Originally Posted by ozza
She isn't losing because her fitness is bad though. I would argue she's one of the fittest players on tour. In fact it's probably her fitness that gets her through some of these 3 set matches she gets herself in because she is able to outlast most people. She loses because her game just isn't good enough. Players are fully aware of that fact, they know if you hang around long enough in a match with Caroline you will get chances.
Losing 2 and 4 to Muguruza even though we didn't see it just suggests she was thoroughly outplayed from start to finish. We saw a match with Pervak at the beginning of the year where when the match got tight it was the world number 103 stepping up to the plate and taking it to Caroline, ultimately punching through her. I saw a match with Voegele a couple of weeks ago where I didn't even think Voegele was playing great tennis, Caro started this match in total control, by the end Voegele was dictating play and having Caro run all over the court. Of course this would be fine if these occasions were rare, you could just chalk it down to a bad day at the office then. But these aren't one off anomalies, they're almost the expected outcome in tournaments now.
There was no broadcast or streaming of the match against Muguruza and no fan video of it either as far as I've been able to find out. To the best of my knowledge Arvanecaravan is the only one on tennisforum who actually saw this match.
Here's a description of the match from Arvanecaravan who was at the match:
Yes, it was that easy, and that legitimate. On a packed stadium 2 court, with almost everybody in the crowd supporting her, Caroline Wozniacki had no excuses today. She was simply outplayed by Garbiñe Muguruza, the consistently deep, penetrating and powerful groundstrokes of whom kept Wozniacki bottled up and frustrated on the baseline all day. One of Garbiñe's "issues" as of late has been a tendancy to drop serve at inorpportune times in a match, breaking her runs of momentum. That didn't happen today, save for one break at 2-1 in set 2 that got things momentarily back on serve until Garbi broke again at 4-4 for the clincher. She held serve beautifully, staying composed and poised in the big moments, fighting off the few break points she faced, and taking advantage of the ones she got, despite Wozniacki's tireless counterpunching. It was an incredibly mature performance for the stylishly hard and flat hitting 19 year old, one that will surely go a long way in her development to the elite rung of the WTA.
The following is from some emails I had with Aravanecaravan:
Caro played very well defensively. She is always very tough from that standpoint, always very willing to dig in deep on returns and go to her knees if she has to in order to fight to get a ball back into play, and I give her a tremendous amount of credit for this, as it was not easy to return when Muguruza was teeing off with big groundstrokes, particularly on her returns of serve, and especially on the backhand side. She always made Garbiñe hit one more shot than Garbiñe probably wanted to hit.
Caro's father did come out to coach at least twice, once in each set, maybe a third time in between the sets. She seemed clearly frustrated at being overpowered, but Garbiñe was obviously playing well and having a really good day, so there wasn't much she could do about the winners. I was on the other side of the court and couldn't really see or hear what they were talking about other than the body language, but Caro didn't look happy.
She played better at the start of the second set and got a break up and held that for awhile, and looked like she might force a third set, but again, Garbiñe's returns were too much for her, especially late in the set, and eventually she started consolidating her serve and held on for the win.
I didn't think Caro played poorly. I think if people had actually been there and seen the match they would agree that Garbiñe played especially well that day. She just has a game well-suited for Miami.
I forgot a couple of other things you could mention about the match, regarding Caro's play. I was seated just about at midcourt, across the court from the umpire, so I had a good view of the rallies and could judge the dept of the groundstrokes, and consistency was Caro's strongpoint in the match, though Muguruza's shots were usually always deeper, within a couple of feet of the baseline, whereas Caro's were several feet shorter. Caro tried moving Muguruza around a lot in the match, especially after the first set when her Dad came out to advise her, and it may have worked for a game or two, but Muguruza adjusted pretty well. She moves better than people give her credit for, and being so tall with long legs and arms she covers the court very well. Also, as flat as she hits the ball, her shots were so low over the net with so little trajectory that it did not give Caro much time to react once Muguruza did make the returns--the balls were usually hit with a lot of pace and so flat that they were clean winners or forced Caro to hit into errors long on the other end.
And finally, one tactical error made by Caro in the match was that she tried looping the ball deep into the court, especially in set 2, to try to get more depth and force Muguruza off the baseline. She got Garbi off the baseline some, but hitting up to a tall player is not a great idea, as Caro found out. Whereas a shorter player would have had trouble returning these shots, Muguruza handled most of them with ease.
Yes, Caro's shots were for the most part landing pretty close to the service line and Garbiñe's were close to the baseline. Caro did a better job of moving Muguruza side to side, hitting nearer the lines, especially in the second set, but I don't think this bothered Muguruza a whole lot--she seems to cover the court pretty well, IMHO, and also hits well on the run, particularly on her backhand side. She hit a number of backhand winners in the match, both dtl and crosscourt, off of shots that Caro probably had thought she had put away.
I believe a better tactic in this particular match might have been to throw in a few drop shots, but I don't recall Caro trying many, if any.