Elena Vesnina

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Elena Vesnina
Vesnina US16 (10) (29236352393).jpg
Vesnina at the 2016 US Open
Country (sports)  Russia
Residence Sochi, Russia
Born (1986-08-01) 1 August 1986 (age 31)
Lviv, Ukraine SSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Turned pro 2002
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach(es) Andrei Chesnokov
Prize money US$ 11,381,600
Singles
Career record 404–319 (55.88%)
Career titles 3 WTA, 2 ITF
Highest ranking No. 13 (20 March 2017)
Current ranking No. 19 (11 September 2017)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 4R (2006, 2013)
French Open 3R (2015 2017)
Wimbledon SF (2016)
US Open 3R (2009, 2014, 2016, 2017)
Doubles
Career record 397–210
Career titles 17 WTA, 6 ITF
Highest ranking No. 3 (17 July 2017)
Current ranking No. 5 (11 September 2017)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open F (2014)
French Open W (2013)
Wimbledon W (2017)
US Open W (2014)
Other doubles tournaments
Tour Finals W (2016)
Olympic Games W (2016)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open W (2016)
French Open SF (2012)
Wimbledon F (2011, 2012)
US Open SF (2011)
Team competitions
Fed Cup W (2007, 2008), Record 11–6
Last updated on: 11 September 2017.

Elena Sergeyevna Vesnina (Russian: Еле́на Серге́евна Веснина́ IPA: [jɪˈlʲɛnə vʲɪsnʲɪˈna]; born 1 August 1986) is a Russian professional tennis player. Her career-high rankings are world No. 13 in singles and World No. 3 in doubles. Vesnina is a four-time Grand Slam champion in doubles competition, having won the 2013 French Open, 2014 US Open, and 2017 Wimbledon Championship tournaments with Ekaterina Makarova, and the 2016 Australian Open mixed doubles title with Bruno Soares.

Vesnina debuted at a main draw WTA tournament in Quebec. One of her best seasons was in 2009, reaching her first WTA final and attaining a ranking of 24 in the year end. She repeated her success in 2013, reaching her best for a long period ranking of 21 on 22 July. Then she won her first WTA titles in Hobart and Eastbourne. After falling out of the Top 100 in October 2014, Vesnina experienced an upturn in fortunes in 2016, returning to the top 30 and making her first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon,.[1] She continued her good form into 2017 and won the biggest singles title of her career to date at Indian Wells, claiming her first Premier Mandatory level title.

Vesnina has been consistently one of the highest ranked doubles players during her career, ending every season since 2008 ranked within the top thirty, and every season since 2011 in the top ten. In May 2012, she entered a regular partnership with Ekaterina Makarova, becoming one of the leading teams on Tour. They have won eleven titles together, including three Grand Slam titles, the 2016 WTA Finals, as well as Olympic gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Personal life[edit]

Vesnina was born to Sergey and teacher Irina. She has a younger brother, Dmitry, a former junior tennis player.[2] She started playing tennis aged seven in the sports school in Sochi.[3]

In November 2015, Vesnina married businessman Pavel Tabuntsov.[4]

Career[edit]

2002–2003[edit]

In October 2002, aged 16 years and two months, Vesnina gained direct entry into the qualifying draw for her first $10,000 tournament at Giza, Egypt, and succeeded in qualifying for the main draw before losing a close three-set match. The next week, again qualifying at Al-Mansoura to enter the main draw, where she won two further matches in straight sets, beating Hana Šromová of the Czech Republic in the second round, to reach her first $10,000 quarterfinal in just her second event played. However, she defaulted her quarterfinal tie to her opponent.

In 2003, Vesnina began the year entering two successive ITF events India, at Chennai and Bangalore, and not only succeeded in qualifying both times, but also reached her first semifinal and another quarterfinal in the main draws, losing to Akgul Amanmuradova at the quarterfinal stage at Bangalore. These results gave Vesnina her first ranking at World No. 750, enough to gain direct entry to her next $10,000 draw at Istanbul, where she beat her personal best result in reaching the final. The following week, at Antalya, she was knocked out in the first round by her then-compatriot Evgenia Linetskaya; and in May she met with mixed results in Lviv, Ukraine and Warsaw, Poland; but in June she claimed her career-first $10,000 title at Balashikha, Russia, without dropping a set.

After taking her first ITF title, Vesnina competed in Bucharest losing to Raluca Sandu in the second round. She stayed there to compete in Bucharest 2, where she made it through the finals losing to German Antonela Voina in a tight two sets. She then competed in Zhukovsky, Russia, as a qualifier and succeeded, then won through all the way to the semifinal of the main draw with a tight three-set quarterfinal victory over compatriot Ekaterina Bychkova en route, but was stopped in straight sets in the semifinals by Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine.

In the middle of September, Vesnina qualified for her second straight $25,000 tournament at Tbilisi, Georgia, and this time won the title, recording victories over Evgenia Linetskaya, Olga Barabanschikova of Belarus, and Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine, in the quarterfinal, semifinal and final respectively. She then failed to qualify, trying to get to for first main draw appearance at the WTA Tour in her next two events in Moscow and Tashkent. She finished the year ranked No. 279.

2004–2005[edit]

Vesnina began the year with a second round exit at the ITF event in Bergamo 1. She then failed to qualify in Ortisei, an ITF event, exiting at the first round of the qualifying draw. She also lost in first round of the qualifying round of 2004 Hyderabad Open to an unranked Barbara Schwartz. At the ITF event in St. Petersburg, it was however a different scenario as she got past the qualifying round and then defeated compatriot Anastasia Rodionova in the first round proper on her way to a quarterfinal finish, where she was defeated by Ivana Lisjak of Croatia.

Vesnina next played in June at Marseille, falling at the last round of the qualifying draw she was granted a lucky loser before bowing out to No. 1 seed and then world No. 70 Ľubomíra Kurhajcová in straight sets despite taking the second to a close tie-break. She then made early exits in Gorizia and Vittel. Following this disappointing performance she reached two ITF quarterfinals in a row in Moscow losing to Maria Kondratieva and in Balashikha losing to Anastasiya Yakimova. In late September, as a direct main-draw entrant into the $50,000 tournament at Batumi, Georgia, she also reached the quarterfinals, where she lost to No. 1 seed Anna Chakvetadze.

In her next events, Vesnina tried to qualify for a WTA event in the Kremlin Cup but was knocked out at the second hurdle by world No. 61 Claudine Schaul of Luxembourg in a topsy-turvy match, and in the Bell Challenge where she succeeded for the first time in winning through qualifying into a WTA Tour main draw but lost in the first round of the main draw to Mariana Díaz Oliva.

Vesnina then qualified in Opole, Poland, but lost to Hana Šromová in the second-round in three sets. She ended the year by reaching the quarterfinal at Bergamo, losing to Estonian star Maret Ani in a very close three-setter. Vesnina ended the year world ranked No. 286.

She started 2005 attempting to make headway in WTA Tour main draws and next entered the qualifying round of the Cellular South Cup but lost in straight sets to Varvara Lepchenko. The following week, she entered an ITF tournament at St. Paul, Minnesota, where she lost in the second qualifying round to Tatsiana Uvarova. Extending her bad start she made a first round exit at St. Petersburg an ITF event; she then qualified at Civitavecchia reaching the semifinals before losing to Maret Ani in three sets. In May, she entered qualifying for the Tier II event at Warsaw, and avenged her previous defeat by Adriana Barna, knocking her out, but then fell again to Anna Chakvetadze in the second round.

A couple of weeks later, Vesnina suffered a disappointing first-round loss to Olivia Sanchez of France in the first round of a $25,000 event at Antalya. But the following week she bounced back to qualify for her second career WTA main draw at İstanbul Cup losing to American star Mashona Washington in the second round. This was her first WTA tour win. Returning in June she reached the final of an event at Galatina, Italy without dropping a set, defeating higher-ranked Tatiana Poutchek of Belarus on the way, before losing the title to Mariya Koryttseva. At her next two ITF tournaments in early July, she failed to qualify in Fano while losing in three-sets to similarly ranked compatriot Lioudmila Skavronskaia in the first round in Cuneo, Italy. But later that month she succeeded in qualifying for her third career WTA main draw at the Internazionali di Modena, in first round of the main draw she cruised past a low-ranked special entrant from Slovenia Maja Matevžič before being ousted by world No. 28 Flavia Pennetta in Second Round.

The very next week, Vesnina won through qualifying into a WTA main draw for the fourth time at Internazionali Femminili di Palermo but lost Maret Ani in the first round of the main draw. In her next three events she failed to qualify for the main draw of the WTA events at the Nordea Nordic Light Open losing to Emma Laine in the third round of the qualifying draw, in the Rogers Cup where she first thrashed Swiss perennial and world No. 110 Emmanuelle Gagliardi, but then was ousted by Japanese world No. 93 Rika Fujiwara in three sets, and in the US Open to Marina Erakovic in the second round of the qualifying draw. She then reached the semifinals in Denain, France losing to Arantxa Parra Santonja, and in Bordeaux, France losing to Stéphanie Foretz. Vesnina attained direct entry to a WTA Tour main draw for the first time in her career at the Tashkent Open in October, where she reached her first quarterfinals losing to Akgul Amanmuradova. She then failed to qualify at the Kremlin Cupp losing to Alona Bondarenko. In the Generali Ladies Linz she came through the qualifying round before losing to Tamira Paszek in the first round.

In November, at the Bell Challenge, Vesnina reached her second quarterfinals losing to 75th-ranked Swede Sofia Arvidsson. In the next two weeks, she came unstuck in early rounds of ITF events, losing to Emma Laine in the first round at Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and to Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the second round at Deauville, France. She ended the year with a semifinal appearance at Poitiers in the final week of November and her last tournament, losing to Viktoriya Kutuzova en route she Marion Bartoli and world No. 96 Stéphanie Foretz. She ended the year ranked no. 111.

2006[edit]

Beginning the new season early in January at the MAW Hardcourts, Vesnina was narrowly defeated by Puerto Rican world No. 157 Vilmarie Castellvi in three sets in the first round of the qualifying draw for the Tier III event at Gold Coast, and then she was beaten by Nuria Llagostera Vives in the first round of Moorilla Hobart International the following week.

Being ranked number 100, she was awarded direct entry into her first ever Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open, and reached the fourth round with defeats of qualifiers Li Ting, Julia Schruff and Olga Savchuk before losing to world No. 7 Nadia Petrova. She next competed at the Bangalore Open and Pacific Life Open but lost in the first rounds of both contests, losing to Australian world No. 127 Nicole Pratt at Bangalore and to world No. 86 Viktoriya Kutuzova of the Ukraine at Indian Wells. However, she reached the third round of the NASDAQ-100 Open and Bausch & Lomb Championships losing to Tatiana Golovin and Virginia Ruano Pascual, respectively.

The week after, playing at Family Circle Cup, Vesnina again came out the loser in a three-setter, this time against experienced fellow-Russian star Vera Zvonareva, who took the match. In May, retreating to a lower-level Tier IV event at Estoril, Portugal, she encountered Flavia Pennetta, the first seed in the draw, in the first round; and this time the Italian wrought her revenge in the third set tie-break of a very evenly tied match that ran. At the Berlin Open, she lost to Czech Květa Peschke in the first round.

At the Internationaux de Strasbourg, Vesnina encountered fierce resistance in the first round from upcoming Italian world No. 249 Karin Knapp, but finally defeated her to book her place in the second round, where she made light work of world No. 27 Marion Bartoli for the second time in her career, this time dismissing her. In the quarterfinals, clay-court expert and world No. 28 Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain had the better of their joust, taking it. At the French Open she lost Peng Shuai in the first round.

Vesnina entered the grass-court circuit, in Birmingham and 's-Hertogenbosch, and both reaching the second round losing to Italian World No. 39 Mara Santangelo and World No. 8 Elena Dementieva, respectively. In July, entering Wimbledon Championships world-ranked No. 63, she recovered from a set down to fend off Spanish World No. 75 María Sánchez Lorenzo in the first round, and then second round she lost compatriot Anna Chakvetadze in a close three setter.

At the Acura Classic and JPMorgan Chase Open, Vesnina reached the second round of both events, losing to Finnish Emma Laine and American Meghann Shaughnessy, respectively. At the qualifying round of the Rogers Cup she was upset by Neha Uberoi of the United States in the first round. The following week at Forest Hills Tennis Classic she lost to Shaughnessy at the quarterfinal stage. In September, in her first appearance at the US Open, she lost to world No. 14 Mary Pierce in the first round.

At the China Open, in the first round, Vesnina at last wreaked revenge upon Emma Laine after a lengthy struggle, but then in the second she fell in three sets to world No. 23 Li Na. A string of three further moderate second-round finishes in successive weeks followed in the earlier part of October in Guangzhou International Women's Open losing to veteran Israeli Tzipora Obziler, in Tashkent Open losing to Kateryna Bondarenko, in Kremlin Cup losing to Amélie Mauresmo.

After qualifying for the Generali Ladies Linz, Vesnina got past the first round of the main draw against world No. 16 Daniela Hantuchová after the Slovak retired 4–3. World No. 12 Jelena Janković awaited her in Round two, and although Vesnina won the first set on a tie-break, it was Janković who emerged victorious in three sets. In her last tournament at Gaz de France Stars she retired against Kirsten Flipkens. Vesnina finished the year still ranked 44th in the world, up 67 places year-on-year.

2007[edit]

In her first tournament of the year at the MAW Hardcourts, Vesnina reached the quarterfinals losing to Italian Tathiana Garbin. The following week, at the Moorilla Hobart International she lost Anabel Medina Garrigues in the first round. At the Australian Open she avenged her loss to Medina Garrigues in the first round, but lost in the second to Maria Elena Camerin, in a very close three-set match. Following the Australian Open then proceeded to suffer a string of disappointing first round exits over the remainder of the Winter season, including at the Toray Pan Pacific Open and at the Dubai Tennis Championships, losing seven straight matches in a row. Her losing streak ended in the hands of Urszula Radwańska in the first round of the J&S Cup, but lost in the next round to Jelena Janković. At the Qatar Telecom German Open a week later, she suffered a heavy loss by 65th-ranked Spaniard Lourdes Domínguez Lino at the first round.

In her next main draw appearance, Vesnina reached the quarterfinals at the Internationaux de Strasbourg she lost to Marion Bartoli for the first time in three meetings. At the French Open, she was drawn against no. 1 seed and eventual champion Justine Henin of Belgium in the first round, and lost in two relatively close sets. The following week, at the Ordina Open, she got through as a qualifier but lost in the second round by Angelique Kerber of Germany. Entering Wimbledon Championships world-ranked 67th in July, she enjoyed a strong start with successive comfortable straight-sets wins over fellow-Russian world No. 32 Olga Puchkova in the first round and world No. 43 Émilie Loit of France in the second, before losing once again to No. 1 seed and eventual semifinalist Justine Henin, in the third round. Following Wimbledon she competed at the W&S Financial Group Women's Open where she reached the quarterfinals losing to eventual champion and compatriot Anna Chakvetadze, until retiring.

At the Nordea Nordic Light Open, Vesnina defeated Swedish world No. 109 Sofia Arvidsson in straight sets in the first round, but then lost to fast-rising Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki, in the second. She then competed in the last tournament before the US Open at the Forest Hills Tennis Classic, after receiving a first round bye, she began well with straight-sets victories over world No. 68 Séverine Brémond and Japanese world No. 52 Aiko Nakamura to reach her career-first WTA-level semifinal, but then lost to Virginie Razzano. Entering the US Open, Vesnina was drawn to play world No. 89 Croat Jelena Kostanić in the first round, but lost to her in straight sets.

The following week, representing Russia in the 2007 Fed Cup final against Italy, Vesnina avenged her straight sets defeat by Mara Santangelo in their only previous meeting, by outplaying world No. 34 to win in straight sets herself this time around. Towards the end of the month, the Russian could reach only the second round of the Banka Koper Slovenia Open before she succumbed to Argentinian Gisela Dulko.

Returning to the Tashkent Open in October ranked 61st in the world, Vesnina exceeded her performance of the previous year by reaching the semifinals with successive victories over Italian Alberta Brianti, Belarusian Tatiana Poutchek, and Romanian youngster Ioana Raluca Olaru, but at this stage, she lost Belarusian teenager Victoria Azarenka. At the Kremlin Cup, she lost once again to Czech world No. 13 Nicole Vaidišová in the second round. At her last two tournaments of the year were the Zurich Open and Generali Ladies Linz she failed to qualify, losing to American Meilen Tu and German Sandra Klösel. She ended the year at No. 54, ten spots lower than the previous year.

2008[edit]

Back in Australia for the beginning of the new season early in January, Vesnina suffered a poor start with a three-set loss in the first round at Gold Coast to an Australian wildcard then ranked just 158th in the world, Monique Adamczak. Having failed to defend the points accrued from her quarterfinal finish at Gold Coast a year previously, she found her ranking slipping to 60th. But she mostly made up for it by reaching the quarterfinals at Hobart the following week with back-to-back straight-sets wins over Japanese World No. 48 Akiko Morigami and Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain. But her quarterfinal opponent, world No. 23 Vera Zvonareva, had the better of her.

Entering the Australian Open for the third year running, now ranked 55th, Vesnina enjoyed a marginally more successful run than she had done in 2007, in reaching the third round with successive wins over World No. 31 Julia Vakulenko of the Ukraine, and World No. 98 Jill Craybas of the United States. However, there was no stopping eventual tournament champion Maria Sharapova in the third round. Vesnina emerged from the tournament world-ranked No. 52. With only 16 ranking points for her to defend between February and April inclusive out of a total of 549 to her credit, she was presented with a strong theoretical opportunity to return to or exceed her pre-existing career-high WTA world ranking of 41st by the beginning of May.

However, Vesnina's challenge began disappointingly for her at Doha in mid-February with a first-round main-draw loss in straight sets to Japanese World No. 134 Ayumi Morita. Then at the Tier II tournament at Dubai at the end of the month, she was forced to go through the qualifying tournament, where she was defeated in the second round on the final-set tie-break of a very close three-set match by resurgent Chinese player Zheng Jie, whose then-current ranking of world No. 226 reflected her recent absence from the tour resulting from injury. The sum total of the ranking points earned by the Russian in February was just six.

Returning to action in mid-March at the Tier I fixture taking place at Indian Wells, Vesnina could manage only the second round of the main draw after defeating World No. 98 Hsieh Su-wei of Taipei in a close three-set match in the first, as world No. 10 Marion Bartoli vanquished her, leveling up their career head-to-head at two matches all.

Vesnina at the 2008 US Open

Arriving at Miami at the end of March world-ranked 53rd, down one place on the beginning of February, Vesnina finally achieved a measure of success for the first time in two months, reaching the fourth round with wins over Russian veteran Elena Likhovtseva, Hungarian world No. 18 Ágnes Szávay and improved American world No. 60 Ashley Harkleroad before succumbing to world No. 1 Justine Henin. The 70 ranking points she earned from this performance lifted her comfortably within the Top 50 again at No. 45, with a total of 638 ranking points, but still left her some 50 points adrift of the current standard required to match her previous best ranking of 41st.

At the Tier II Amelia Island in early April, Vesnina reached the third round after defeating Venezuelan star Milagros Sequera and world No. 12 Patty Schnyder. But then she lost to much-improved world No. 49 Alizé Cornet. As a result, she achieved a net gain of just 25 ranking points to 663, and only one ranking place.

2009: First Grand Slam doubles final[edit]

Vesnina participated in the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand in January. It was here that she advanced to her first final on the WTA Tour, upsetting the tournament's sixth-seed Nicole Vaidišová in the second round and the second-seed Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals along the way. She then prevailed in a marathon semifinal against British No.1 Anne Keothavong with a score of to set up a meeting with fellow Russian and tournament first-seed Elena Dementieva. She started strongly in the match with a 3–1 lead but eventually lost to Dementieva.

Vesnina participated in the Australian Open but lost in the first round to French player Julie Coin. At the Dubai Tennis Championships, where she was a qualifier, Vesnina made it to the quarterfinals, defeating Chinese player Li Na in the first round and achieving her first win over a top 10 player by defeating 7th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova. In the third round, she defeated 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulková, who retired after Vesnina was leading. In the quarterfinals her series of upsets ended when she lost to 16th-seeded Kaia Kanepi.

At her next tournament, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Vesnina defeated Sabine Lisicki in the first round and 32nd-seed Sorana Cîrstea in the second round. In the third round, she lost to 8th-seed Victoria Azarenka. Vesnina started her 2009 clay court season at the MPS Group Championships in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. She upset 6th-seeded Peng Shuai in the first round, and the 3rd-seed Dominika Cibulková in the quarterfinals. She lost to 2nd-seeded Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals after having 4 match points in the third set. She then reached the quarterfinals of the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina before losing to Sabine Lisicki while battling a leg strain.

At Vesnina's next tournament, the Rome Masters, she reached the second round by defeating American Jill Craybas, but lost to Zheng Jie. She then reached the third round of the Madrid Masters and lost to Jelena Janković. She lost to Ágnes Szávay in the second round of the French Open, the first time she'd reached the second round there. She did however reach her first grand slam final in the doubles at the French Open partnering Victoria Azarenka. The pair were seeded 12th but lost in the final to the 3rd seeds and defending champions Virginia Ruano Pascual and Anabel Medina Garrigues.

At Wimbledon, Vesnina defeated Yanina Wickmayer in the first round and defeated Vera Dushevina in the second round. She then caused a big upset over No.14 Dominika Cibulková in the third round. Vesnina won the first set and had a trainer come at the end of the second. She fell behind in the third, but rallied back. Vesnina then fell to No.4 Elena Dementieva in the fourth round.

At her first event of the 2009 US Open Series in the LA Women's Tennis Championships, Vesnina fell to Zheng Jie in the second round, it was followed by first round loses in the Rogers Cup to Anna Chakvetadze and in the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women's Open to Zheng Jie. At the Pilot Pen Tennis, she upset two top-20 players – a fast-rising Samantha Stosur in the second round, and Amélie Mauresmo in the semifinals. She however lost to Caroline Wozniacki in her second WTA Tour Career finals and her first in a Premier Event.

Vesnina was seeded 31st at the US Open and it was the first time that she had been seeded at a Grand Slam Event. She faced Lucie Hradecká in the first round where she came through. In the second round she defeated Jill Craybas to advance to third round at the US Open for the first time. There she faced fellow Russian and her former doubles partner Vera Zvonareva where she fell.

Vesnina next played at the Toray Pan Pacific Open where she was unseeded in singles. She beat María José Martínez Sánchez in the first round and Roberta Vinci in the second round but she had to retire in her third round match against the seventh seed Jelena Janković due to a left thigh strain while trailing. She then played at the China Open but she lost in the first round to Melinda Czink. Vesnina then played in her home country at the Kremlin Cup where she was seeded 6th. She suffered a surprise first round defeat by compatriot Evgeniya Rodina.

Vesnina finished the year with a 34–21 singles record and ranked World No. 24.

2010[edit]

Elena Vesnina at the 2010 US Open

Vesnina's first tournament of the year was the 2010 ASB Classic where she is seeded No. 6. In the first round she beat Alberta Brianti. In the second round she was defeated by Alizé Cornet. She made the quarterfinals in doubles partnering Riza Zalameda, but lost to Vladimíra Uhlířová and Renata Voráčová. Her next tournament was the Medibank International Sydney. In the first round she faced No.7 Vera Zvonareva but at 3–3 Zvonareva retired due to a right ankle injury. In the second round she was defeated by Vera Dushevina.

Vesnina was seeded No.28 at the Australian Open but was defeated in the first round by Tathiana Garbin. In the doubles she partnered with Zheng Jie of China where they were seeded No. 9. In the first round they beat Alizé Cornet and Sharon Fichman 7–5 6–3 and in the second round they won in a walkover. In the third round they lost to the No.8 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Yan Zi. Vesnina also entered mixed doubles with Andy Ram and were the No.8 seeds. In the first round they defeated Alicia Molik and Matthew Ebden. In the second round they beat Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Christopher Kas but then fell to the top seeded Cara Black and Leander Paes in the quarterfinals. Her next tournament was the Open GDF Suez where she was seeded No. 8. She was knocked out in the second round by Tathiana Garbin.

At the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Vesnina fell in three sets to world No. 14 Vera Zvonareva in the first round. At the MPS Group Championships she made it to the semifinal losing to world No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki after serving for the match. She then lost seven consecutive matches, falling in the third round of Family Circle Cup and the first rounds of Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, Internationaux de Strasbourg, French Open, UNICEF Open, and Wimbledon.

At the Wimbledon Championships, Vesnina made it to her second Grand Slam final in doubles while partnering Vera Zvonareva. The pair scored some impressive wins over the top seeded Williams Sisters in the Quarter finals (which ended the Americans 27 match winning streak in Grand Slam doubles matches) and over 4th seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta in the semifinals. In the final they fell to fellow unseeded pairing Yaroslava Shvedova and Vania King.

Vesnina was able to break her seven match losing streak at the İstanbul Cup defeating Bojana Jovanovski, Stefanie Vögele and Anastasia Rodionova in straight sets. She then upset 6th seed Andrea Petkovic, recovering from a break down to reach the finals. In the final where she faced fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Vesnina went down despite having led 4–0 in the second set and been a break up at 3–1 in the final set.

Vesnina then played in the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women's Open, where in the second round she defeated French Open champion Francesca Schiavone. She lost to Ana Ivanovic in the 3rd round. She then needed to qualify in the Pilot Pen Tennis, which she did but lost to Maria Kirilenko in the first round. She also fell to 5th seed Samantha Stosur in the first round of the US Open.

Following the US Open, Vesnina next participated in the Tashkent Open. She beat Lesia Tsurenko and Olga Savchuk to reach the quarterfinals where she then demolished Darya Kustova. In the semifinals she defeated Monica Niculescu despite being down 3–0 in the third set, Elena won 6 of the last 7 games. She lost to Alla Kudryavtseva in the final. Vesnina scored the biggest win of her career two weeks later in the China Open by defeating 12th seed Maria Sharapova. She lost to Timea Bacsinszky in the next round.

2011[edit]

Elena Vesnina at the 2011 Family Circle Cup

Vesnina began her year at the ASB Classic where she was seeded 7th. In her first match of the year she easily outclassed Marina Erakovic. However, in the next round Vesnina faced Simona Halep, she started well leading however she then lost the second set and retired due to dizziness. She then went to Moorilla Hobart International where she defeated Arantxa Parra Santonja in the first round. She then lost to top seed Marion Bartoli.

In the first round of the Australian Open, Vesnina lost to Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano. She then also fell in the first rounds of Open GDF Suez, Dubai Tennis Championships, and BNP Paribas Open and the qualifying round in Qatar Ladies Open. At the Sony Ericsson Open she defeated higher ranked players Gisela Dulko and 23rd seed Yanina Wickmayer, but lost to Anabel Medina Garrigues in the third round. At the Family Circle Cup, Vesnina defeated Rebecca Marino in the first round and then knocked out 4 consecutive seeds No. 14 seed Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 2nd seed and defending champion Samantha Stosur, 12th seed Julia Görges and 11th seed Chinese Peng Shuai. Vesnina became runner-up at the Family Circle Cup by losing to Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.

In doubles, Vesnina along with Indian Sania Mirza won the finals of the BNP Paribas Open by defeating Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy. Then the pair won their second doubles title of the year at the Family Circle Cup by defeating Mattek-Sands and Shaughnessy again. Their partnership continued to gain momentum after the team reached the final of the Roland Garros Women's Doubles tournament before falling to Czechs Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká in the final. They also reached the semifinals of the Wimbledon Ladies' Doubles tournament before falling to eventual champions and second seeds Květa Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik.

2012: Partnership with Makarova[edit]

Together with Leander Paes, Vesnina reached the Australian Open and the Wimbledon mixed doubles final.[5]

At the Family Circle Cup, Vesnina won her first round match. In her second round match she lost to Serena Williams and was unable to defend her runner-up points from the previous year. She reached the doubles finals of the Dubai Open and Indian Wells with Sania Mirza. At the Australian Open, the pair reached the semifinals.

Vesnina paired with Ekaterina Makarova in Madrid and Rome, and reached the finals in both tournaments. The pair were defeated in the quarterfinals of the French Open. At Wimbledon and the London Olympics, she continued pairing with Ekaterina Makarova in doubles, and the pair were defeated in the quarterfinals in both tournaments. At the US Open, they were defeated in the third round. In Beijing, the pair were victorious in the final against Sania Mirza and Nuria Llagostera Vives.

Vesnina in the first round of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships

2013: Two WTA singles titles, Grand Slam doubles champion[edit]

At the start of 2013, Vesnina claimed her first WTA Tour title by defeating defending champion Mona Barthel in the final of the Moorilla Hobart International.[6] At the Australian Open, Vesnina reached the fourth round, saving a match point against 16th seed Roberta Vinci in the third round en route. She was eventually defeated by the defending champion, Victoria Azarenka.[7] She and Makarova then reached the doubles semi-final, losing to World No.1 pairing Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci.

Vesnina won her second Premier Mandatory doubles title with Ekaterina Makarova at the BNP Paribas Open, beating 3rd seeds Petrova/Srebotnik in the final. Vesnina won her first Grand Slam title at the 2013 French Open, capturing the doubles title alongside Ekaterina Makarova, beating World No. 1 pairing Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci in the final, after beating No. 2 seeds Hlaváčková/Hradecká.

Vesnina won her second WTA tour title at the Aegon International in Eastbourne. En route to the final, she defeated Ana Ivanovic in the first round and Heather Watson in the second. She then went on to beat second seed Li Na in the quarterfinals and Yanina Wickmayer in the semifinals. In the final, she easily dispatched American Jamie Hampton to win her first grass tour event.

Vesnina and Makarova qualified for the WTA Tour Championships, after finishing in the Top 8 of the rankings for teams. They beat World No. 1 pairing Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci for the 2nd time in a row in the semifinals, but lost to Wimbledon champions Hsieh Su-wei/Peng Shuai.

Finishing 25th at the end of the season, Vesnina qualified for the WTA Tournament of Champions held in Sofia, Bulgaria. Despite winning two matches and losing one in the round-robin, Vesnina finished 3rd in the group, behind Samantha Stosur and Ana Ivanovic. This result meant that she failed to progress to the semifinals.

Vesnina finished 2013 with a 31–21 record, winning two titles and finishing at No. 25. For doubles, she had a 33–12 record and also won two titles. She finished 5th in the rankings.

2014: Second Gram Slam doubles title[edit]

Vesnina failed to defend her title at the Hobart International, losing to qualifier Estrella Cabeza Candela in the second round. Also, at the Australian Open, Vesnina failed to defend fourth round points, losing to American Alison Riske in the first round. However, she reached the final of the doubles competition with Makarova, losing to World No. 1 pairing Errani/Vinci 7–5 in the final set.

Vesnina/Makarova then suffered a shock loss at the hands of Noppawan Lertcheewakarn/Vera Zvonareva in the Pattaya Open. They then suffered two quarterfinal losses in Dubai and Indian Wells, losing to Kudryavtseva/Rodionova and Black/Mirza. They reached the final of the Miami Open, losing to Martina Hingis/Sabine Lisicki. Vesnina/Makarova failed to defend their title at the French Open, losing to French wildcards Julie Coin/Pauline Parmentier in the second round. Vesnina reached her first semifinal of the year at the Portugal Open, beating Roberta Vinci in the process. As the defending champion in Aegon International, she fell in the second round to eventual champion Madison Keys.

As a lucky-loser in the Rogers Cup, Vesnina lost in the second round to doubles partner Makarova in straight sets. Vesnina and Makarova won their second major title at the US Open, not playing any seeded teams throughout the whole competition. At the WTA Finals, Vesnina/Makarova lost in the quarterfinal to Kudryavtseva]]/Rodionova.

Vesnina finished the season with a 18–20 record in singles, with a ranking of 65. For doubles, Vesnina had a record of 24–14 and won 1 title, which is the US Open. Vesnina had a ranking of 7 for doubles in the year-end rankings.

2015[edit]

Vesnina and Makarova reached the Wimbledon final. They lost to longtime-rivals Hingis/Mirza.

2016: Resurgence in singles, Wimbledon semis, Olympic and WTA Finals doubles champion[edit]

Vesnina at Wimbledon

Vesnina started her 2016 year by playing at the 2016 Brisbane International. She was the 7th seed for qualifying, and she successfully qualified for the main draw by beating Australian wildcard Tammi Patterson, Mathilde Johansson and Ysaline Bonaventure. In the first round, Vesnina lost to former World No. 1 and eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in two sets. In doubles, she and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova were the third seeds, and they reached the quarterfinals where they lost to Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja in a third set supertiebreak.

Vesnina failed to reach the main draw of the Australian Open, losing in the first round of qualifying. It marked the time in decade she had failed to qualify for the main draw in a Grand Slam event, her singles ranking dropping to No. 122 in the world. In doubles she and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova were seeded fifth and reached the quarterfinals where they lost to Alla Kudryavtseva and Vania King. In mixed doubles Vesnina and partner Bruno Soares were also seeded fifth. They reached the final where they defeated Coco Vandeweghe and Horia Tecău, which marked her first mixed doubles Grand Slam title.[8]

At the inaugural St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy, Vesnina received a wildcard for the singles draw and lost in the second round to qualifier Kateryna Kozlova in three sets. She reached the quarter-finals of the doubles draw with Daria Kasatkina, but lost to World No. 1 pairing Hingis/Mirza.

Vesnina then participated in the Qatar Total Open, where she successfully qualified for the main draw after beating Ons Jabeur and Naomi Broady. She faced Caroline Garcia in the first round, and caused an upset by winning in straight sets. Vesnina then created an even bigger upset by achieving her first top-2 win of her career against Simona Halep in three sets, despite being down 6–7, 1–4. She then caused her third straight upset against former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki once again in three sets. However, her run ended in the quarter-finals after being defeated by eventual champion Carla Suárez Navarro in two tight sets. Nevertheless, this was her best showing at a Premier 5 tournament. In the doubles competition, Vesnina and partner Kasatkina caused a major upset when they ended World No. 1 pairing Hingis/Mirza's 41 match winning streak in the quarter-finals, despite losing the first set 6–2. However, despite winning the first set 6–3 against World No. 2 pairing Chan Hao-ching/Chan Yung-jan, they lost in three sets.

At the 2016 BNP Paribas Open, Vesnina fell in the 1st round of the qualifying to American wildcard Julia Boserup. In doubles, Vesnina once again partnered Daria Kasatkina but lost in the second round in three sets, despite winning the first set 6–1 to eventual finalists Julia Görges/Karolína Plíšková. In the Miami Open, Vesnina managed to get past qualifying after beating Kateryna Kozlova, avenging her loss in St. Petersburg, and Tsvetana Pironkova. She was drawn to face fellow qualifier Jana Čepelová in the first round and won in straight sets. In the second round, Vesnina caused a huge upset when she beat former World No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in three sets, despite serving for the match at 6–0, 5–4 and having a match point in the second set. Vesnina then faced in-form Britain Johanna Konta but lost in three sets despite being two points from victory. In doubles, Vesnina and Kasatkina fell to two-time Grand Slam champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Šafářová in the second round.

At the Volvo Car Open, the 85th-ranked Vesnina became the first qualifier to ever reach the championship match in the tournament's 44-year history, where she faced a determined Sloane Stephens. Vesnina won five main draw matches in a row just to reach the finals. However, Stephens ended up prevailing 7–6 (4), 6–2 as the fatigue of 718 minutes – nearly 12 hours – of tournament tennis appeared to take a toll on Vesnina in the second set.[9]

Vesnina again subdued the qualification, now in Madrid. In every match she performed a bagel (winning a set 6–0), except in the 2nd round, where she fell to Kvitova. In doubles, she and Makarova played their first tournament together since late 2015. They reached the semifinals. In Rome, Vesnina could not qualify for the main draw. However, with Makarova she reached the final, losing to Hingis/Mirza.

At Wimbledon, Vesnina competed in her first Grand Slam semi-final with straight set victories over Tamira Paszek, Andrea Petkovic, and Julia Boserup in the first three rounds before outlasting good friend and doubles partner Makarova in three sets to advance to her first slam quarterfinal. She then easily defeated Dominika Cibulkova to continue her resurgence into the semifinals, where she was handily defeated by World No.1 and eventual champion Serena Williams in 48 minutes, the quickest Wimbledon semi-final in the history of the championships.

Vesnina and Makarova finally won their first tournament title of 2016 at the Rogers Cup and then won the gold medals at the Summer Olympics for Russia; this was the very first time that a Russian duo won in an Olympic doubles event. In singles, Vesnina lost to 10th seed Madison Keys in the Rogers Cup and to Elina Svitolina in Connecticut. Seeded 19th in the US Open, Vesnina defeated Anett Kontaveit and Annika Beck before losing to 11th seed Carla Suárez Navarro in the third round. In doubles, Vesnina and Makarova were seeded 5th. They saved match points against Samantha Stosur/Zhang Shuai in the second round, and defeated 10th seed Vania King/Monica Niculescu and 13th seed Andreja Klepač/Katarina Srebotnik to reach the semi finals where they lost to 12th seeds Mattek-Sands/Šafářová.

Vesnina and Makarova qualified for their third joint WTA Finals, defeating Hlavackova/Hradecka, Hingis/Mirza and Mattek-Sands/Safarova en route to win their first Championships title.

2017: Indian Wells and Wimbledon doubles titles, career high singles ranking[edit]

Vesnina began her 2017 at the Brisbane International. In singles, she was seeded 7th, but lost her first match to Alizé Cornet. Alongside Makarova, seeded second, the pair reached the doubles final, but lost to top seeds Mattek-Sands and Mirza. Another opening match loss in singles came in Sydney, losing to CoCo Vandeweghe.

Vesnina then headed to the Australian Open, where she was seeded 14th in singles and 3rd in the doubles, again, alongside Makarova. Vesnina would reach the third round in the singles and the quarter-finals in the doubles. Her singles form began to pick up, with a quarter-final run in St Petersburg and last-16 appearances at the Qatar Open and the Dubai Tennis Championships. Vesnina and Makarova won their first title of the year in Dubai.

The next appearance for Vesnina would be at Indian Wells. Seeded 14th, Vesnina defeated Shelby Rogers and Timea Babos to set-up a fourth round meeting with Angelique Kerber, who was guaranteed to return to world no.1 at the end of the tournament. Vesnina beat the US Open champion, before defeating Australian Open runner-up Venus Williams and the in-form Kristina Mladenovic to reach her first Premier Mandatory final. In an all-Russian final against Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vesnina came from a set down to win her third WTA singles title, the biggest of her career so far, 6–7, 7–5, 6–4, in just over three hours. With this victory, Vesnina climbed to a career high ranking of 13.

Vesnina's good fortune in her doubles partnership with Makarova carried on to the summer, where the team beat Chan Hao-ching and Monica Niculescu in the Wimbledon 2017 Ladies' Double Finals with a score of 6–0, 6–0, in 55 minutes.[10] This was the first "double bagel" in the women's doubles tournament final since 1953.[11]

Playing style and endorsements[edit]

Vesnina has an all-court game, but mainly focuses on having an offensive baseline game. She is right-handed and plays with a two-handed backhand. Her game is centred around getting control in rallies by using her groundstrokes to dominate play or move her opponents around the court in order to find an opening. Her forehand is consistent and powerful, but her backhand is her strongest shot. She uses it to find many angles on the court and dominate play. She possesses a good serve and regularly hits it between 100–110 mph (161–177 km/h), but relies on placement and accuracy to dominate and serve aces. However, she can also encounter problems with her second serve, and this can result in a few double faults in a match.

Vesnina's doubles career and play has meant she has amassed good volleying skills and reflexes and can apply her net-play to singles. She is also very crafty around the court and frequently uses a variety of drop shots, volleys and angles to win points. Her movement and footwork around the court is very good, and she can move and accelerate around the court laterally very well. Her footwork is also very precise, and she is very good at recovering and setting herself up for the next shot.

Vesnina is endorsed by Nike for her clothing and Babolat for her racquets. She endorses the Babolat Pure Strike range of racquets.

Career statistics[edit]

Singles performance timeline[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held.
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 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 SR W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A A 4R 2R 3R 1R 1R 1R 1R 4R 1R 1R Q1 3R 0 / 11 12–11
French Open A A A 1R 1R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R 3R 2R 3R 0 / 12 7–12
Wimbledon A A A 2R 3R 2R 4R 1R 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R SF 2R 0 / 12 17–12
US Open A A Q2 1R 1R 2R 3R 1R 1R 2R 2R 3R 2R 3R 3R 0 / 12 12–12
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 4–4 3–4 4–4 6–4 0–4 1–4 2–4 5–4 4–4 3–4 9–3 7–4 0 / 47 48–47

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Doubles: 9 (3 titles, 6 runner-ups)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponent Score
Runner-up 2009 French Open Clay Belarus Victoria Azarenka Spain Anabel Medina Garrigues
Spain Virginia Ruano Pascual
1–6, 1–6
Runner-up 2010 Wimbledon Grass Russia Vera Zvonareva United States Vania King
Kazakhstan Yaroslava Shvedova
6–7(6–8), 2–6
Runner-up 2011 French Open Clay India Sania Mirza Czech Republic Andrea Hlaváčková
Czech Republic Lucie Hradecká
4–6, 3–6
Winner 2013 French Open Clay Russia Ekaterina Makarova Italy Sara Errani
Italy Roberta Vinci
7–5, 6–2
Runner-up 2014 Australian Open Hard Russia Ekaterina Makarova Italy Sara Errani
Italy Roberta Vinci
4–6, 6–3, 5–7
Winner 2014 US Open Hard Russia Ekaterina Makarova Switzerland Martina Hingis
Italy Flavia Pennetta
2–6, 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 2015 Wimbledon Grass Russia Ekaterina Makarova Switzerland Martina Hingis
India Sania Mirza
7–5, 6–7(4–7), 5–7
Runner-up 2016 French Open Clay Russia Ekaterina Makarova France Caroline Garcia
France Kristina Mladenovic
3–6, 6–2, 4–6
Winner 2017 Wimbledon Grass Russia Ekaterina Makarova Chinese Taipei Chan Hao-ching
Romania Monica Niculescu
6–0, 6–0

Mixed Doubles: 4 (1 titles, 3 runner-ups)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponent Score
Runner-up 2011 Wimbledon Grass India Mahesh Bhupathi Austria Jürgen Melzer
Czech Republic Iveta Benešová
3–6, 2–6
Runner-up 2012 Australian Open Hard India Leander Paes Romania Horia Tecău
United States Bethanie Mattek-Sands
3–6, 7–5, [3–10]
Runner-up 2012 Wimbledon Grass India Leander Paes United States Mike Bryan
United States Lisa Raymond
3–6, 7–5, 4–6
Winner 2016 Australian Open Hard Brazil Bruno Soares United States Coco Vandeweghe
Romania Horia Tecău
6–4, 4–6, [10–5]

WTA Tour Championships Finals[edit]

Doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponent Score
Runner-up 2013 Istanbul Hard (i) Russia Ekaterina Makarova Chinese Taipei Hsieh Su-Wei
China Peng Shuai
4–6, 5–7
Winner 2016 Singapore Hard (i) Russia Ekaterina Makarova United States Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Czech Republic Lucie Šafářová
7–6(7–5), 6–3

Olympic finals[edit]

Doubles: 1 (1 gold medal)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponent Score
Gold 2016 Rio Olympics Hard Russia Ekaterina Makarova Switzerland Timea Bacsinszky
Switzerland Martina Hingis
6–4, 6–4

Awards[edit]

2013
2014
  • The Russian Cup in the nomination Pair of the Year (with Ekaterina Makarova)[14]
2016
  • The Russian Cup in the nomination Pair of the Year (with Ekaterina Makarova)[15]
  • Honorary Citizen of Sochi[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vesnina Vaults Into Wimbledon Semifinals
  2. ^ Player Profile – Dmitry Vesnin
  3. ^ "Теннисистка Елена Веснина выйдет замуж летом следующего года" [Tennis player Elena Vesnina gets married in next year's summer] (in Russian). Sochi Express. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Веснина: "Я, наверное, кенгуру, а супруг — коала. Мне очень нравятся коалы"" [Vesnina: "I perhaps am a kangaroo, and my husband – a koala. I really like koalas"] (in Russian). GameSetMatch.ru. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "Paes-Vesnina falter at final hurdle in Wimbledon". 9 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Elena Vesnina breaks WTA title duck at Hobart International | Tennis News". ESPN.co.uk. 12 January 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Azarenka cruises, Kuznetsova upsets Wozniacki – ABC Grandstand Sport". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 21 January 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Soares doubles up with Vesnina to claim mixed title
  9. ^ http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20160410/PC20/160419906/1094/elena-vesnina-x2019-s-week-qualifies-as-success-at-volvo-car-open
  10. ^ "Makarova, Vesnina cruise to third Slam title". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-07-16. 
  11. ^ "Kubot-Melo, Makarova-Vesnina win doubles titles at Wimbledon". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  12. ^ "Екатерина Макарова и Елена Веснина получили премию "Русский Кубок" в номинации "Дуэт года"". GoTennis. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "WTA Awards". WTA. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Екатерина Макарова и Елена Веснина стали обладательницами премии "Русский Кубок" в номинации "Дуэт года"". GoTennis. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Веснина и Макарова стали лауреатами премии "Русский Кубок"". Championat.com. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-22. 
  16. ^ Веснина: очень счастлива стать почётным гражданином Сочи. Спасибо за такую честь

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
United States Serena Williams &
United States Venus Williams
WTA Fan Favorite Doubles Team of the Year
(with Russia Ekaterina Makarova)

2013
Succeeded by
Italy Sara Errani &
Italy Roberta Vinci