Dementieva new serve. Has it really made a difference?
If you look at Elena's results from before her serve deteriorated (1999-2003), during her serving voes (2004-2007), and after she fixed it again (2008 till now), one has to conclude that the bad serve has made her a better player overall.
She was outside top 10 with little success in big tournaments from 2000-2003 when her serve was "normal". With her worst serve she was in the top 10 for four years, got to 2 major finals, one semi and 2 quarters and won 6 tournaments.
Since she got her serve back, she hasn't reached major finals (despite the level of competition being weakened by absence of her biggest rivals), reached 4 semis and one quarter. She won 5 titles. Her ranking is a few places higher than in 2004-7, but she is not really making the progress one would expect. Back in 2004-6 everyone thought that Dementieva with a good serve would be deadly because her ground game was so good. But, it hasn't really happened.
Yes, she won Olympics and had some success lately beating Serena 3 times in a row, but she is only marginally better player overall due to her serve. I guess that slicing out wide serve on deuce side wasn't as bad as many including Elena thought.