Posts Tagged ‘Elena Dementieva
Elena Dementeiva has been dating Maxim Afinogenov for quite some time now. He has made numerous appearances at Elena’s matches throughout her career. Afinogenov is a professional hockey player, and currently plays for the SKA St. Petersburg club. Dementieva racked up 16 singles titles before she ended of her career at the end of last year. She made it to two Grand Slam finals, and was often touted as the best player to have never won a Slam. The biggest win of her career came when she won the 2008 Gold Medal in Beijing.
There was some speculation that Elena decided to retire at the end of 2010 so she could move on with her life beyond tennis, and start a family.
Olympic champion and world number nine Elena Dementieva announced her retirement from tennis after her final match at the WTA Championships in Doha. The 29-year-old Russian delivered the shock news after losing to Francesca Schiavone in the group stages of the season-ending tournament.
Dementieva reached two Grand Slam finals during her career, at the French Open and the US Open in 2004. “This is my last tournament,” she told the Doha crowd. “Thank you to all of the people that I have worked with for such a long time. I would like to thank all of the players for an amazing experience. It’s very emotional. “I would like to thank all of the people around the world for supporting me through my career. And I would like to thank my family, especially my mum.” She added: “It’s so hard to say goodbye to all of you. I want you to know that I am going to miss you so much. Thank you.”
Dementieva enjoyed her greatest success at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she beat Serena Williams, Vera Zvonareva and Dinara Safina on her way to the gold medal. She won 16 singles titles during her 12-year career on the WTA Tour and six in doubles, earning almost £9m in prize money. Born and raised in Moscow, Dementieva was a key figure as Russian players became a powerful force, in the women’s game especially, during the last decade.
Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva are the last two qualifiers for the season-ending WTA Championships – Doha 2010. Jankovic will be playing the WTA Championships for the fourth year in a row. A semifinalist the last two years at the season-ending event, has had a strong season, winning her 12th career title at Indian Wells, reaching the finals of Rome and the semifinals of Roland Garros. She also became the seventh player ever to beat both Williams sisters at the same tournament (at Rome). “I am really excited to have qualified for the year-end Championships yet again,” Jankovic said. “I’ve played in Doha for the last two years and look forward to going back and competing with the best players in the world.”
Dementieva will be playing the WTA Championships for the 10th time in her career. A semifinalist in 2000 and 2008, she has also had a strong season, winning her 15th and 16th career titles at Sydney and Paris [Indoors], reaching finals at Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo and also the semifinals of Roland Garros. “I have been into the Championships since I was 19. This year my tradition still goes on,” Dementieva said. “I will do my best to show my best tennis.”
Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Samantha Stosur and Francesca Schiavone were the first six qualifiers. The doubles field was also wrapped up this week, with Gisela Dulko & Flavia Pennetta, Kveta Peschke & Katarina Srebotnik, Lisa Raymond & Rennae Stubbs and Vania King & Yaroslava Shvedova in the four team field.
Ana Ivanovic produced a wonderfully assured display of power hitting as she defeated seventh seed Elena Dementieva in the third round of the China Open. The 22-year-old mixed viscious groundstrokes with excellent defence. At the key moments she showed greater will power as she beat the Russian for the second time this year. Ana was broken in the opening game but she broke back immediately and was the more impressive player early on as she looked to seize control of the rallies. Another break followed and she had a chance to move 5-1 ahead but the Russian held on. It was high quality tennis, with both players pressing one another into taking greater risks and going for trickier angles. Ana served for the opening set at 5-3 but missed three set points and was broken. A tiebreak ensued, which Ana dominated 7-2.
The second set provided that rarity in women’s tennis: a set with no breaks of serve at all. The standard of tennis continued to catch the eye as the players shared some wonderfully entertaining points. Dementieva wowed the crowd with a majestic backhand pass at full stretch that was so good even Ana applauded it. Likewise, Ana demonstrated her much-improved fitness by chasing down a seemingly imposssible ball to prod away a winner.
Ana, who had saved a set point in the tenth game, fell behind in the tiebreak break but responded soon after with a forehand winner and then two aces. She opened up a 6-3 lead and sealed victory on her second match point with a stinging cross court backhand. “It was a fun match to be a part of,” said Ana. “There were some great points and I feel like I did a good job of playing aggressively, hitting near the lines but not making too many mistakes. “I served well and that was important, especially in the tiebreaks. She’s such a tough opponent, so this victory gives me a lot of pleasure.”
Ana’s reward could not be greater: a clash with Caroline Wozniacki, who will be crowned as the new world No.1 when the rankings are released on Monday. The match is scheduled as the third of the day on the Lotus Court, the biggest stadium at the National Tennis Centre, and is expected to begin sometime after 4.30pm local time (10.30am Central European Time; 4.30am Eastern Time).
Ana Ivanovic reached the third round of the China Open in Beijing with a topsy-turvy win over Russian Olga Govortsova. The 22-year-old triumphed 6-0, 7-5 in 75 minutes on a packed Court 1. “I’m obviously happy to be through, but not so happy with how I kind of let her back into the match,” said Ana. “Still, I managed to come back and win in two sets and that’s important.” At 6-0, 1-0 and break point on the Govortsova serve, Ana looked destined to maybe record just the third 6-0, 6-0 victory of her professional career.
She was unable to convert the break point and, somewhat alarmingly, allowed the Russian right back into the match. The former French Open champion’s intensity dropped, which gave Govortsova confidence. She reeled off four straight games and was up a double break at 4-1. Although Ana recovered one break she was on the precipice of going into a third set as the score was poised at 5-3 and 30-15 on the Russian’s serve. Ana showed her class. She re-gained the upper hand in most rallies and drew errors from her opponent’s racket. Another run of four games won enabled Ana to wrap up victory and set up a round three clash with seventh seed Elena Dementieva. That match will take place on Thursday. Ana said: “I’m really happy that I have the opportunity to play such a top player in my next match. Against Dementieva it’s going to be very tough.”
Caroline Wozniacki saw off Elena Dementieva in a tough battle to win the Pan Pacific Open women’s tennis tournament in Tokyo. The Danish top seed, who crashed out in her opening matches in her previous two visits to Tokyo, made it third time lucky with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory. Wozniacki said of her win over the Russian: “I knew it was going to be tough. We always have tough matches. “But I’m just so happy to win another tournament. This is my 11th.”
Seventh seed Dementieva, the Olympic champion, got off to a flying start, racing to a 4-0 first set lead with an array of winners from the baseline. Wozniacki was short of ammunition and double-faulted to lose the set. But she made a conscious effort to be more positive from that point on, and it served her well. After missing two break points in the first game of the second set, Wozniacki took a 2-1 lead when Dementieva hit a backhand into the net and went on to win the set. The final set featured an exchange of breaks, but the crucial blow was landed when Wozniacki added another in the seventh game to move up 4-3 as a Dementieva’s forehand found the net.
The two-hour match came to an abrupt end two games later when the Russian double-faulted twice in a row on match point. “In the second set, I stepped up a little bit and I just kept fighting,” said Wozniacki after capturing her fifth title of the season, following triumphs at Ponte Vedra Beach, Copenhagen, Montreal and New Haven.
Caroline Wozniacki took a step closer to usurping Serena Williams as the new world number one after reaching the final of the Pan Pacific Open.
The Dane could take the top ranking if she lifts the trophy and reaches the last four in next week’s China Open. The top seed had to dig deep in Tokyo, though, holding off Belarussian Victoria Azarenka 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-4. Wozniacki will face Elena Dementieva in Sunday’s final after the Russian beat Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-4 7-5.
American Williams was forced out of the events in Tokyo and China after failing to recover fully from a foot injury. And that has created a window of opportunity for Wozniacki, who endured a hard-fought battle to overcome eighth seed Azarenka,
Wozniacki, the No.1 seed, built a 5-0 lead when No.6 seed Agnieszka Radwanska was forced to retire from their match with a left foot injury. “I’m very disappointed to have to withdraw. I wanted to fight but I was in a lot of pain,” Radwanska said. “Caroline and I are very good friends and she’s playing so well. She’s too good to play when you have an injury. I’m hoping to play Beijing next week because it’s a big event and I really want to be there.” “Aga is a good friend of mine so I’m sorry she had to retire. I hope she’ll be okay,” Wozniacki said. “I was so focused on my own game I didn’t pay too much attention to the other side of the net. I was playing really good tennis and I’m happy to reach the semifinals. It’s not going to be easy against Azarenka.” Awaiting Wozniacki in the semifinals will be No.8 seed Victoria Azarenka. Wozniacki and Azarenka are tied in their head-to-head, 2-2.
Zvonareva, the No.2 seed, had a strong start but wasn’t able to keep it up, losing seven straight games from 5-3 up in the first set and eventually going down to No.7 seed Elena Dementieva in straight sets at night, 75 62. “I knew Vera wasn’t going to be giving away any points. I knew I had to go for winners and play aggressively and I’m happy I was able to do that,” Dementieva said. “We both returned serve well and had lots of baseline rallies.” Next up for Dementieva is No.5 seed and fellow veteran Francesca Schiavone. Dementieva leads Schiavone in their head-to-head, 6-5. “Every time we meet we have a great battle and know each other’s games very well,” Dementieva said. “Last time we played at the French Open, it ended in disappointing circumstances for me. But injuries are a part of this game. We both had tough matches today so recovery will be a big part of our preparation. I’m sure we’ll both be very motivated to win tomorrow.”