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Old Dec 23rd, 2012, 03:58 PM   #4966
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

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Originally Posted by terjw View Post
There is one thing I don't hear about that I would like her team to do. And that is comprehensive stats broken down in much more detail than just UE, Winner etc on all Caro's matches. Every point. This is in addition to watching videos of her matches. You make some good points about when she'sbeen in a winning position and pressure points. But I'd like to see her team recording of all her points done much more thoroughly and with much more rigour than what we observe. And everything put into a spreadsheet. The idea being what she works on - the whole strategy of her training and preparation should be data driven as to what works percentage -wise and what doesn't work so well.

One problem Caro and most players have is they lapse into playing a different way from what they accepted mentally they should do. Deep down - she may play hoping for an error when things get tight and she's in a winnin g position - yet she accepted mentally that she should not play like that. In these situations in a winning position - you often find opponents raise their game and play much better - it's two way and not just about choking. But I've seen "hoping your opponent gifts it to you with an error" and not playing the way you got to a winning position swing the whole match the other way round. It's not just Caro. It happens all the time. And you can see the conflict between head and deep down instincts and the nerves.

The more you can prove from data what really works % wise and what doesn't. And watch previous matches as well. The more that can back up what she does has done in training is right - the more chance of reducing the conflict between head and deep down instincts in a match. Also - if you record everything and put it all in a spreadsheet - it may come up with answers that are different to our pet theories and what we think she should do.

Back in the late 90's - Annika Sorenstam set out to be the best golfer in the world and raised the bar to how players prepared. Her physical training went far above anything that any golfer did back then. But the other thin - she recorded every shot and put it into a spreadsheet to determine what to practice. She went on to blow away her competition on number of wins she had and qualified for HOF two times over. She is in the mix in discussions on all-time greatest woman golfer ever. Spreadsheets are common-place now. But back then - many people didn't even know what they were - let alone use them. And even having a computer was something fairly new then.
No matter what they do with spreadsheets, Caroline has to play those points well in the moment. She cant think about down the line percentages, or anything like that.
She has to get back to where she was in late 2010 and 1st half of 2011. But play her best at majors also.
Those semifinal losses to Zvonareva at USO & Li at AO are big matches in her career. Those are opponents she cant beat, and in slam semis, those are big matches. Dont come around often
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Old Dec 23rd, 2012, 05:43 PM   #4967
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

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No matter what they do with spreadsheets, Caroline has to play those points well in the moment. She cant think about down the line percentages, or anything like that.
She has to get back to where she was in late 2010 and 1st half of 2011. But play her best at majors also.
Those semifinal losses to Zvonareva at USO & Li at AO are big matches in her career. Those are opponents she cant beat, and in slam semis, those are big matches. Dont come around often
Of course she has to play the big points well. But that has to start from confidence that the way she has been practicing is right. When she's in a match - what exactly IS playing well on important points when her opponent plays well then? What is the right tactic at the right situation? She needs to have really deep down confidence that how she's been preparing and training is right before she plays her match. And IMO the best way to do that is to make her training data driven.

Otherwise - what will happen when she gets in a winning position. Well first she will get a little more tense - it happens to all players. You cannot stop that. Then what if/when her opponent suddenly has a patch of playing really tough and well. - what exactly does she do? Yes - I know you've make some concrete suggestions with serving better - maybe getting a free point or two there. Again - that's not going to suddenly get better when she's a bit tense without a lot of practice to try to give her confidence in her serve. And what else? It's got to be worked on how she should be playing in training before her match actually starts.

How do you get "mentally strong" Caro to be playing and prevent "hope for an error" "Inner Self" Caro taking over on important points and when she's in a winning position but her opponent starts playing tough. I think it's got to come from an absolute faith in her preparation and what she's worked on to try to get inner self in line with her belief during her preparation or to stop her inner self taking over if that is no more than hope her opponent makes an error. Of course if she needs to adopt a plan B - then that's what she should do. But all too often - Plan B is just fearful Inner Self taking over.

I believe this mental side of training whatever she does is so important. To develop an absolute deep down 100% belief that how she prepares, what she works on during trainig and her overall strategy is right. If that doesn't happen - I cannot see how she can play that way when the points get tough and important. This is especiallty true with any changes to her game she makes.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2012, 05:55 PM   #4968
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by terjw View Post
Of course she has to play the big points well. But that has to start from confidence that the way she has been practicing is right. When she's in a match - what exactly IS playing well on important points when her opponent plays well then? What is the right tactic at the right situation? She needs to have really deep down confidence that how she's been preparing and training is right before she plays her match. And IMO the best way to do that is to make her training data driven.

Otherwise - what will happen when she gets in a winning position. Well first she will get a little more tense - it happens to all players. You cannot stop that. Then what if/when her opponent suddenly has a patch of playing really tough and well. - what exactly does she do? Yes - I know you've make some concrete suggestions with serving better - maybe getting a free point or two there. Again - that's not going to suddenly get better when she's a bit tense without a lot of practice to try to give her confidence in her serve. And what else? It's got to be worked on how she should be playing in training before her match actually starts.

How do you get "mentally strong" Caro to be playing and prevent "hope for an error" "Inner Self" Caro taking over on important points and when she's in a winning position but her opponent starts playing tough. I think it's got to come from an absolute faith in her preparation and what she's worked on to try to get inner self in line with her belief during her preparation or to stop her inner self taking over if that is no more than hope her opponent makes an error. Of course if she needs to adopt a plan B - then that's what she should do. But all too often - Plan B is just fearful Inner Self taking over.
Every player who was better than they are now is dealing with these issues. You make good points. It shows how difficult it is, to be a top 5 player who is a slam threat, and to stay there.

I'm sure Jankovic & Ivanovic really want to get back where they used to be also.
Caroline started playing better late this year. Still, she has to hold serve better, play big points better, but it was definate improvement.

I'm a believer that a player has to do it mentally. You have to make that down the line backhand when you have game point and the court is open.
The mental part is the hardest part. They are all in great shape. Its not only they have to believe, they have to execute precisely ( and over&over). Thats why its so tough, and there's so much money & fame involved when you succeed
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Old Dec 23rd, 2012, 06:53 PM   #4969
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

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Originally Posted by terjw View Post
Of course she has to play the big points well. ...

How do you get "mentally strong" Caro to be playing and prevent "hope for an error" "Inner Self" Caro taking over on important points and when she's in a winning position but her opponent starts playing tough. I think it's got to come from an absolute faith in her preparation and what she's worked on to try to get inner self in line with her belief during her preparation or to stop her inner self taking over if that is no more than hope her opponent makes an error. Of course if she needs to adopt a plan B - then that's what she should do. But all too often - Plan B is just fearful Inner Self taking over.
....
These are such good points! Such a good topic!
Sometimes you can be confident and playing well, and your opponent is too good. No one wins them all. Even when Caro was holding 9 titles, it was from 19 tournaments.
I think playing Korea & Moscow & Sofia might have helped.
With her 2013 schedule in January, we will find out very soon.
Then there's also the topic of how much time she spends with Rory, right before a tournament. She has to be able to block out all the other stuff and just play. Focus, get into rhythm and play her best tennis, over & over
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Old Dec 23rd, 2012, 09:44 PM   #4970
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

In my opinion Caroline fell down the rankings and haven´t improved because she did not believe in all the changes suggested to her. She was not comfortable with what she was doing and her opposition took full advantage of that. During many of her losses she was obviously outside of her comfort zone. Maybe her team thought that pushing her outside of it would make things better but I think that the result was quite the opposite. She probably ended up quite confused and finally got fed up with all the changes. I think trying to add on to her game instead of making changes which are too much is what will help her to improve.
The motivation comes along with good results as we witnessed during the Asian swing. And yes,work-life balance will also make a difference so if she wants to do better in 2013 she will really need to commit to it.
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Old Dec 24th, 2012, 10:31 AM   #4971
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

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In my opinion Caroline fell down the rankings and haven´t improved because she did not believe in all the changes suggested to her. She was not comfortable with what she was doing and her opposition took full advantage of that. During many of her losses she was obviously outside of her comfort zone. Maybe her team thought that pushing her outside of it would make things better but I think that the result was quite the opposite. She probably ended up quite confused and finally got fed up with all the changes. I think trying to add on to her game instead of making changes which are too much is what will help her to improve.
The motivation comes along with good results as we witnessed during the Asian swing. And yes,work-life balance will also make a difference so if she wants to do better in 2013 she will really need to commit to it.
Its partly this. But no matter what coaches tell her, she cant miss that overhead vs Aga that would make it 4-4 in set 2. A lot of the last 18 months is not being able to play at a high level in the big moments.
Most matches at this level are close, where a few points can change 6-2 to 4-4. The Olympics was a rare tournament where Serena was above the field. But at the USO, Vika served for the title. That was after being in real trouble vs Sam & Maria.
Most of these tournaments come down to a few key points, and Caroline hasnt been playing those points well, for a long time now.
When was the last time Caroline lost and you felt she played well? I have to go back to 2010 YEC final for a loss where I thought Caroline was playing well most of the match.

I think its her, mentally, just like it is for Jankovic, Ivanovic. They mentally cant produce their good tennis often enough, and when they need their best to win, its not there.
But some players slump then come back. Definately Sharapova, and I've seen Kuznetsova pull it together after looking lost for a while

So I certainly think its possible she comes all the way back. Probably would help to have a coach with a clear vision, who understands what Caroline strenghs & weaknesses are
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Old Dec 24th, 2012, 02:50 PM   #4972
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

28.12: Seoul (Wozniacki vs. Sharapova)


Anybody know at what time Caro and MS will play in Korea?


Merry Christmas to all!
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 06:52 AM   #4973
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

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Its partly this. But no matter what coaches tell her, she cant miss that overhead vs Aga that would make it 4-4 in set 2. A lot of the last 18 months is not being able to play at a high level in the big moments.
Most matches at this level are close, where a few points can change 6-2 to 4-4. The Olympics was a rare tournament where Serena was above the field. But at the USO, Vika served for the title. That was after being in real trouble vs Sam & Maria.
Most of these tournaments come down to a few key points, and Caroline hasnt been playing those points well, for a long time now.
When was the last time Caroline lost and you felt she played well? I have to go back to 2010 YEC final for a loss where I thought Caroline was playing well most of the match.

I think its her, mentally, just like it is for Jankovic, Ivanovic. They mentally cant produce their good tennis often enough, and when they need their best to win, its not there.
But some players slump then come back. Definately Sharapova, and I've seen Kuznetsova pull it together after looking lost for a while

So I certainly think its possible she comes all the way back. Probably would help to have a coach with a clear vision, who understands what Caroline strenghs & weaknesses are
I thought Caro played reasonably well against Paszek at Wimbledon this year.

I think there's also technical aspects of the game that are a problem for Caro.
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 09:52 AM   #4974
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

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I thought Caro played reasonably well against Paszek at Wimbledon this year.

I think there's also technical aspects of the game that are a problem for Caro.
Yeah, Paszek, Sharapova in Miami, Serena in Madrid were probably Caroline's best effort's in loses this year.
I still consider the way she didnt go for the wide open backhand down the line at match point vs Tamira to be part of the mental aspect of her game thats been a droppoff.

Her forehand has a technique issue, but she's always been able to go crosscourt with it. She stopped being steady on that side, I think thats been a big part of her results dropping off. Also, her 1st & 2nd serves have to be better. Rule #1 at the top of this sport. You HAVE to hold serve
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 03:07 AM   #4975
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

In re the other players mentioned in the penultimate paragraph of post# 4971,I believe that Caro more closely resembles the superior champions who are referred to in the 2nd part.JJ wasn't any slouch at her peak,but I feel that Caro is capable of doing more if she more closely fulfills her potential
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 04:48 AM   #4976
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

She has tweaked her forehand which caused her to take a few steps back before moving forward. Her racket stays out to the right side of her body now. Now we will see where she stands in regards to her fitness, mental toughness and confidence.
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 05:30 AM   #4977
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

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She has tweaked her forehand which caused her to take a few steps back before moving forward. Her racket stays out to the right side of her body now. Now we will see where she stands in regards to her fitness, mental toughness and confidence.
Is that a good or a bad thing that her racquet is staying out to the right side of her body?
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 02:38 PM   #4978
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

If you study the great forehands today they all keep their racket away from the body. You can check out an old forehand by Wozniacki slow motion using Babolat racket and one from late this year and see the difference. Murray, Roddick, Federer and Novak all keep racket to the right side of body.

It's a good thing, but remember it takes a while before we will see her really comfortable with her forehand. We are expected to train all juniors in America this way. This was determoined by studying the great players. What they did was use something like an MRI machine to study the bio mechanics.

If you want to study two of the better backhands look at NOvak and Nadal. Novak keeps his right arm straight and left arm bent with elbow bent before hitting the stroke. Great technique or bad technique doesn't necessarily mean the player will win or lose. But it would have been hard for Woz to beat the great offensive players with her old forehand.
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #4979
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

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28.12: Seoul (Wozniacki vs. Sharapova)


Anybody know at what time Caro and MS will play in Korea?


Merry Christmas to all!
the match has been cancelled.
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 05:47 PM   #4980
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Re: Danish Delight - Caroline Wozniacki thread - vol 5

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If you study the great forehands today they all keep their racket away from the body. You can check out an old forehand by Wozniacki slow motion using Babolat racket and one from late this year and see the difference. Murray, Roddick, Federer and Novak all keep racket to the right side of body.

It's a good thing, but remember it takes a while before we will see her really comfortable with her forehand. We are expected to train all juniors in America this way. This was determoined by studying the great players. What they did was use something like an MRI machine to study the bio mechanics.

If you want to study two of the better backhands look at NOvak and Nadal. Novak keeps his right arm straight and left arm bent with elbow bent before hitting the stroke. Great technique or bad technique doesn't necessarily mean the player will win or lose. But it would have been hard for Woz to beat the great offensive players with her old forehand.
Caroline was #1 for 2010, and 2011 with her old forehand. A change had better be an improvement, because it takes her mental focus off what she used to do, and that hasnt helped results
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