I take note of burisleif's point about the racquet, but I find it hard to believe that they can't develop one according to Caroline's specific needs and wishes. If you go to the store to buy a, say, Roger Federer racquet you won't get the exact same version that Roger plays with either because if he wants, say, more weight at the top they will of course do that for him. I'm sure that this goes for every player, let alone elite players. It's just racquet science, not rocket science. How hard can it be to make a racquet that's exactly how Caroline wants it to be?
Sure they can, but we are talking marginal differences having a huge impact on results. If anything the stick being to her spec could be at the heart of the problem. She wanted more spin right? I'm not blaming the maker... However, She wouldn't be the first player to see a drop post switch... What I noticed was an increase in shanked FH just pre switch, followed by the rapid disapearance of her BHDTL post switch. Again I'm not saying it's all down to the stick, but loosing your primary instinctive match winning shot is going to hurt. What I see now is Caro spraying length errors when she tries to put the hurt on even in basic rally play, and still not getting the ball spead she used to get, thus greatly hurting her ability to control points. I'm also seeing less oponant errors on Caro's FH, which I'm guessing is due to the stroke not having the mix and surprise it used too.
Besides the stick, we have also endured a lengthy period of reduced mobility post ankle, irrespective if the ankle was the enduring reason, we are only starting to see a return of court speed now. That brings us back to fitness which I think she is 100% correct in focusing upon as the primary foundation to her game. However, on top of that we need to see a return of consistancy of accuracy in the way she handles shots on the run. She was aproaching Kim levels of angles and ability in that department at her peak, and I want to see that instictive ability return so she can focus on her tactics again rather than string tension.
The transition from fearless youth to thinking veteran was always going to be the defining moment in Caro's Career imho, and she only at the begining of that process. I'm still not worried.
I will admit to not watching Miami... It doesn't suit her game, and typicaly is far to advantageous to power hitters, so I really didn't expect anything there. I do expect to see some progress at stutgart (assuming she plays).