Hi Howard, happy to read you in Caroline Topic, always very smart post
as for the comparison with Mc Hale, it's true one is more successful than the other but one is more talented too(caro). It takes more time to set a more complicated game and have results with it. Caroline is more an "offensive" player who likes to attack with powerful shots. McHale game is more mature, safer too. She can bring back a lot of balls. I think her serve should be improved cause it is not normal to not have total control of your serve because of your toss. She has to make it shorter and more simple. Look at Federer one, it is pure model to copy.
she must improve it to make big things.
It's true, McHale's game is simpler. I never regarded McHale as being all that talented, but she's a hard worker who is making the most of her game. Caro seems to have ability but is struggling to put together her game- she can do most things, serve, return, fh, bh, movement around the court, net play. That does increase the complexity of the game.
However, if Caro does not "make it" as a top pro she will definitely be among the most talented players to never break through.
Caro's toss is a bit high but not the highest I have seen. It's not that accurate though. She has a good arsenal of spin serves, including a pretty nice kick serve, so she covers those bad tosses and makes it seem like she intended to hit a kick serve or whatever, but I'm still convinced she is not sure about her toss. Federer has a good toss and a nice serve, one of the best of his generation. However, I would regard his toss and serve as a slightly inferior version of Sampras' toss and serve. The two great players actually have very similar serves- similar stance, toss etc. They toss smoothly and directly to the contact point without having to toss too high. Both of these men are excellent models to copy when it comes to the serve. However Caro uses the "step together" footwork, not the platform stance that Sampras and Federer use. So maybe she would need to study a great server with the same kind of footwork- Krajicek, Ivanisevic perhaps? One thing all these really great servers usually have in common is that the toss is accurate and not much higher than necessary.
Possibly the most important thing is just to practise and find an individual, personal way to make the toss go smoothly into the right place. In my opinion all great servers have pretty consistent tosses. And many players who struggle with nerves have difficulty tossing. So solving the toss would be a good step forward for her, although it still might not completely solve her inability to play big points well. It's proved impossible for many players in the past though. But her case is unusual, as I said, most players with bad tosses lose the toss to the right, whereas Caro seems to lose it left or backwards, causing her to lose balance. Maybe this is easier to solve than the case where you lose the toss to the right?
What I'm really curious about is- did she have this kind of problem with big points before the match with Sharapova? Or did the Sharapova match, where she lost big point after big point in the second half of the match, create a mental hangover?