Caroline Wozniacki has fallen from World No. 1 to World No. 6 in a span of three months. She has not reached a final in 2012. Heading into what is historically the weakest portion of her season, the Wozniacki camp would have a general reason to be concerned.
Or maybe not.
As reported by Søren Klæstrup at BT, Wozniacki’s father and coach, Piotr had this to say about his daughter’s 6-1, 6-2 drubbing at the hands of Angelique Kerber in the 2nd round of Stuttgart.
“It is a special base in Stuttgart, and it’s not something she is so accustomed to. The German girls have a big advantage at the very base, because they play Fed Cup and train on it. Therefore, they are favorites, when on the ground, for it is very, very difficult to play.” (Original in Danish)
Piotr’s logic might actually make sense if…nope. Maria Sharapova beat Victoria Azarenka in the Stuttgart final. Neither of them are German nor played in the Fed Cup tie between Germany and Australia the weekend before the tournament. Azarenka defeated two German players, Andrea Petkovic and Mona Barthel en route to the final. Semifinalists Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova and Polish and Czech respectively, and still performed well in the tournament.
Wozniacki lost in Stuttgart for one reason only. Kerber knew exactly how to play her; she played with consistent, controlled agression and sustained a level that Wozniacki is incapable of reaching. For the 67 weeks she was #1 in the world, Wozniacki prided herself on out-steadying her opponents – forcing them to hit one more ball, which they would miss without fail. Players have finally cracked the secret to playing Wozniacki, and now her self-confidence has taken a hit. Her opponents can expect more unforced errors off the Dane’s racket than they did before; her “air of invincibility” has evaporated. They don’t need to be perfect to win, they only need to be solid and take advantage of opportunities.
The two main warmup events in Madrid and Rome remain on the road to Roland Garros. Later in the piece, Piotr had this to say about his daughter’s upcoming participation in the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open.
“She is strong at the moment and if you ask me, so I think she wins the tournament,” said Wozniacki.
Wozniacki’s career record in Madrid is 8-3; however, in her past two trips there she has lost in the second round in 2010 (l. to A. Bondarenko) and in the third round last year (l. to Goerges).
As it has so often been the case with Wozniacki in the past, there is no consideration of the bigger picture. While Piotr says “their” main focus is the Grand Slams, the fact remains Wozniacki has not realistically challenged for a major title in over a year. One has to wonder what exactly he’s doing to fix it.