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Elena Dementieva, one of the most respected and admired players in women's tennis

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Elena Dementieva

Elena Viatcheslavovna Dementieva (born 15 October 1981) is a retired Russian professional tennis player. Dementieva is most notable for winning the singles gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She won 16 WTA singles titles and reached the finals of the 2004 French Open and 2004 US Open. Dementiva achieved a career high ranking of World No. 3 which was accomplished on April 6, 2009. She announced her retirement on October 29, 2010 after her final match at the 2010 WTA Tour Championships. Dementieva ended her career ranked World No. 9.

Dementieva played and won her first international tournament, Les Petits As, in France at the age of 13. In 1998 she became a professional tennis player and one year later managed to enter the Top 100.

She won her first WTA event at the Bausch & Lomb Championships (Amelia Island) in 2003. Dementieva won 576 of her 849 matches, capturing 16 WTA titles, including two this year at the Medibank International (Sydney) and the Open GDF Suez (Paris).

One of the most consistent players in the history of the sport, Dementieva competed in 46 consecutive Grand Slams

Dementieva became the first player from Russia ever to reach the semifinals of the US Open (2000) and was part of the historic first all-Russian Grand Slam final at 2004 Roland Garros, losing to Anastasia Myskina. She has been ranked inside the Top 20 for almost eight straight seasons (since April 21, 2003), reaching a career-high of World No.3 in singles (April 6, 2009) and also achieving a Top 5 ranking in doubles (April 2003).

Dementieva has qualified for the season-ending WTA Championships 10 times, reaching the semifinals in 2000 and 2008. A three-time member of the Russian Olympic team, Dementieva is a two-time Olympic medalist, having captured Gold in Beijing (2008) - which she considers her greatest achievement - and Silver in Sydney (2000). Dementieva also represented Russia in 18 Fed Cup ties, leading them to victory in 2005.

One of the most respected players to ever play the sport, Dementieva won numerous WTA awards throughout her career, including the highly-regarded Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award (2008) which recognizes a player's conduct, attitude and sense of fair play.

Two-time Grand Slam finalist Elena Dementieva announced her decision to hang up her tennis racquet at the age of twenty-nine at the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha after losing her final round-robin match to Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-2.

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