Tatiana Panova Tennis Photo Essay

  2005 Philadelphia & Quebec City WTA Singles Results     Amelie Mauresmo & Amy Frazier, Champions


  WTA Oct 31-Nov 6

Advanta Championships,
Philadelphia, PA Tier II
Villanova Univ. Pavilion
$585,000 - 28 players - indoor: hard
WTA .pdf:draws & OOP - match notes - tourney:draws, OOP, scores
Philly:weather radar - forecast
Yahoo! news pics - WTA Photo Gallery: Philly
# 4 Amelie Mauresmo, # 8 Elena Dementieva
# 10 Nadia Petrova, # 18 Nicole Vaidisova

Bell Challenge
Quebec City, CAN Tier III
Pavillon de l'Éducation physique et des sports (PEPS),
   Laval University campus
site in FrenchEnglish via AltaVista
$170,000 - 32 players - indoor: hard
WTA .pdf:draws & OOP - match notes - tourney:OOP & late results
Quebec:weather radar - forecast
Yahoo! news pics - WTA Photo Gallery: Quebec City
# 13 Nathalie Dechy, # 43 Marion Bartoli
# 67 Antonella Serra Zanetti, # 62 Laura Granville

Quebec City:

#71 Amy Frazier
5' 8", 139 lbs

#4 Amelie Mauresmo
5' 9", 152 lbs

    On Sunday in the final of the Advanta Championships in Philadelphia, the tourney champ for the past two years, 3rd(top)-seeded 26-year-old # 4 Amelie Mauresmo of France (residence: Geneva, Switzerland), won it again, defeating 4th(2nd)-seeded 24-year-old # 8 Elena Dementieva from Moscow, Russia, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 (Amelie is shown after match point). Amelie has never lost a match at the Advanta, her career record there is 14-0.

    Amelie said: "There were a lot of ups and downs for me, but also for [Elena]. I lost my rhythm in the second set and felt like I let her back in the match. I wasn't aggressive and started to feel it physically, but I still managed to stay in control of the points in the third. After leading 4-1, I told myself that I can't lose like that. I kept thinking I could do what I did in the first set and kept my composure. I was more aggressive, coming in more at 5-4 and 6-5 and putting pressure on her." WTA story

    Elena said: "I'm disappointed about the final because it was so close and I came back from being down, but I had a great tournament, and now I'm going to Los Angeles. I did what I could, but Amélie fought to the last ball. She likes to play on this surface and obviously feels good here."

    Amelie now leads Elena 7-4 in career matches, and won the last time they played (in Filderstadt a month ago). Elena won their last three matches before that. Amelie is now 18-17 in WTA singles finals; Elena is 4-10.
Mauresmo:career record
Dementieva:wallpaper - career record

    In the final of the Bell Challenge on Sunday in Quebec City, 33-year-old 6th-seeded # 71 Amy Frazier from Rochester Hills, Michigan, defeated 21-year-old 8th-seeded # 81 Sofia Arvidsson from Halmstad, Sweden, 6-1, 7-5 (Amy is also shown after match point).

    Amy said: "In the first set I started out very well and I felt in control. I was a little nervous and just tried to keep moving my feet. The second set I think I was a little lucky to get out of."
    About being a little past the average WTA retirement age, 33-years-young, Amy said: "I'm still excited to play so I go out and play. I don't plan that far ahead. I haven't had a great year but to end the year by winning a tournament is so exciting and gives me the desire to keep playing." WTA story

    Sofia said: "I was so nervous, especially in the first set because it was my first final. [Amy is] a tough opponent because she's very consistent and doesn't seem to miss many shots. I started playing better in the second set but she kept fighting. There were a few balls that I should have put in the court and things might have changed if I'd gotten them."

    Amy has now won 8 WTA singles titles in 15 finals; Sofia was playing in her first WTA singles final. They had never before met on the field of combat.
Frazier:career record
Arvidsson:career record

    In the Quebec City doubles final, two Russkis, 23-year-old Anastassia Rodionova & 19-year-old Elena Vesnina both won their first WTA titles (singles or doubles) by defeating 20-year-old Ashley Harkleroad of the US (who left the WTA Tour in 2004 after struggling with injuries but returned to play this year), and her partner Liga Dekmeijere of Latvia (yes, Liga from Riga) 6(4)-7, 6-4, 6-2.

    There was no live scoring this week, but this year the Advanta website began updating game scores during matches. Thank you, Philadelphians.

Philadelphia:interactive satellite photo of Philadelphia centered on the VU Pavilion
   VU campus map, .pdf - Philadelphia news
    The main draw for Philadelphia has 8 seeds, with 4 1st-round byes. There are 4 qualifiers in the main draw. Qualifying (3 rounds) starts on Friday, qualifying finals are on Sunday.
    The time in Philadelphia is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) minus 5 hours. That equals US Eastern Standard Time, which is PST +3 hours.

Quebec City:interactive satellite photo of Quebec City centered on Laval U's PEPS facility
   Canada news
    The main draw for Quebec City has 8 seeds, with NO 1st-round byes. There are 4 qualifiers in the main draw. Qualifying (3 rounds) starts on Saturday, qualifying finals are on Monday.
    The time in Quebec City is UCT (GMT, Zulu, Greenwich...) minus 5 hours. That equals US Eastern Standard Time, which is PST +3 hours.

WTA SCOREBOARD: Philadelphia & Quebec City
Philadelphia, 1st Rd, Mon-Wed 9am
losers' prize: $4,025 US; points: 1
#10 s6 Nadia Petrova RUS d #176 q Tatiana Poutchek BLR 6-4, 6-2 Wed

Nadia Petrova

    Nadia was feeling tired after winning the title last week in Linz. Nadia said: "It was really difficult to concentrate at the beginning of the match. I would have a good point then a bad point. I was defending more and couldn't get my rhythm. But this surface suits my game well. It's pretty fast, I can come in and hit my ground strokes well."

#18 s7 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #155 q Vanessa Henke GER 6-1, 6-1 Tue

Nicole Vaidisova

*#111 Tatiana Panova RUS d #19 s8 Jelena Jankovic SCG 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 Mon

Tatiana Panova

*#37 Sesil Karatancheva BUL d #26 s9 Vera Zvonareva RUS 7-5, 6-3 Tue

Sesil running down a backhand, and Vera finishing a forehand

#32 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #57 Iveta Benesova CZE 7-5, 6-4 Tue

Ai's backhand, and Iveta's lefty forehand

#39 Kveta Peschke CZE d #48 Jill Craybas USA 6-1, 6-1 Wed
#40 Klara Koukalova CZE d #169 wc Ahsha Rolle USA 0-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 Mon

Klara Koukalova

*#88 Lisa Raymond USA d #52 Samantha Stosur AUS 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-1 Tue

Lisa Raymond

    Pennsylvania native Lisa and Aussie Samantha have been very successful doubles partners this year. Lisa said: "I knew I needed to get into the net before [Samantha] did. I know what she's been working on and we've been working on the same things together, so obviously I know what areas to target in her game. It's a little uncomfortable. Of course I don't want to see Sam out of a tournament in the first round." WTA Tue story

*#86 Mashona Washington USA d #58 Meghann Shaughnessy USA 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 Mon

Mashona Washington

*#191 q Angelika Bachmann GER d #59 Mariana Diaz-Oliva ARG 6-0 4-1 retired-- left wrist sprainMon
#73 Martina Sucha SVK d #101 LL Stephanie Foretz FRA 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 Tue

Martina firing a forehand on the run, and Stephanie belting a backhand

*#374 wc Yaroslava Shvedova RUS d #104 q Hana Sromova CZE 6-2, 6-1 Mon

Yaroslava Shvedova

Philadelphia, 2nd Rd, Wed-Thu 11am WTA story:Wed - Thu
losers' prize: $7,600 US; points: 25
#4 s3 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #32 Ai Sugiyama JPN 6-3, 6-4 Thu

Amelie lining up a backhand, and Ai after losing a point

    Ai has never defeated Amelie, in 8 attempts. Amelie said: "Overall, I'm very happy with the way I played today. It's always better when you have a good record against someone because you're more confident. I know [Ai's] game very well. Obviously, she knows mine also but seems to have trouble with my game."

#8 s4 wc Elena Dementieva RUS d #191 q Angelika Bachmann GER 6-3, 6-4 Wed

Elena Dementieva

    Elena had said she was finished for the season after her loss in Linz last week, but then appeared in the Philadelphia draw as a late-entry wild card. Elena has a good chance to qualify for next week's WTA Championships in LA. If Elena wins her quarterfinal against # 39 Kveta Peschke on Friday, she will pass Venus Williams in the standings and earn a place in the Championships.

    Elena said: "I feel like at the end of the match is when I started to play. I definitely have extra motivation to get to Los Angeles for the WTA Championships, but at the same time I want to do well here."

#10 s6 Nadia Petrova RUS d #374 wc Yaroslava Shvedova RUS 6-2, 6-2 Thu

Nadia delivering a backhand volley, and after match point

    Nadia said: "I think it was a good match. I had to work very hard even though it was only 62 62. [Yaroslava is] a very good player. She hits well, serves well. If I made more errors, I would have made it very difficult for myself."

#18 s7 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #40 Klara Koukalova CZE 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 Wed

No photos of this scenic match were posted online, so here is Nicole at the
"Fox Chase Cancer Center First Serve Reception" which she attended with Advanta CEO Dennis Alter.

    Nicole has now won 17 consecutive matches, which gave her the titles in Seoul, Tokyo, and Bangkok. Nicole said: "[Klara] played a great match, but I was able to break through on the important points, which was key. This is my last tournament of the year, so I want to do really well. I'm not really thinking about the win streak, I just want to have a great tournament. I've been playing well. I had good results in Asia, so I'm pumped up going into my last event."

*#39 Kveta Peschke CZE d #37 Sesil Karatancheva BUL 6-1, 6-0 Thu

Kveta Peschke

    About playing against Elena Dementieva in the quarterfinals, Kveta said: "It's important for [Elena] to qualify for the WTA Tour Championships. But it's also important to me because I want to be seeded at the Australian Open [in January-- the 32 highest-ranked players are seeded in Grand Slam tourneys]."

#73 Martina Sucha SVK d #144 LL Angela Haynes USA 7-6(4), 6-3 Wed

Martina Sucha

#86 Mashona Washington USA d #111 Tatiana Panova RUS 7-6(4), 6-3 Wed

Mashona Washington

    Mashona said: "Obviously, this is another good step. I think I served well, which helped out a lot. It's always great to be in the next round. I've been there before, so I know what it feels like. But if I get past the next round, then that will be new."

#88 Lisa Raymond USA d #207 LL Stephanie Gehrlein GER 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 Thu

Lisa serving to Stephanie

Philadelphia, QFs, Fri 11am WTA story
losers' prize: $14,100 US; points: 49
#4 s3 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #86 Mashona Washington USA 6-3, 6-4

Amelie's 1-handed topspin backhand, and Mashona's 2-handed variety

    Amelie has won all nine matches she has ever played at this tourney, giving her the titles in 2003 and 2004 (she also had one walkover in 2004). Amelie said: "The match was up and down, but overall, I'm happy to be in the semifinals again. [Mashona] has a very interesting game, meaning that she is capable of doing a lot of different things. She volleys well, serves well, can control her slice backhand well. She made some mistakes from the baseline but has an unusual game compared to the other girls who just hit hard from both sides...
    "Every time I come here, things go well, so hopefully, I can keep that going. I still have a few matches to go and some tough ones."

#8 s4 wc Elena Dementieva RUS d #39 Kveta Peschke CZE 4-6, 6-0, 6-3

Kveta serving, Elena lining up a backhand,
and Elena after match point, knowing she is going to the WTA Championships

    It is the 5th straight year that Elena has qualified for the season-ending WTA Championships, and this win gave her the points she needed to do so. Elena said: "I was glad that I could change the match around after that bad first set. [Kveta] was playing like she had nothing to lose, which makes it hard because she really went for winners and was so aggressive. I really wanted to play her again after losing to her last week...
    "I decided to come to this event because I didn't want to have any regrets, and I'm glad I made that decision. Now, I'm going to Los Angeles."

#10 s6 Nadia Petrova RUS d #73 Martina Sucha SVK 7-5, 7-6(5)

Nadia slicing a backhand, Martina belting one, and Nadia after winning a point

    Nadia said: "[Martina] had me running around so much. She was playing so well out there. We always seem to have matches like these."

#18 s7 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #88 Lisa Raymond USA 6-4, 6-1

Nicole chasing a backhand, and serving

    It was Nicole's 18th consecutive match victory. Nicole said: "I got my rhythm in the second set and was able to close out the match. I'm not trying to break any records. I'm just playing and winning and just happy about that."

Philadelphia, SFs, Sat 4:30pmWTA story
losers' prize: $26,500 US; points: 88
#4 s3 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #18 s7 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 7-5, 7-5

Amelie's forehand, and Nicole's backhand

    Amelie said: "We had some great rallies, and both of us played very well on our serves. [Nicole] has a very strong serve, and it was just a few points here and there that made the difference. I had trouble reading her serve and she made some great shots, but I was patient enough to wait for the opportunities and take advantage of them."

    Nicole said: "I played well, but [Amelie] played better... It’s still a learning process for me. I’m 16 and playing only my second year on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Of course, I’m disappointed and I wanted to be in the final tomorrow, but overall, I’m happy with my week."

#8 s4 wc Elena Dementieva RUS d #10 s6 Nadia Petrova RUS walkover-- right heel bruise
pro set exhibition: #86 Mashona Washington d Elena Dementieva 5-4(5)

Elena playing Mashona

Philadelphia, Final, Sun
loser's prize: $49,500 US; points: 137
winner's prize: $93,000 US; points: 195
#4 s3 Amelie Mauresmo FRA d #8 s4 wc Elena Dementieva RUS 7-5, 2-6, 7-5

Elena confronting a tough backhand volley, Amelie's forehand, and Amelie with the trophy

Philadelphia, Doubles Final, Sun
losers' prize: $15,500 US
winners' prize: $29,000 US
cdr6 s1 Cara Black & Rennae Stubbs d cdr7 s2 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur 6-4, 7-6(4)

Current WTA doubles #1 Cara Black & doubles # 5 Rennae Stubbs

Philadelphia, Qual Finals, Sun Oct 23
losers' prize: $2,150 US
*#155 Vanessa Henke GER d #101 Stephanie Foretz FRA 6-4, 6-3
#104 Hana Sromova CZE d #144 Angela Haynes USA 7-6(7), 6-2
#176 Tatiana Poutchek BLR d #257 Chanelle Sheepers RSA 6-1, 6-1
#191 Angelika Bachmann GER d #207 Stephanie Gehrlein GER 6-1, 2-6, 6-3

Philadelphia, Withdrawals
#1 s1 Lindsay Davenport USA flu
#3 s2 Maria Sharapova RUS r thumb sprain
#7 Venus Williams USA left knee
#9 s5 Patty Schnyder SUI left hand contusion
#11 Serena Williams USA left knee & ankle
#22 Anna-Lena Groenfeld GER
#23 Alicia Molik AUS vestibular neuronitis
#47 Shahar Peer ISR
#50 Akiko Morigami JPN
#64 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN

At the Quebec City players party on Sunday night, Laura Granville (center) was presented with a diamond necklace which she won (apparently for being so pretty). Liga Dekmeijere (left), last year's necklace winner in Quebec, posed for a pic wearing hers (unfortunately cropped a bit out of frame-- Liga, partnered with Ashley Harkleroad, won her 1st round doubles match on Monday).
And Canadian Heidi El Tabakh (on the right-- the name doesn't sound French, so she must be Scottish-Canadian) was cheerful despite having been narrowly defeated, 7-6(2), 7-5, in her qualifying semifinal.

Quebec City, 1st Rd, Mon-Wed 11am
losers' prize: $1,260 US; points: 1
#13 s1 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #118 Ashley Harkleroad USA 6-4, 6-1 Wed
#43 s3 Marion Bartoli FRA d #96 Sandra Kloesel GER 6-1, 6-2 Tue
#67 s5 Antonella Serra Zanetti ITA d #115 Camille Pin FRA 1-6, 6-1, 7-5 Mon
#62 s4 Laura Granville USA d #317 q Ansley Cargill USA 6-4, 6-2 Tue
#71 s6 Amy Frazier USA d #201 wc Aleksandra Wozniak CAN 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6) Mon
*#159 wc Stéphanie Dubois CAN d #75 s7 Jamea Jackson USA 7-5, 6-4 Mon
#81 s8 Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #162 q Vilmarie Castellvi PUR 6-2, 7-5 Tue
#83 s9 Julia Schruff GER d #107 Abigail Spears USA 7-5, 6-3 Tue
*#407 q Youlia Fedossova FRA d #89 Kristina Brandi PUR 6-4, 6-4 Tue
#90 Emma Laine FIN d #351 q Sarah Borwell GBR 6-4, 6-1 Tue
*#197 Henrieta Nagyova SVK d #92 Jelena Kostanic CRO 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 Mon
#106 Shenay Perry USA d #199 LL Lubomira Kurhajcova SVK 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 Tue
*#129 Elena Vesnina RUS d #109 Severine Bremond FRA 6-3, 7-6 Mon
#124 Maria Emilia Salerni ARG d #316 LL Diana Ospina USA 7-6(9), 1-6, 6-3 Tue
*#362 Anne Keothavong GBR d #136 Michaela Pastikova CZE 6-0, 6-4 Mon
*#175 Anastassia Rodionova RUS d #146 Marie-Eve Pelletier CAN 7-5, 6-4 Tue
Quebec City, 2nd Rd, Wed-Thu 11am WTA story:Wed - Thu
losers' prize: $2,155 US; points: 16
#13 s1 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #124 Maria Emilia Salerni ARG 6-1, 7-6(5) Thu

    Nathalie said: "[Maria Emilia] never gave up and it showed in the second set. It was close and she just kept fighting. I missed a few shots that I should have gotten but in the end I think I played and I was able to win. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's match."

#43 s3 Marion Bartoli FRA d #90 Emma Laine FIN 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 Thu
*#129 Elena Vesnina RUS d #67 s5 Antonella Serra Zanetti ITA 6-3, 6-3 Wed

    Elena said: "I played tough tennis. This is a good tournament for me. I played my first WTA Tour qualifying at this tournament last year and now I'm in the quarterfinals. I like this city and the atmosphere."

    Antonella said: "I'm definitely disappointed. [Elena] impressed me though with her play. She had a good match. I would have liked to play better this week but now I'm ready for a break. This is my last tournament and I'm going to take a break now."

*#197 Henrieta Nagyova SVK d #62 s4 Laura Granville USA 6-2, 7-5 Wed

    Laura said: "I don't really know what happened. I know I missed a few key shots that seemed to make the difference in the second set... I didn't capitalize on points. She was hitting the ball really hard and made me make a lot of mistakes."

#71 s6 Amy Frazier USA d #407 q Youlia Fedossova FRA 6-3, 6-0 Wed

    Amy said: "There were a few close games and I was lucky to pull them out. I was never confident a point was quite over because I thought [Youlia] might get to every ball. She hits the ball very hard. I'm happy to get the win and move on because there are so many players playing well here."

#81 s8 Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #362 Anne Keothavong GBR 6-3, 6-1 Wed
*#106 Shenay Perry USA d #83 s9 Julia Schruff GER 7-6(4), 6-3 Thu
#159 wc Stéphanie Dubois CAN d #175 Anastassia Rodionova RUS 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 Thu

    Stéphanie is playing in only her third WTA Tour main draw. Stéphanie said: "I am so excited. I tried to stay focused on my game during the entire match and worry about myself. The crowd was unbelievable and their support certainly did help. I could have let up in the second set but I hung in there and I fought for it. This is a great win for me.
    "Tomorrow will be a very tough match for me but I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a really great experience to play a top player like Nathalie [Dechy]. She's good and it's going to be a battle."

Quebec City, QFs, Fri noon WTA story
losers' prize: $3,900 US; points: 30
#13 s1 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #159 wc Stéphanie Dubois CAN 2-6, 6-0, 6-0

    Nathalie said: "I’m not quite sure what happened in the first set. [Stéphanie] played a very good set and was running me around the court. I think I gained control in the second and started to control the match. She let up a bit and lost a little energy in the third. I’m happy with my performance overall and I know what I have to work out to prepare for tomorrow’s match."

#43 s3 Marion Bartoli FRA d #106 Shenay Perry USA 6-0, 6-4

Marion (left), and her semifinal opponent Sofia Arvidsson posed for some pics (on Friday?),
including this one in front of the historic Chateau Frontenac, where some early snow was falling.

#71 s6 Amy Frazier USA d #197 Henrieta Nagyova SVK 6-4, 6-1
#81 s8 Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #129 Elena Vesnina RUS 2-6, 6-4, 6-1

    Sofia said: "I started off very slowly, but I think I got my game in the second set. I hit a few really good points and that helped me. My serve was pretty good in the second set which helped me too. In the third set, [Elena] started missing some points and I got some good chances."

Quebec City, SFs, Sat 12:30pm WTA story
losers' prize: $7,400 US; points: 55
*#71 s6 Amy Frazier USA d #13 s1 Nathalie Dechy FRA 6-4, 7-5
*#81 s8 Sofia Arvidsson SWE d #43 s3 Marion Bartoli FRA 6-4, 1-0 retired-- dizziness
Quebec City, Final, Sun
loser's prize: $14,280 US; points: 85
winner's prize: $27,000 US; points: 120
#71 s6 Amy Frazier USA d #81 s8 Sofia Arvidsson SWE 6-1, 7-5

Amy's forehand, Sofia's backhand, and Amy with the glassware (luciteware?)

Quebec City, Doubles Final, Sun
losers' prize: $4,050 US
winners' prize: $7,530 US
*cdr284 Anastassia Rodionova & Elena Vesnina d cdr274 s4 Liga Dekmeijere & Ashley Harkleroad 6(4)-7, 6-4, 6-2

Anastassia & Elena with their first WTA title trophies

Quebec City, Qual Finals, Mon Oct 24
losers' prize: $630 US
#162 Vilmarie Castellvi PUR d #339 Leticia Sobral BRA 1-6, 6-1, 6-1
*#317 Ansley Cargill USA d #199 Lubomira Kurhajcova SVK 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
*#351 Sarah Borwell GBR d #316 Diana Ospina USA 6-1, 6-4
#407 Youlia Fedossova FRA d #416 Antonia Matic GER 6-3, 4-6, 6-1

Quebec City, Withdrawals
#12 Anastasia Myskina RUS r shoulder
#20 s2 Daniela Hantuchova SVK shoulder strain
#36 Shinobu Asagoe JPN
#69 Karolina Sprem CRO
#85 Mara Santangelo ITA
#93 Sybille Bammer AUT
#95 Rika Fujiwara JPN
#119 Meilen Tu USA ankle injury

    (Nov 1, 2005) The Advanta tourney was devastated on Tuesday by the withdrawal of the top two seeds. # 1 Lindsay Davenport has the flu, and # 3 Maria Sharapova sprained her right thumb. Both were replaced by "Lucky Losers" (players who lost their qualifying finals), who received 1st round byes.

    (Oct 31, 2005) Daniela Hantuchova has withdrawn from Quebec City due to a shoulder strain, and the draw has been (very properly) rearranged.

    (Oct 31, 2005) 5th-seeded # 9 Patty Schnyder has withdrawn from Philadelphia due to the left wrist injury she incurred slamming her racket while upset with her play in the Linz semifinals (she doesn't think it was smart either) and that draw has also been rearranged.

    (Oct 30, 2005) # 8 Elena Dementieva, who had said she was finished for the season after her loss in Linz, is in the Philadelphia draw as a late-entry wild card.
    Elena has a good chance to qualify for the WTA Championships in LA, because # 6 Justine Henin-Hardenne will not play due to her ongoing hamstring injury. Elena needs to earn 99 points in Philadelphia to pass Venus Williams in the standings and earn a place in LA; Elena would also qualify if any more of the players ahead of her withdraw due to injury (both Venus Williams and Patty Schnyder withdrew from play this week due to injuries).

    (Oct 25, 2005) # 12 Anastasia Myskina (who would have been the top seed) has withdrawn from the Bell Challenge due to an unspecified right shoulder problem (which might the same shoulder pain that has troubled Anastasia off and on for serveral years now).

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This Czech-American tennis player, who though has now retired, has made such an indelible mark in the world of tennis that people shall continue to remember her for ages to come. Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, she found her first tennis coach in her mother, who raised her up as a single parent from her tender age of three. She started out her stint in tennis quite early on and tasted success at the age of 15, when she won the Czechoslovakia National Tennis championship. Since then, there was no looking back.
The very next year, in 1973, she debuted in the United States Lawn Tennis Association’s professional tour. However, her first actual “professional” move was winning the singles title in Orlando, Florida in 1974. She captured the World No.1 ranking for the first time, when she won the Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon, defeating Chris Evert. She won this thrice, besides winning also the French Open in 1982. Thereafter, she became the most dominant player in the territory of women’s tennis. The period spanning from 1982-84 was the most prosperous for her, during which she had her maximum victories, despite a few setbacks. Her winning streak continued unabated even in the couple of years that followed, during which she made a record of 74-matches win. The match between her and Chrish Evert in the French Open final of 1985, is considered by many to be the best women’s match of all times.
Though in the next phase of her career, she had tough opponents on the field, such as Steffi Graf, Conchita Martenez, Tatiana Panova etc., she managed to retain her shine in the sky of world tennis in her own way even during the early half of the 2000s.
Her last career match was in 2006 at Wimbledon, having won 167 singles titles and 177 doubles titles. She holds records for being one of the three women to have attained the Grand Slam “Boxed Set” – singles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles, longest winning streaks, and most consecutive titles. She has undergone major personal turmoil in her journey – controversies centred around her nationality and citizenship, her being diagnosed with breast cancer and its ensuing treatment, being hospitalized for developing pulmonary oedema while attempting to climb Mt.Kilimanjaro etc.
A member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, she also has her name associated with AARP, where she serves as the Health and Fitness Ambassador, thus being a role model of countless women across the world. An achiever in the true sense of the term, she is also involved with many charitable organizations that work for animal rights, underprivileged and gay rights. The Human Rights Campaign honoured her with the National Equality Award in 2000. Practising vegetarianism herself, she had made appearances in ad campaigns for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Apart from gay and lesbian rights, which she always advocates for very vehemently, she has also been quite vocal on a number of sensitive political issues, the principal one being her opposition to Communism. The fact that she had to escape from Czechoslovakia had planted a deep root of bitterness in her mind against the ideology in general, and Soviet Union’s control over Czechoslovakia in particular. Thus, here’s a sportswoman who’s not a mere sportswoman but much more than that! She is a strong woman who stands by what she believes in, and is not averse to speaking her mind. Every woman out there can learn a lesson or two from her; her accomplishments continue to inspire millions.


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