Yes, closing the big matches was one of Ana's biggest qualities. RG 2007 semifinal - she finished the match with ace. RG 2008 - she used the first match point she had (it was a break point at the same time). I think that she didn't waste any match points in final neither. Now she struggles to convert break points, close the sets and matches. Last year it was much worse, a nightmare, but those problems are not completely solved. Maria saved 6 set points yesterday and when she got set point in both sets, she immediately won it. I remember the matches against Kvitova and Sam few weeks ago. It was amazing how she played every time she faced break points. That's the biggest difference between Sharapova and Ana.
I actually think that's the biggest difference between top players and those who are not.
I was reading some stats.. Ana has the worst percentage of BPs taken in the top 20, worst percentage of matches won after losing first set, and worst percentage of winning 3 setters. All less than 20%. It says a lot..
Ana used to be a great closer. Up until late 2008 she had not lost a single match after having MPs. She also used to have a great W-L record in tie breaks, and sets that got to 4-4 or 5-5. Now she needs to do something to recover that.
Look at Kerber for an example.. she is the newest member of the top 10 and top 5 in the race. The big difference is how she is 13-0 in 3 setters this year, winning multiple matches after saving MPs in at least 3 tournaments. Tennis is a game of chances and taking them depend as much of a great FH as it does of strength of mind. If Kerber had not grown SO much mentally she could've lost in the 1st round of Paris, a tournament she won. She also could've lost in the QFs of Compenhagen, another tournament she won. She could've lost in the 1st round of IW, tournament she reached the SF. All matches where she saved MP to win. What a difference that is making to her year. She is also 10-6 against top 10 players.
Beating top players is the only way to move up the rankings these days.. top 8 is mostly playing well and consistently. And for that to happen you have to be up for it and take your chances. At the end of the day, its all up to Ana and what she really wants.