Elena Dementieva

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Elena Dementieva
Елена Дементьева
Elena Dementieva at the 2010 US Open 02.jpg
Country  Russia
Residence Monte Carlo, Monaco
Born (1981-10-15) 15 October 1981 (age 32)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro 25 August 1998
Retired 29 October 2010
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money $14,867,437
Singles
Career record 576–273
Career titles 16 WTA, 3 ITF titles
Highest ranking No. 3 (6 April 2009)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open SF (2009)
French Open F (2004)
Wimbledon SF (2008, 2009)
US Open F (2004)
Other tournaments
Championships SF (2000, 2008)
Olympic Games

Gold medal.svg Gold Medal (2008)

Silver medal.svg Silver Medal (2000)
Doubles
Career record 152–86
Career titles 6 WTA, 3 ITF titles
Highest ranking No. 5 (14 April 2003)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 3R (2005, 2006, 2007)
French Open 3R (2004)
Wimbledon SF (2003)
US Open F (2002, 2005)
Other Doubles tournaments
Championships W (2002)
Olympic Games 1R (2004)
Last updated on: October 18, 2012.
Olympic medal record
Women's tennis
Competitor for  Russia
Gold 2008 Beijing Singles
Silver 2000 Sydney Singles

Elena Viatcheslavovna Dementieva (Russian: Еле́на Вячесла́вовна Деме́нтьева, Russian pronunciation: [jɪˈlʲenə dʲɪˈmʲentʲjɪvə]; born 15 October 1981) is a retired Russian tennis player.[1] Dementieva won the singles gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, having previously won the silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. She won 16 WTA singles titles, reached the finals of the 2004 French Open and 2004 US Open and reached seven other Grand Slam semi finals. Dementieva was also part of the Russian team that won the 2005 Fed Cup, won the 2002 WTA Championship doubles with Janette Husárová and was the runner-up in two US Open doubles finals – in 2002 with Husárová and in 2005 with Flavia Pennetta. Dementieva achieved a career-high ranking of World No. 3, which was accomplished on 6 April 2009. She announced her retirement on 29 October 2010, after her final match at the 2010 WTA Tour Championships. Dementieva ended her career ranked World No. 9 and between 2003 and 2010 she only ended one year, in 2007, outside the top 10.

Early and personal life[edit]

Dementieva was born in Moscow to Viatcheslav, an electrical engineer, and Vera, a teacher—both recreational tennis players. She was rejected by Dynamo Sports Club and the Central Red Army Tennis Club at the age of 7, before enrolling at Spartak Tennis Club, where she was coached for 3 years by Rauza Islanova, the mother of Marat Safin and Dinara Safina. She then moved to the Central Red Army Club with Sergei Pashkov, when she was 11. She was later coached by her mother Vera and her older brother Vsevolod. She has homes in Monaco, Moscow and Boca Raton, Florida. Dementieva enjoys snowboarding, reading, baseball and traveling.[2][3] On 16 July 2011, Dementieva married hockey player Maxim Afinogenov in Moscow.[4] The couple gave birth to their first child, Veronika, in April 2014.[5]

Tennis career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Dementieva played and won her first international tournament, Les Petits As, in France at the age of 13. In 1997, she entered the WTA top 500. She turned professional in 1998 and entered the top 100 in 1999.

1999–2002: Professional debut[edit]

In 1999, Dementieva represented Russia in the Fed Cup final against the United States, scoring Russia's only point when she upset Venus Williams 1–6, 6–3, 7–6(5), recovering from a 4–1 third set deficit. She played her first Grand Slam main draws, qualifying for the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, along with receiving a direct entry into the US Open. She reached the second round at the Australian Open and French Open, made a first round exit at Wimbledon and reached the third round of the US Open. In 2000, she entered the top 20 by winning more than 40 singles matches for the second straight year and earned more than U.S. $600,000. She became the first woman from Russia to reach the US Open semifinals in singles,[6] where she lost to Lindsay Davenport. At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Dementieva won the silver medal, losing to Venus Williams in the gold medal match 6–2, 6–4. In 2000, Dementieva was named the WTA tour's Most Improved Player.

2001 was the second straight year in which Dementieva finished in the WTA's top 20. During the year, she became the top-ranked Russian player, a position previously held by Anna Kournikova since December 1997. Dementieva, however, suffered a shoulder injury in Australia. To keep playing matches, she altered her serve, adding slice and changing her motion. After her shoulder healed, her service motion stayed the same. She had double faulted as many as 19 times in a match and hit 50 mph first and second serves. In 2002, Dementieva and her partner Janette Husárová of Slovakia reached the final of the US Open and won the year-ending WTA Tour Championships. In singles, Dementieva defeated a top ranked player for the first time, beating world No. 1 Martina Hingis 6–2, 6–2 in a quarterfinal in Moscow. Dementieva reached the final of that tournament, losing to Jelena Dokić.

2003: Top ten debut[edit]

Dementieva at the Canadian Open in 2002.

Dementieva played the most tournaments among year-end top 10 players (27) and won US$869,740 in prize money. At the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida, she won her first WTA Tour title, defeating Amanda Coetzer, World No. 9 Daniela Hantuchová, World No. 4 Justine Henin and World No. 5 Lindsay Davenport. Dementieva was the lowest seed (10th) to win the tournament in its 24-year history.[citation needed] She also won back-to-back titles in Bali and Shanghai, defeating Chanda Rubin in both finals. Dementieva finished the year in the top 10 for the first time (World No. 8). In addition, she reached the semifinals of the Wimbledon doubles with compatriot Lina Krasnoroutskaya, beating the Venus and Serena Williams team along the way.

2004: First Grand Slam final[edit]

Dementieva's breakthrough year was 2004. In Miami, she defeated Venus Williams in the quarterfinals and Nadia Petrova in the semifinals. Dementieva then lost to the top-seeded and two-time defending champion Serena Williams 6–1, 6–1. On 5 April, she reached her highest singles ranking at sixth in the world. With fifth-ranked Anastasia Myskina and ninth-ranked Petrova, it was the first time that three Russians appeared in the Women's Tennis Association top 10 simultaneously.

In May at the French Open, Dementieva reached her first Grand Slam final, defeating former top ranked Lindsay Davenport in the fourth round, Amélie Mauresmo in the quarterfinals and Paola Suárez in the semifinals, all in straight sets. Dementieva lost to compatriot Myskina in the first all-Russian Grand Slam final, 6–1, 6–2. In the match, Dementieva had ten double faults as her serve disintegrated. She summed up her performance by saying: "I just don't know how to serve".[7] Previous female Russian Grand Slam finalists had been: Dementieva's coach at the time, Olga Morozova, at 1974's French Open and Wimbledon, followed by Natalia Zvereva at the 1988 French Open.

Later that year at the US Open, after first round losses at Wimbledon to Sandra Kleinová and the 2004 Summer Olympics to eventual bronze-medalist Alicia Molik, Dementieva reached her second Grand Slam final, defeating Mauresmo and Jennifer Capriati en route, both in third set tie-breaks. Countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Dementieva in straight sets in the final, becoming the third consecutive Russian Grand Slam winner. Following the US Open, Dementieva won her first title in Hasselt and reached the Moscow finals for the second time, losing to Myskina.

2005–2006: Continued form[edit]

In 2005, Dementieva reached six semifinals, the most important being at the US Open. She also reached the final in Charleston, losing to Justine Henin, and Philadelphia, losing to Amélie Mauresmo despite serving for the match at 5–4 in the third set. In the quarterfinals of the US Open, Dementieva defeated top ranked Lindsay Davenport 6–1, 3–6, 7–6(6) for her second victory over a current No. 1 player. In the semifinals, she lost to Mary Pierce 3–6, 6–2, 6–2. The momentum of the match with Pierce changed in Pierce's favor when, with Dementieva up a set, Pierce received 12 minutes of on-court medical treatment. Partnering Flavia Pennetta of Italy, Dementieva reached her second doubles final at the US Open.

Following the US Open, Dementieva helped Russia repeat as Fed Cup champions, beating France 3–2 in the final. All three points came from Dementieva, as she avenged her loss to Pierce at the US Open, beat Mauresmo, and then won the deciding doubles match with partner Dinara Safina. At the WTA Tour Championships, Dementieva lost all three round robin matches against Mauresmo, Pierce, and Kim Clijsters with the same score each time: 6–2, 6–3.

Dementieva playing the first round of the 2006 US Open.

After losing to Kim Clijsters in an exhibition in Hong Kong, she lost in the first round of the Australian Open to Julia Schruff. But immediately following that tournament, Dementieva won her first Tier I event, the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. On the run to the title, she defeated Katarina Srebotnik, Nicole Vaidišová, and Anastasia Myskina, all in three sets. She then defeated the resurgent Martina Hingis, with Hingis saying after the match, "If she played like that all the time, she'd win Grand Slams". At the Pacific Life Open, despite double faulting 79 times in six matches, Dementieva reached the final. She defeated rising stars Sania Mirza, Ana Ivanovic, and Li Na along the way. Dementieva then upset Justine Henin in a semifinal 2–6, 7–5, 7–5. The victory was her fourth three set match of the tournament, and fatigue contributed to her 6–1, 6–2 loss to Maria Sharapova in the final.

At the French Open she was upset in the third round by Shahar Pe'er 6–4, 7–5. On grass, Dementieva reached the s'Hertogenbosch semifinals, losing to Michaëlla Krajicek despite holding a match point. Dementieva then reached her first Wimbledon quarter-final before losing to fourth seeded Sharapova 6–1, 6–4. In August, Dementieva won the tournament in Los Angeles by defeating Jelena Janković in the final 6–3, 4–6, 6–4. En route to her sixth career title, she defeated everyone who had beaten (or, in the case of the US Open, would beat) her at the 2006 Grand Slam tournaments – Schruff in the second round, Peer in the third round, Sharapova in a semifinal (for the first time since 2003), and Janković in the final.

At the 2006 US Open, Dementieva reached the quarterfinals for the fourth time, losing to Janković 6–2, 6–1. The three games she won were all breaks of serve. Dementieva remarked afterwards, "Yeah, it is disappointing, you know. I'm getting older, and I haven't won a Grand Slam, so that's really what I'm thinking about all the time. I feel like I was in a good shape here. That's why it's sad". [1]. She relinquished to Sharapova, who won the tournament, the distinction of being the Russian player to have won the most career prize money. Dementieva qualified for the year-ending WTA Tour Championships for the seventh straight time, the only active player to do so. She lost to all three players in her round robin group: Sharapova 6–1, 6–4; Svetlana Kuznetsova 7–5, 6–3; and Clijsters 6–4, 6–0. Her career win-loss record at this tournament fell to 3–14. She had lost her last nine matches played there.

2007: Dropping out of the top 10[edit]

Dementieva won two titles, reached three semifinals and five quarterfinals, and reached the fourth round at the Australian Open. After her first semifinal of the year at the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Dementieva suffered a rib fracture in Antwerp and was off the tour for nine weeks, leaving the top 10 in April for the first time in nearly four years. Dementieva won her fourth event back on tour at the Tier III event in Istanbul, her first career singles title on red clay. She was upset in the third round of the French Open by Marion Bartoli the following week. Three weeks later, she lost to Bartoli again in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Eastbourne, East Sussex 6–1, 6–0. At the J&S Cup in Warsaw, she lost to Venus Williams. She lost in the third round of Wimbledon to Tamira Paszek 3–6, 6–2, 6–3. During the North American summer hard court season, she reached the semifinals of the tournaments in San Diego and New Haven, Connecticut and the quarterfinals of the tournament in Los Angeles, but lost early at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto and at the US Open. By the end of the summer, Dementieva had fallen to World No. 20, her lowest ranking since 2002.

In the fall, Dementieva reached two successive quarterfinals in Beijing and Stuttgart. At the latter event, Dementieva defeated Amélie Mauresmo and Daniela Hantuchová before losing to World No. 1 Justine Henin in the quarterfinals. In the final of the Tier I Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Dementieva, being unseeded, defeated Serena Williams for the first time in her career. Winning the title in Moscow returned Dementieva to the top 10 at World No. 10 for one week. Her first round loss at the Zurich Open the following week, however, caused her ranking to fall to World No. 11. 2007 was the first year since 2002 that Dementieva did not finish the year in the top 10 and the first year since 1999 that she did not secure a spot at the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships.

2008: Resurgence[edit]

At Dementieva's first tournament of the season, the Medibank International in Sydney, she lost in the first round to Sofia Arvidsson 6–1, 7–5. She then reached the fourth round of the Australian Open before losing to eventual champion Maria Sharapova 6–2, 6–0. Dementieva then travelled to Paris for the Tier II Open Gaz de France indoor tournament. She reached the semifinals before succumbing to seventh-seeded Ágnes Szávay from Hungary 6–3, 1–6, 7–5. Dementieva then won the Tier II, US$1.5 million Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, defeating second-seeded compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. This was Dementieva's fourth career Tier II tournament title but her first since 2006. Along the way, she defeated Patty Schnyder, Alona Bondarenko, World No. 2 Ana Ivanovic, and Francesca Schiavone (who defeated World No. 1 and defending champion Justine Henin in the quarterfinals).

Elena Dementieva at 2008 Qatar Telecom German Open.

At the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Dementieva lost in the quarterfinals to Jelena Janković. This performance caused her ranking to rise to World No. 8. At the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, Dementieva lost in the semifinals to compatriot Vera Zvonareva dropping her ranking to World No. 9. Dementieva was the seventh-seeded player at the Tier I Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin but reached the final, where she lost to 13th-seeded Dinara Safina. Dementieva defeated fourth-seeded Janković in the quarterfinals and second-seeded Ivanovic in the semifinals. Dementieva's win over Ivanovic was her fourth in four career matches with her.

Dementieva's next tournament was the İstanbul Cup in Istanbul, Turkey, where Dementieva was the top seed and defending champion. She reached the final but was unsuccessful in her attempt to win a singles title at the same tournament in consecutive years, which would have been a career first. Agnieszka Radwańska of Poland defeated Dementieva in the final. At the French Open, Dementieva defeated eleventh-seeded Zvonareva in the fourth round 6–4, 1–6, 6–2, but lost her quarterfinal match against Safina 4–6, 7–6(5), 6–0 after Dementieva had a match point while leading 5–2 in the second set.

At the grass court Ordina Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, Dementieva was the top-seeded player but lost in the semifinals to Safina 6–3, 6–2. Dementieva was seeded fifth at the Wimbledon. In the second round, she trailed Timea Bacsinszky 3–0 in the third set before winning the last six games of the match. In the fourth round, she defeated Israel's Shahar Pe'er to become the highest seeded woman left in the draw after the early round defeats of first seeded Ivanovic, second seeded Janković, third seeded Sharapova, and fourth seeded Kuznetsova. In the quarterfinals, Dementieva held on to defeat Russian compatriot Nadia Petrova 6–1, 6–7, 6–3 after Dementieva failed to hold serve while serving for the match in the second set at 5–1 and 5–3. In her first Wimbledon semifinal and her first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2005 US Open, Dementieva lost to eventual champion Venus Williams 6–1, 7–6(3).

Dementieva played three hard court tournaments during the summer and was seeded fifth at all three. She began her summer season by losing to Dominika Cibulková 6–4, 6–2 in the second round of the Tier I Rogers Cup in Montreal. At the Beijing Olympics, Dementieva was down a set and a break before defeating fourth-seeded Serena Williams in the quarterfinals 3–6, 6–4, 6–3. She then defeated compatriot Zvonareva in the semifinals and Safina in the three set final to win the gold medal.

Elena Dementieva at 2008 WTA Tour Championships.

At the US Open, Dementieva was one of six players with the opportunity to be ranked World No. 1 upon completion of the tournament. Dementieva defeated Schnyder in the quarterfinals but lost to Janković in the semifinals 6–4, 6–4. Dementieva was up a break in each set but committed 42 unforced errors and lost each of her last five service games. Nevertheless, her ranking improved to World No. 4 for the first time since 2004.

At the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Dementieva was seeded third and qualified for the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships with a second-round victory against Alizé Cornet. However, she was upset in the quarterfinals by Katarina Srebotnik. At the Tier II Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Dementieva was seeded fourth. She easily won her first match by defeating Sybille Bammer 6–1, 6–4, but was upset in the quarterfinals by Victoria Azarenka 7–6(6), 3–6, 6–1. Defending her title at the Kremlin Cup, Dementieva was seeded third. She defeated Katarina Srebotnik in the second round and Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, she faced Jelena Janković. She won the first set easily 6–0, but only managed to win one game after that, losing the next two sets 6–1, 6–0. She committed 31 unforced errors in the second and third set. She won her next event though, the Fortis Championships Luxembourg, defeating Caroline Wozniacki in three sets in the final.

At the WTA Tour Championships held in Doha, Qatar, Dementieva was seeded fourth. In her first round robin match, she lost her first match to Venus Williams, before defeating Dinara Safina in the second. After Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament, Dementieva played Nadia Petrova and defeated her to reach the knock-out stage. In the semifinals, she lost to Vera Zvonareva 7–6(7), 3–6, 6–3.

2009: Career-high no. 3 ranking[edit]

Dementieva began her season by winning the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand. Seeded first, she reached the final where she defeated unseeded Elena Vesnina in the final in straight sets.[8] The following week at the Medibank International in Sydney, Dementieva defeated Agnieszka Radwańska in the quarterfinals and upset top-seeded Serena Williams in the semifinals 6–3, 6–1. She then won her second consecutive tournament by defeating compatriot and second-seeded Dinara Safina in the final.[9]

Dementieva at the 2009 Australian Open

Dementieva was seeded fourth at the Australian Open and was one of three players who had a chance of being ranked World No. 1 at the end of this tournament. Dementieva's 15-match winning streak ended in the semifinals when she lost to Serena Williams 6–3, 6–4 after Dementieva had led 3–0 in the second set.

Playing for Russia in Fed Cup in Moscow, Dementieva defeated Zhang Shuai 6–3, 6–0, helping Russia to an emphatic 5–0 win over the Chinese.

At the Open GDF Suez tournament in Paris, Dementieva advanced to her third final of the year. Amélie Mauresmo then defeated Dementieva in the final in three sets. At the Premier 5 Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Dementieva became the 27th woman during the open era to record 500 career singles victories after defeating Sybille Bammer in the first round. She lost however to Venus Williams in the quarterfinals 6–3, 6–3.

Dementieva's next tournament was the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which was the first Premier Mandatory event of the year. After receiving a bye in the first round, she was upset by the Czech Republic's Petra Cetkovská 7–6(2), 2–6, 6–1. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, another Premier Mandatory event, Dementieva was seeded fourth but committed 45 unforced errors while losing to 13th seeded Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round 7–5, 6–4. Despite the loss, she achieved her highest career singles ranking of World No. 3. By reaching the Top 3, she became the sixth Russian to do so.[10]

Dementieva began the spring clay court season at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, a Premier event on the tour. She lost there in the semifinals Wozniacki 6–4, 5–7, 7–5 in a nearly three hour match.[11] Dementieva survived a 2–5 deficit in the second set and saved three consecutive match points on her own serve at 3–5 in that set.[11] At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, another Premier event, she reached her second consecutive semifinal where she lost to the eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6–4, 6–2. Dementieva was seeded 3rd for the 2009 Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open but was upset by former world no. 1 Amélie Mauresmo in the third round by 1–6, 6–4, 6–2. At the French Open, Dementieva lost to Samantha Stosur in the third round, 6–3, 4–6, 6–1.[12]

Dementieva at the 2009 Cincinnati Women's Open

As preparation for Wimbledon, Dementieva took part at the Aegon International in Eastbourne. Seeded first, she was upset in the second round by the eventual finalist Virginie Razzano 6–0, 3–6, 7–6(4). Seeded 4th at Wimbledon, Dementieva easily reached the semi-final dropping only 20 games en route. In her second consecutive Wimbledon semi-final, Dementieva played out a thriller against the No. 2 seed and eventual champion Serena Williams. In a high quality contest, Dementieva held a single match point at 5–4 in the third set but eventually lost the match 6–7(4), 7–5, 8–6 in the longest Wimbledon semifinal of the open era. The match was widely heralded as the best women's match of 2009.

In the lead up to the U.S. Open, Dementieva took part in three tournaments. At the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California, she advanced to the semi-final defeating Daniela Hantuchová en route. In the semis, Dementieva was crushed by Venus Williams 6–0, 6–1. At the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open in Cincinnati, she defeated Yanina Wickmayer and Caroline Wozniacki to reach the semifinal. In a bizarre match, Dementieva the fell to Jelena Janković, 6–7(2), 6–0, 6–7(6), despite leading 6–2 in the final set tiebreak having already saved three match points herself prior. At the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Dementieva defeated Serena Williams 7–6(2), 6–1 to reach her fourth final of the year. In the final, she defeated an unseeded Maria Sharapova 6–4, 6–3 in the final to win her third title of the year and 14th of her career.[13] As a result of her performances in these three tournaments, Dementieva secured the US Open Series crown. Entering the US Open as one of the favourites, Dementieva suffered a shock loss to the World No. 70 Melanie Oudin, 5–7, 6–4, 6–3.[14]

In 2009 after the US Open, Elena was awarded the Order of Honour by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Kremlin in Moscow. The Order of Honor is awarded to Russian citizens for high achievements in government, economic production, scientific research, sociocultural, public and charitable activities which essentially made it possible to improve conditions of life in the country, for merits in training highly skilled personnel, training the growing up generation, and the maintenance of legality and law. The Order of Honor is worn on the left side of the chest; when other orders of the Russian Federation are present, it is located after orders awarded for military merits.

On 14 September, Dementieva became one of eight women to qualify for the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar. At the Premier 5 Toray Pan Pacific Open, she lost in the second round to Kateryna Bondarenko 6–2, 6–7(2), 6–1. Dementieva's next tournament was the Premier Mandatory China Open. She defeated Li Na on her way to the quarter-finals before losing in straight sets to Agnieszka Radwańska.

At the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar, Dementieva won her first round robin match in the Maroon group against Venus after trailing 3–6, 1–3 in the second set by 3–6, 7–6(6), 6–2. She then suffered two consecutive losses, to Serena in her second round robin match by 2–6, 4–6, then to Svetlana Kuznetsova, by 3–6, 2–6. Because of this, she failed to reach to the semi-finals.

Dementieva finished 2009 as the world number 5, one spot lower from 2008 year end ranking. The highlights of her career this year included winning Auckland, Sydney and Toronto and reaching the semis at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

2010: Final year[edit]

Dementieva at the 2010 Hopman Cup

Dementieva began the year representing Russia in the Hopman Cup partnering Igor Andreev. She lost her opening match in the Round Robin stage to Sabine Lisicki before defeating Yaroslava Shvedova and Laura Robson. However, Russia failed to make the final as they finished third in group B.

Dementieva's first tournament and tour title of the year came at the Medibank International, where she was also the defending champion. She defeated world no. 1 Serena Williams 6–3 6–2 in the final, successfully defending her title. En route to the final she defeated fellow Russian and world no. 2 Dinara Safina as well as the world no. 6 Victoria Azarenka, in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, winning in straight sets on both occasions. She is the first woman since Martina Hingis in 2001 and 2002 to win the Medibank International in consecutive years.

Dementieva was seeded fifth at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam event of the year. She defeated Vera Dushevina of Russia in the 1st round. In the second round she lost to wild card, former World No. 1, and eventual finalist Justine Henin of Belgium, 5–7, 6–7 (6), despite having 2 set points in the first set, and one set point at 6–5 in the second set tie-break.

Dementieva's next tournament was the Open GDF Suez in Paris where she advanced to the final for the second consecutive year. In her second final of the year, she came from a set down to defeat Lucie Šafářová 6–7(5), 6–1, 6–4.

Dementieva was then the fifth seed at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai. She retired against Daniela Hantuchová in the second round because of shoulder injury while trailing 6–4, 1–1. Dementieva then played at the inaugural Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur. Seeded first, she advanced to her third final of the year where she fell in straight sets to Alisa Kleybanova, 6–3, 6–2.

Dementieva then took part in the Premier Mandatory events in North America. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Dementieva lost to Agnieszka Radwańska in the quarterfinals, 6–4, 6–3. The following week at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, she lost in the second Round to Justine Henin, 6–3, 6–2.

Dementieva represented Russia in the semifinal round of the 2010 Fed Cup against the United States. She defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Melanie Oudin in her two singes matches. In the deciding doubles match, Dementieva and Alla Kudryavtseva fell to Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber 6–3, 6–1.

At the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, where Dementieva was the sixth seed, she lost in the third round to a resurgent Ana Ivanovic for the first time, 6–1, 7–6(5). She then played at the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, where she defeated Aleksandra Wozniak in the first round, 6–0, 6–1. She lost to Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania in the second round 6–1, 3–6, 7–5 even after serving for the match. Despite the loss, Dementieva managed to be the Russian No.1 for the first time in her career.

Dementieva's next tournament was the Warsaw Open. As a second seed and receiving a bye in the first round, she lost to Tsvetana Pironkova in a nearly 3-hour match, 5–7, 6–4, 4–6.

Dementieva was the fifth seed at the French Open. She defeated Petra Martić of Croatia in the first round 6–1, 6–1 and Anabel Medina Garrigues in the second round 6–2, 7–6. Despite clear injuries, she managed to come from a set down and breaks down in the second and third sets to defeat Aleksandra Wozniak in the third round and ran past Chanelle Scheepers in the fourth round. She booked her place in the semi-finals of the tournament, where she faced Italian 17th seed Francesca Schiavone, after comeback from a set down to win over compatriot Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinals. She retired after Schiavone won the first set in a tie break with a torn left calf muscle which was sustained in the second round, and subsequently withdrew from Eastbourne and Wimbledon.[15]

Dementieva at the 2010 US Open

Dementieva started her hard court campaign at Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, California, where she was the second seed. She advanced to the quarterfinals where she fell to Maria Sharapova in three sets. She lost to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round at Cincinnati. She did not repeat as champion at the Rogers Cup after suffering a 7–6(3), 6–4 loss to Zheng Jie in the third round. She lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals at New Haven, despite serving for the match at 5–4 in the third set.

Dementieva was the 12th seed at the US Open. She defeated Olga Govortsova, Sybille Bammer and 24th seed Daniela Hantuchová to advance to the 4th round where she wasted four match points before falling to 5th seed Samantha Stosur.

As the 7th seed, Dementieva reached the finals of the 2010 Toray Pan Pacific Open where she faced top seed Caroline Wozniacki. Dementieva defeated Yaroslava Shvedova, Flavia Pennetta, 2nd seed Vera Zvonareva and 5th seed Francesca Schiavone, but eventually lost to Wozniacki. At the China Open, she suffered a 7–6(2), 7–6(4) loss to Serbian Ana Ivanovic in the third round.

On 9 October 2010, it was announced that Dementieva had qualified for the year-ending WTA Tour Championships for the tenth time in her career.[16]

Dementieva's final event of the year was the WTA Tour Championships, where she qualified for the third consecutive year, as the No. 7 seed. Dementieva was still struggling with her ankle injury. As a member of the Maroon Group, Dementieva fell to Caroline Wozniacki, 6–1, 6–1 and defeated Samantha Stosur, 4–6, 6–4, 7–6(4). Dementieva then faced Francesca Schiavone and lost, 6–4, 6–2.

Retirement[edit]

Following her loss to Francesca Schiavone, Dementieva announced her retirement in an on-court ceremony on 29 October 2010. Dementieva ended her career ranked World No. 9, with 16 WTA singles titles and 2 Grand Slam final appearances. Dementieva said in her speech that it had been an honour to be part of the tour. Zvonareva called her an inspiration.[1] Dementieva revealed during an interview with Eurosport that she had decided that 2010 would be her last season at the start of the year.

Playing style[edit]

Dementieva was an offensive baseline player with powerful groundstrokes off both sides and excellent defensive skills. Her preferred groundstroke was her forehand, which she hit hard and flat. In particular, her running forehand, which she rarely missed, was a key weapon for Dementieva when she was on the defensive. Dementieva was also known for her excellent athleticism and speed around the court. Dementieva made few net approaches except to return drop shots or to take advantage of weak returns from her opponents.

Dementieva had no particular favorite surface, as her playing ability allowed her to adapt easily on each surface although her best results were on hard courts, while her two Grand Slam finals were on hard court and clay. While her heavy groundstroking baseline game did not seem to be that suited to grass, her athleticism and improved serve, in particular her slice serve, led to two consecutive semi-final appearances at Wimbledon.

Although Dementieva's serve made major improvements over her career, it was always known as her weak spot. This was most evident in her loss to Anastasia Myskina in the 2004 French Open final, in which she had ten double-faults.[7]

Career statistics[edit]

Tournament 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Career SR Career W-L Win %
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A A A 2R 3R 3R 4R 1R 1R 4R 1R 4R 4R SF 2R 0 / 12 23–12 66%
French Open A A A A 2R 2R 2R 4R 1R F 4R 3R 3R QF 3R SF 0 / 12 30–12 71%
Wimbledon A A A A 1R 1R 3R 4R 4R 1R 4R QF 3R SF SF A 0 / 11 27–11 71%
US Open A A A LQ 3R SF 4R 2R 4R F SF QF 3R SF 2R 4R 0 / 12 40–12 77%
Win-Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 4–4 8–4 8–4 10–4 6–4 11–4 14–4 10–4 9–4 17–4 13–4 9–3 0 / 47 120–47 72%

Source:[17]

Fed Cup[edit]

Dementieva frequently played for the Russian Fed Cup team. She finished her career with an overall Fed Cup record of 26–9, broken down into marks of 22–5 in singles and 4–4 in doubles.[18] Her record includes singles victories over Venus Williams, Mary Pierce, Amélie Mauresmo and Kim Clijsters.[19]

In 2005, Dementieva almost single-handedly led Russia to capture the Fed Cup by beating France 3–2 in the final. All three points came from Dementieva, as she beat Pierce and Mauresmo in two single matches, and then won the deciding doubles match with partner Dinara Safina.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Dementieva appeared in the music video of Igor Nikolayev's song "Kak Ty Prekrasna" (How Beautiful You Are).[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Retirement of Elena Dementieva". wtatour.com. 29 October 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Autobiographical profile at Elena Dementieva Official Site
  3. ^ Tired Sharapova Flattened by Dementieva. Tournament notes at Elena Dementieva Official Site. 13.08.2006
  4. ^ Myles, Stephanie (17 July 2011). "Dementieva becomes Mrs. Maxim Afinogenov The Wedding guest list had many tennisplayers and icehockeyplayers on it; Elena Vesnina, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina to say a few. Vera Dushevina got the weddigflowers, when Dementieva threw out to the people". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Dementieva gives birth to first child, WTA Official Website, 28 April 2014
  6. ^ Bock, Hal (8 September 2000). "Unseeded Russian Joins Top Women in Semifinals". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. D–11. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b BBC Sport | Tennis | Dementieva weeps after loss
  8. ^ Dementieva Cruises to Victory in Auckland Final ESPN.com, 9 January 2009
  9. ^ Elena Dementieva (RUS) – Player Profile. Thetennistimes.com. Retrieved on 2011-09-11.
  10. ^ "Dementieva Cracks World's Top 3". Sonyericssonwtatour.com. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Wozniacki, Lisicki in finals of Family Circle Cup". CNN. 18 April 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Dementieva knocked out in Paris". BBC Sport. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  13. ^ "Dementieva takes Rogers Cup title". BBC Sport. 23 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  14. ^ "The US Open 2009 – Grand Slam Tennis – Official Site by IBM". IBM Corp. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2009. 
  15. ^ Mitchell, Kevin (3 June 2010). "Samantha Stosur rallies to keep Australia awake for French Open final". The Guardian (London). 
  16. ^ "Jelena and Elena qualify for Doha". Gulf Times. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  17. ^ "Players – Elena Dementieva Statistics". Women's Tennis Association. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Fed Cup – Player profile – Elena DEMENTIEVA (RUS)". Fed Cup. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "Fed Cup – Head to Head – Elena DEMENTIEVA (RUS) v Kim CLIJSTERS (BEL)". Fed Cup. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  20. ^ Blue Dog And Sponge Cake on MySpace Music. MySpace.com.
  21. ^ Crane, Kelly. The girls' other sides. Gulf News. 15 February 2010.
  22. ^ "How Beautiful You Are by Igor Nickolayev" (video). YouTube. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Russia Dinara Safina
US Open Series Champion
2009
Succeeded by
Denmark Caroline Wozniacki
Awards
Preceded by
United States Serena Williams
WTA Most Improved Player
2000
Succeeded by
Belgium Justine Henin
Preceded by
Serbia Ana Ivanovic
Karen Krantczke Sportsmanship Award
2008
Succeeded by
Belgium Kim Clijsters
Preceded by
Belgium Kim Clijsters
Karen Krantczke Sportsmanship Award
2010
Succeeded by
Czech Republic Petra Kvitová
Preceded by
New Award
Tour Fan Favorite Singles Player of the Year
2009
Succeeded by
Russia Maria Sharapova
Preceded by
Serbia Ana Ivanovic
Diamond Aces
2009
Succeeded by
Australia Samantha Stosur