In my opinion Caroline fell down the rankings and haven´t improved because she did not believe in all the changes suggested to her. She was not comfortable with what she was doing and her opposition took full advantage of that. During many of her losses she was obviously outside of her comfort zone. Maybe her team thought that pushing her outside of it would make things better but I think that the result was quite the opposite. She probably ended up quite confused and finally got fed up with all the changes. I think trying to add on to her game instead of making changes which are too much is what will help her to improve.
The motivation comes along with good results as we witnessed during the Asian swing. And yes,work-life balance will also make a difference so if she wants to do better in 2013 she will really need to commit to it.
Its partly this. But no matter what coaches tell her, she cant miss that overhead vs Aga that would make it 4-4 in set 2. A lot of the last 18 months is not being able to play at a high level in the big moments.
Most matches at this level are close, where a few points can change 6-2 to 4-4. The Olympics was a rare tournament where Serena was above the field. But at the USO, Vika served for the title. That was after being in real trouble vs Sam & Maria.
Most of these tournaments come down to a few key points, and Caroline hasnt been playing those points well, for a long time now.
When was the last time Caroline lost and you felt she played well? I have to go back to 2010 YEC final for a loss where I thought Caroline was playing well most of the match.
I think its her, mentally, just like it is for Jankovic, Ivanovic. They mentally cant produce their good tennis often enough, and when they need their best to win, its not there.
But some players slump then come back. Definately Sharapova, and I've seen Kuznetsova pull it together after looking lost for a while
So I certainly think its possible she comes all the way back. Probably would help to have a coach with a clear vision, who understands what Caroline strenghs & weaknesses are