Elena Viatcheslavovna Dementieva (Russian: Елена Вячеславовна Дементьева, Russian pronunciation: [jɪˈlʲenə dʲɪˈmʲentʲjɪvə] ; born 15 October 1981) is a retired Russian professional tennis player. Dementieva is most notable for winning the singles gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She won 16 WTA singles titles and reached the finals of the 2004 French Open and 2004 US Open. Dementiva achieved a career high ranking of World No. 3 which was accomplished on April 6, 2009. She announced her retirement on October 29, 2010 after her final match at the 2010 WTA Tour Championships. Dementieva ended her career ranked World No. 9.
* 1 Early and personal life
* 2 Tennis career
o 2.1 Early career
o 2.2 1999–2002: Professional debut
o 2.3 2003: Top ten debut
o 2.4 2004: First Grand Slam final
o 2.5 2005-2006: Continued form
o 2.6 2007: Dropping out of the top 10
o 2.7 2008: Resurgence
o 2.8 2009: Career-high no. 3 ranking
o 2.9 2010: Final year
o 2.10 Retirement
* 3 Playing style
* 4 Career statistics
* 5 Fed Cup
* 6 In popular culture
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 External links
Early and personal life
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 is now coached by her mother Vera and her older brother Vsevolod. She has homes in Monaco, Moscow and Boca Raton, Florida. Dementieva enjoys snowboarding, baseball, reading and traveling.
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
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, 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 has 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
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. 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
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 April 5, 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. 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
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 Ivanović, and Na Li 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". . 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
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, United Kingdom 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 did not secure a spot at the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships.
Elena DementievaElena Dementieva