I dont know. I think most of us expected Caroline to keep it close. If she loses 26 26 in round 1, thats pretty bad for a player who was YE #1 for 2010, 2011. She was #1 earlier this year
She did play well, in spots, but she almost always plays well.
This means she played Eastbourne & Wimbledon & didnt win a match.
Thats after a clay season where she played Stuttgart, Madrid, Rome, Paris and only won 5 matches.
5 match wins used to be a good week, not a full clay/grass season combined.
Every player is tinkering with equipment & having best technique possible. Its not a reason to go from #1 to losing 5 of her last 7 matches in the heart of the slam season. Remember, when she was losing to Safarova & Goerges & Ivanovic people said she was tweaking her game for this part of the year.
So I think there is plenty to be concerned about.
I see your points and I don't think anyone is jumping for joy about the last year, however, I don't see the rank as relevant to form or circumstance, nor can I agree with the time period of decline in that form.
To borrow an overly dramatic style so popular here of late to make my point, if the worlds fastest sprinter in January looses both legs in February, it isn't worse because they are the slowest in the field in March? The reason is what counts not the express nature of it however tragic or rapid?
As for her chances of bouncing back, I think you're perhaps not giving due credit for the rapidity of improvement in display that she demonstrated having finally addressed her glaring equipment issues. I think there are still more to be addressed including a possible switch.
If we factor in the decline of stroke effectiveness, then we are left with the service game (as you have rightly focused on in the past) and the AO MP factor which was there before she lost and then won IW and at many crunch points in her carrier before that. In short for much longer than this slump?
By admission and statement it's clear to me that TJ has identified the crunch point failings as an area he can and will address. He was in part sort out for his very own experience of dealing with those points?
The serve and ground strokes are also clearly being addressed with both technical changes and major equipment tweaks?
If we look at all the above, and going by the virtually unanimous applauds for her performance yesterday, I think its at least fair to ride out the honeymoon period with the new coach having an open mind and the patience that they as a new team deserve toward them?
I'm far from saying everything is bright and shinny happy, but I am suggesting that most of the issues are not new, have to be dealt with, clearly have been amplified by the stick and other factors, but that from the few signs we have seen, they as a team at least deserve the respect of a chance to correct the direction before they are written off here in the player section?
I see great signs for the future, and am extremely happy to see the stick being addressed and the BH making a fleeting return.
I trust that Caroline will deal with the crunch issue as she grows in experience, mostly because she has risen to it before. It is an issue that needs addressing, and she has shown she has the tools, now we need the intent and confidence to do it.