For me the question is did she start losing because she changed her style of play or did she change her style of play because she started losing? I can't believe that she just spontaneously decided to try to become a more aggressive player while at the same time her game was working and she was having great success. I guess it is impossible to know for certain, and she is certainly not candid enough to discuss it publicly, but I would really like to know when she decided that things weren't working with the game she had and how/why she decided to change her game.
All the talk and "perceived wisdom" last year was that she couldn't win slams with her style back then. That was the reason. So either none of the above in bold, or she started losing because she tried to change her style.
Personally and without making a prediction - although I think it was always going to be difficult to win a slam - I believe she would have had so many chances at SFs of slams with the way she was playing before that she would have had a great chance that one of those times she would go all the way playing how she was on sheer Mathematical probabilities. Now she has no chance at all unless she can cut down the UEs.
What actually happened last year from the clay season till the end of the year was full of contradictions with Piotr and mystery coaches and Piotr saying Caro just wanted to be a ball-basher and all sorts of things that were at odds with what Caro herself was saying. I honestly got a bit annoyed with some of the things Piotr came out with back then and it wasn't handled well. They should just have stone-walled if there were any disagreements Caro and Piotr may have had. They should NEVER have EVER talked about a mystery coach. And really just talked about working on improving the forehand, coming to the net and net play, and her serve whilst ensuring she continued to play to her strengths.
Personally - amidst all that confusion which I think had permeated her team - I think Caro herself actually got confused. And I believe myself that it contributed to Caro losing her way and then unable to find her way back. But then - what do I know?
I don't see her games very much. I'm not interested in watching replays of her losses. But what I have seen - I didn't see her trying to win every point on her 1st forehand and not try to grind out her points. I think that's a red herring. However, I do know that when it develops into a long rally - I used to think Caro would win the point. Now if it's live and it develops into a rally - I think she'll probably lose the point. Not because she tries something. But because a bread and butter shot breaks down or her opponent takes control.
If Caro does see an opportunity but doesn't make her shot - that's fair enough. If she sees an opportunity to come to the net and it doesn't work out - that's fair enough. I don't think that's a problem. But I remember her at IW last year dictating points, moving her opponent around, finishing a point off at the net. It was great. What I don't have any answer or idea about is the unreliability I see in her basic game.