Russian professional tennis player, who has won two Olympic medals in singles, including the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Her performance at the Olympics is the strongest of any competitor in recent times, with an 112 record. She has also reached the finals of two Grand Slam events. Her career high ranking was World No. 3 which she achieved on April 6, 2009. As of 12 October 2009, she is ranked World No. 5.
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, and enjoys snowboarding, baseball, reading and traveling.
Dementieva was the cover girl for Marie Claire Russia's January 2009 issue
In 1999, Dementieva represented Russia in the Fed Cup final against the United States, scoring Russia's only point when she upset Venus Williams 16, 63, 76(5), recovering from a 41 third set deficit. She played her first Grand Slam main draws, qualifying for the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon and 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 62, 64. 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 Husแrovแ 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 62, 62 in a quarterfinal in Moscow. Dementieva reached the final of that tournament, losing to Jelena Dokic.
Dementieva at the Canadian Open in 2002.
Dementieva played the most tournaments among year-end top ten 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 Hantuchovแ, World No. 4 Justine Henin, and World No. 5 Lindsay Davenport. Dementieva was the lowest seed (tenth) 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.
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 61, 61. 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, Am้lie Mauresmo in the quarterfinals, and Paola Suแrez in the semifinals, all in straight sets. Dementieva lost to compatriot Myskina in the first all-Russian Grand Slam final. 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 Kleinovแ 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.
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 Am้lie Mauresmo despite serving for the match at 54 in the third set. In the quarterfinals of the US Open, Dementieva defeated top ranked Lindsay Davenport 61, 36, 76(6) for her second victory over a current No. 1 player. In the semifinals, she lost to Mary Pierce 36, 62, 62. 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 32 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: 62, 63.
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 Vaidiovแ, 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 Na Li along the way. Dementieva then upset Justine Henin in a semifinal 26, 75, 75. The victory was her fourth three set match of the tournament, and fatigue contributed to her 61, 62 loss to Maria Sharapova in the final.
At the French Open she was upset in the third round by Shahar Peer 6-4, 7-5. On grass, Dementieva reached the s'Hertogenbosch semifinals, losing to Michaella Krajicek despite holding a match point, and the Wimbledon quarterfinals. At Wimbledon, Dementieva lost to fourth seeded Sharapova 61, 64. In August, Dementieva won the tournament in Los Angeles by defeating Jelena Jankovic in the final 63, 46, 64. 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 Jankovic in the final.
At the 2006 US Open, Dementieva reached the quarterfinals for the fourth time, losing to Jankovic 62, 61. 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 61, 6-4; Svetlana Kuznetsova 75, 6-3; and Clijsters 64, 60. Her career win-loss record at this tournament fell to 3-14. She had lost her last nine matches played there.
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 61, 60. 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 Am้lie Mauresmo and Daniela Hantuchovแ before losing to World No. 1 Justine Henin in the quarterfinals. In the final of the Tier I Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Dementieva 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.
At Dementieva's first tournament of the season, the Medibank International in Sydney, she lost in the first round to Sofia Arvidsson 61, 75. She then reached the fourth round of the Australian Open before losing to eventual champion Maria Sharapova 62, 60. Dementieva then travelled to Paris for the Tier II Open Gaz de France indoor tournament. She reached the semifinals before succumbing to seventh-seeded มgnes Szแvay from Hungary 63, 16, 75. 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, Alyona 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 Jankovic. 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 thirteenth-seeded Dinara Safina. Dementieva defeated fourth-seeded Jankovic in the quarterfinals and second-seeded Ivanovic in the semifinals. Dementieva's win over Ivanovic was her fourth in four career matches with her.
Her next tournament was the Istanbul 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 Radwanska of Poland defeated Dementieva in the final. At the French Open, Dementieva defeated eleventh-seeded Zvonareva in the fourth round 64, 16, 62 but lost her quarterfinal match against Safina 46, 76(5), 60 after Dementieva had a match point while leading 52 in the second set.
Dementieva at the WTA Tour Championships, Doha.
At the grass court Ordina Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, Dementieva was the top-seeded player but lost in the semifinals to Safina 63, 62. Dementieva was seeded fifth at the Wimbledon. In the second round, she trailed Timea Bacsinszky 30 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 Jankovic, third seeded Sharapova, and fourth seeded Kuznetsova. In the quarterfinals, Dementieva held on to defeat Russian compatriot Nadia Petrova 61, 67, 63 after Dementieva failed to hold serve while serving for the match in the second set at 51 and 53. In her first Wimbledon semifinal and her first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2005 US Open, Dementieva lost to eventual champion Venus Williams 61, 76(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 Cibulkovแ 64, 62 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 36, 64, 63. She then defeated compatriot Zvonareva in the semifinals and Safina in the three set final to win the gold medal.
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 Jankovic in the semifinals 64, 64. 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 Aliz้ 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 76(6), 36, 61. 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 Jankovic. She won the first set easily 60 but only managed to win one game after that, losing the next two sets 61, 60. 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 76(7), 36, 63.
Dementieva at the 2009 Cincinnati Women's Open.
Dementieva started the 2009 WTA Tour by winning the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, where she was the top seed. In her first match, she rallied from being down 15 in the first set to win in straight sets against Yung-Jan Chan of Chinese Taipei. In the second round, she defeated crowd favourite Marina Erakovic 62, 63. She then defeated fifth-seeded Shahar Peer. In the semifinals, she beat last year's runner-up, Aravane Rezai, in straight sets. She ended the tournament by defeating unseeded Elena Vesnina in the final in straight sets.
At the Medibank International in Sydney, the first Premier event of the year, Dementieva was seeded third. She defeated sixth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals and upset top-seeded Serena Williams in the semifinals 63, 61. She then won her second consecutive tournament by defeating compatriot and second-seeded Dinara Safina in the final.
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. She needed three sets to win her first round match against Kristina Barrois and defeated Iveta Beneovแ in the second round. Samantha Stosur of Australia had a 52 lead over Dementieva in the first set of their third round match before Dementieva won 76(6), 64. She then advanced to the quarterfinals of this event for the first time in her career by defeating Dominika Cibulkovแ. Carla Suarez Navarro, who had upset Venus Williams earlier in the tournament, lost to Dementieva in the quarterfinals. Dementieva's 15-match winning streak ended in the semifinals when she lost to Serena Williams 63, 64 after Dementieva had led 30 in the second set.
Playing for Russia in Fed Cup in Moscow, Dementieva defeated Zhang Shuai 63, 60.
At the Open GDF Suez tournament in Paris, Dementieva advanced to her third final of the year after Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament before their scheduled semifinal due to a knee injury. Am้lie Mauresmo then defeated Dementieva in the final in three sets.
At the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, a Premier 5 event, she was seeded fourth. She defeated Sybille Bammer in the second round, becoming the 27th woman during the open era to record 500 career singles victories. She then defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues in the third round before losing to Venus Williams in the quarterfinals 63, 63.
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 Cetkovskแ 76(2), 26, 61. 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 75, 64. 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, after Anastasia Myskina, Nadia Petrova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Maria Sharapova, and Safina.
Dementieva at the 2009 French Open.
She 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 to Wozniacki 64, 57, 75 in a nearly three hour match. Dementieva survived a 25 deficit in the second set and saved three consecutive match points on her own serve at 35 in that set.
At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, another Premier event, she beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Agnes Szavay and Marion Bartoli to reach semifinal where she lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova 64, 62. Elena and Vera Zvonareva are among the top 10 player that scheduled not to play the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome the following week, which is a Premier 5 event.
Dementieva was seeded 3rd for the 2009 Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open. She defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands 64, 61 to reach the second round where she defeated Lourdes Dominguez Lino 63, 62. However, she was upset by former world no. 1 Am้lie Mauresmo in the third round by 16, 64, 62.
At the French Open, she defeated Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa in the first round. She played former World No.4 Jelena Dokic in the second Round, in what looked to be the first major upset, as Dementieva trailed 26, 10 . However, Dokic strained her back and was forced to retire. She played Samantha Stosur in the third round and lost 63 46 61.
Since the French Open, her next tournament was the 2009 AEGON International as a warm-up for the 2009 Wimbledon Championships. Elena was seeded 1st and defeated Maria Kirilenko in the first round, but was upset in the second round by Virginie Razzano 60, 36, 76(4).
Dementieva was seeded fourth at Wimbledon Championships. She defeated Alla Kudryavtseva, Aravane Rezai, Regina Kulikova and Elena Vesnina in her way to the quarter final, winning all of her first four matches in straight sets and only dropping 16 games. She reached the Wimbledon semis for the second straight year with a crushing 62 62 victory over unseeded Italian Francesca Schiavone. In her second consecutive Wimbledon semi, Dementieva put on a thriller against the No. 2 seed Serena Williams. After having taken the first set in a tiebreak, she dropped the second set 75. With Williams serving at 45 in the third, Dementieva even held a single match point but eventually lost the match 67(4), 75, 86 in the longest Wimbledon semifinal of the open era.
Dementieva was seeded 3rd for the Bank of the West Classic. She defeated Anne Keothavong, Maria Kirilenko and Daniela Hantuchovแ on her route to semifinal, all in straight sets. However, in the semifinal, Dementieva lost to Venus Williams 60, 61. At the Cincinnati Masters she defeated Yanina Wickmayer, Sorana C๎rstea and Caroline Wozniacki to reach the semifinal. Dementieva the fell to Jelena Jankovic, 67(2), 60, 67(6), despite leading 62 in the final set tiebreak.
Her final US Open Series tournament was the Rogers Cup in Canada. She defeated Ai Sugiyama, Shahar Peer and Samantha Stosur to make her 10th semifinal appearance of the year. She advanced to the final by defeating Serena Williams 76(2), 61. Although the head-to-head records was 2-8 in favors of Maria Sharapova, she defeated her unseeded compatriot 64, 63 in the final to win her third title of the year and 14th of her career. This victory worth a lot for Dementieva as she moved back to her #4 position in the ranking which was overtook by Jelena Jankovic on the previous week. With the capture of the Toronto championships and two semifinal at Stanford and Cincinnati, Dementieva secured the US Open Series crown for this year.
After defeating Camille Pin, 61, 62, in her first round of the US Open, Dementieva moved through to the second round where she was defeated in an upset by American Melanie Oudin, 57, 64, 63, ranked 70th at the time.
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 September 14, Dementieva has qualified for the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar, which begins on October 27 for the 9th time. The top eight players from 2009 will compete for the coveted Sony Ericsson Championships title and a share of the record Championships prize money of $4.45 million.
At the Toray Pan Pacific Open she received a bye in the first round. She lost in the second round to Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2, (3)6-7, 6-1. Dementieva next tournament was the China Open, which was the last Premier Mandatory event of the year. In the first round, after trailing 2-4, she won the last 10 games to beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld. She defeated Melinda Czink and Li Na in straight sets before losing in straight sets to Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals.
Dementieva next scheduled tournament is the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar beginning October 27. She was in the Maroon group alongside with Svetlana Kuznetsova and the Williams sisters, Serena Williams and Venus Williams. She won her first match against Venus after trailing 3-6, 1-3 in the second set by 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2. She then suffered to consecutive losses, to Serena in her second round robin match by 2-6, 4-6, then to play Svetlana Kuznetsova, by 3-6, 2-6. Because of this, she was eliminated from the main draw.
Dementieva is an offensive baseline player. Although solid on both wings, her primary groundstroke is her forehand, which she hits hard and flat. In particular, her running forehand, which she rarely misses, is a key weapon for Dementieva when she is on the defensive. Dementieva is also known for her excellent athleticism and speed around the court. Dementieva makes few net approaches except to return drop shots or to take advantage of weak returns from her opponents, although since Wimbledon 2009 she has been more aggressive at times.
She has no particular favourite surface, as her playing ability allows her to adapt easily on each surface although her best results have tended to be on hard courts, and she looks less comfortable moving confidently on clay. While her heavy groundstroking baseline game would not seem to be that suited to grass, her athleticism and improved serve, in particular her slice serve, have led to two consecutive semi final appearances at Wimbledon.
Dementieva's serve has shown improvement since 2008, committing fewer double faults and occasionally managing aces. She is thought to be one of the most talented players who has yet to win a Grand Slam in the tennis community.
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