Nope nothing changed with Rory, she always builds form. She traditionaly carries some over but starts slow to an early AO peak.
The calander is more of an issue for her, and an HC alternate to all the clay and grass would suit her well.
The stick has killed her feel and snap, and there are more BB's on tour.
It's nice to see you all postulate, and yet the unescapable reality of the stick switch and her game still screams large. Can we please bury the ridiculous ghost of TJ48 forever?
Caroline was a very good player who is going to be under rated historically.
The end of 2010 she won 4 of 6 tournaments, and a YEC final. The only non-final was losing a SF to Vera in NY.
Then after Sydney, again she was in a slam SF with Li, then again 5 finals in 6 tournaments -Dubai, IW, Charleston wins, Doha, Stuttgart finals. Only early loss was Petkovic in Miami.
But because of the semifinal slam losses, and the huge fall after she met Rory, people think she just played a lot at a time when Serena was injured and Maria, Vika had yet to improve.
This is a lot more than a racket. Her level is nowhere near late 2010-early 2011.
Her consistency and mental toughness is gone. But her overall level is much lower. She's much more beatable, starts matches much slower.
Ofcourse, the big thing the last 2 years is that her Januarys are worse than how she ended the year before.
You cannot take backwards steps in this sport unless it leads to two forward steps.
Is she trying as hard? Its mostly her mental game. Dedication, focus, the WANT. You have to really, really work for it at this level.
But its also coaching. Practice sessions, pre-match warmup.
This big a fall, while she's healthy. This is how she's known. Whats happened since Brussels 2011 has made her into a perceived 'lightweight' that even casual tennis fans diminish.
I believe she really has to think hard on what she's doing and how she's doing it.
Its too important to just think its a racket or some technique modification for stroke improvement. Its everything and her results are a big part of her public personna.