Originally Posted by Protoss
"Catastrophic" seems like quite an exaggeration to me assuming they actually did say that in relation to Caro and her results. An actual example of such a huge dropoff comes from Ana Ivanovic who at one point dropped out of the top 60.
Caro's results/play actually dropped off in the 2nd half of 2011 but because her point totals were so heavily skewed to the 1st half her ranking didn't suffer til she had to "defend" those 1st half points.
I don't care much about Caro's sponsorships. Caro's made enough money to be financially set for life already so losing sponsors doesn't seem like a big deal to me.
It may be an exaggeration but she did have a huge dropoff in her ranking and results without suffering any major injury. Of course her results had been lacking for several months before she actually lost the top ranking but once she lost it she just kept dropping and showed very few signs of ever getting back to the top five (her run in Miami being one, possibly the only, exception). She just kept dropping all year and didn't stabilise her ranking until late September/October. Since then she has been in the same spot and looks like she may struggle to even stay in the top ten. There is no direction or momentum to her career at the moment. For someone who recently ended the year as number one (twice!) things are looking very grim for her.
I disagree that she is set for life. True, she probably has enough money that she never needs to work again but what kind of lifestyle has she become accustomed to? I'm not a car guy but the car she was seen driving in recent posts in the picture thread looks pretty expensive to me as do the shopping bags she was carrying. Over the last several years she has probably become used to a life of luxury and if she wants to maintain that lifestyle sponsorships are very important. There are plenty of examples of "rich" athletes who burn through all of their earnings quickly and end up "poor." I'm not suggesting that will happen to Caroline but it is certainly possible.