I believe that since Indian Wells Ana has been trying to be more aggressive. And when she gets passive (usually after winning a first set), it's really strange. Few times she said that Nigel told her that she was too passive in the second set, but she didn't notice it. Few times I heard that, after the match against Dani, Errani, maybe even after the match against Bondarenko IIRC. Against top players she freezes. She was passive against Vika for example and against Goerges she played very risky. No wonder she thinks that Vika is a big hitter, she was pushing in that match.
Its no coincidence Ana looks passive against top players.. its a bit mental, but not only mental. Nigel wants her to be aggressive within the average route, as I said before. But that is going to be very hard against good opponents as they rob her of time and space to hit.. and this game of averages is not her natural one.
And against Goerges it was not like Ana was playing risky.. it was eigther trying to go for a winner or seeing a winner pass her by, as Goerges was playing complete BBB tennis. It was Goerges BBB turning completely erractic and Ana's fight (who would've said!) that won Ana that match.
And Ana's fh was never a low percentage shot, she has never been a bbb with a low percentage game. That's why she handles the counterpunchers so well, she can stay in a point with them. She struggles against grinders who take the ball early, like Vika or LenaD (even Domi), so if she's passive, like she was against Vika, she's a toast. That's when she needs to play very risky.
I never said Ana's FH was a low percentage shot. Ana used to have a heavy flat FH that was a weapon, and she was aggressive with it at the first chance.
And Ana struggles with grinders who take the ball early because they play high paced games. Ana cant handle the high pace of rallies.. all too fast for her. She needs to have the ultimate aggression against these kind of players, like against Lena D in Beijing 2010, so she doesnt allow them to impose these fast rallies from side to side. If she lets them in, they take control and she can't help but look passive, as they rob her of time and space.
With the average game route she is taking, she will always give them the advantage.
And I don't think that her serve has been bad since Birmingham. It was good in Birmingham, she hit so many aces during the 2011 grass season. And I don't remember it was bad until the clay season.
It was good in Birmingham.. then never good again. That's why I said since Birmingham.. since then its been getting progressively worse.. she improved the consistency of her groundgame with the average route, and that's why she is winning matches against lesser players.. but the serve has been getting worse and worse and worse.. its just reached a point its really bad, so much it became obvious for anyone to see.