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View Full Version : Has Caroline's consistency deserted her? It sure looks that way.


DownInAHole
Aug 13th, 2011, 01:07 AM
I just crunched some numbers and I am not 100% sure but it looks like if the rankings were based on results from Stuttgart (April 18)-present that Caroline would be ranked seventh. See below:


1) Petra Kvitova (3825)
2) Maria Sharapova (3585)
3) Na Li (3190)
4) Viktoria Azarenka (2842)
5) Marion Bartoli (2602)
6) Francesca Schiavone (2311)

7) Caroline Wozniacki (2076)

8) Sabine Lisicki (1822)
9) Agnieszka Radwanska (1766)
10) Vera Zvonareva (1745)
11) Andrea Petkovic (1636)

Most people agree that Caroline's greatest strength is her consistency. Week after week she is typically better than any other player on the tour but if the above numbers are correct Caroline has not even been in the top five as far as consistency goes for the last several months. I think that most of us were expecting a quick turnaround once she hit the American hardcourts, and that may still happen, but I do think it is worth noting that for some time now Caroline's greatest strength, the one thing that she has been better at than the rest of the tour, seems to have deserted her.

I may have even given Caroline more points than I should have. For her result in Toronto does she earn 70 points or 1?

Burisleif
Aug 13th, 2011, 01:36 AM
Why Stuttgart?

I'm Betwattled.

Protoss
Aug 13th, 2011, 01:55 AM
I just crunched some numbers and I am not 100% sure but it looks like if the rankings were based on results from Stuttgart (April 18)-present that Caroline would be ranked seventh. See below:


1) Petra Kvitova (3825)
2) Maria Sharapova (3585)
3) Na Li (3190)
4) Viktoria Azarenka (2842)
5) Marion Bartoli (2602)
6) Francesca Schiavone (2311)

7) Caroline Wozniacki (2145)

8) Sabine Lisicki (1822)
9) Agnieszka Radwanska (1766)
10) Vera Zvonareva (1745)
11) Andrea Petkovic (1636)

Most people agree that Caroline's greatest strength is her consistency. Week after week she is typically better than any other player on the tour but if the above numbers are correct Caroline has not even been in the top five as far as consistency goes for the last several months. I think that most of us were expecting a quick turnaround once she hit the American hardcourts, and that may still happen, but I do think it is worth noting that for some time now Caroline's greatest strength, the one thing that she has been better at than the rest of the tour, seems to have deserted her.

I may have even given Caroline more points than I should have. For her result in Toronto does she earn 70 points or 1?
It's 1 point for losing in the 2nd round after having a 1st round bye.

DownInAHole
Aug 13th, 2011, 02:04 AM
Why Stuttgart?

I'm Betwattled.

Start of the clay season. Seems like a good break point from the Australian/American hardcourt season.

DownInAHole
Aug 13th, 2011, 02:05 AM
It's 1 point for losing in the 2nd round after having a 1st round bye.

Thanks. It has been fixed.

Burisleif
Aug 13th, 2011, 02:17 AM
Why Stuttgart?

I'm Betwattled.

^^^

DownInAHole
Aug 13th, 2011, 02:20 AM
^^^

The fact that you are not disputing my findings leads me to believe that I am on to something.:p

Burisleif
Aug 13th, 2011, 02:33 AM
The fact that you are not disputing my findings leads me to believe that I am on to something.:p

Actually I'm questioning your credibility, as so far your pick, If I were you I would be running very fast :)

I know your a pessimist, but I'm waiting for the explanation for arbitrary pick. It makes no sense.

DownInAHole
Aug 13th, 2011, 10:50 AM
Actually I'm questioning your credibility, as so far your pick, If I were you I would be running very fast :)

I know your a pessimist, but I'm waiting for the explanation for arbitrary pick. It makes no sense.

I do not quite understand what you mean in your first sentence. What is wrong with my credibility? I probably did make some small errors in my point totals, which I fully admitted, but as far as who has gathered the most points since Stuttgart I believe my list is accurate. If you see an errors please point them out and I will correct them. Also, who should I be running from?:scratch:

I already explained my "arbitrary" pick. Maybe you do not like the explanation but I think it makes sound sense. But I will try to explain it again. January is essentially the "Australian" leg of the tour. February is harder to classify but in Caroline's case it was her middle eastern leg of the tour. March consists of American hardcourts and April is the beginning of the clay season. I guess I could have started with Charleston but that takes place in America and is on a different surface, it is kind of a transitional event that does not fit into the hardcourt or claycourt seasons. So I started with Caroline's first (red) clay tournament which was Stuttgart. It makes perfect sense to me. If you divide the season into three parts January-April is essentially the first hardcourt season, April-July is the clay/grass season and July-October is the second hardcourt season. It seems crystal clear to me, I'm not sure what you are failing to grasp. My point is that starting in the middle of the season Caroline's consistency has not been anywhere near what it was from August, 2010-March, 2011. Surely you can not dispute that? In recent months she has not made a single final in any of the big tournaments (grand slams, premier mandatories and premier 5's). Maybe we have been spoiled by her results but the fact is that she was regularly making big finals and in recent months she has not been.

I also totalled up Caroline's points in 2009 and 2010 for the period of Stuttgart-Toronto/Montreal. Since in those two years Cincinnati was played before Toronto/Montreal we will have to wait until her result next week to get a fair comparison but right now the comparison is as follows:

2009-Stuttgart [P], Rome [P5], Madrid [PM], Roland Garros [GS], Eastbourne [P], Wimbledon [GS], Bastad [I], Los Angeles [P], Cincinnati [P5], Toronto [P5]
Ten events played, 2182 points earned

2010-Stuttgart [P], Rome [P5], Madrid [PM], Warsaw [P], Roland Garros [GS], Eastbourne [P], Wimbledon [GS], Copenhagen [I], Cincinnati [P5], Montreal [P5]
Ten events played, 2412 points earned

2011-Stuttgart [P], Madrid [PM], Rome [P5], Brussels [P], Roland Garros [GS], Copenhagen [I], Wimbledon [GS], Bastad [I], Toronto [P5]
Nine events played, 2076 points earned with the results from Cincinnati pending

Caroline will need to make the semis or better in Cincinnati to exceed her point total from the same period last season. A semi appearance in Cincinnati will give her 2471 points. If she fails to make the semis she will actually have regressed from last season. Having the ankle injury last year, combined with how well she did in the summer/fall of 2010 and the first few months of 2011 I thought that she was primed to have a breakthrough clay season but her results over the last three years have been fairly static. That is somewhat worrying, particularly now that she is number one. If there is a silver lining next year she has the potential to pick up quite a few points, particularly at the two slams.

Jimmie48
Aug 13th, 2011, 11:00 AM
Kind of a useless comparison that only proves one thing: Clay and grass are no good surfaces for her, making this definetely the weakest part of her season. That's not news though... compared to 2010 the results aren't that much different to really see much of a change.

DownInAHole
Aug 13th, 2011, 12:30 PM
Kind of a useless comparison that only proves one thing: Clay and grass are no good surfaces for her, making this definetely the weakest part of her season. That's not news though... compared to 2010 the results aren't that much different to really see much of a change.

Fair enough but keep in mind that for part of the 2010 clay season she was hampered by the ankle injury that she suffered in Charleston. I think that after the vast improvement that she showed in the second half of 2010 that a lot of people expected her to do much better in the 2011 clay season, especially if she was healthy which she was. The fact that a healthy 2011 Caroline was unable to noticeably better the results of an injured 2010 Caroline is not encouraging.

I also do not believe that many people expected her to lose to Daniela Hantuchova in the third round at Roland Garros and Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round at Wimbledon. At both events anything less than at least the quarters was going to be a disappointment. Maybe Caroline was not the favourite to win either of them but had she performed at or near her best the way was clear for her to go deeper than she did, particularly at Roland Garros.

At the beginning of the season the thing that I most wanted to see was steady improvement. That doesn't mean that I was expecting her to start winning multiple slams but I was expecting her to, in general, do better at each event than she did the previous year, particularly in the first half of the season. If you look at the first third of the season she exceeded my expectations and showed a lot of improvement. Since then she has been fairly static. Going forward, she is going to need some phenomenal results to replicate what she did in the last third of last season.

Jimmie48
Aug 13th, 2011, 12:51 PM
I agree that the Hantuchova loss was probably the biggest disappointment of her year so far. I think she played a fine clay season winning Charleston & Brussels, reaching the final in Stuttgart and SF in Rome.. the only thing that ruins her clay performance looking back is RG. Would she have reached the QF or even SF we would be praising her clay performance now.

Wimbledon was a disappointment but hardly a surprise. Her game isn't that much suited to grass and why she surely should not have lost to Cibulkova the way she did, did you really expect her to make the SF or more in Wimbledon this year? If so, you´re much more of an optimist than I am... I was hoping for QF, Wimbledon is probably the least likely slam for her to win, even though she loves the event so much.

Either way, the time span from April to August is no good time to judge her consistency since she tends to play inconsistent on both surfaces. If her hardcourt results start fading now as well I might agree.. but until then I think you´re seeing her year with much more negativity than she deserves.

goldenlox
Aug 13th, 2011, 01:23 PM
I was surprised at those last 2 slam losses.
Otherwise she was fine.
Because she is #1, doesnt mean she's perfect.
She has 2 major goals left in 2011 - a good USO, & YE #1.

This was a loss to Vinci where she bad. Unsteady, unfocused.
But like Sydney, its one match.

Lets see how it goes this summer before you crush her for a few losses, which EVERYONE else has also

DownInAHole
Aug 13th, 2011, 01:35 PM
I agree that the Hantuchova loss was probably the biggest disappointment of her year so far. I think she played a fine clay season winning Charleston & Brussels, reaching the final in Stuttgart and SF in Rome.. the only thing that ruins her clay performance looking back is RG. Would she have reached the QF or even SF we would be praising her clay performance now.

This I basically agree with.

Wimbledon was a disappointment but hardly a surprise. Her game isn't that much suited to grass and why she surely should not have lost to Cibulkova the way she did, did you really expect her to make the SF or more in Wimbledon this year? If so, you´re much more of an optimist than I am... I was hoping for QF, Wimbledon is probably the least likely slam for her to win, even though she loves the event so much.

This I disagree with. Grass is closer to hardcourt than clay, I would expect her to do better at Wimbledon than at Roland Garros. Maybe the problem is that there is not really a grass season. It is hard to get an idea of how well she can play on grass when she rarely plays on it. As far as how deep she could have gone I see no reason why she could not have defeated Sharapova and made the semis. Beating Lisicki on grass would have been a much more difficult task.

Either way, the time span from April to August is no good time to judge her consistency since she tends to play inconsistent on both surfaces. If her hardcourt results start fading now as well I might agree.. but until then I think you´re seeing her year with much more negativity than she deserves.

Eh, I maintain that a healthy number one ranked Caroline should have had better results than she did when she was injured in 2010 and still an up and comer in 2009. Assuming that she is healthy during the 2012 clay/grass season I expect her to significantly better the results she had from 2009-2011. I also don't think I am being too negative. Keep in mind that this discussion is primarily about a specific part of the season and I did mention that for the first third of the season she exceeded the expectations that I had for her. If she wins a couple of more titles and equals or betters her run at the US Open from last year I will consider the season a success. Otherwise I think it will, overall, have been a mild disappointment, particularly at the slams.

postalblowfish
Aug 13th, 2011, 01:40 PM
She didn't get to the last eight of either of the two slams in that period, and the six people above her in that list either won the slams, got to the final, got to two semi finals or got to one semi and one qf.

If you pick a short time span it'll just get weighted by who did well in the bigger events at that time.

Chrissie-fan
Aug 13th, 2011, 02:27 PM
I agree that the Hantuchova loss was probably the biggest disappointment of her year so far. I think she played a fine clay season winning Charleston & Brussels, reaching the final in Stuttgart and SF in Rome.. the only thing that ruins her clay performance looking back is RG. Would she have reached the QF or even SF we would be praising her clay performance now.

Wimbledon was a disappointment but hardly a surprise. Her game isn't that much suited to grass and why she surely should not have lost to Cibulkova the way she did, did you really expect her to make the SF or more in Wimbledon this year? If so, you´re much more of an optimist than I am... I was hoping for QF, Wimbledon is probably the least likely slam for her to win, even though she loves the event so much.

I was hoping for a Wimbledon QF as well. A loss to Sharapova after giving a good account of herself - I could live with that. As for the FO - if you can beat Schiavone on clay one week earlier it's not unrealistic to expect her to reach the QF there as well. But Hantuchova played much better than her ranking, so I don't hold it against Caroline that she lost. It was worrying that she looked absolutely helpless throughout that match though.

Protoss
Aug 13th, 2011, 03:44 PM
This I basically agree with.


This I disagree with. Grass is closer to hardcourt than clay, I would expect her to do better at Wimbledon than at Roland Garros. Maybe the problem is that there is not really a grass season. It is hard to get an idea of how well she can play on grass when she rarely plays on it. As far as how deep she could have gone I see no reason why she could not have defeated Sharapova and made the semis. Beating Lisicki on grass would have been a much more difficult task.


Eh, I maintain that a healthy number one ranked Caroline should have had better results than she did when she was injured in 2010 and still an up and comer in 2009. Assuming that she is healthy during the 2012 clay/grass season I expect her to significantly better the results she had from 2009-2011. I also don't think I am being too negative. Keep in mind that this discussion is primarily about a specific part of the season and I did mention that for the first third of the season she exceeded the expectations that I had for her. If she wins a couple of more titles and equals or betters her run at the US Open from last year I will consider the season a success. Otherwise I think it will, overall, have been a mild disappointment, particularly at the slams.
I more or less agree as well about the clay season. I do wonder about losing both matches to Goerges on clay though and Caro is the only top 15 player Hantuchova has crushed this season.

I'm not sure why you think Caro could have beaten Sharapova on grass.

Progress on clay and grass has been a lot less/slower than on hard court. In reference to your thead title, I don't think her consistency deserted her in as much as there wasn't much of it on clay or grass to begin with.

What about giving the player winning %s over a period of time?

DownInAHole
Aug 13th, 2011, 04:34 PM
I more or less agree as well about the clay season. I do wonder about losing both matches to Goerges on clay though and Caro is the only top 15 player Hantuchova has crushed this season.

I'm not sure why you think Caro could have beaten Sharapova on grass.

Progress on clay and grass has been a lot less/slower than on hard court. In reference to your thead title, I don't think her consistency deserted her in as much as there wasn't much of it on clay or grass to begin with.

What about giving the player winning %s over a period of time?

Eh, why couldn't she have beaten Sharapova on grass? I'm not saying it would be easy But Maria had a fairly easy path to the final and I think at the very least that Caroline would have pushed her to three sets. I'm sure that fans of Maria would point to the semi-final in Rome and say that Maria was able to beat Caroline on her worst surface but I would argue that clay, not grass, is Caroline's worst surface too. On grass Caroline's movement is much better than on clay. Maria certainly wasn't playing dominating tennis at Wimbledon so I think that Caroline would have had at least a 50-50 chance of getting a win. To her credit Maria did eliminate Sabine Lisicki, arguably the hottest player of the tournament, but I am of the opinion that Maria's height was a great help in neutralising the Lisicki serve. Without that big serve to rely on Sabine did not have much to trouble Maria with.

I can admit that my expectations may have been too high for the clay/grass season.

Winning percentages? Shoot, it took me long enough to total up the points!

On the other hand my weekend is wide open, what period of time did you have in mind?

marineblue
Aug 13th, 2011, 06:20 PM
I think she has slowed down a bit but given the results in the first half of the season outweigh the losses she had so far.The loss to Vinci was bad though :o but as you can see she is not the only one who is quite rusty after a break. She can afford to lose points now given her huge lead although I think that she needs to do well in Cincy, too much is at stake.

angliru
Aug 13th, 2011, 06:26 PM
Has Caroline's consistency deserted her? It sure looks that way.

It seems like you have a good point, and I actually agree (to some degree) but I don't think it's reasonable or fair to set the bar this high for Caro. I've checked the race rankings at the end of July (the last week to be exact) for the last couple of years.

Caro has 5806 point for the first seven months of 2011, which leads the race by a good margin. That's what I call consistency. No. 2 on the list, Kvitova, has 5037 points. Now, let's see what the best players were able to gather at the same time in 2010 (the same points system was in use then):

1 SERENA WILLIAMS USA 5355
2 VENUS WILLIAMS USA 4085
3 JELENA JANKOVIC SRB 3747
4 SAMANTHA STOSUR AUS 3627
5 JUSTINE HENIN BEL 3415
6 FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE ITA 3198
7 VERA ZVONAREVA RUS 2968
8 CAROLINE WOZNIACKI DEN 2943

Caroline of 2011 has ammased twice the amount of points she did in 2010. We all know she was injured during the clay season of 2010, but she has also managed to collect more race points in 2011 than anyone else was able to do in 2010! That's not inconsistency; that's being up there with the very best!

The race leaders of 2008 were Jankovic and Ivanovic with 5540 and 5522 points respectively (when converted to today's scale). Again, Caroline of 2011 is actually better than anyone in 2008! Let's go back another year. Converting the race points of 2007, however, is quite difficult, as it was a completely different system. But the race leader Justine Henin had 3245 points, which probably equals 5235 points of today's scale according to my rough calculations. Henin was in spectacular form, but missed the Australian Open and could have gathered even more points if she was fit. But she wasn't.

2009 has actually been the only year since 2007 where anyone has been able to collect more points than Caro. The top 6:

1 SAFINA, DINARA RUS 6881
2 WILLIAMS, SERENA USA 5957
3 KUZNETSOVA, SVETLANA RUS 4262
4 DEMENTIEVA, ELENA RUS 3975
5 AZARENKA, VICTORIA BLR 3840
6 WOZNIACKI, CAROLINE DEN 3700

Serena won AO and Wimbledon, was a finalist at Miami, semi finalist at Sydney, Paris, Dubai, and QF at French Open. This is only slightly better than Caro's 2011 in terms of points! Safina, however, was really outstanding in 2009. Winning Rome and Madrid, finalist at AO, FO, Sydney, Stuttgart, and semi finalist at Wimbledon. This is what you're expecting of Caro. It's not good enough that she's better than anyone of 2011, 2010, 2008, or 2007. She has to be even better than the very best of the last five years. Which is a questionable demand, I think. She's 21, and she's no Wayne Gretzky, Edwin Moses, Eddy Merckx, or Michael Jordan. She's good, and she's doing very well, even when we compare her with the very best. That's enough for me. And I think we should be careful not to set the bar too high. If, for instance, Caro had won FO or Wimbledon 2011, then she would have either 7526 or 7646 race points at the end of July. This would perhaps not be an unrealistic figure if she was Seles, Graf, or Navratilova, or even an early Henin. But certainly unprecedented in recent years. This is what we (you) demand of Caro.

Protoss
Aug 13th, 2011, 07:16 PM
As far as Caro leading the race, I think the number of tournaments played should be taken into account.

Protoss
Aug 13th, 2011, 07:32 PM
Eh, why couldn't she have beaten Sharapova on grass? I'm not saying it would be easy But Maria had a fairly easy path to the final and I think at the very least that Caroline would have pushed her to three sets. I'm sure that fans of Maria would point to the semi-final in Rome and say that Maria was able to beat Caroline on her worst surface but I would argue that clay, not grass, is Caroline's worst surface too. On grass Caroline's movement is much better than on clay. Maria certainly wasn't playing dominating tennis at Wimbledon so I think that Caroline would have had at least a 50-50 chance of getting a win. To her credit Maria did eliminate Sabine Lisicki, arguably the hottest player of the tournament, but I am of the opinion that Maria's height was a great help in neutralising the Lisicki serve. Without that big serve to rely on Sabine did not have much to trouble Maria with.

I can admit that my expectations may have been too high for the clay/grass season.

Winning percentages? Shoot, it took me long enough to total up the points!

On the other hand my weekend is wide open, what period of time did you have in mind?
Sharapova was playing some fairly good tennis in the middle of Wimbledon. I think Sharapova's groundstrokes would prove to be too much seeing as Caro was getting bossed around by Cibulkova who doesn't have as much power or accuracy as Sharapova. I also think Sharapova's serve would be pretty difficult to handle on grass (it was fine til the semis). Grass generally favors aggressive play and strong serving. :shrug:

I had in mind the post-Stuttgart period you used for calculating ranking points.

bruce goose
Aug 14th, 2011, 03:40 AM
I can admit that my expectations may have been too high for the clay/grass season.

Winning percentages? Shoot, it took me long enough to total up the points!

On the other hand my weekend is wide open, what period of time did you have in mind?Am slightly leery of such new threads that are in the interrogative form b/c it potentially opens the door for 'innocent questions' from Moronland(GM)--such as,"Is Caro the worst #1 ever?"---to get transferred here.However,your integrity and credibility as a Caroline fan removes any hint of suspicion in THIS case.

You state your case in a decent,reasoned way,DIAH,but I agree with those who say that your test-case timeline isn't quite long enough.Let's give Caro at least 'til season's end before we can confidently employ such strong terms as 'deserted consistency'

terjw
Aug 14th, 2011, 03:52 PM
It seems like you have a good point, and I actually agree (to some degree) but I don't think it's reasonable or fair to set the bar this high for Caro. I've checked the race rankings at the end of July (the last week to be exact) for the last couple of years.

Caro has 5806 point for the first seven months of 2011, which leads the race by a good margin. That's what I call consistency. No. 2 on the list, Kvitova, has 5037 points. Now, let's see what the best players were able to gather at the same time in 2010 (the same points system was in use then):

1 SERENA WILLIAMS USA 5355
2 VENUS WILLIAMS USA 4085
3 JELENA JANKOVIC SRB 3747
4 SAMANTHA STOSUR AUS 3627
5 JUSTINE HENIN BEL 3415
6 FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE ITA 3198
7 VERA ZVONAREVA RUS 2968
8 CAROLINE WOZNIACKI DEN 2943

Caroline of 2011 has ammased twice the amount of points she did in 2010. We all know she was injured during the clay season of 2010, but she has also managed to collect more race points in 2011 than anyone else was able to do in 2010! That's not inconsistency; that's being up there with the very best!

The race leaders of 2008 were Jankovic and Ivanovic with 5540 and 5522 points respectively (when converted to today's scale). Again, Caroline of 2011 is actually better than anyone in 2008! Let's go back another year. Converting the race points of 2007, however, is quite difficult, as it was a completely different system. But the race leader Justine Henin had 3245 points, which probably equals 5235 points of today's scale according to my rough calculations. Henin was in spectacular form, but missed the Australian Open and could have gathered even more points if she was fit. But she wasn't.

2009 has actually been the only year since 2007 where anyone has been able to collect more points than Caro. The top 6:

1 SAFINA, DINARA RUS 6881
2 WILLIAMS, SERENA USA 5957
3 KUZNETSOVA, SVETLANA RUS 4262
4 DEMENTIEVA, ELENA RUS 3975
5 AZARENKA, VICTORIA BLR 3840
6 WOZNIACKI, CAROLINE DEN 3700

Serena won AO and Wimbledon, was a finalist at Miami, semi finalist at Sydney, Paris, Dubai, and QF at French Open. This is only slightly better than Caro's 2011 in terms of points! Safina, however, was really outstanding in 2009. Winning Rome and Madrid, finalist at AO, FO, Sydney, Stuttgart, and semi finalist at Wimbledon. This is what you're expecting of Caro. It's not good enough that she's better than anyone of 2011, 2010, 2008, or 2007. She has to be even better than the very best of the last five years. Which is a questionable demand, I think. She's 21, and she's no Wayne Gretzky, Edwin Moses, Eddy Merckx, or Michael Jordan. She's good, and she's doing very well, even when we compare her with the very best. That's enough for me. And I think we should be careful not to set the bar too high. If, for instance, Caro had won FO or Wimbledon 2011, then she would have either 7526 or 7646 race points at the end of July. This would perhaps not be an unrealistic figure if she was Seles, Graf, or Navratilova, or even an early Henin. But certainly unprecedented in recent years. This is what we (you) demand of Caro.

Great post. Totally agree. On the same lines - what player since Serena 2002/2003 has sustained a level of dominance over a whole year or 12 months. So now it is all doom and despair that Caro hasn't sustained her level - for much of the time on her worst surface anyway - that she and Kim did last half of 2011 and first part of 2010. The only player to have sustained it for as long as a year is Justine in 2006 and 2007.

That's not to say I don't get worried - especially if Caro makes a large number of UEs. But it sounds from some of these posts that she's been a complete failure when she does have 5 wins and is #1 in the race and rankings.

goldenlox
Aug 14th, 2011, 06:23 PM
This should be the time of year she plays her best tennis.
She looked awful in Toronto. I couldnt believe up 5-1 she couldnt win another game. It will be probably be windy in NYC

So this tournament is a chance to find some form.

@Stephiesport: Mcilroy when asked where he's going to next: "I'm off to Cincinatti.. I've heard it's really nice this time of year" #pga (http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23pga)

DownInAHole
Aug 14th, 2011, 06:54 PM
Great post. Totally agree. On the same lines - what player since Serena 2002/2003 has sustained a level of dominance over a whole year or 12 months. So now it is all doom and despair that Caro hasn't sustained her level - for much of the time on her worst surface anyway - that she and Kim did last half of 2011 and first part of 2010. The only player to have sustained it for as long as a year is Justine in 2006 and 2007.

That's not to say I don't get worried - especially if Caro makes a large number of UEs. But it sounds from some of these posts that she's been a complete failure when she does have 5 wins and is #1 in the race and rankings.

The thing that motivated me to start this thread was realising that since the clay season began Caroline is seventh in terms of points collected. That's not doom and gloom it is reality. Also, and I may be in the minority, I do not buy into the theory that Caroline is incapable of playing on clay and that we should expect her to do poorly from April-June. Maybe I just have more faith in her than some of you.;)

Here are Caroline's results in the bigger tournaments (grand slams, premier mandatories, premier fives and the year end championships) from August, 2010-early April, 2011:

Cincinnati-lost in the R16 to Marion Bartoli (20)
Montreal-won over Vera Zvonareva (11)
US Open-lost in the semi-final to Vera Zvonareva (8)
Tokyo-won over Elena Dementieva (10)
Beijing-won over Vera Zvonareva (4)
YEC-lost to Sam Stosur (7), defeated Elena Dementieva (9), defeated Francesca Schiavone (6), defeated Vera Zvonareva (2), lost in the final to Kim Clijsters (4)
Australian Open-lost in the semi-final to Na Li (11)
Dubai-won over Svetlana Kuznetsova (23)
Indian Wells-won over Marion Bartoli (17)
Miami-lost in the R16 to Andrea Petkovic (23)

And here are her results from May-present:

Madrid-lost in the R16 to Julia Goerges (27)
Rome-lost in the semi-final to Maria Sharapova (8)
Roland Garros-lost in the third round to Daniela Hantuchova (29)
Wimbledon-lost in the R16 to Dominika Cibulkova (24)
Toronto-lost in the second round to Roberta Vinci (22)

Obviously Caroline was on a tremendous hot streak in the second half of 2010 and the first few months of 2011 and it was not reasonable to expect that to continue but she has not made a "big" final since Indian Wells in March and only one "big" semi-final (Rome). Four of her five recent losses in the "big" tournaments were to players ranked outside the top twenty. Probably most worrisome was her performances in the last two slams. For the number one ranked player to fail to make the quarters in two consecutive slams is a disappointing outcome, regardless of the surface. As I said I do not buy into the excuse that she can not play on clay. She had some decent runs on clay this year (Stuttgart and Rome) and she did make the final of Madrid in 2009. I was not expecting her to make every final during the clay season but I did expect marked improvement over last year when for part of the clay season she was hampered by an ankle injury, especially when you consider that after Wimbledon last year was when she made her breakthrough as one of the top players. True, she did win two titles during that stretch but one of them was an international level title and the other did not feature a very strong field. It is at the bigger events that she is expected to perform and for the last several months she has not been doing so. Will she start to do better now that she is back on hardcourts? I hope so but if not I think it is a worrying sign.

marineblue
Aug 14th, 2011, 07:23 PM
You have a belief in her? Doesn´t sound like it, I find the threat you started far too negative. Feels like GM all of a sudden.:sad:

goldenlox
Aug 14th, 2011, 07:40 PM
2 majors goals left in 2011. A strong USO, and YE #1.
I dont know what the loss to Vinci means yet, but hopefully it just get her more focused.

DownInAHole
Aug 14th, 2011, 07:55 PM
You have a belief in her? Doesn´t sound like it, I find the threat you started far too negative. Feels like GM all of a sudden.:sad:

Really? Sure, I am being somewhat critical of her but I think I am doing so in a reasonable and respectful way. I laid out my theory and did my best to back it up with facts, that is a far cry from the typical conversations about Caroline in GM. Generally I try to hold myself to the standard that I would not type something about a person that I would feel uncomfortable saying to them in person. I don't think that anything I typed is at odds with that standard so I do not think I am being too harsh.

I absolutely believe in her but with that belief comes expectations. Too many fans appear to be of the opinion that her game is not suited to clay and that we should not expect her to do well on that surface. To me that school of thought is slightly insulting to Caroline and her abilities. I have a different opinion and believe that she is capable of doing much better on clay than she did this season.

Protoss
Aug 14th, 2011, 08:33 PM
There have only been 2 big hard court tournaments after Indian Wells though. I don't put that much importance on her clay court results particularly in terms of consistency. I think it would better to keep an eye on her hard court performances to monitor her consistency. :shrug:

After reaching her first big hard court final, the US Open in 2009, Caro has so far gone no more than 2 big hard court tournaments without reaching at least the semis and so far gone no more than 4 big hard court tournaments without reaching the final.

After reaching her first hard court final, Stockholm in 2008, Caro has so far gone no more than 5 hard court tournaments without reaching at least the semis and so far gone no more than 8 hard court tournaments without reaching the final.

After reaching the US Open final in 2009, Caro has so far gone no more than 3 hard court tournaments without reaching at least the semis and so far gone no more than 8 hard court tournaments without reaching the final.

terjw
Aug 14th, 2011, 09:10 PM
Really? Sure, I am being somewhat critical of her but I think I am doing so in a reasonable and respectful way. I laid out my theory and did my best to back it up with facts, that is a far cry from the typical conversations about Caroline in GM. Generally I try to hold myself to the standard that I would not type something about a person that I would feel uncomfortable saying to them in person. I don't think that anything I typed is at odds with that standard so I do not think I am being too harsh.

I absolutely believe in her but with that belief comes expectations. Too many fans appear to be of the opinion that her game is not suited to clay and that we should not expect her to do well on that surface. To me that school of thought is slightly insulting to Caroline and her abilities. I have a different opinion and believe that she is capable of doing much better on clay than she did this season.

Expecting her to do well is different to saying she's capable of doing better. Clay is her worst surface. Just about every expert would agree and Caro anf Piotr both say so. So the thread just looks like creating a stat to put Caro in the worst possible light.

As I said before - only Justine (2006-7) has managed to sustain a level of dominance since Serena 2002-2003 that Kim and Caro attained at the top for longer. Sure I'm disappointed in some of her results since IW. But it's like you have to dream up some stat to put her in the worst possible light concentrating with her play on her worst surfaces. Honestly - saying she's not the real #1 but the #7 reminds me of some of those convoluted stats like she's never beaten a former #1.

If the rest of the year she underperforms and has bad results, her true ranking - not your pseudo ranking - will reflect this.

DownInAHole
Aug 14th, 2011, 09:27 PM
There have only been 2 big hard court tournaments after Indian Wells though. I don't put that much importance on her clay court results particularly in terms of consistency. I think it would better to keep an eye on her hard court performances to monitor her consistency. :shrug:

After reaching her first big hard court final, the US Open in 2009, Caro has so far gone no more than 2 big hard court tournaments without reaching at least the semis and so far gone no more than 4 big hard court tournaments without reaching the final.

After reaching her first hard court final, Stockholm in 2008, Caro has so far gone no more than 5 hard court tournaments without reaching at least the semis and so far gone no more than 8 hard court tournaments without reaching the final.

After reaching the US Open final in 2009, Caro has so far gone no more than 3 hard court tournaments without reaching at least the semis and so far gone no more than 8 hard court tournaments without reaching the final.

Dang, I've just been crushed by all of the knowledge that you just dropped on me!;) She has had great hardcourt results and I hope that continues.

DownInAHole
Aug 14th, 2011, 09:52 PM
Expecting her to do well is different to saying she's capable of doing better. Clay is her worst surface. Just about every expert would agree and Caro anf Piotr both say so. So the thread just looks like creating a stat to put Caro in the worst possible light.

As I said before - only Justine (2006-7) has managed to sustain a level of dominance since Serena 2002-2003 that Kim and Caro attained at the top for longer. Sure I'm disappointed in some of her results since IW. But it's like you have to dream up some stat to put her in the worst possible light concentrating with her play on her worst surfaces. Honestly - saying she's not the real #1 but the #7 reminds me of some of those convoluted stats like she's never beaten a former #1.

If the rest of the year she underperforms and has bad results, her true ranking - not your pseudo ranking - will reflect this.

Well, discounting green clay and indoor carpet (which I'm not sure is used anymore) there are only three surfaces and one of them is going to be her weakest but that does not mean she can not win or do well on it. I guess the main thing that disappoints me is that as far as point totals go she was not able to do much better in the 2011 clay season when she was healthy and an improved player over the 2010 season when she was to no small degree hampered with an ankle injury. Are there any great clay court players in today's WTA? Certainly there is no one that dominates in the way that Nadal does in the ATP or in the way that Justine Henin did. I think it is fair to say that there is no one dominant clay player that is stymieing Caroline's ability to win on clay. Look no further than Maria Sharapova for an example of a player that has traditionally struggled on clay but was able to have some impressive results on it this season despite those past struggles.

I should also like to point out that this thread is not just about clay as it also encompasses grass and hardcourts and I plan to update the first post after Cincinnati is over. Further, I challenge you to find a quote of mine where I made the claim that Caroline is "not the real #1 but the #7." Of course she is still the real number one, her results and ranking reflect that. After the loss to Vinci I was wondering how she had done in the middle part of the season and after doing the maths I was slightly shocked to see that there were six players ahead of her. Maybe that is common knowledge but I found it surprising and thought that it was worth sharing. If my intention was to bash Caroline and belittle her I would have posted this thread in GM where I have no doubt that it would have flourished before degenerating into the usual chorus of "Caroline sucks and she is the worst number one ever" the way that all of her threads end up. I was hoping to be able to have a conversation about her struggles in the middle of the season that was critical but at the same time respectful.

goldenlox
Aug 14th, 2011, 10:33 PM
Her middle of the season wasnt bad, except for the slam losses.
Miami was right after IW. Then she won Charleston, Stuttgart final. Another loss to Goerges in Madrid, Rome SF, won Brussel, won Copenhagen.

Thats a pretty decent run. The 2 slam losses were to players she beats, so those are bad losses.

Toronto was wind & rust, but her focus wasnt there, or she at least wins set 2 from 5-1 up.

Next goal is USO, thats the next time you really analyze where she is, although an early loss in Cincy is definately a warning sign. A USO Final appearance overrides all these Premiers.

Crockett
Aug 15th, 2011, 09:44 AM
Her middle of the season wasnt bad, except for the slam losses.
I agree, but not quite. The first round in Båstad was disappointing too. Caroline won the match, of course.

goldenlox
Aug 15th, 2011, 11:40 AM
Caroline was injured there. But the early losses at the last 2 slams override the other results.
Eventually she has to be able to peak at majors. The best players go for the biggest titles, and losing to Hantuchova/Cibulkova leaves some question marks about her ability to win big titles.
Makes USO & AO more important

Crockett
Aug 16th, 2011, 10:09 AM
Caroline was injured there.
She wasn't injured in the first match at Båstad (the badly played one). She played a great first set in the second match. Then she got injured.

goldenlox
Aug 16th, 2011, 02:19 PM
She wasn't injured in the first match at Båstad (the badly played one). She played a great first set in the second match. Then she got injured.Caroline also didnt play well in Toronto against Vinci.
So that is the immediate issue. To play well. Then to play well in NYC.
Having a bad day is okay if she can win the match

Crockett
Aug 16th, 2011, 03:00 PM
So that is the immediate issue. To play well. Then to play well in NYC.
I agree with that notion. I am looking forward to Wednesday - hey that's tomorrow!

Protoss
Sep 28th, 2011, 04:24 PM
Caro has only made it to the quarters of 1 out of 4 premier 5 or greater hard court tournaments after Indian Wells and to the quarters of 3 out 7 hard court tournaments overall.

For someone whose best surface is hard court, both those figures seem rather low.