2004 was a watershed year for Russian women’s tennis. At the French Open, Elena Dementieva and Anastasia Myskina met in the first all-Russian Grand Slam final, before Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Dementieva in the US Open final to become the third straight Russian Grand Slam winner.
In the same year, there were three Russians in the WTA Top 10 for the first time: Myskina (5), Dementieva (6) and Nadia Petrova (9).
There are now an incredible SEVEN Russian women in the Top 20:
No. 4 – Svetlana Kuznetsova
Kuznetsova, the top-ranked Russian women’s player, won her only Grand Slam at the 2004 US Open and finished runner-up in the 2007 US Open and 2006 French Open.
She recently finished runner-up to World No. 2 Ana Ivanovic , at the 2008 Pacific Life Open.
Did you know? Kuznetsova comes from a family of award-winning cyclists, her mother, Galina Tsareva, holds 20 world records and is a 6 time world champion in cycling, and her brother was a silver-medalist at the 1996 Olympic Games.
No. 5 – Maria Sharápova
Sharápova,, 20, has already won 18 career titles. She is ranked 5th and was World No. 1 in 2005 at just 19.
In 2004, Sharápova won Wimbledon at just 17, following this up with the 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open
By 2007 she was the world’s highest-paid female athlete.
Did you know? She was voted one of the top 50 most beautiful celebrities by People Magazine in 2005, and was voted hottest athlete by Maxim Magazine in 2006.
No. 6 – Anna Chakvetadze
World No. 6 Chakvetadze , reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at the 2007 US Open.
After winning her 7th career title last year, Chakvetadze remains unbeaten in tournament finals.
Did you know? She was tied up and robbed when her home was burgled in December 2007, her father was badly beaten, and the story made headlines in sports news around the world.
No. 11 – Elena Dementieva
Now 26, Dementieva has not reached a Grand Slam final since 2004, when she finished runner-up at the French and US Opens.
She was part of the first wave of Russian women to sweep tennis over 2003 and 2004, but last year, injury forced her out of the Top 10 for the first time in almost four years.
Did you know? After a shoulder injury in Australia, her serve has been often regarded as the worst in the history of the WTA Tour- she’s been noted to double-fault 19 times in 1 match.
No. 13 – Dinara Safina
Safina, 21, whose elder brother is former World No. 1 Marat Safin, reached two finals, two semifinals, and nine quarterfinals – including the French and US Opens – in 2006.
Safina achieved her career-best ranking of 9th in 2007.
Did you know? She surprisingly dismissed Maria Sharapova from the French Open 2008 by winning the final set 6-2.
No. 17 – Nadia Petrova
At the 2003 French Open, Petrova, , ranked 76th, reached the semifinals – the third lowest-ranking player to ever achieve this.
She reached the same stage in 2005, but has not progressed past the quarterfinals in any of the other Slams.
Petrova’s career-best ranking is 3rd.
Did you know? Both parents were top athletes in their time, her mother won a bronze medal at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 for 400m relay, and her father was a champion hammer thrower!
No. 20 – Vera Zvonareva
Zvonareva reached her career high ranking 9th in 2004 and her first Grand Slam quarterfinal came at the 2003 French Open.
She won the 2006 US Open women’s doubles , and the 2004 US Open and 2006 Wimbledon mixed doubles titles.
Did you know? She is known for her strange emotional breakdowns on the court
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