I separate her hardcourt from clay & grass where she hasnt won a Tier I or made a slam SF.
On hardcourt she has 4 slam SF's.
I think she wasnt trying her best to win againt Vinci & mchale.
She was trying to be more aggressive, & that takes away some of her strengths - her consistency & stamina.
So to me, its just 1 bad loss to kanepi, and she has those kinds of losses now & then. Like Petkovic or Zvonareva.
The tour is on hardcourt thru Miami next spring. So I say lets see how this plays out.
If she doesnt make at least 1 final in Beijing or Turkey, I might agree something is wrong.
But I dont believe she was trying her best to win in those losses before New haven. I think she was trying to be more aggressive and see how she could do at it
I understand that a lot of people have lesser expectations of Caroline on clay and grass but I am not one of them. Certainly she is better on hardcourts but I don't think that means she can not do well on other surfaces.
Eh, I think she should have been able to beat Vinci and McHale even if she wasn't playing her best/experimenting with a more aggressive style of play. Seeing her be completely helpless in dealing with Vinci's slice shots was not fun.
One bad loss to Kanepi? Eh, I fundamentally disagree. With just a couple of exceptions (Rome and the US Open) she has been underperforming for several months at the premier 5's, mandatories and majors.
If she does well at Beijing and/or the YEC I will be happy to be proven wrong but I think there is a serious problem and I expect this slump to run through the rest of the season and if she does nothing to address why her level of play has slipped she could have a rough time on the hardcourts from January-March, 2012. If she struggles on her best surface 2012 could be a very bad year for her.
I think Caroline did well on clay until the FO loss.
I think Charleston win, Stuttgart final, Rome SF, Brussels win is a good run.
Madrid was the bad loss, & Julia on clay is a tough matchup for Caroline.
Then she won Copenhagen.
I think the slam losses bothered her. A lot of what former players said is that she has to work on developing weapons. That led to Toronto & Cincy. She was trying to take the offensive.
She understood she had to go back to her game for the USO, and she did. She also went back to her game for New Haven, a tournament she cares about.
So I'm not a believer that she's fallen apart.
But I'm not sure, so like you guys who think she stinks now, I'll watch Beijing closely.
True, decent results on clay until it really mattered. At Roland Garros she loses in the third round to Hantuchova? A player who in three previous matches had never won a set against Caroline? I didn't expect Caroline to win at Roland Garros but she made the quarters last year, I was expecting at least that much again this year.
Eh, isn't winning Copenhagen pretty much a given? Look at the field, the second highest ranked player was Klara Zakopalova at 32. If Caroline had not won there it would have been a bit of an embarrassment.
What about Wimbledon? She completely collapsed against Cibulkova similar to how she completely collapsed against Na Li at the Australian Open this year.
I'm not saying that she has completely fallen apart but look at the way she is losing at the majors, there's a fundamental problem that needs to be fixed. At the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 it appeared that she was making tremendous strides at the premier 5's and mandatories but since the middle of March she has regressed to her pre summer 2010 form, maybe worse.
The most pressing concern is her serve and her inability to hold it. Blowing a third set 3-0 lead (2 breaks) against a player outside the top forty is completely unacceptable. Caroline could not have asked for a better start to that third set yet she completely imploded and gave the match away. Far too often lately when matches are close she looks scared and helpless. Fear and indecision are not qualities associated with number one. She needs to get her mojo back and she needs to do it quickly.