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post #4365 of (permalink) Old Oct 10th, 2012, 01:15 AM
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

Originally Posted by Burisleif View Post
I'm probably taking your post out of context, so I apologies if I am. You make some interesting points but there are a few holes.

I think you're underestimating the form and moral driven element of a defensive strategy. It requires extreme confidence and focus to pull off, and much more so than a simpler BB game. Further the way you phrase the bold part is suggestive of control being with the BB, which isn't quite true. Attack means very little if it isn't effective, and in a defensive strategy the key is to rendering your opponents attack ineffective. It's as much about denying a normally winning strategy from your opponent, and tactically forcing them to try approaches beyond their usual comfort zone. Typically that involves feeding variety of weight and length and denying their game with basic placement.

If we are talking about wimbledon? Lack of traction and thus court speed to get balls back, combined with great placement and low bounces, will beat Caroline. As for the other comparisons, they are all very subjective, but I think it would be wrong to over estimate other opponents chances that day, especially Nav and Co. The pace of the ball has radically changed. Truth is nobody knows, and since the balls and courts have changed yet again since that day, nobody ever will. I was a huge fan of the old girls, and unfortunately the game has changed beyond recognition to a less entertaining form where sadly the old skill sets are largely irrelevant.

Caroline's game has always been in adjustment. evolving, changing, and some of your examples should reflect the specific changes made prior to the losses. Caroline's strategy also changes from match to match, and in match. You lay out a strategy and some times it's wrong and gets exposed. That's different to a loss while having a working strategy but you hit that mental wall and panic, and again different to a loss with a strategy thats hamstrung by a technical (equipment) or physical fault (injury). I'm not sure why you suggest Caroline wasn't able to counter attack? She had one of the best disguised killer BH's out there, second to only to Kim at its peak.

Btw. Car analogies never work, and considering most theft is now with the owners keys also moot.

I have seen elements of her old defence recently. Her physique is much lighter and faster than it was for a long time while doing (probably too much) boxer training. She needs court speed and strokes she can trust to play her game. I think Caroline could have broken through, but it didn't work out that way and the pressure to do so just rises with attempts. She had a similar "wall" at PM's that once she finally did break through, she went on a rampant streak of winning them. Her confidence obviously plays a huge part in her game, and she will need strokes that she has 100% confidence in to take the step back to the top for another try.

I can't really comment on Dinara, except that she has a lot of explaining to do.

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Back on topic, bitch away cave dwellers...
You make lots of worthy points but there's only one that requires any clarification from me.

Indeed,Caroline's old BH is a very nice defensive shot but,to be truly well-rounded,an elite player must use both hands effectively,and I think that her FH falls too far short of where her peak BH was.Keep in mind that I'm choosing to compare Caro to all-time greats b/c I'm optimistic about her potential due to her long stint at #1.Even when you factor in some of the unacceptable losses that I mentioned,Caroline was still an excellent defensive player who even clearly outdid other players who were known for their defense.

You offer a decent description of defensive strategies,but there's one element of this style of play where Caroline wasn't quite what she SHOULD have been,even while at the top of the rankings,and that was turning around deep,accurate laser shots by using her opponent's pace against her....Obviously,the FH side was more deficient in this respect.It doesn't bother me all that much that Caro might get hit off the court by an elite power-hitter,yet it's another story entirely if that happens vs.,say,Lisicki or Ana,and an embarrassing loss isn't necessarily one that displays a lopsided scoreline;one could also categorize,as such,a loss where the inferior player was significantly in control of the match...even if the final score were merely 6-4,6-3.As we all know,a player who feels she's in control will sometimes coast and conserve energy on an opponent's serve,thinking that she could break it whenever she wanted,thus making the match superficially appear more competitive than it actually was.

Let's take Henin as an ideal example;I can't recall any matches when she was simply annihilated by a mindless,one-dimensional BB.If it DID happen,it sure was a once-in-a-blue-moon event;Justine was usually quite competitive even when one of the WS was in GOAT mode.If she faced one of the mental weaklings like those listed above,yeah,she'd lose a few points here and there when the BB smacked a powerful winner right past her.For the most part,though,she'd learned how to counterstrike by feeding off her foe's pace,demoralizing her opponent by getting those 'impossible' shots back until the mental weakling's level dropped off from despair.Against a normal player,the BB would've won 6-0,6-2 and elicited slobbering praise from mostly male,quasi-pubescent tennis reporters,such as Cronin,on how she was destined to be a Slam juggernaut,and the losing player's fans would trot out the same old blah blah B.S. about how the BB was supposedly unstoppable that day......but,versus Henin,she wouldn't win AT ALL(likely not even a set),let alone 6-0,6-2.

I'll re-iterate that I'm comparing Caro to all-time greats due to what she showed me at her peak;hypothetically,though,my judgment could be unfairly biased by my fanship.Losing to lower-ranked players,regardless of style of play,isn't such an awful shortcoming.Getting blown off the court by one certainly IS,and I feel that Caroline at least had to learn how to counterattack by using pace even against difficult laser shots.It's the methods by which she tried to implement aggression that have raised eyebrows,and I can understand some of the skepticism that fans have shown here

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