how does her loss affect the chances of sharapova overtaking her?
honestly, this slam and mandatory record is not impressing at all
Chances of Sharapova overtaking her after YEC are slim, but possible. Realistically Maria needs to win the title, and hope that Caroline does poorly.
Chances of Sharapova overtaking as #1 in the New Year are much better, because from the start of the year to Indian Wells, Maria has just 350 points to defend, whereas Caroline has 2120 to defend in the same period, including 900 for AO SF and 900 for P5 Dubai.
Assuming Maria played the same schedule from this year in 2012, she'll be playing Doha, Paris and Dubai in that time period, and she only has 4R to defend in Australia.