Re: Do you think that playing more is helping or hurting Serena?
My view is slightly different.
Serena is 30 years old now and is in the twilight years of her career. She has just come back from a long absence occasioned by a freak accident that nearly had fatal consequences. She must be aware of how hard it is to win grand slams aged over 30, looking at the stats of the whole open era.
The period 2004-10 of her career was all about conserving herself for the slams and not really trying on the WTA Tour, partly because Serena was rightly confident that she could still win slams out of nowhere. Coming back from zero in 2011, she had to win WTA tournaments quickly to avoid a long and tedious process outside the top 20(cf Venus, for whom this agony is far more prolonged). Also she has found since this comeback that she has been unable to rely on the last two slams, losing a rare GS final in New York and then producing her worst Australian Open performance in aeons. I think Serena is now just going for it in the events she plays, because she needs these to bring back her confidence and also re-instill the fear factor that used to intimidate her opponents, but also because she is not looking to conserve her body for another 10 years of tennis, she is probably only looking at 2-3 years realistically.
Whatever the case, this clay season she has put together some of the best tennis she has played in ages and looks like the Serena of old. She is certainly playing her best clay tennis since 2002. The way she is playing now, it looks like Paris is hers for the taking, especially the way she dispatched her two main rivals, Azarenka and Sharapova, for the loss of 8 games in Madrid. The big question is how long she can keep this purple patch going, whether she will get another injury, lose form or produce a bad performance out of nowhere (cf US Open final). But the fact that Henin is gone and there is no real great clay player at the moment or even of the level of threat of a Safina, Kuznetsova, Jankovic or Ivanovic of a few years back, makes one wonder who will win RG besides Serena.