Tennis Prose



Biofile with Elena Dementieva

Status: 2008 Olympic gold medalist retired this week at the WTA Tour Championships in Doha. She won 16 career ATP singles titles. Reached a career high #3 ranking in April 2009.

Ht: 5-11 Wt: 141

DOB: October 15th, 1981 In: Moscow, Russia.

Tennis Inspiration: “My mom was the person that I admire all my life. (Who was your favorite tennis player as a kid?) Martina Hingis, because she played smartly, like playing chess on the court.”

Hobbies/Interests: “I’m very sport person. I like to do a lot of different sports, like ski, snow boarding— because we have a very nice off-season in the winter that I spend in Moscow. Or I go somewhere in the mountains. But I’m busy pretty much with my tennis life [laughs].”

Favorite Movies: “You probably don’t know this one — it’s Russian movie — Moscow Doesn’t Believe In Tears.”

Musical Tastes: “My favorite is Shakira.”

Early Tennis Memory: “When I started to play I couldn’t imagine that one day I’m going to be part of this world. I was watching on TV, but I couldn’t believe or couldn’t think about that I’m gonna be one day playing Wimbledon or French Open. I was watching on a TV and it was like another world for me. I remember I was watching a lot of finals between Monica Seles and Steffi Graf. That was the very exciting memory.”

Favorite Meal: “I like crabs and black caviar.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Vanilla.”

Pre-Match Feeling: “It’s very different. But pretty much you want to feel kinda little scary, you want to feel worry before the match. That makes you feel like you’re going to be ready to play. But also you feel a little angry before I go on the court. Because it’s difficult to play by smiling and by being nice person on the court [smiles].”

First Job: “Oh, that’s the only one I have [laughs]. Be a tennis player.”

First Car: “X5 BMW. (Color?) Black.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “I would say Olympic gold medal.”

Most Painful Moment: “Never had one [laughs].”

Closest Tennis Friends: “I have a lot of good friends here, especially Russian players. Because I have so many memories together by playing junior competition.”

Funniest Players: “I don’t know. There are so many of them…Svetlana Kuznetsova.”

Toughest Competitors: “I would have to say Patty Schnyder. (Why?) She has a…she plays very different compared to other players. She has a great feeling. She’s lefty. And it’s not easy to play against her.”

Favorite Players To Watch: “I would say Andre Agassi and Serena Williams.”

Funny Tennis Memory: “I had a broken shoe. I break playing in the Olympic Games. And I didn’t have another pair to replace it. And I was asking someone from the crowd to give me another pair. That was such a funny moment [laughs]. And I still won this match. (Against who?) Barbara Schett. (Did they give you the extra shoe?) Yeah, actually (former Russian pro) Natasha Zvereva gave it to me. She was watching and her shoe was I think two or three sizes bigger than mine.”

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “I can’t remember. I never had [laughs].”

Favorite Tournament(s): “For me it’s the Kremlin Cup — my hometown tournament.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Kindness.”


  • tom michael · October 31, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Nice to read this again! Will miss Elena greatly. Hope she pursues education now that her tennis is done. She is from an educated family. Mom is a French teacher, which explains Elena’s fluency in the language. Maternal grandmother is a physician. Elena has once said that she would have considered a career in medicine if she never made it in tennis.

    And a message to Dan. My e-mail is

    I hope we all can get together for doubles some time soon. Hastings on Hudson is my recommendation for indoors on a Saturday at 6 pm. They close by 730 pm. It may cost $49 total ($12.25 per person) for an hour and a half.

  • Sakhi · November 1, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Interesting. I’d recommend also heading to dementieva’s own web page. there’s a wonderful interview there that gives greater insight into her future.

  • Richard Pagliaro · November 1, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Interesting – and understandable – she picked Moscow as her favorite tournament though I figured she would pick French Open as that was her first major final, she’s played so well there and in 2005 she led Russia to the Fed Cup title with a win over France at Roland Garros. I remember she beat Pierce and Mauresmo in singles and then partnered the young Safina to beat Pierce/Mauresmo in the decisive doubles and every match she won was 3 sets if I remember right. Will definitely miss Elena and will check out that interview you mention.
    Tom, I am up for playing at Hastings. Will email you about it as I’ve played there before and really like those courts and the club. Let’s get some doubles there – we split the cost 4 ways it is reasonable (for this area) for sure. Let’s do it.



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