I dont agree about hardcourt. The only seed Vika played until the final at this year's AO was Stephens. Then Li was injured in the final.
I think as Serena gets older, hardcourt majors will fall apart a lot. But Caro will have to improve to take advantage.
About majors, everyone would rather have a win then early loss, rather than 2 semi losses. You want to win as many as you can. Any year you win a major is a good year
So 7+2 is not less than 5+5. The goal is to get as many 7's as you can
Sharapova made the semi-finals and lost to a better player on the day, Serena got injured and still made the QF. That's not falling apart, there was still one of them on each side of the draw in the semi-finals. For Caro to be taking advantage in a draw like that she would have to be the one beating Sharapova or Azarenka. These are also the top seeds, by definition they have the easiest draws. This kinda links into my point I was going to make about your previous post (which I fully agreed with btw
). SF really as world number 1 is what you expect. As world number 1 you are probably only playing on average 1 tough player to reach the semi's (note on average, sometimes you will get tough draws, other times easy).
Serena will get older yes, that will make draws more open, but I'm not really sure it's something to fall back on as hope with regards to Caro. At the same time the younger players will get better, Stephens may already overtake Caro in the rankings this year. Besides there's nothing to really gain from this, Caro hasn't got far enough to play a top 4 seed in 2 years.
Oh and I fully agree with your last point too. Really S, R3, R4, S isn't *that* special. It's not like she posted F, SF, SF, SF or something. S, R3, R4, S isn't so wonderfully consistent that it comes anywhere close to winning a grand slam in terms of arguing who was better in the grand slams in the year imo. I'd take the women who won grand slams in 2011's record every single time, they win on nearly every measurement, even on number of points accumulated at grand slams on the year (bar Kim who only played 2 majors).