Category Archives: Elena Dementieva

Shamil Tarpischev Is Getting A Little Carried Away

Yesterday, Shamil Tarpischev wrote a column on Elena Dementieva’s career, retirement and future, and he claimed that he has offered her the position of Vice-President of Russian Tennis Federation:

“In any case, it would be nice if Lena stayed in the sport she has devoted most of her life to. That’s why I have offered the position of Vice-President of Russian Tennis Federation. I think in that role could be a great starting point for Dementieva, looking to the future.”

While that’s all sweet and lovely, somehow I think the guy might just be being a tincy wincy bit too hasty. I’m sure that for the time being, she’ll want nothing more than to get away from the sport. So chill, Shamil.

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Video Of The Day: Good Luck and Goodbye, Elena.

Awesome effort from all involved. Simple but extremely touching and great to watch. It hasn’t sunk in for me, though. And I really don’t think it’s going to hit me until January comes around and Elena’s name isn’t beating Serena in the Sydney final for the 340928343209th straight time. Oh, the good old days.

Posted in Elena Dementieva, WTA Championships Doha, WTA Off court | Leave a comment

Quotable Quotes

You don’t have to be perfect, but you have to try very hard, and I did all the time.

Elena Dementieva.

Posted in Elena Dementieva, WTA Championships Doha | 1 Comment

Flashback: 2009 Wimbledon Semifinal - Elena Dementieva vs Serena Williams

Over the years Elena Dementieva has been involved in her fair share of battles. Battles with Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Justine Henin, Lindsay Davenport… everyone. So many became instant classics, showcasing everything that made Elena Dementieva such an incredible tennis player and character. There was the good; her courage, her resilience, her incredible athleticism, her unrivalled fitness, her goofy celebrations, those legendary one-way arguments with Mommy Vera and, of course, that trademark Full-body Rotation Screaming Forehand of Death. And there was the bad; that thing (also known as her serve) and of course her well-documented mental fragility. So many of these classics ended in complete heartbreak and bitter disappointment for Elena, but not many came close to the agony of last year’s Wimbledon semi-final.

Throughout the years, the one surface that Elena struggled to conquer was grass. Between 2000 and 2007, she made the quarterfinals only once – her serve holding her back on the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon. However, as the years went by she finally seemed to master the serve that had troubled her for so long. In 2008 she reached her first ever Wimbledon semi-final. She would eventually lose to Venus Williams in straight sets, but that was okay, it gave her the preparation she needed to go that one step further next year. And she did… almost.

In 2009, serve improving with every match, she again raced into the semifinals, where she would take on Serena Williams. This time, she was ready. She sent a message down the court from the very first game, immediately breaking Serena to take an early lead. As the match wore on, the rallies raged. The pace they were bludgeoning the ball at was impressive, but not more impressive than the pure athleticism that both players exhibited. They both broke boundaries that day, reaching balls that so few could reach and turning defence into offence in the most unlikely and unbelievable positions.

Eventually the pair found themselves tied at a set all and 4-4. At this point, though the score was so painstakingly close, it was Elena whose groundstrokes were by far the more reliable and impressive of the two. She held, and then at 5-4* she fought her way to 30-30 and finally, she had a chance. The Russian took it with both hands, and after a lengthy rally she smashed down a trademark crosscourt forehand winner. And suddenly she was one point away from her first ever Wimbledon final.

She may have lost confidence in her misfiring groundstrokes, but there is a reason why Serena Williams is the greatest player of her generation. Rather than panicking, Serena attacked and then moved forward to the net, forcing Elena to come up with the goods to win the match from her. As we all know, Elena couldn’t. She ended up taking the backhand pass far too low, and had no choice but to roll it crosscourt. Serena pounced on the volley, and that was that. Serena would go on to win the match 6-7 7-5 8-6, while Elena would be left distraught.

She may have lost the match, but she put on an incredible show. She wowed hourdes of fans with her game, and charmed the rest with her personality. Just as she did wherever she went. And that’s precisely why we will all miss her.

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Doha Picture(s) Of The Day

Posted in Elena Dementieva, Picture post, WTA Championships Doha | 4 Comments

Elena Dementieva Retires From Professional Tennis

Earlier on this month at Tokyo, Elena Dementieva was asked whether she thought she would ever win a slam. The answer was “no, not really”. For a professional tennis player of her calibur to say something like that is pretty serious, and from that point on I had a small hunch. Would this year be the last we see of Elena Dementieva?

Turns out that hunch was right. Following her 4-6 2-6 defeat to Francesca Schiavone in the final rubber of her group, Elena Dementieva announced her retirement from tennis. The secret was kept so well that only seconds before the players and officials took to the court for the final presentation did rumours of her retirement begin to spread. Even then it was still completely unreal. All available players, singles and doubles, took to court and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as she thanked those closest to her including, of course, Mommy Vera. Sad, sad times.

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Oops… They Did It Again: Stosur And Dementieva In Doha

In the fourth round of the US Open this year, Elena Dementieva and Sam Stosur faced off against each other under the lights of Arthur Ashe Arena. Though the useless American TV coverage prevented most from viewing it, the match turned out to be the gem among a series of straight setters and letdowns. In that match, Stosur would save four match points before scraping through to the quarterfinals after winning the decisive third set tiebreaker.

Their match today was their first meeting since the US Open. However, most of us expected Stosur to sweep through in convincing fashion. She had, after all, just cruised past te world number one while

Dementieva was visibly struggling with an ankle injury. But it didn’t happen. Elena came onto court looking fully fit and ready to rumble. History would repeat itself, but amazingly it was Elena who managed to snatch the match in the tiebreaker.

Though not as high-quality as their US Open match, the pair produced another blinding display of tennis today, showing exactly why they are considered two of the tour’s best athletes. Stosur picked up from were she left off in the Wozniacki match, serving well and punishing forehands. However, Dementieva returned extremely well - stepping in to take Stosur’s heavy kick serves on the rise, and she readily turned defence into offence, punishing forehands and backhands alike while at full stretch.

And after 6 straight set matches in a row, this match was exactly what the Championships needed.

Posted in Elena Dementieva, Sam Stosur, WTA Championships Doha | 2 Comments

The WTA Championships In Doha Are ‘Ere! (Maroon Group Preview)

The player field is weak (only 4 Grand Slams between them, and only one former champion between them!!!), the crowds will most likely be non-existant, and since the move to Doha, the YEC has begun to feel more like an exhibition rather than a final showdown between the 8 best players in the world. But we’re not going to let that bring us down. After all, this is the final tournament in the year. After this week, for WTA fans it will just be that feeling of emptiness that ravages us throughout every off-season. So let’s enjoy it, and let’s savour it.

Caroline Wozniacki arrives at Doha in scintillating form and on a 10 match winning streak. After her humiliating defeat to Vera Zvonareva in New York, the Great Wall of Denmark bounced back by tearing down the field in her last two events, picking up two Premier+ titles in Asia and rising to number one for the first time in her career. However, even with almost 2000 extra points in the bag, she continues to suffer criticism from all sides. After all, Serena, Venus, Justine weren’t even present at any of her Premier+ wins this year, and an injured Kim was only part of one. The number one has been handed a kind draw again this year, and she shares the Maroon Group with newbies Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur, plus Elena Dementieva.

One thing interesting thing is seeing how both Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur perform in their debut WTA Championships. After their French Open final in June, both struggled to consolidate their form and move forward, immediately slumping to first round defeats at Wimbldon. However, there have been signs of rejuvenation since then. Both are capable of defeating Wozniacki, Dementieva and indeed each other in this group, but they will have to be ready to play their best tennis from the word “go”. Schiavone will look to weave her web of variety, neutralizing her opponents with slice, creating angles and moving into the forecourt. Stosur on the other hand, will need to steal back the discipline and straightforward plan that took her to the finals of the French Open; serving topspin bombs and crushing her forehands. Sounds so easy on paper, doesn’t it?

As for Dementieva, her record at the WTA Championships speaks for itself. That coupled with the fact that she arrives in Doha with a foot injury and in poor form means that it wouldn’t be smart to bet on her this week. Still, this is certainly the perfect draw to play her into form. She recently defeated Schiavone, and her matches against Stosur will always be a toss-up. The big question mark for me is whether she can take down Wozniacki. She has had so much trouble with the Dane over the last couple of years, and while her backhand is nowadays capable of only hitting crosscourt (thus playing to Wozniacki’s strength), the problem isn’t really a stylistic problem. Rather, it’s that pretty little head of hers. If she can put Wozniacki away when they do play each other tomorrow, then it will be clear that she is mentally checked in and ready to make a battle of this final tournament of 2010. If not, then she should be looking for a plane home to Russia ASAP. All shall be revealed shortly.

Posted in Caroline Wozniacki, Elena Dementieva, Francesca Schiavone, Sam Stosur, WTA Championships Doha | 2 Comments

Quotable Quotes

Q: I have checked the results you had got at the Grand Slams. You actually made six times semifinals at the Grand Slam, but you were close to winning the title at the end. What do you think about in the future? Now you are 29 years old now. What do you think about in the future? Maybe you still have chance to win the Grand Slam?
ELENA DEMENTIEVA: No, I don’t think so.

Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.

(via @Artsybury)

Posted in Beijing, Elena Dementieva | Leave a comment

World Number One, Here Wozniacki Comes

So Caroline beats Vika 6-2 6-7(3) 6-4 to advance to the final of Tokyo. Didn’t watch it but it sounds about right to me, Wozniacki is too consistent and Azarenka is too volatile right now. In the battle of the oldies, it was Dementieva who won through to the semis. All Caroline needs is a win here and a Quarterfinal finish at Beijing. And guess who stand in her way? Elena Dementieva and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova…. Yeah, say hello to our new world number one.

Nothing to do with Caroline really, but in her 9437834276 (68 to be precise) matches this year, she has met a total of 5 (FIVE!) top ten players. The top players this year have been absolutely appauling. Have to wonder if it will be the same in 2011.

Posted in Caroline Wozniacki, Elena Dementieva, Tokyo | Leave a comment