Originally Posted by chingching
It's not because of Rory it's because people worked out how to play her game and in that phase where she was kinda going nowhere she made no effort to change it. If she can add some different elements to her game there is no reason why she can't return to the top. However, she has played the same game since she was as young as 12 according to people who grew up playing against her so it will be hard to change her mentality and style now. Still, Hogstedt did start Li Na's breakthrough and make Sharapova the 2nd best Clay Court player so anything's possible...
I don't think that her results have been comparitively disappointing because opponents have figured out how to play her either, although I know that's the in thing to say. There was never much to figure out anyway because it's pretty obvious how you should play someone who has great defense and poor offense - a great backhand and a poor forhand. It's hardly rocket science. No, the reason is that Caro herself is now a poorer version of her former self. Whereas at her best she would hardly make three or four UE in a set she now sometimes makes two or three of them in a row. She now misses many routine shots, she never used to do that. Mentally she's a lot more vulnerable as well. In a match that would go 3-3, 4-4. 5-5 and so on you could almost bet your life that she was going to win it in 2009-2011. Now she chokes when things get tight. And the tour has gotten tougher at the top. Serena, Azarenka and Sharapova are all better players than Caro was when she was number one. Even so, the Caro of 2010 would have been a top 4 player today and not borderline top 10.