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Doha Contender: Elena Dementieva

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Originally published on: 24/10/10 20:06

Age: 29 (15th October 1981)

Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

WTA ranking: No.9

Qualified: 7th

Season best: W- Sydney, Paris RU – Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo

Season win/loss record: 39-16

Prize money (2010): $1,143,740

Record vs. top eight: Caroline Wozniacki 3-4; Vera Zvonareva 5-2; Kim Clijsters 3-11; Francesca Schiavone 7-5; Sam Stosur 4-2; Jelena Jankovic 3-7; Victoria Azarenka 3-1

2010 Grand Slam record: Australian Open R64; Roland Garros SF; Wimbledon DNP; US Open R16

End-of-season best: Making tenth appearance; best result semi final in 2008

Season review: Compared to her 2009 season, this year was disappointing for the Russian, who only narrowly sneaked into the top eight after the withdrawals of the Williams sisters.

Like last year, the 29-year-old came out all guns blazing, defending her Sydney title in ruthless style, securing straight sets wins over Dinara Safina, Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams in the final.

That success was followed by her misfortune in having to face wildcard Justine Henin in the second round of the Aussie Open, which she went on to lose 7-5 7-6(6).  

Dementieva recovered well with victory in Paris and a final in Kuala Lumpur before another strong performance in Indian Wells.

With all the positive momentum off the hard courts, Dementieva was eager to transfer this on to the clay at Roland Garros. And it all began well for the 2004 finalist as she moved through the rounds to make the last four.

But disaster struck in her semi-final against Francesca Schiavone as she pulled up in the second set with a calf injury to hand the eventual champ a place in the final.

After two months out, the 16-time singles titlist struggled to get back to form as a collection of disappointing results followed until she made the semi-finals in New Haven prior to the US Open.

Again the draw did not fall kindly – she lost a three set epic against Sam Stosur in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.

Crucially, Dementieva managed to gather her focus to make the Tokyo final, which was enough to secure her place in Doha.

Last year’s WTA Championships: After an impressive 2009 many touted Dementieva as one of the favourites for the title. Despite a tough draw, the Moscow native got off to great start with a 3-6 7-6(6) 6-2 victory over Venus Williams. Unfortunately she was unable to repeat this performance against Serena Williams, going down 6-2 6-4. This then left a round robin showdown against compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova, but lost 6-3 6-2 to hand Venus a place in the last four with her sister.

Chances: Despite a troubled year, Dementieva’s performance in Tokyo demonstrated that she is returning to form. However, other than a semi-final in 2008, this tournament hasn’t proved much of a happy hunting ground as she returns for her tenth crack at the championships.

 

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