Whatever we personaly thinking about Ana's 2012 first quarter results - fact is that she finished just for the 2nd or 3rd time ever this part of the season into TOP10 in YEC race, thanks to more than solid AO-R16, IW-SF, MIA-R16, Dubai-QF results. 5 out of 7 loses which she have this season so far coming from opponents which is former WTA#1 and/or GS champions (Clijsters, Kvitova, Wozniacki, Sharapova, Venus), where she is forced once to retire due injury and twice won set against players vs worst career h2h (Clijsters and Venus). Also she collect couple notable straight sets wins (Wozniacki, Schiavone, Bartoli), and except in two cases at "tier-2" level events (Safarova and Cetkovska loses) Ana won all matches which she is supposed to win losing just one single set.
This start of the season is of course not even close to 2008 peak-Ana when she played AO final and won IW, but for sure is much better than in previous two seasons, and not worse than in 2006, 2007 or 2009. Which is more important, it coming after also very solid 2nd half of previous season. And we know how surface factor works for Ana: around TOP10 level on hardcourts means around TOP5 level on red clay - if she just keep the same level which she displayed in last about 8 months (and of course stays healthy and injury free)!
Like never before, Ana have full red clay schedule this season, but she and hers fitness ATM arguable have not ability to play permanently on high level on day-to-day events. IW and Miami is by type of schedule more close to slams than to others tournaments, but when Ana must to play vs Sharapova next day after beating Bartoli, or vs V.Williams already next day after she beat Hantuchova - she already retire vs Maria early in 2nd set, and after 7-6 2-2 start vs Venus in rest of this match won only 2 games out of last 12. So couple of disappointed loses or w/o before RG will not be end of the world and for me red clay TOP5 level performance which I really hope for Ana's this season at slowest surface means:
- to be important/crucial part of Serbian FED CUP historic SF win in Moscow. (equally acceptable scenario: to won both singles matches despite teams lose)
- to reach SF (at least) in Rome OR in Madrid. (equally acceptable scenario: to reach QF at both, or to reach Stuttgart final)
- to reach SF (at least) at French Open. (equally acceptable scenario: to lose before SF aggainst eventual RG2012 champion)