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Elena Dementieva
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Elena Dementieva Elena Dementieva Elena Dementieva Elena Dementieva Elena Dementieva Elena Dementieva

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

As a youngster of 7 she was rejected by Dynamo Sports Club and the Central Red Army Tennis Club, before enrolling at Spartak Tennis Club, where she was coached for 3 years by Rauza Islanova, the mother of Marat Safin and Dinara Safina. She then moved to the Central Red Army Club with Sergei Pashkov, when she was 11. She was later coached by her mother Vera and her older brother Vsevolod. She has homes in Monaco, Moscow and Boca Raton, Florida. Dementieva enjoys snowboarding, reading, baseball and traveling. On the 16th of July 2011, Dementieva married hockey player Maxim Afinogenov in Moscow. Blue Dog and Sponge Cake, a comedic band from Aurora, Colorado, created a song about Dementieva and fellow Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova. The song is called "Dementapova. Dementieva appeared in the music video of Igor Nikolayev's song "Kak Ty Prekrasna" (How Beautiful You Are).

Dementieva was an offensive baseline player with powerful groundstrokes off both sides and excellent defensive skills. Her preferred groundstroke was her forehand, which she hit hard and flat. In particular, her running forehand, which she rarely missed, was a key weapon for Dementieva when she was on the defensive. Dementieva was also known for her excellent athleticism and speed around the court. Dementieva made few net approaches except to return drop shots or to take advantage of weak returns from her opponents, although since Wimbledon 2009 she had been more aggressive at times. Dementieva had no particular favorite surface, as her playing ability allowed her to adapt easily on each surface although her best results were on hard courts, while her two Grand Slam finals were on hard court and clay. While her heavy groundstroking baseline game did not seem to be that suited to grass, her athleticism and improved serve, in particular her slice serve, led to two consecutive semi-final appearances at Wimbledon. Although Dementieva's serve made major improvements over her career, it was always known as her weak spot.

Dementieva is the most successful Russian Fed Cup player. As of the 29th of April 2007, she was 19–5 in singles and 3–3 in doubles. Her record includes singles victories over Venus Williams, her first win over a top 10 player, Mary Pierce, Amélie Mauresmo and Kim Clijsters. In 2005, Dementieva almost single-handedly led Russia to capture the Fed Cup by beating France 3–2 in the final. All three points came from Dementieva, as she beat Pierce and Mauresmo in two single matches, and then won the deciding doubles match with partner Dinara Safina. Dementieva's final event of the year in 2010 was the WTA Tour Championships, where she qualified for the third consecutive year, as the No. 7 seed. Dementieva was still struggling with her ankle injury. As a member of the Maroon Group, Dementieva fell to Caroline Wozniacki, 6–1, 6–1 and defeated Samantha Stosur, 4–6, 6–4, 7–6. Dementieva then faced Francesca Schiavone and lost, 6–4, 6–2. Following this loss to Francesca Schiavone, Dementieva announced her retirement in an on-court ceremony on the 29th of October 2010. Dementieva ended her career ranked World No. 9, with 16 WTA singles titles and 2 Grand Slam final appearances. Dementieva said in her speech that it had been an honour to be part of the tour. Zvonareva called her an inspiration. Dementieva revealed during an interview with Eurosport that she had decided that 2010 would be her last season at the start of the year.

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Career details at: Wikipedia

On and Off Court with Elena Dementieva

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