintain a good ranking.
Hum, sorry for the length. I hope the read was not too unpleasant