I took marineblue to be referring to the players who are at the top now and Caro was beating those players when she had that great 12 months mid 2010 to mid 2011. She was beating Vika, Pova, Aga and Petra - top players now. All of them apart from Serena but she never lost to Serena in that period either. They didn't play each other. Now I know the players she was beating have improved - but by the same token Caro is not as good as she was then either.
I thought marineblue was referring to winning against the top players now - not the big four of the last decade who she hardly played at all. I always found that argument that her problem was she couldn't beat the big four of the last decade a bit dishonest. In fact - until you get to a lot of matches such as Kim vs Justine when they were both at their best - I'm not one for making much of their whole career being about one or two H2Hs anyway.
Anyway - although I didn't get that these were the players being compared - let's just look at her matches against the big four during those 12 months:
- Serena - played no matches against her in those 12 months. Of course Serena is a much better player than Caro and I don't think Caro would have had much chance. But Serena is Serena - the best by a long way this decade and it's all woulda coulda stuff anyway when they didn't play.
- Justine - 1 match she lost in 3 sets. As I said - I don't judge a player based on a single match in 12 months and conclude anything from that.
- Venus: This is the most dishonest argument of all when people trying to make a point put forward Venus as an example Caro has never beaten. They last played when Caro was barely a junior ranked what - in the hundreds! And someone makes a point that she's supposed to win then or she's no good. It would have been a huge massive shock when no-one really even knew about Caro much.
- Kim: And this is where I think it actually does mean something. It was Caro, Kim and Vera winning everything - mostly Caro and Kim. But Kim won the very biggest tournaments. Caro did play Kim and Kim always beat Caro. I think it was fair to say that Kim was a good yardstick at that time that Caro did need to improve.
Can't catch a good livestream of Caro's match...and would like to respond to your strong forensic arguments
.You are correct when you point out that Caro didn't have a fair chance to play a few of the legends,thus denying us the chance to evaluate a meaningful H2H record.I'll also agree with you that Marineblue was probably only referring to Vika,Aga,Petra and NOT the legends.
However,when we talk about beating TOP players,why not use the best barometer for 'Top' and,even though Caroline didn't get many opportunities at it,she doesn't have victories over the elite that would argue in favor of her current potential.I don't believe that the two wins over Sharapova say a whole lot cuz,IMO,Masha was still trying to find her old level on her way back from the shoulder injury.She may not have been 'slumping',per se,yet she certainly wasn't scaring anyone back when Caro beat her.To ME,the win over Serena was the most impressive,but the irony is that Caro won by employing more aggression in her serving and shot-making...the very style change that so many fans here despise.
I go back to the 2009 USO when Serena was roaring thru the draw,absolutely destroying anyone in her path...and Kim just SHUT HER ASS DOWN in the semis.It was close on the scoreboard,yet Kim clearly outplayed her on the key points...and THAT'S what great players do.They beat OTHER top players even when those opponents are on top of their games.Can you think of any similar wins that Caroline has on her resume'(?)--because I can't recall any.I used an extreme example of beating Venus when she was a 14-year-old WC cuz I don't feel that those previous wins vs. Vika,Aga and Petra count for much right now...and,if you asked an objective,NON-Caro-hater if the stabler Caro would've beaten those 3 improved players where they are NOW,the best you'd get would be a 'maybe'...and only IF she were in peak form that day.
I look back and Caroline didn't even really threaten Kim except for one match where she was up a break in the 3rd at YEC.As you know,though,that's a very slim lead vs. an elite player,and Kim quickly broke back early in the set to get even...so it's not as if she was in real danger.What's most damning are the big losses to Zvonareva;I actually like Vera but she's practically a dream opponent for a Slam SF.It's bad enough just to lose to her on the big stage,but getting outclassed by her is sort of inexcusable...especially when you've beaten her handily before.In contrast,the "Improved Three" DO have wins over the elite either at Slams or at high-level Premiers...and several close losses besides.
Anyway,that's enough negativity from me for now
;I opened another window to verify that Caroline had won and,of course,she has done so
...so let's see how well she can build from that as we look towards a hopefully-brighter future