Vera Zvonareva

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Vera Zvonareva
Вера Звонарёва
Zvonareva Serve Japan (cropped).jpg
Country  Russia
Residence Moscow, Russia
Born (1984-09-07) 7 September 1984 (age 30)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (present-day Moscow, Russia)
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Turned pro September 2000
Plays Right-handed
(two-handed backhand)
Prize money $13,399,520
Official website Official website
Singles
Career record 467-224
Career titles 12 WTA, 2 ITF
Highest ranking No. 2 (25 October 2010)
Current ranking No. 262 (18 August 2014)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open SF (2009, 2011)
French Open QF (2003)
Wimbledon F (2010)
US Open F (2010)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals F (2008)
Olympic Games Bronze medal.svg Bronze medal (2008)
Doubles
Career record 169-114
Career titles 6 WTA, 0 ITF
Highest ranking No. 9 (8 August 2005)
Current ranking No. 360 (18 August 2014)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (2012)
French Open QF (2006)
Wimbledon F (2010)
US Open W (2006)
Mixed Doubles
Career record
Career titles 2
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon W (2006)
US Open W (2004)
Olympic medal record
Women's tennis
Competitor for  Russia
Bronze 2008 Beijing Singles

Vera Igorevna Zvonareva (Russian: Ве́ра И́горевна Звонарёва; IPA: [ˈvʲerə zvənɐˈrʲɵvə] ( ); born 7 September 1984) is a Russian professional tennis player. She was introduced to tennis at the age of six and turned professional in 2000.[1] Her career high is World No. 2 by the WTA.[2] Zvonareva has won twelve WTA Tour singles titles[2] and reached the finals of the 2008 WTA Tour Championships, 2010 Wimbledon Championships, and 2010 US Open. She also was a bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.[3] In doubles, she has won four Grand Slam titles, two in women's doubles at the 2006 US Open (w/Nathalie Dechy) and 2012 Australian Open (w/Svetlana Kuznetsova), and two in mixed doubles at the 2004 US Open (w/Bob Bryan) and 2006 Wimbledon Championships (w/Andy Ram).

Early life[edit]

Zvonareva was born in 1984 in Moscow to Igor and Nataliya (née Bykova) Zvonarev.[1] Igor played Bandy in the USSR championship with Dynamo Moscow, while Nataliya played field hockey and was the bronze medalist at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.[1] Vera was introduced to tennis at 6 years of age by her mother.[1]

Career[edit]

1999–2001[edit]

Zvonareva started to compete on the ITF Circuit in 1999, debuting at an ITF tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia. She won three qualifying matches there to reach the main draw before losing in the first round. The next year, she won an ITF event in Moscow, Russia without dropping a set, despite being unranked. The event was just the second event she had played in her professional career. Five weeks later, she made her WTA-level debut at the Tier I tournament in Moscow, beating World No. 148 Elena Bovina, before losing to World No. 11 Anna Kournikova in the second round. In 2001, she failed to qualify for WTA events in Key Biscayne, Florida and Moscow, but reached a semifinal at the ITF Circuit tournament in Civitanova, Italy. During this time, she also showed her adeptness in juniors' competition by winning the Orange Bowl under-18s event in 2000 and 2001.

2002[edit]

Zvonareva won her second ITF Circuit title in Naples, Florida and in July reached her first singles final on the WTA Tour at Palermo, losing to Mariana Díaz-Oliva in three sets. She also achieved semifinal finishes in Warsaw and Sopot, plus a quarterfinal finish in Bol. Zvonareva won three qualifying matches at the French Open to reach the main draw for the first time at a Grand Slam tournament. She lost there in the fourth round to eventual champion Serena Williams, 6–4, 0–6, 1–6. Her ranking was high enough for a direct entry into Wimbledon, where she lost in the second round to the 23rd seed Iva Majoli, 6–7(5), 2–6. At the US Open, Zvonareva lost to world no. 7 Kim Clijsters in the third round, 6–1, 5–7, 4–6. Her ranking rose into the top 100 after the French Open and into the top 50 after the US Open.

2003[edit]

Zvonareva won the title at the Tier III event in Bol, beating Conchita Martínez Granados in the final, and reached three other semifinals (including the Tier II event in Linz). She defeated a top-10 player for the first time when she beat world no. 10 Anastasia Myskina in Berlin. At the French Open, Zvonareva defeated world no. 3 Venus Williams in the fourth round, before losing in the quarterfinals to world no. 76 Nadia Petrova. Her French Open results caused her ranking to enter the top 20. She reached the quarterfinals in six out of the seven Tier I events she contested. Her debut for the Russian Fed Cup team was in the World Group quarterfinals against Slovenia. Russia won 5–0, but lost to France 3–2 in the semifinals. In doubles, she reached her first WTA final at Moscow with Myskina. She ended the year ranked world no. 13.

2004: Breakthrough[edit]

Zvonareva won her first career Grand Slam title, winning the mixed doubles competition at the US Open with Bob Bryan. She won one singles title, in Memphis, Tennessee and reached the final of the events in Cincinnati, Ohio and Philadelphia, losing to top-10 players Lindsay Davenport and Amélie Mauresmo. In the final of the Memphis event, Zvonareva trailed hometown favorite Lisa Raymond 5–2 in the third set, before saving three match points and winning the last five games of the match to win the title, 4–6, 6–4, 7–5.[4] In addition to this, she reached the semifinals of three Tier I tournaments in Rome, San Diego, and Montreal. She lost in San Diego to fellow Russian Anastasia Myskina in a match that featured a final set tiebreak that ended 17–15. Zvonareva and Myskina teamed up in the final of the Fed Cup, playing in the crucial final rubber against Marion Bartoli and Émilie Loit, which the pair won, 7–6(5), 7–5, to seal Russia's first Fed Cup title.

Zvonareva ended the year ranked world no. 11. In August, she reached her then-career high of world no. 9. Because of several withdrawals, Zvonareva was able to compete at the WTA Tour Championships, an event reserved for the top eight players in the world. She was unable to win a match and exited at the round-robin stage.

2005: First injury[edit]

Zvonareva obtained an invitation from the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association to play in the Watsons Water Champions Chellenge 2005. She defended her Memphis title, defeating Meghann Shaughnessy, but she was injured in the second half of 2005 (from June to December). Her ranking dropped from no. 11 to no. 42.

2006[edit]

Zvonareva at 2006 Kremlin Cup.

In 2006, Zvonareva won her first women's doubles Grand Slam tournament at the US Open, partnering Nathalie Dechy of France. She obtained a second mixed doubles title at Wimbledon, partnering Andy Ram of Israel.[5] They defeated Americans Bob Bryan and Venus Williams, 6–2, 6–3. She garnered some success in singles competition, winning two titles in a season for the first time in her career. This included her first tournament win on grass, at the DFS Classic in Birmingham, England. Her other title came in Cincinnati, where she played a nearly flawless match against Serena Williams in the semifinals, and beat Katarina Srebotnik in the final.

2007: Second injury[edit]

The 2007 season was a year of mixed fortune for Zvonareva. At the 2007 Pacific Life Open, she stunned world no. 1 Maria Sharapova, who was the defending champion, 4–6, 7–5, 6–1, in the fourth round, marking her first victory over a reigning world no. 1. However, she fell in the next round to Li Na. At her next tournament, the Family Circle Cup, she was forced to retire when playing Dinara Safina and down a set, due to a left wrist injury. This injury kept her out of the European clay-court season, the grass-court season, and most of the North American hard-court season. On returning to the tour, she reached the third round of the US Open, losing to Serena Williams. At the remaining tournaments on her schedule, she reached the quarterfinals or better at four out of five, with semifinal finishes in Luxembourg and Quebec. Her one final came during the first week of the year, in Auckland, New Zealand.

2008: Rising as a Top 10 player[edit]

Zvonareva began the year by losing to wildcard Marina Erakovic, then ranked world no. 153, at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand. She then reached the final of the Tier IV Moorilla Hobart International in Hobart, Australia, where she did not play the final against Eleni Daniilidou because of an ankle injury. This injury also forced her to retire in her first round match at the Australian Open against Ai Sugiyama, while trailing 3–6, 1–1.

She then reached the final of the Tier I Qatar Total Open in Doha, beating Dinara Safina, Sybille Bammer, and Li Na along the way. In the final against world no. 5 and fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova, Zvonareva lost in three sets. In March, at the Bangalore Open, Zvonareva lost in the quarterfinals to Venus Williams. Zvonareva then reached the quarterfinals of the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, before losing to eventual champion Ana Ivanovic, 1–6, 4–6. Two weeks later, Zvonareva reached the semifinals of the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, where she lost to fourth seed Jelena Janković, 1–6, 4–6.

On clay, Zvonareva then reached her third final overall and second Tier I final of the year at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina. En route to the final, she defeated world no. 5 Jelena Janković and world no. 8 Elena Dementieva, the first time in her career that she defeated two top-10 players in the same tournament. In the final, she lost to fifth seed Serena Williams in three sets. In May, Zvonareva won her first WTA title in nearly two years. At the Tier IV ECM Prague Open, Zvonareva defeated third seed Victoria Azarenka in the final. This was her sixth career singles title.[6] She then lost to Venus Williams in the third round of the Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, and to Dementieva in the fourth round of the French Open.

On grass, Zvonareva lost her first match at the International Women's Open in Eastbourne, United Kingdom and her second-round match against Tamarine Tanasugarn at Wimbledon.

During the North American summer hard-court season, commonly known as the US Open Series, she lost in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California, the second round of the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles, and the first round of the Tier I Rogers Cup in Montreal. At the Beijing Olympics, Zvonareva lost in the semifinals to fifth seeded Dementieva, 4–6, 6–7(3), but then defeated Li Na, 6–0, 7–5, to win the bronze medal. These results caused Zvonareva's ranking to rise to a career-high-equaling world no. 9. Two weeks later, Zvonareva was seeded eighth at the US Open, but lost in the second round to Tatiana Perebiynis of Ukraine, 3–6, 3–6.

In September, Zvonareva helped Russia to victory against Spain in the final of the Fed Cup. Zvonareva won the opening match of the tie in Madrid, defeating Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6–3, 6–4.[7] At the Guangzhou International Women's Open, a Tier III event, she defeated Zheng Jie in straight sets in the semifinals, before beating Peng Shuai in the final. She then reached the semifinals at the China Open in Beijing, losing a three-set match to top-seeded Janković. At the Tier II Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Zvonareva lost in the quarterfinals, again to Janković, 6–7(8), 6–7(5). In her hometown event, the Kremlin Cup in Moscow the next week, Zvonareva beat second seed Dinara Safina in straight sets in the semifinals, but lost to Janković for the third time in three weeks in the final in straight sets. In a second round match against Medina Garrigues at the Zurich Open, Zvonareva retired from the match while trailing 3–6, 0–3. However, she then reached the final of the Generali Ladies Linz in Austria, beating Marion Bartoli in the semifinals, 6–0, 6–1, before losing the final to Ivanovic in straight sets, hitting 32 unforced errors.

To finish off the year, Zvonareva qualified for the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships (open to the top eight players) for the second time in her career. To accrue enough points to qualify, she had played six consecutive tournaments after the US Open. In her first round-robin match, she won against compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6–2, 6–3. Zvonareva then beat Ivanovic, 6–3, 6–7(5), 6–4, before completing a clean sweep of her group by defeating world no. 1 Janković, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4. She reached the final by defeating Olympic gold medalist Dementieva, 7–6(7), 3–6, 6–3, but lost a three-setter to Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, 7–6(5), 0–6, 2–6.

2009[edit]

Vera Zvonareva at the 2009 US Open.

Zvonareva was seventh seed at the Australian Open. She defeated the tenth seed Nadia Petrova in the fourth round, 7–5, 6–4, and 16th seed Marion Bartoli in the quarterfinals, 6–3, 6–0. She then lost to world no. 3 Dinara Safina in the semifinals, 3–6, 6–7(4). This tournament, however, caused Zvonareva's ranking to rise to world no. 5, the highest of her career at the time.

In February, she won the Pattaya Women's Open, an International Event in Thailand, where she defeated Sania Mirza in the final. She also played the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, a Premier 5 Event, where she defeated Marion Bartoli in the third round, before losing to Virginie Razzano in the quarterfinals, 6–7(7), 5–7.

In March, Zvonareva was the fourth seed at the first Premier Mandatory event of the year, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. She won the title, overcoming Santa Ana winds and defending champion Ana Ivanovic in the final. In the doubles final, she and Victoria Azarenka beat fellow unseeded tandem Gisela Dulko and Shahar Pe'er.

At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, the second Premier Mandatory event of the year, Zvonareva beat Tathiana Garbin of Italy in the second round, before being upset in the third round by Li Na, 4–6, 6–3, 2–6. Zvonereva had beaten Li the previous week in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.

At the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, Zvonareva was the third seed and received a first-round bye. She beat Rossana de los Ríos in the second round, 6–3, 6–2. In the third round against Virginie Razzano, she was forced to retire due to an ankle injury. Zvonareva tore two ligaments in her ankle, which later forced her to withdraw from Russia's Fed Cup tie with Italy. The ongoing ankle injury forced her to withdraw from the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome and the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, and ultimately the 2009 French Open.

Zvonareva was seeded seventh at the Wimbledon and met Great Britain's Georgie Stoop in the first round. The game was close, being abandoned due to bad light at the end of the first day at one set apiece. Zvonareva went on to win, 7–6(0), 4–6, 6–4. Zvonareva then beat Mathilde Johansson in the second round. Zvonareva then withdrew against the 26th seed Virginie Razzano in the third round, due to a recurrence of the ankle injury.[8]

In the 2009 İstanbul Cup, she was upset by Mariya Koryttseva, 2–6, 6–1, 4–6. In her first tournament in the 2009 US Open Series, she competed in the 2009 LA Women's Tennis Championships, where she lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Flavia Pennetta, 4–6, 2–6. She then reached the third round of the 2009 Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open and of the 2009 Rogers Cup, losing to Daniela Hantuchová, 6–7(6), 6–0, 6–7(5), and to Maria Sharapova, 2–6, 6–7(3). She defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives, Anna Chakvetadze, and Elena Vesnina, before missing six match points and crumbling to Flavia Pennetta, 6–3, 6–7(6), 0–6, at the 2009 US Open. She then competed in the 2009 Toray Pan Pacific Open, where she lost to compatriot Alisa Kleybanova, 6–3,4–6, 2–6, in the second round, after receiving a bye in the first round. She followed it up by competing in the 2009 China Open, where she reached the quarterfinals, losing to Marion Bartoli, 6–3, 5–7, 2–6.

Zvonareva competed in the Kremlin Cup in Moscow as the first seed. She was defeated in the second round by Tsvetana Pironkova, 0–6, 2–6. Because of her loss, she did not qualify for the 2009 WTA Tour Championships in Doha, but did win a spot as an alternate. Due to the withdrawal of Dinara Safina, Zvonareva was set to play two matches there. However, she played only one match against Caroline Wozniacki, where she lost, 0–6, 7–6(3), 4–6, in a dramatic match in which both players suffered injuries. She then withdrew from the tournament, citing ankle injury, and the last match was played by her co-alternate, Agnieszka Radwańska. She finished the year ranked world no. 9.[2]

2010: Two Grand Slam Finals and Best Ranking[edit]

Zvonareva at the 2010 US Open

Zvonareva obtained an invitation from the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association once again to play in the Hong Kong Tennis Classic and won the championships with her compatriots Maria Sharapova and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Seeded ninth at the Australian Open, she made it to the fourth round, winning her first three matches against Kristína Kučová, Iveta Benešová, and Gisela Dulko. She eventually lost to Victoria Azarenka, 6–4, 4–6, 0–6, after leading 6–4, 4–1. Due to this loss, Zvonareva fell out of the top 10. As the top seed and defending champion at the 2010 PTT Pattaya Open, Zvonareva defeated Ksenia Pervak in the first round, Alberta Brianti in the second round, fifth seed Sybille Bammer in the quarterfinals, and fourth seed Yaroslava Shvedova in the semifinals. In the final, she defeated local favorite Tamarine Tanasugarn in straight sets, 6–4, 6–4, thereby successfully defending her title. At the 2010 Dubai Tennis Championships, Zvonareva defeated compatriot Elena Vesnina in three sets in the first round, and then following it up with a double bagel against qualifier Kirsten Flipkens. She then defeated Jelena Janković in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals, where she lost to Azarenka, 1–6, 3–6.

Despite being the defending champion at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, Zvonareva lost her fourth-round match against Samantha Stosur, 2–6, 5–7. With this loss, she fell out of the top 20. At the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open, Zvonareva lost to Justine Henin, 1–6, 4–6, in the fourth round, after defeating Melanie Oudin and Sara Errani in straight sets.[citation needed]

Her next tournament was the 2010 Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, where she was seventh seed. She beat Melanie Oudin in straight sets, 7–5, 6–2, in the quarterfinals. She advanced to her second final of the year and second Family Circle Cup final after top seed and world no. 2 Caroline Wozniacki retired while trailing 5–2 in the semifinals due to a sprained ankle. Zvonareva was then overwhelmed in the final by Samantha Stosur, 0–6, 3–6.

Zvonareva's next tournament was the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, where, as 15th seed, she lost to Petra Kvitová, 4–6, 0–6, in the second round. At the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, she lost to Venus Williams, 5–7, 3–6, in the second round, after defeating Melanie Oudin, 6–3, 6–4. Zvonareva was seeded 21st at the 2010 French Open. She defeated Alberta Brianti in the first round, but was then upset by Anastasia Rodionova in the second round in straight sets. Her next tournament was the 2010 Aegon International in England, where she lost to María José Martínez Sánchez in three tight sets, 3–6, 6–3, 5–7, in the opening round.

Zvonareva reached her first Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon, where she was 21st seed. She defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives, Andrea Hlaváčková, 15th seed Yanina Wickmayer, fourth seed Jelena Janković, eighth seed Kim Clijsters, and Tsvetana Pironkova to reach the final, where she fell in straight sets to world no. 1 Serena Williams, 3–6, 2–6. Zvonareva rose to world no. 9 following the tournament.

Zvonareva was seeded third at the 2010 Mercury Insurance Open in San Diego. She defeated Dominika Cibulková in three sets in the first round, before falling to Coco Vandeweghe. Seeded sixth at the 2010 Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open, Zvonareva received a bye into the second round, where she faced compatriot Maria Kirilenko. In a match with several rain interruptions, Zvonareva found herself down 2–5 in the third set before another rain delay. Coming back onto court, Zvonareva rallied to take the third set and the match, 7–5, 2–6, 7–6(2). She lost to 11th seed Flavia Pennetta in the third round. At the 2010 Rogers Cup, Zvonareva had a bye in the first round and beat Yaroslava Shvedova in the second round, 6–2, 6–1, Ágnes Szávay, 6–3, 6–3, in the third round and Kim Clijsters, 2–6, 6–3, 6–2, in the quarterfinals. After two days of rain, Zvonareva returned on Monday, winning her semifinal against Victoria Azarenka, who retired when trailing, 7–6(6), 1–0. Zvonareva was then beaten by Caroline Wozniacki in the final, 3–6, 2–6.

As the seventh seed, Zvonareva reached her second career and second straight Grand Slam final at the 2010 US Open, where she lost to second seed Kim Clijsters, 2–6, 1–6. She had defeated Zuzana Kučová, Sabine Lisicki, 25th seed Alexandra Dulgheru, Andrea Petkovic, 31st seed Kaia Kanepi, and top seed Caroline Wozniacki. Zvonareva attained her then career-high ranking of world no. 2 following the US Open.

Zvonareva's first tournament after the US Open was the 2010 Toray Pan Pacific Open, where she was second seed. She advanced to the quarterfinals, before falling to world no. 10 and seventh seeded Elena Dementieva. She then competed in the 2010 China Open, rallying from a set down against Kirilenko in the third round, 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, and beating French Open champion Schiavone, 6–2, 6–0, in the quarterfinals. This was her tenth victory over the Italian in ten career meetings. This win ensured that Zvonareva would rise to world no. 3. She then defeated Li Na in the semifinals, before falling to top-seeded Wozniacki in the final, 3–6, 6–3, 3–6. Zvonareva qualified for the year-end 2010 WTA Tour Championships in Doha, Qatar, where she was the second seed. She was in the White Group with Kim Clijsters, Jelena Janković, and Victoria Azarenka. Zvonareva went 3–0 in her group and advanced to the semifinals, where she lost to Caroline Wozniacki. She finished the season with a career-high rank of world no. 2.[2]

2011[edit]

At the Hong Kong Tennis Classic, she joined Russia's group and won in the final against Europe with Maria Kirilenko and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. As the second seed at the 2011 Medibank International Sydney, Zvonareva received a bye into the second round, where she was defeated by Flavia Pennetta, 7–5, 7–5. Zvonareva was seeded second at the 2011 Australian Open in singles. She defeated Sybille Bammer, 6–2, 6–1, in the first round, breaking Bammer four times in a row. Zvonareva defeated unseeded Bojana Jovanovski in the second round, 2–6, 6–3, 6–1. In the third round, Zvonareva defeated 31st seed Lucie Šafářová in straight sets, 6–3, 7–6(9). Zvonareva defeated unseeded Iveta Benešová in the round of 16, 6–4, 6–1. She then defeated 25th seed Petra Kvitová in the quarterfinal, 6–2, 6–4. In the semifinal, she was defeated by third seed and eventual champion Kim Clijsters, 6–3, 6–3.

At the 2011 PTT Pattaya Open, Zvonareva was the top seed and was seeking her third consecutive title and second title defense. She defeated Tamira Paszek, 6–4, 6–2, in the first round, qualifier Nungnadda Wannasuk, 6–1, 7–5, in the second round, and Peng Shuai, 6–4, 4–6, 6–4, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Zvonareva was upset by fourth seed Daniela Hantuchová, 7–6(3), 6–4. As the second seed at the 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships, Zvonareva received a bye into the second round. There, she defeated Roberta Vinci, 6–3, 6–1. In the third round, she was upset by the 15th seed Alisa Kleybanova, 6–3, 6–2.

Zvonareva picked up her first title of 2011 in late February at the 2011 Qatar Ladies Open. She was the second seed, receiving a bye into the second round, where she defeated Dominika Cibulková, 6–1, 6–2. In the quarterfinals, she defeated Daniela Hantuchová, 7–5, 6–7(5), 7–5, in a match lasting over three hours, after trailing 5–4 in the third set. She defeated former world no. 1 Jelena Janković, 6–1, 2–6, 6–4, in the semifinals, and current world no. 1 and top seed Caroline Wozniacki, 6–4, 6–4, in the final. It was Zvonareva's first title in over a year and the third time she had defeated the reigning World No. 1.

Zvonareva was the third seed at the 2011 BNP Paribas Open and had a bye into the second round. Despite letting a 6–3, 5–1 lead escape her, she defeated Timea Bacsinszky, 6–3, 7–6(4). In the third round, in a match that lasted over three hours, she was upset by 25th seed Dominika Cibulková, 4–6, 7–6(4), 6–4, despite saving five match points. Zvonareva was the third seed at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open with a bye into the second round, where she defeated Dinara Safina, 3–6, 6–3, 6–2. In the third round, she faced 28th seed Jarmila Groth, defeating her in straight sets, 7–6(4), 6–2. In the fourth round, she faced the 15th seed Marion Bartoli, prevailing 2–6, 6–3, 6–2. Then in the quarterfinals, Zvonareva faced ninth seed Agnieszka Radwańska, whom she defeated, 7–5, 6–3, to reach the semifinals in Key Biscayne for the second time, the last time being in 2008. Despite winning two of her four previous matches after trailing a set in the tournament, Victoria Azarenka, the eighth seed, dispatched Zvonareva in the semifinals, 6–0, 6–3. Zvonareva led the Russian Fed Cup team in their semifinal tie against Italy. She defeated both Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in straight sets to ensure a spot for Russia in the final.

Zvonareva kicked off her clay-court season at the 2011 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany. As the second seed, she received a bye into the second round, defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 3–6, 6–4, 6–2, before losing to Samantha Stosur in the quarterfinals. She was the second seed at the 2011 Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, where she beat Patty Schnyder and Elena Vesnina, before being upset by 16th seed and eventual champion Petra Kvitová in the third round. At the inaugural 2011 Brussels Ladies Open, after a first round bye, she defeated qualifier Galina Voskoboeva, after dropping the first set in the second round. In the quarterfinals, she blew out world no. 28 and sixth seed Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania, 6–0, 6–1, losing just one point on serve. Her run ended in the semifinals, where she was upset 6–3, 6–3 by eighth seed Peng Shuai of China. Zvonareva was seeded third at the 2011 French Open and defeated unseeded Lourdes Domínguez Lino in the first round, 6–3, 6–3. In the second round, she defeated Sabine Lisicki, 4–6, 7–5, 7–5, despite trailing 5–2 in the third set and having to save a match point. Zvonareva avenged her loss at the previous year's French Open by defeating Anastasia Rodionova in the third round, 6–2, 6–3. In the fourth round, where she was the top remaining seed, Zvonareva came up against the 15th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The match showed sporadic form by both women, until Pavlyuchenkova prevailed, 7–6(4), 2–6, 6–2.

Beginning the grass-court season at the 2011 Aegon International as the top seed, Zvonareva defeated Heather Watson, 6–3, 6–3, and Serena Williams, 3–6, 7–6(5), 7–5, but lost to Samantha Stosur, 4–6, 7–6(4), 6–4, in the quarterfinals.[9] Zvonareva was second seed at Wimbledon, defeating Alison Riske, 6–0, 3–6, 6–3, in the first round and Elena Vesnina, 6–1, 7–6(5), in the second round, before falling to Tsvetana Pironkova, 6–2, 6–3, in a rematch of the previous year's semifinal match.[10] Zvonareva suffered an ankle injury during her singles match and subsequently withdrew from the doubles competition.[11]

Zvonareva's hard-court summer began at the inaugural Baku Cup, where she was the top seed. Zvonareva defeated Nigina Abduraimova, Kristína Kučová, Anna Tatishvili, and Mariya Koryttseva to reach the final, where she defeated Ksenia Pervak, 6–1, 6–4, for her twelfth WTA title. At the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad, California, she was the top seed and made it to the final, where she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska, 6–3, 6–4. By making it to the final, Zvonareva achieved a career-high winning streak of nine matches. Zvonareva then went on to play in the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada, where she was third seed. After receiving a bye into the second round, she defeated Nadia Petrova, 7–5, 6–4, before again falling to Agnieszka Radwańska, 6–4, 7–6(4). Despite the early loss compared to her 2010 performance, Zvonareva rose to World No. 2, matching her career-high ranking. At the 2011 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, she was second seed and received a bye into the second round. She defeated Ekaterina Makarova, Petra Martić, and Daniela Hantuchová en route to the semifinals, where she fell to the fourth seed and eventual champion Maria Sharapova, 2–6, 6–3, 6–3. At the US Open, Zvonareva was second seed and defeated qualifier Stéphanie Foretz Gacon, Kateryna Bondarenko, 30th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, and the 22nd seed Sabine Lisicki to reach the quarterfinals, where she lost to ninth seed and eventual champion Samantha Stosur, 6–3, 6–3. Unable to defend her runner-up points from 2010, she fell to World No. 4.

Zvonareva began her Asian hard-court swing at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, where she was the fourth seed and received a bye into the second round, then defeating Tsvetana Pironkova, Iveta Benešová, Maria Kirilenko, and Petra Kvitová—all in straight sets to progress to the final for the first time, where she lost to ninth seed Agnieszka Radwańska, 6–3, 6–2. She next played at the China Open in Beijing, where she was third seed and received a bye into the second round as a result of making the final in Tokyo. She lost in the third round to Ana Ivanovic. After Beijing, Zvonareva became the sixth qualifier for the year-end WTA Tour Championships. At her home tournament, the Kremlin Cup, she reached the quarterfinals, where she lost to the No. 8 seed and eventual champion Dominika Cibulková, 4–6, 6–4, 6–4.

At the WTA Tour Championships, Zvonareva was placed in the Red Group alongside World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová, and Agnieszka Radwańska. In Round Robin play, she fell to Kvitová 6–2, 6–4 before rebounding to defeat Wozniacki 6–2, 4–6, 6–3, her fourth victory over a reigning World No. 1. She then faced Radwańska in her final round robin match, eventually falling 1–6, 6–2, 7–5 after not able to capitalize on three match points serving at 5–3. By virtue of the highest games won percentage of her group after Kvitová, Zvonareva became the second qualifier for the semifinals from the Red Group. She lost to Victoria Azarenka 6–2, 6–3, and ended the year as World No. 7.

2012: Third injury[edit]

Zvonareva began her 2012 season at the Apia International, losing in the opening round to Svetlana Kuznetsova. At the Australian Open, she defeated Alexandra Dulgheru in the first round and Lucie Hradecká in the second round before falling to compatriot Ekaterina Makarova 7–6(7), 6–1. She experienced more success in the doubles tournament with partner Kuznetsova, where as an unseeded pair, they reached the final, beating defending champions Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta in the process. Zvonareva and Kuznetsova defeated Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 5–7, 6–4, 6–3 for the title. At the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open Zvonareva was upset by 18 years old Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco in her second round match. Zvonareva missed Roland Garros due to an ongoing hip injury. At Wimbledon 2012, she was forced to retire against Kim Clijsters due to breathing issues. At the Olympic tennis tournament in London, Zvonareva suffered the worst defeat of her entire playing career, losing 6–1, 6–0 to eventual Gold Medallist Serena Williams in the third round. Zvonareva had never previously scored lower than two games prior to the defeat against Williams.

Zvonareva withdrew from the 2012 US Open, due to the same illness which forced her to retire from her Wimbledon match against Kim Clijsters in June.[12] Having not played any tournaments since August due to illness, she lost rankings points earned in last year's US Open, Tokyo and Beijing tournaments.

2013[edit]

Zvonareva announced her withdrawal from the 2013 Australian Open, citing a shoulder injury,[13] which wound up being serious enough to necessitate surgery.[14] In October, Zvonareva confirmed her intention to return at the 2014 Shenzhen Open.

2014[edit]

After an approximately one-and-half-year hiatus, Zvonareva officially came back at the 2014 Shenzhen Open as a wildcard. She however drew world no.3 and home favorite Li Na, and lost in straight tight sets 7–5, 6–3. At the Australian Open, Zvonareva was upset by Casey Dellacqua, in straight sets 2–6, 2–6. At PTT Pattaya Open, Zvonareva entered as a wildcard, and defeated Peangtarn Plipuech in the first round 6–3, 6–2. She lost in the second round to no. 4 seed, Ekaterina Makarova 0–6, 2–6.

Zvonareva then entered the 2014 BNP Paribas Open as a wildcard but fell to Peng Shuai 6-4, 0-6, 5-7 in the first round. At Wimbledon, she reached the third round after defeating Tara Moore and rising star Donna Vekic. She then lost to Kazakh Zarina Diyas 6-7, 6-3, 3-6.

Rivalries[edit]

Zvonareva vs. Wozniacki[edit]

Zvonareva and Caroline Wozniacki have met nine times, with Zvonareva leading their head-to-head 5–4.[15] Throughout 2010 and 2011, they reigned as the top two players in the world and during this period they met each other seven times with Zvonareva winning on four occasions.

They have met in three finals, Wozniacki winning two of them: in rain-delayed finals at the 2010 Rogers Cup and the China Open, the latter of which was contested whilst they reigned as two of the top three players in the world, whilst Zvonareva prevailed in Qatar in 2011.[16] In 2010, they met in two important semi-finals: Zvonareva winning at the US Open[17] and Wozniacki prevailing at the 2010 WTA Tour Championships in a match which decided which of the two would finish 2010 ranked World No. 1.[18]

Zvonareva vs. Radwańska[edit]

Radwańska and Zvonareva following the 2011 Pan Pacific Open final.

Zvonareva has a rivalry with Polish player Agnieszka Radwańska,[19][20] which began in 2007. Radwańska leads the series 4–2.[21]

Throughout their meetings, Radwańska has matched Zvonareva's pace and movements around the court.[22] Zvonareva is considered the more powerful of the two, with Radwańska noted as more focused at times,[22][23] utilizing what Sports Illustrated's Courtney Nguyen dubbed "selective aggression" during the pair's 2011 matches.[24]

At the 2007 Kremlin Cup, Zvonareva won their first meeting in straight sets. The two did not play again until the 2011 season, when Radwańska won four of their five matches, including the finals of the Mercury Insurance Open and the Pan Pacific Open. Their final meeting of 2011 was an acclaimed match at the WTA Championships.[25][26] In the third set, Zvonareva served for the match while leading 5–3. However, Radwańska saved three match points and went on to win 1–6, 6–2, 7–5. The victory marked Radwańska's fourth straight win against Zvonareva, whom she described as "very consistent and always tough to beat."[27]

Zvonareva vs. Clijsters[edit]

Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters first played each other in 2002. Clijsters led their head-to-head 7–3.[28]

Prior to her first retirement in 2007, Clijsters won all five of her matches with Zvonareva. The women met again in 2010, with Zvonareva winning three of their four matches—the exception being the US Open final. Zvonareva's first victory against Clijsters came at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships. Their only match of 2011 was won by Clijsters at the Australian Open. At Wimbledon 2012 she retired after the second set against Clijsters for medical reasons.[citation needed]

Zvonareva vs. Stosur[edit]

Zvonareva has a 2–8 head-to-head record against Samantha Stosur, last beating Stosur at Wimbledon in 2004. Since then, Stosur has won eight consecutive meetings, with Zvonareva only winning three sets in the eight losses.[29] Zvonareva has never lost to any other player eight times in a row.[30]

Stosur puts heavy topspin onto the ball, which has proven detrimental to Zvonareva's ball-striking ability.[30] Stosur's style has also affected Zvonareva's ability to predict where Stosur is going to place the ball when she runs around her backhand to hit her forehand inside out.[31]

Personal life[edit]

In 2007, Zvonareva graduated from the Russian State University of Physical Education with a degree in Physical Education. She studied for a second degree in international economic relations at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow.[1]

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (0–2)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 2010 Wimbledon Grass United States Serena Williams 3–6, 2–6
Runner-up 2010 US Open Hard Belgium Kim Clijsters 2–6, 1–6

Doubles: 3 (2–1)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 2006 US Open Hard France Nathalie Dechy Russia Dinara Safina
Slovenia Katarina Srebotnik
7–6(7–5), 7–5
Runner-up 2010 Wimbledon Grass Russia Elena Vesnina United States Vania King
Kazakhstan Yaroslava Shvedova
6–7(6–8), 2–6
Winner 2012 Australian Open Hard Russia Svetlana Kuznetsova Italy Sara Errani
Italy Roberta Vinci
5–7, 6–4, 6–3

Mixed Doubles: 2 (2–0)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 2004 US Open Hard United States Bob Bryan Australia Alicia Molik
Australia Todd Woodbridge
6–3, 6–4
Winner 2006 Wimbledon Grass Israel Andy Ram United States Venus Williams
United States Bob Bryan
6–3, 6–2

Singles performance timeline[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR LQ (Q#) A P Z# PO SF-B F S G NMS NH

Won tournament; or reached Final; Semifinal; Quarter-final; Round 4, 3, 2, 1; competed at a Round Robin stage; lost in Qualification Round; absent from tournament event; played in a Davis Cup Zonal Group (with its number indication) or Play-off; won a bronze, silver (F or S) or gold medal at the Olympics; a downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament (Not a Masters Series); or a tournament that was Not Held in a given year.

To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 SR W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A A A 1R 4R 2R 1R 4R 1R SF 4R SF 3R A 1R 0 / 11 22–11
French Open A A A 4R QF 3R 3R 1R A 4R A 2R 4R A A A 0 / 8 18–8
Wimbledon A A A 2R 4R 4R 2R 1R A 2R 3R F 3R 3R A 3R 0 / 11 23–11
US Open A A A 3R 3R 4R A 3R 3R 2R 4R F QF A A 0 / 9 25–9
Year-End Championship
WTA Tour Championships A A A A A RR A A A F RR SF SF A A 0 / 5 9–10
Career statistics
Titles–Runners-up 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–1 1–0 1–2 1–0 2–1 0–1 2–6 2–0 1–5 2–2 0-0 0-0 12–18
Overall Win–Loss 3–1 6–2 12–9 41–14 46–24 54–27 21–21 37–22 30–14 65–22 33–14 50–19 56–22 11–10 0–0 0–2 465–224
Year End Ranking None 357 365 45 13 11 42 24 23 7 9 2 7 98 None

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Zvonareva biodata". Zvonareva.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Player Profile: Vera Zvonareva". WTA. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Chinese Li loses in bronze medal play-off at Olympic tennis". Retrieved 17 August 2008. 
  4. ^ Sony Ericsson WTA Tour
  5. ^ "Ram, Zvonareva win Wimbledon mixed doubles". Retrieved 8 July 2006. 
  6. ^ Nadal makes it 4 straight wins at Barcelona Open
  7. ^ "Russia cruise to Fed Cup defence". BBC Sport. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  8. ^ Google News re Zvonareva injury, 29 June 2009.
  9. ^ "Stosur and Hantuchova into Eastbourne semis". Reuters. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Viner, Brian (24 June 2011). "Zvonareva falls by the wayside as Pironkova exacts sweet revenge". The Independent (London: Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  11. ^ Herman, Martyn (24 June 2011). "Zvonareva blames foot injury for early exit". Reuters. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  12. ^ Vera Zvonareva withdraws from next week's US Open | Herald Sun
  13. ^ "Vera Zvonareva withdraws from Australian Open". The Washington Times. 22 December 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Zvonareva has shoulder surgery, Peterborough Examiner
  15. ^ C. Wozniacki vs. V. Zvonareva Head to Head Game Statistics, Tennis Tournament Results – Tennis Statistics Wettpoint
  16. ^ Zvonareva beats No. 1 Wozniacki in Qatar final
  17. ^ Vera Zvonareva stuns top seed Caroline Wozniacki to reach US Open final | Mail Online
  18. ^ tennis.com – Doha: Wozniacki d. Zvonareva
  19. ^ "Radwanska Too Solid, Zvonareva Eyes No.2". wtatennis.com. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  20. ^ "Stosur & Zvonareva reach last four at WTA Championships". BBC. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  21. ^ "Head to Head with Radwanska". wtatennis.com. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  22. ^ a b Tignor, Stephen (27 October 2011). "Istanbul: Radwańska defeats Zvonareva". tennis.com. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  23. ^ Sharma, Suhani (27 October 2011). "Radwanska outclasses Zvonareva in a thriller, keeps SF hopes alive in Istanbul". tennisearth.com. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  24. ^ Nguyen, Courtney (26 October 2011). "WTA Championships Day 3 preview". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  25. ^ "Vera Zvonareva – Agnieszka Radwańska". Yahoo!. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Zvonareva close to Istanbul exit". rt.com. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  27. ^ "Radwanska Rallies Past Zvonareva on Day 3". wtachampionships.com. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  28. ^ "Head to Head with Clijsters". wtatennis.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  29. ^ "Head to Head with Stosur". wtatennis.com. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  30. ^ a b "Stosur beats Zvonareva". wtatennis.com. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  31. ^ "Stosur 8th straight victory over Zvonareva". http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 

External links[edit]