Re: Articles and Interviews
Relax, fellow Caro fans. Take deep breaths. It's only tennis. Give her time. Being more aggressive isn't in her backbone yet, she still has to think about it.
Transcription of an interview from the Sky Tennis Podcast with Thomas J done just after the Olympics:
Did you share your Olympic experiences with Caroline?
-We actually didn't talk about my winning a Silver Medal in Beijing ... we were just trying to work on her stroke, her tennis, her movement, you know the whole game.
You called her victory against Daniela Hantuchova the best match you'd seen in a long time. What parts of her game are you seeing progress in?
-We've been working a lot on her offensive game, to try and take initiative in the rallies.I think that Caroline is probably one of the best movers on the court, but in the past she's been struggling with being aggressive and staying aggressive. I think the match against Hantuchova was by far the best match I've seen since we started to work together. We've been working on her serve as well. She's definitely on the right track.
There's a bit more sting in her serve. Even against Serena that was noticeable. You've made quite radical alterations to that haven't you?
-Yeah, we've been trying to work on her positioning when she's serving. All her weight moves forward on her serve instead of to the side. That's been the key on all her shots, try to stay aggressive and not worry about your opponents next shot.
And against Serena she couldn't really get close to it, only winning three games. Is there anything she could have done in retrospect to give herself more of a chance?
-I think against Serena it was too tough for Caroline. She was a bit unlucky in the beginning, but the score 6-0, 6-3 is a bit unfair, in my eyes it should have been 2 & 3 or 3 & 3. But it doesn't matter, it's a loss. But if Caroline is to beat Serena she probably needs a couple of tournaments the weeks before where she's played well so she's quite confident in her game.
Has it been a bit of a tough task for you Thomas to manage the mental side of her game as well, given that she's so used to being right at the very top. Now she's finding it a bit tougher. Is the mental side something you have to work on as well.
-Yeah, but I think it's a little bit like I said, you have to believe in you shots. But I think it feels like we're on the right track, it's just that Caroline needs to win a couple of more matches, then I think she might be ready to compete with the big ones.
Well, I'm glad to see your optimstic, because we all want to see Caroline Wozniacki at her very best. I'm curious Thomas to find out how it works out between you her and Piotr as well, her father. If you, say, think she shoud hit her forehand in one way and Piotr thinks it should be hit in a different way, wh has the final say in how she ends up hitting that shot.
-I think we have a good conversation between each other. Piotr listens a lot to what I say about the shots and technique, and how she should try and work, but even though Piotr has never ever played tennis before, he knows Caroline really well, and he knows what her strengths and weaknesses are, and we talk to each other about trying to find a solution to her whole game.
So it's a very diplomatic affair?
-Yeah, no no no, I know he's quite tough but I think that's also the reason she has been number one.
It must be difficult for her as well, Thomas, having a relationship with such a high profile figure as Rory McIlroy. How has she coped with the relentless focus on them.
-Everywhere they go there's a lot of attention on them from the media, from the people as well. But I think they cope with it really well. I mean, they're used to it. It's not easy having a relationship when one is playing a lot of golf and the other is playing a lot of tennis. They don't have that many opportunities to see each other. But I think it's nice. Rory is a great guy, I mean she cannot find a better boyfriend than that, so I think everything is working fine.
Lovely. So as far as you're concerned you don't see it having any impact negatively on her tennis?
-No no no, defintely not.
So is the plan for you to stay with Caroline until the end of the US Open, is that still the case?
-We'll see, I mean, Caroline is the boss. She's the one that decides. I've known Caroline since she was probably 15 years old, we've actually only been working for three tournaments, we've been practicing a lot back home, so it's up to her. I mean if she feels like I can contribute to her tennis, and make her a better player, I'm more than happy to continue to work with her. But it's her choice.
I just want to ask you Thomas, with Caroline, at the end of her career, what do you realstically hope that she will have achieved?
- I really hope that she can win a slam in the next couple of years. As I said, with the movement that she has on the court, I think that if she just believes a little more in her shots, and tries to be more aggressive, and we try to continue to work on her serve, I definitely sure that she is a contender in a slam in the next couple of years.
So you'd be happy with just the one?
- I would prefer more! But let's start with one.