Some people here have followed Laura since even before the Junior Wimbledon and probably know everything there is to know about her game so I have a simple question: Is Laura a brainless ball basher?
When things are going her way, Laura crashes some beautiful forehand winners down the line and also has a lovely inside out shot across court. Problem is, far too often in the next match the errors come on the same shots that yesterday were winners. One of the things that needs to be addressed by her new coach is why this talent is never on show for more than 2 or 3 games in a row. Just maybe, the talent is an illusion created by hitting the ball harder and harder whether it is the right shot at the right time or not - when it is your day you can beat anyone (almost) but more often than not poor shot selection means you can also lose to anyone (almost). Which could explain how you can beat 4 or 5 top twenty players but in the same 12 months lose to numerous players ranked below 50, and even down in the 100's.
Wimbledon sums up Laura in a single tournament. She played really well and showed improvement in many areas of her game against higher and similarly ranked players, also showing previously hidden determination and fight to come through when behind and outplayed. Then against Kanepi who was very poor on the day, she was terrible and lost mainly through Brainless Ball Bashing, as you say. Example, on a number of occasions Kanepi was taken well out wide on the forehand and coming forward to take the weak return, Laura dumped a couple in the net but blasted most of them well long over the baseline, when anyone with half a brain would have played a 100% safe shot into the open court for a simple winner
The funny thing is, Laura appears to know what she should/should not be doing but completely loses her mind when on court. Somewhere in these threads, a link was posted to a recent interview with Laura when she said something like 'you can't just go out and hit the ball hard and not have any variety in your shots ....', then proceeded to belt the ball all over the court in the same tournament
17 year old Donna Vekic has 4 ITF titles and Annika Beck (1 month younger than Laura) has 7 ITF titles, whereas talented Laura, soon to be 20, has 1 ITF title and 1 WTA losing final appearance to her name. Tennis and professional sport in general is full of 'unfulfilled potential' and the frequent references to Laura's potential are based mainly on the unexpected victories against the top players (bashed them of court) while ignoring the string of unexpected losses against the lower players (bashed herself off court??). As regards BBB, Laura would do well to look back and ask herself not 'why did I play that shot badly' but 'should I have played that shot at all'.
Frustrating as it is, I actually love watching Laura play because apart from 'looks good on court' (damned with faint praise by Serena when asked about Laura's potential!), she is the first British woman who can really hit the ball hard since ....? Well she is probably the first British woman who can consistently hit the ball hard and sometimes accurately - I just wish she could learn to hit it less hard when the occasion demands.