Hey! I really like you. You seem to have a fun + friendly personality and I hear you get along with pretty much everyone on the WTA Tour. That's nice.
I even like your game - that is, when you're not getting in your own way. You know what I'm talking about, the way you have of obsessively thinking about it during a match to the point where all moments of spontaneity and creativity are completely destroyed. It's like throwing cold water on a brightly burning flame.
If I remember correctly back to 2004 when you had that surprise run to your first and only major championship to date - the U.S. Open - you're an all-court lady baller with shots to spare. But for some reason you've made the unwise decision of parking your Russian arse at the baseline all...day...long.
The results speak for themselves: lost 10 of your last 11 final appearances, suffered a second round loss in Dubai to Elena Vesnina, and only reached two quarterfinal appearances to date at Syndey and the Aussie Open where you served for the match against eventual winner Serena Williams and then crumbled.
Now you've been upset in the second round of Indian Wells by 18-year old Urszula Radwanska 2-6, 6-4, 3-6 after being up a break in the third set. She's a talented baller but still raw and not at your level at all. But you found a way to lose. Yes, YOU found a way to lose a match you should've won. And as last year's finalist and World No.8 you'll be taking a hugh hit in the rankings and will most likely fall out of the Top 10. Let's not even discuss Miami where you made the semifinals last season - the field will be much deeper (read: the Williams sisters return).
So my advice? Step off the baseline. In fact, step off the court completely and take a break to clear your mind and get some head shrinking. The Tour will be here when you get back but it needs you to be in better shape. And I would think you'd want that for yourself too.
(image via getty)