The reasons for Caroline`s decline
1) Talk about #1 without Grand Slam finally got to her (FO 2011)
Caroline was strong for so long, but at FO 2011 the talk was too much even for her. She bombed out to Hantuchova. Caroline is a strong, positive person, but not a robot. With each press conference the talk about not deserving #1 put more and more pressure on her to win a Grand Slam.
Rory is now her Top priority, not tennis anymore. Tennis is only #2. Skipping training to be with him is completely unprofessional. I can`t see the fire she used to have on court anymore. The will to win is not 100 % anymore. Caroline is not 100 % focused on court anymore. She lost her consistency, her fire, her mental strength. Because her #1 is Rory.
Well we can all have our theories. But that's all they are - opinions and theories not fact. There's a lot I disaagree with and there are some elements I agree with. But what is fact is her play has deteriorated markedly. In particular - the two strengths in her game - she's leaking way more UEs than she used to and she loses important key points and games that you could put money on she'd win in the past. In short - players used to be frustrated that they could never get a ball past her and used to say how hard she was to beat. Probably most of them didn't believe they could beat her whatever they might say. Now you can see them all think as well as say they believe they can beat her.
We need to remember that point 1 (succumbing to pressure being a slamless #1) is a circular argument and is NOT fact befrore we follow down that route of what Caro should do or accusing her of weakness there. It goes:
- There was pressure because everyone goes on and on on and on and on and on ... at her for being a slamless #1 and mentions the pressure and the pressure builds up.
- She didn't win a slam.
- Therefore, it was the pressure that she succumbed to.
That is just such a circular argument and in no way follows on. But if enough people say it, people believe it as fact and not opinion.
Then we have posters joining in and saying this is no excuse. Well where did this thing which is not a fact anyway become an excuse. Not from Caro who consistenlty answered that there is no pressure and #1 is where I want to be. It's a bit much to ctiticise her for something she she never said and is an unproven theory.
My own view on this is that her team and Caro gave confused messages as to what they were doing. It first started as easrly as the clay season in 2011. We then had that she had to change her game, then no, then the coaches and that mystery coach. It was all confusing to me. Then we had - don't worry about these losses it's the slams we are aiming at. I never liked that thing about it not matterring if she got beaten early in the other tournaments. And of course - she doesn't suddenly get a very unexpected good result at a slam out the blue. That's where I think she got derailed with her whole team. I don't buy she succcumbed mentally though.
I'm fine you or anyone believing that she succumbed under pressure so long as don't try to make out it's fact as opposed to opinion.
On point 2 - to some extent I agree. I don't know of her skipping training though. Having time off when she's not training during the off-season is part and parcel of what I thought she's always done.
What I think - and again it's only my opinion - not fact. I don't think she's as hungy now as she was. I think these losses would have really hurt her badly two or more years ago. Now - well she does have Rory to turn to in her life when she loses a tennis match. Tennis is not the only thing now so I think that takes the pain away. And her interviews. I know she's trying to put a positive spin on things. But with a couple of exceptions - it just doesn't seem she's hurt and driven so hard to prove everyone wrong with their prediction - something she was passionate about proving the naysayers wrong.