July 16, 1976 |
Minsk, Soviet Union
|Height||1.57 m (5 ft 2 in)|
|Turned pro||January 1, 1991|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Career titles||12 WTA, 7 ITF|
|Highest ranking||15 (February 3, 2003)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||3R (1995, 2003, 2005)|
|French Open||4R (1995, 1998)|
|US Open||3R (1994)|
|Highest ranking||275 (July 10, 2006)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||1R (2006, 2007)|
|French Open||1R (2005, 2006)|
|Wimbledon||1R (2005, 2006)|
|US Open||2R (2005)|
Anna Smashnova (Анна Смашнова, Hebrew: אנה סמשנובה; born July 16, 1976, in Minsk, Soviet Union, now Belarus) is a former professional tennis player from Israel. She retired from professional tennis after Wimbledon 2007.
Smashnova, who has been noted as having a great last name for a tennis player, reached her career-high singles ranking of world number 15 in 2003. She was in 13 finals, and won 12 of them. In addition, she won a junior Grand Slam championship. She speaks three languages: Russian, English, and Hebrew.
Tennis career 
Smashnova began playing at the age of 6. She became the number 1 junior in the Soviet Union at the age of 10. She was the top girls' junior player in Russia for four years in the late 1980s, and won the girls' Soviet Union youth championship in 1989 at the age of 14.
Her family moved to Israel in 1990, after Freddy Krivine, one of the founders of the Israel Tennis Centers, invited her to immigrate. Smashnova then trained at the Israel Tennis Centers. In 1991, she won the girl's singles title at the French Open.
After turning pro in 1994, Smashnova was named Tennis Magazine/Rolex Watch Female Rookie of the Year. At the 1994 French Open she upset world number 5 Jana Novotná, 6–4, 6–2. At the US Open in 1994 she upset world number 14 Lori McNeil 6–2, 6–4.
She made it to the 4th round of the French Open in both 1995 and 1998—her best results, to date, in Grand Slam competition. She graduated from American International High School, outside Tel Aviv, in 1995, and completed her mandatory service in the Israeli Army in 1997.
She won her second career title on July 24, 2000, winning the Sanex Trophy in Belgium. Unseeded in the tournament and ranked only 88th in the world, Smashnova made headlines in her semifinal match by beating former world No. 8 Anna Kournikova in straight sets. She defeated top-seed Dominique van Roost in the final with an impressive display of precise baseline play.
Smashnova had a huge breakthrough in 2002, winning 4 titles and beating 11 players ranked in the top-20, including Jelena Dokić, Justine Henin, and Kim Clijsters. On January 5, 2002, Smashnova won her third WTA Tour title when she defeated Tatiana Panova 6–2, 6–2 in the ASB Classic at Auckland, New Zealand.
In March 2002 she upset world number 13 Meghann Shaughnessy of the US at Indian Wells, 4–6, 6–3, 6–1. In April she upset world number 7 Justine Henin of Belgium 6–7(6–8), 6–3, 6–4 in Miami, and world number 9 Jelena Dokić in Charleston, 6–1, 6–3. In May at the WTA German Open she upset world number three Kim Clijsters of Belgium, 5–7, 6–4, 7–5, and world number 14 Daniela Hantuchová of Slovakia 1–6, 6–2, 6–3.
On June 16, 2002, Smashnova defeated defending champion Iroda Tulyaganova using her superior speed to win the $170,000 Wien Energie Grand Prix. In August she beat world number 13 Elena Dementieva of Russia 6–2, 5–7, 7–6(7–2) in San Diego.
On September 15, 2002, Anna collected her fourth WTA title of the year by thrashing Anna Kournikova 6–2, 6–3, in the finals of the Shanghai Open. According to The New York Times account of the contest, Smashnova "was precise and controlled throughout the match, hitting perfect winners in stride... Kournikova didn't score a point until the third game of the first set when Smashnova hit a shot wide. 'She was like a wall today, hitting everything back', Kournikova said."
In October she beat world number 13 Chanda Rubin of the US in Zurich, 6–3, 6–3. She played in the 2002 WTA Tour Championships, and lost in the first round to world number 1 Serena Williams. On December 7, 2002, Anna married Claudio Pistolesi, her former coach (whom she later divorced), and played for a period of time as "Anna Pistolesi" and "Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi."
She won the 2003 Idea Prokom Open in Poland, beating Klara Koukalová in the finals 6–2, 6–0. Five days later Smashnova eliminated Karolina Šprem, 6–3, 1–6, 6–4, in the Nordic Light Open semifinal in Helsinki. She went on to win her second straight tournament by defeating Croatian Jelena Kostanić, 4–6, 6–4, 6–0, in the final.
Smashnova began the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament in New Haven with one of the most impressive victories of her career. She defeated Anastasia Myskina, ranked number 8 in the world, 6–3, 6–7 (2–7), 6–4, and Vera Zvonareva, ranked number 14, 0–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–2. In October 2003 she defeated world number 13 Nadia Petrova 6–3, 6–3 in Moscow.
Smashnova won he 1st round match-up against María Sánchez Lorenzo in the 2005 Australian Open 4–6, 6–0, 6–0. The Israeli shone against Tamarine Tanasugarn, who was dispensed 6–2, 6–2 in the second round. Smashnova could not keep up with Venus Williams (seeded eighth) in the 3rd round, as she bowed out 3–6, 0–6.
In July 2006, Smashnova won her 12th tour title at Budapest, maintaining a 100% winning record in WTA Tour finals – a record she held alone for players who had won double-digit titles. That was wrecked in August 2006, when she lost in the final of the Forest Hills Tennis Classic women's event to Meghann Shaughnessy.
In March 2007 Smashnova publicly announced on Israeli radio that she would retire from professional tennis after Wimbledon 2007. As it turned out, she lost in the first round to German Martina Müller by the double bagel scoreline, 6–0, 6–0.
Fed Cup 
Style of play 
Smashnova was a baseliner, who was most at home on clay courts. She compares her style to that of the Spaniard Arantxa Sánchez Vicario – minimizing mistakes, running down every possible ball, and being mentally tough.
Titles (19) 
Singles (19) 
|Tier I (0)|
|Tier II (0)|
|Tier III (3)|
|Tier IV and V (9)|
|Grand Slam Title (0)|
|WTA Tour Championship (0)|
|ITF Circuit (7)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Opponent in the final||Score|
|1.||July 11, 1993||Erlangen, Germany||Clay||Isabel Cueto||6–3 6–1|
|2.||November 23, 1997||Jaffa, Israel||Hard||Tzipora Obziler||6–3 6–2|
|3.||April 12, 1998||Athens, Greece||Clay||Rita Kuti-Kis||1–6 6–2 6–2|
|4.||May 17, 1998||Porto, Portugal||Clay||Alexia Dechaume-Balleret||6–2 6–2|
|5.||October 4, 1998||Santa Clara, United States||Hard||Amy Frazier||2–6 6–4 6–2|
|6.||June 13, 1999||Tashkent, Uzbekistan||Hard||Laurence Courtois||6–3 6–3|
|7.||October 17, 1999||Largo, United States||Hard||Marissa Irvin||7–6 6–1|
|8.||July 23, 2000||Knokke-Heist, Belgium||Clay||Dominique van Roost||6–2 7–5|
|9.||January 6, 2002||Auckland, New Zealand||Hard||Tatiana Panova||6–2 6–2|
|10.||January 13, 2002||Canberra, Australia||Hard||Tamarine Tanasugarn||7–5 7–6(7–2)|
|11.||June 16, 2002||Vienna, Austria||Clay||Iroda Tulyaganova||6–4 6–1|
|12.||September 15, 2002||Shanghai, China||Hard||Anna Kournikova||6–2 6–3|
|13.||August 2, 2003||Sopot, Poland||Clay||Klára Zakopalová||6–2 6–0|
|14.||August 10, 2003||Helsinki, Finland||Clay||Jelena Kostanić||4–6 6–4 6–0|
|15.||May 22, 2004||Vienna, Austria||Clay||Alicia Molik||6–2 3–6 6–2|
|16.||July 17, 2005||Modena, Italy||Clay||Tathiana Garbin||6–6 ret.|
|17.||August 31, 2005||Budapest, Hungary||Clay||Catalina Castaño||6–2 6–2|
|18.||June 11, 2006||Prostějov, Czech Republic||Clay||Romina Oprandi||walkover|
|19.||July 30, 2006||Budapest, Hungary||Clay||Lourdes Domínguez Lino||6–1 6–3|
Singles finalist (1) 
- Anna Smashnova at the Women's Tennis Association
- Anna Smashnova at the Fed Cup
- Jewish Virtual Library bio
- Jews in Sports bio