Things are not going according to plan in recent weeks for Caroline Wozniacki, and it appears like the problem is mental.
The female tennis star is currently ranked the No. 10 player in the world, which is quite an accomplishment for a 22-year-old player. Unfortunately, we have seen that she is capable of much more.
Wozniacki reached the finals of the U.S. Open in 2009 when she was only 19. In 2010, she became the No. 1 player in the world.
In the last few years, however, she has started to falter. After winning 12 events from 2010-11, she has only won two since. Her best finish at a Grand Slam in that stretch was at the 2012 Australian Open when she reached the quarterfinals.
Things have gotten even worse in the past couple of tournaments. The once-promising star has now lost in the first round at both the WTA Tour Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and the WTA Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open. In the most recent loss, she only won six total games against Yaroslava Shvedova.
Chris Skelton provides a deeper look at the problems over the past year:
Chris Skelton @ChrisSkelton87
Wozniacki has lost five of seven matches since reaching the Indian Wells final. Four first-round exits in 2013, eight in last 12 months.2013-5-5 10:31:03
One of the big problems in this time has been an apparent lack of focus.
We have seen over the years that Wozniacki is not afraid to have some fun both on the court and off of it. She caddied for boyfriend Rory McIlroy at the Par-3 Contest before the Masters and even tried taking a swing (unsuccessfully).
Of course, this is not as much of an issue as her dancing around on the court pretending to be Serena Williams.
Despite not winning tournaments at a consistent rate, Wozniacki is at least doing well in the financial department. According to Forbes, she is the fourth-highest paid female athlete in the world thanks to over $10 million per year in endorsements and appearance fees.
She is also apparently releasing her own underwear line.
Unfortunately, all of these extra things appear to be spreading her too thin. Since she became this big of a public figure, her game has suffered dramatically.
While it is tough to tell a 22-year-old star that being rich and famous while having fun is a bad thing, all of these things appear to be hurting her performance in the sport that got her to this point.
If Wozniacki remains on this path, she will continue to fall down the rankings until she is no longer a contender.
In order for the Danish player to get back to the top of the tennis world, she must regain her focus and work to get better. Otherwise, her career will be over long before it should be.