Elena Dementieva

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Posted by bender 03/23/2009 @ 23:09

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News headlines
Serena, Dementieva, Jankovic post Day-3 wins in Paris - Sports Network
Paris, France (Sports Network) - Former champion Serena Williams, former runner-up Elena Dementieva and US Open runner-up Jelena Jankovic were first- round winners Tuesday at the 2009 French Open. The second-seeded former world No....
Dementieva shakes off bad start to reach round two - guardian.co.uk
PARIS, May 26 (Reuters) - Fourth seed Elena Dementieva overcame a nervy start on Tuesday to beat South African qualifier Chanelle Scheepers 6-4 6-3 and book her place in the French Open second round. Making her Roland Garros debut, the 25-year-old...
Dementieva, Jankovic Cruise; Blake, Fish Sent Packing In Paris - AHN
Paris, France (AHN) - Former French Open runner-up Elena Dementieva roared to the second round at Roland Garros after pummeling South African Chanelle Scheepers 6-4, 6-3 Tuesday. The fourth-seeded Russian, who lost to Anastasia Myskina in the 2004...
Serena survives first-round test - BBC Sport
Elena Dementieva and Jelena Jankovic had less trouble reaching round two. Dementieva, the fourth seed, beat South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers 6-4 6-3 after nervous start which saw her broken twice in the first three games. And former world number one...
Dementieva advances to 2nd round in Madrid - The Associated Press
MADRID (AP) — Third-seeded Elena Dementieva beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday to reach the second round of the Madrid Masters. The tournament is being played on clay as a joint ATP and WTA Tour for the first time,...
French Open really open for top female contenders - AFP
Safina will also be under threat from fellow Russian top tenners Elena Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova, while Ivanovic's Serbian compatriot Jelena Jankovic could also threaten. But while the Williams sisters can point to a Grand Slam...
Dementieva rolls; Serena bows out in Madrid - MiamiHerald.com
By Sports Network Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva was an easy second-round winner, while former world No. 1 Serena Williams retired from her opening-round match Monday at the inaugural $4.5 million Madrid Open. The second-seeded Williams lost...
Safina Advances - New York Times
Kuznetsova defeated second-seeded Elena Dementieva, 6-4, 6-2. Safina was down by 5-4 in the second set but held serve, then broke for a 6-5 lead and held serve. She cruised past a deflated Pennetta in the third. “I was a bit slow at the start,” Safina...
Safina advances; Dementieva falls in Madrid - IdahoStatesman.com
1 Russian Dinara Safina was a second-round winner, while third-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva came up a third-round loser Wednesday at the inaugural $4.5 million Madrid Open, a clay- court French Open tune-up. Safina, fresh off her title last week in...
Why Is The Racism and Sexism Against Venus and Serena Williams ... - Bleacher Report
Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, and Vera Zvonareva are all solid players. The quandary for the Eastern European women is they do not have the mental toughness. The Russians and the Serbs have proven...

Elena Dementieva

Elena Dementieva at 2008 Qatar Telecom German Open

Infobox last updated on: 23 February 2009.

Elena Dementieva (Russian: Елена Вячеславовна Дементьева, jɪˈlʲenə dʲɪˈmʲentjɪvə (help·info)); (born October 15, 1981 in Moscow, Russia) is a professional tennis player from Russia who has won two Olympic medals in singles, including the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She has also reached the finals of two Grand Slam events. As of 23 February 2009, she is ranked World No. 4.

Dementieva was born in Moscow to Viatcheslav, an electrical engineer, and Vera, a teacher, both recreational tennis players. She was rejected by Dynamo Sports Club and the Central Red Army Tennis Club at the age of 7 before enrolling at Spartak Tennis Club where she was coached for 3 years by Rauza Islanova, the mother of Marat Safin and Dinara Safina. She then moved to the Central Red Army Club with Sergei Pashkov when she was 11. She is now coached by her mother Vera and her older brother Vsevolod. She has homes in Monaco, Moscow and Boca Raton, Florida, and enjoys snowboarding, baseball, reading and traveling. .

She was the cover girl for Marie Claire Russia's January 2009 issue. In her interview, she confirmed that she was dating an NHL player but refused to name which player; it is believed that her anonymous boyfriend is Maxim Afinogenov.

Dementieva played and won her first international tournament, Les Petit As, in France at the age of 13. In 1997, she entered the WTA top 500. She turned professional in 1998 and entered the top 100 in 1999.

In 1999, Dementieva represented Russia in the Fed Cup final against the United States, scoring Russia's only point when she upset Venus Williams 1–6, 6–3, 7–6(5), recovering from a 4–1 third set deficit. She played her first Grand Slam main draws, qualifying for the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon and receiving a direct entry into the US Open. She reached the second round at the Australian Open and French Open, made a first round exit at Wimbledon, and reached the third round of the US Open. In 2000, she entered the top 20 by winning more than 40 singles matches for the second straight year and earned more than U.S. $600,000. She became the first woman from Russia to reach the US Open semifinals, where she lost to Lindsay Davenport. At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Dementieva won the silver medal, losing to Venus Williams in the gold medal match 6–2, 6–4. In 2000, Dementieva was named the WTA tour's Most Improved Player.

2001 was the second straight year in which Dementieva finished in the WTA's top 20. During the year, she became the top ranked Russian player, a position previously held by Anna Kournikova since December 1997. Dementieva, however, suffered a shoulder injury in Australia. To keep playing matches, she altered her serve, adding slice and changing her motion. After her shoulder healed, her service motion stayed the same. She has double faulted as many as 19 times in a match and hit 50 mph first and second serves. In 2002, Dementieva and her partner Janette Husárová of Slovakia reached the final of the US Open and won the year-ending WTA Tour Championships. In singles, Dementieva defeated a top ranked player for the first time, beating world No. 1 Martina Hingis 6–2, 6–2 in a quarterfinal in Moscow. Dementieva reached the final of that tournament, losing to Jelena Dokić.

Dementieva played the most tournaments among year-end top ten players (27) and won US$869,740 in prize money. At the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida, she won her first WTA Tour title, defeating Amanda Coetzer, World No. 9 Daniela Hantuchová, World No. 4 Justine Henin, and World No. 5 Lindsay Davenport. Dementieva was the lowest seed (tenth) to win the tournament in its 24-year history. She also won back-to-back titles in Bali and Shanghai, defeating Chanda Rubin in both finals. Dementieva finished the year in the top 10 for the first time (World No. 8). In addition, she reached the semifinals of the Wimbledon doubles with compatriot Lina Krasnoroutskaya, beating the Venus and Serena Williams team along the way.

Dementieva's breakthrough year was 2004. In Miami, she defeated Venus Williams in the quarterfinals and Nadia Petrova in the semifinals. Dementieva then lost to the top seeded and two-time defending champion Serena Williams 6–1, 6–1. On 5 April, she reached her highest singles ranking at sixth in the world. With fifth ranked Anastasia Myskina and ninth ranked Petrova, it was the first time that three Russians appeared in the Women's Tennis Association top 10 simultaneously.

Later that year at the US Open, after a first round loss at Wimbledon to Sandra Kleinová, Dementieva reached her second Grand Slam final, defeating Mauresmo and Jennifer Capriati en route, both in third set tie-breaks. Countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Dementieva in straight sets in the final, becoming the third consecutive Russian Grand Slam winner. Following the US Open, Dementieva won her first title in Hasselt and reached the Moscow finals for the second time, losing to Myskina.

In 2005, Dementieva reached six semifinals, the most important being at the US Open. She also reached the final in Charleston, losing to Justine Henin, and Philadelphia, losing to Amélie Mauresmo despite serving for the match at 5–4 in the third set. In the quarterfinals of the US Open, Dementieva defeated top ranked Lindsay Davenport 6–1, 3–6, 7–6(6) for her second victory over a current No. 1 player. In the semifinals, she lost to Mary Pierce 3–6, 6–2, 6–2. The momentum of the match with Pierce changed in Pierce's favor when, with Dementieva up a set, Pierce received 12 minutes of on-court medical treatment. Partnering Flavia Pennetta of Italy, Dementieva reached her second doubles final at the US Open.

Following the US Open, Dementieva helped Russia repeat as Fed Cup champions, beating France 3–2 in the final. All three points came from Dementieva, as she avenged her loss to Pierce at the US Open, beat Mauresmo, and then won the deciding doubles match with partner Dinara Safina. At the WTA Tour Championships, Dementieva lost all three round robin matches against Mauresmo, Pierce, and Kim Clijsters with the same score each time: 6–2, 6–3.

After losing to Kim Clijsters in an exhibition in Hong Kong, she lost in the first round of the Australian Open to Julia Schruff. But immediately following that tournament, Dementieva won her first Tier I event, the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. On the run to the title, she defeated Katarina Srebotnik, Nicole Vaidišová, and Anastasia Myskina, all in three sets. She then defeated the resurgent Martina Hingis, with Hingis saying after the match, "If she played like that all the time, she'd win Grand Slams." At the Pacific Life Open, despite double faulting 79 times in six matches, Dementieva reached the final. She defeated rising stars Sania Mirza, Ana Ivanović, and Na Li along the way. Dementieva then upset Justine Henin in a semifinal 2–6, 7–5, 7–5. The victory was her fourth three set match of the tournament, and fatigue contributed to her 6–1, 6–2 loss to Maria Sharapova in the final.

At the French Open she was upset in the third round by Shahar Peer 6-4, 7-5. On grass, Dementieva reached the s'Hertogenbosch semifinals, losing to Michaella Krajicek despite holding a match point, and the Wimbledon quarterfinals. At Wimbledon, Dementieva lost to fourth seeded Sharapova 6–1, 6–4. In August, Dementieva won the tournament in Los Angeles by defeating Jelena Janković in the final 6–3, 4–6, 6–4. En route to her sixth career title, she defeated everyone who had beaten (or, in the case of the US Open, would beat) her at the 2006 Grand Slam tournaments—Schruff in the second round, Peer in the third round, Sharapova in a semifinal (for the first time since 2003), and Janković in the final.

At the 2006 US Open, Dementieva reached the quarterfinals for the fourth time, losing to Janković 6–2, 6–1. The three games she won were all breaks of serve. Dementieva remarked afterwards, "Yeah, it is disappointing, you know. I'm getting older, and I haven't won a Grand Slam, so that's really what I'm thinking about all the time. I feel like I was in a good shape here. That's why it's sad." . She relinquished to Sharapova, who won the tournament, the distinction of being the Russian player to have won the most career prize money. Dementieva qualified for the year-ending WTA Tour Championships for the seventh straight time, the only active player to do so. She lost to all three players in her round robin group: Sharapova 6–1, 6-4; Svetlana Kuznetsova 7–5, 6-3; and Clijsters 6–4, 6–0. Her career win-loss record at this tournament fell to 3-14. She had lost her last nine matches played there.

Dementieva won two titles, reached three semifinals and five quarterfinals, and reached the fourth round at the Australian Open. After her first semifinal of the year at the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Dementieva suffered a rib fracture in Antwerp and was off the tour for nine weeks, leaving the top 10 in April for the first time in nearly four years. Dementieva won her fourth event back on tour at the Tier III event in Istanbul, her first career singles title on red clay. She was upset in the third round of the French Open by Marion Bartoli the following week. Three weeks later, she lost to Bartoli again in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Eastbourne, United Kingdom 6–1, 6–0. At the J&S Cup in Warsaw she lost to Venus Williams. She lost in the third round of Wimbledon to Tamira Paszek 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. During the North American summer hard court season, she reached the semifinals of the tournaments in San Diego and New Haven, Connecticut and the quarterfinals of the tournament in Los Angeles but lost early at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto and at the US Open. By the end of the summer, Dementieva had fallen to World No. 20, her lowest ranking since 2002.

In the fall, Dementieva reached two successive quarterfinals in Beijing and Stuttgart. At the latter event, Dementieva defeated Amélie Mauresmo and Daniela Hantuchová before losing to World No. 1 Justine Henin in the quarterfinals. In the final of the Tier I Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Dementieva defeated Serena Williams for the first time in her career. Winning the title in Moscow returned Dementieva to the top 10 at World No. 10 for one week. Her first round loss at the Zurich Open the following week, however, caused her ranking to fall to World No. 11. 2007 was the first year since 2002 that Dementieva did not finish the year in the top 10, and did not secure a spot at the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships.

At Dementieva's first tournament of the season, the Medibank International in Sydney, she lost in the first round to Sofia Arvidsson 6–1, 7–5. She then reached the fourth round of the Australian Open before losing to eventual champion Maria Sharapova 6–2, 6–0. Dementieva then travelled to Paris for the Tier II Open Gaz de France indoor tournament. She reached the semifinals before succumbing to seventh-seeded Ágnes Szávay from Hungary 6–3, 1–6, 7–5. Dementieva then won the Tier II, US$1.5 million Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, defeating second-seeded compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. This was Dementieva's fourth career Tier II tournament title but her first since 2006. Along the way, she defeated Patty Schnyder, Alyona Bondarenko, World No. 2 Ana Ivanović, and Francesca Schiavone (who defeated World No. 1 and defending champion Justine Henin in the quarterfinals).

At the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Dementieva lost in the quarterfinals to Jelena Janković. This performance caused her ranking to rise to World No. 8. At the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, Dementieva lost in the semifinals to compatriot Vera Zvonareva dropping her ranking to World No. 9. Dementieva was the seventh-seeded player at the Tier I Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin but reached the final, where she lost to thirteenth-seeded Dinara Safina. Dementieva defeated fourth-seeded Janković in the quarterfinals and second-seeded Ivanović in the semifinals. Dementieva's win over Ivanović was her fourth in four career matches with her.

Her next tournament was the Istanbul Cup in Istanbul, Turkey where Dementieva was the top seed and defending champion. She reached the final but was unsuccessful in her attempt to win a singles title at the same tournament in consecutive years, which would have been a career first. Agnieszka Radwańska of Poland defeated Dementieva in the final. At the French Open, Dementieva defeated eleventh-seeded Zvonareva in the fourth round 6–4, 1–6, 6–2 but lost her quarterfinal match against Safina 4–6, 7–6(5), 6–0 after Dementieva had a match point while leading 5–2 in the second set.

At the grass court Ordina Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, Dementieva was the top-seeded player but lost in the semifinals to Safina 6–3, 6–2. Dementieva was seeded fifth at the Wimbledon. In the second round, she trailed Timea Bacsinszky 3–0 in the third set before winning the last six games of the match. In the fourth round, she defeated Israel's Shahar Pe'er to become the highest seeded woman left in the draw after the early round defeats of first seeded Ivanović, second seeded Janković, third seeded Sharapova, and fourth seeded Kuznetsova. In the quarterfinals, Dementieva held on to defeat Russian compatriot Nadia Petrova 6–1, 6–7, 6–3 after Dementieva failed to hold serve while serving for the match in the second set at 5–1 and 5–3. In her first Wimbledon semifinal and her first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2005 US Open, Dementieva lost to eventual champion Venus Williams 6–1, 7–6(3).

Dementieva played three hard court tournaments during the summer and was seeded fifth at all three. She began her summer season by losing to Dominika Cibulková 6–4, 6–2 in the second round of the Tier I Rogers Cup in Montreal. At the Beijing Olympics, Dementieva was down a set and a break before defeating fourth-seeded Serena Williams in the quarterfinals 3–6, 6–4, 6–3. She then defeated compatriot Zvonareva in the semifinals and Safina in the three set final to win the gold medal.

At the US Open, Dementieva was one of six players with the opportunity to be ranked World No. 1 upon completion of the tournament. Dementieva defeated Schnyder in the quarterfinals but lost to Janković in the semifinals 6–4, 6–4. Dementieva was up a break in each set but committed 42 unforced errors and lost each of her last five service games. Nevertheless, her ranking improved to World No. 4 for the first time since 2004.

At the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Dementieva was seeded third and qualified for the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships with a second-round victory against Alizé Cornet. However, she was upset in the quarterfinals by Katarina Srebotnik. At the Tier II Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Dementieva was seeded fourth. She easily won her first match by defeating Sybille Bammer 6-1, 6-4, but was upset in the quarterfinals by Victoria Azarenka 7–6(6), 3–6, 6–1. Defending her title at the Kremlin Cup, Dementieva was seeded third. She defeated Katarina Srebotnik in the second round, and Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals she faced Jelena Janković. She won the first set easily 6–0 but only managed to win one game after that, losing the next two sets 6–1, 6–0. She committed 31 unforced errors in the second and third set. She won her next event though, the Fortis Championships Luxembourg, defeating Caroline Wozniacki in three sets in the final.

At the WTA Tour Championships held in Doha, Qatar, Dementieva was seeded fourth. In her first round robin match, she was lost her first match to Venus Williams, before defeating Dinara Safina in the second. After Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament, Dementieva played Nadia Petrova, and defeated her to reach the knock-out stage. In the semifinals she lost to Vera Zvonareva 7–6(7), 3–6, 6–3.

Dementieva started the 2009 WTA Tour by winning the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, where she was the top seed. In her first match, she rallied from being down 1–5 in the first set to win in straight sets against Yung-Jan Chan of Chinese Taipei. In the second round, she defeated crowd favourite Marina Erakovic 6–2, 6–3. She then defeated fifth-seeded Shahar Peer. In the semifinals, she beat last year's runner-up, Aravane Rezai, in straight sets. She ended the tournament by defeating unseeded Elena Vesnina in the final in straight sets.

At the Medibank International in Sydney, the first Premier event of the year, Dementieva was seeded third. She defeated sixth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwańska in the quarterfinals and upset top-seeded Serena Williams in the semifinals 6–3, 6–1. She then won her second consecutive tournament by defeating compatriot and second-seeded Dinara Safina in the final.

Dementieva was seeded fourth at the Australian Open and was one of three players who had a chance of being ranked World No. 1 at the end of this tournament. She needed three sets to win her first round match against Kristina Barrois and defeated Iveta Benesova in the second round. Samantha Stosur of Australia had a 5–2 lead over Demientieva in the first set of their third round match before Dementieva won 7–6, 6–4. She then advanced to the quarterfinals of this event for the first time in her career by defeating Dominika Cibulkova. Carla Suarez-Navarro, who had upset Venus Williams earlier in the tournament, lost to Dementieva in the quarterfinals. Dementieva's 15-match winning streak ended in the semifinals when she lost to Serena Williams 6–3, 6–4 after Dementieva had led 3–0 in the second set.

Playing for Russia in Fed Cup in Moscow, Dementieva defeated Zhang Shuai 6–3, 6–0.

At the Open GDF Suez tournament in Paris, Dementieva advanced to her third final of the year after Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament before their scheduled semifinal due to a knee injury. Amelie Mauresmo then defeated Dementieva in the final in three sets.

At the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, she was seeded fourth. She defeated Sybille Bammer in the second round, becoming the 27th woman during the open era to record 500 career singles victories. She then defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues in the third round before losing to Venus Williams in the quarterfinals 6–3, 6–3.

Dementieva's next tournament was the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which was the first Premier Mandatory event of the year. After receiving a bye in the first round, she was upset by the Czech Republic's Petra Cetkovska 7–6(2), 2–6, 6–1.

Dementieva is an offensive baseline player. Her primary groundstroke is her forehand, which she hits hard and flat. In particular, her running forehand, which she rarely misses, is a key weapon for Dementieva when she's on the defensive. Dementieva is also known for her athleticism and speed around the court. Dementieva makes few net approaches except to return drop shots or to take advantage of weak returns from her opponents.

Dementieva's primary weakness is her serve, which can be inconsistent in tight situations. However, she has shown improvement in this area since 2008, committing fewer double faults and occasionally managing aces. Dementieva also squanders her chances of closing matches sometimes, resulting in a huge number of her matches having to go on to a third set.

To help interpret the performance table, the legend below explains what each abbreviation and color coded box represents in the performance timeline.

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or when the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which ended March 22, 2009.

Dementieva is the most successful Russian Fed Cup player. As of 29 April 2007, she is 19–5 in singles and 3–3 in doubles. Her record includes singles victories over Venus Williams (her first win over a top 10 player), Mary Pierce, Amélie Mauresmo, and Kim Clijsters.

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Venus Williams

Venus Williams prepares to serve during the 2006 J&S Cup in Warsaw.

Infobox last updated on: March 2 2009.

Venus Ebony Starr Williams (born June 17, 1980) is a former World No. 1 American tennis player who, as of February 23, 2009, is ranked World No. 5. She has won the Wimbledon singles title the last two years and is the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open doubles champion.

A 16 year participant on the Women's Tennis Association tour, Williams has won 56 titles, which includes 17 Grand Slam titles - seven in singles, eight in women's doubles, and two in mixed doubles. She has won more Olympic gold medals than any other tennis player (male or female) in history - one in singles and two in women's doubles.

She is the older sister of Serena Williams.

Williams is one of the most powerful baseliners on tour, equipped with an attacking all-court game. Also Venus' game is adapted to grass where she feels most comfortable. Across her career Venus has developed into a skillful volleyer and effectively utilizes her long 'wingspan' (1,85m) and relative agility around the net. Venus stated during an interview at the 2008 Australian Open that she was working to improve her volley. Venus also has great court coverage using her long reach to play balls that most players wouldn't be able to reach and is capable of hitting outright winners from a defensive position.

Although Venus has the most powerful and feared serve on the Women's Tour, she has an extremely elegant and graceful service action. She holds the record for the fastest serve struck by a woman in a main draw event: at Zurich Open she recorded 130 mph (210 km/h). She also holds the record for fastest serve in all four Grand Slam: Australian Open 2003 (QF) - 125 mph (201 km/h), French Open 2007 (2R), Wimbledon 2008 (F), US Open 2007 (1R) - 129 mph. At Wimbledon 2008 Venus' average first serve speed was 115 mph (185 km/h) in the quarter final, a remarkable 116 mph (187 km/h) in the semi-final and 111 mph (179 km/h) in the final - rather faster average speeds than any woman (including her sister, Serena Williams) records (data from IBM/Wimbledon). To put this into further perspective, the top men's seed (and world no.1) at the tournament, Roger Federer, registered average first serve speeds of 119 mph (quarter final), 117 mph (semi-final) and 117 mph (final) in his last three matches at the tournament. This kind of confluence in men's and women's service speeds is unusual in professional tennis, and sets Venus Williams apart from her contemporaries in the women's game. To further illustrate the difference, the no.1 seed at the tournament, Ana Ivanović, recorded an average first serve speed of 98 mph (fastest serve 108 mph) in her last match at the tournament. The no.3 seed at the tournament; Maria Sharapova, recorded an average first serve speed of 104 mph (fastest serve 111 mph) in her last match. Also during a match at Wimbledon 2007, Williams' average first serve speed was 115 mph (185 km/h) while tennis pro Rafael Nadal's average first serve speed was 113 mph (182 km/h) on the same day.

Venus Williams has always been a explosive hitter of the ball off the ground but her backhand is the more consistently reliable of her groundstrokes. Venus' backhand is equally effective down-the-line or crosscourt (frequently for a set-up approach shot). Venus' forehand does occasionally break down under pressure. However, it is still the more powerful of her groundstrokes, and a stroke that yields many winners, from a variety of court positions. Additionally, it is one the most powerful forehands in the women's game, frequently struck in the 85 - 90 mph (140 km/h) range. In the 2008 Wimbledon women's final, Venus struck a forehand winner measured at 94 mph (IBM/Wimbledon). Only a few women (notably Ana Ivanović, Serena Williams and the now retired Justine Henin) hit to these speeds off the ground.

Already well-known in tennis circles at age 14, Williams turned professional on October 31, 1994. In the second round of her first professional tournament in Oakland, Williams was up a set and a service break against top seed Arantxa Sánchez Vicario before losing the match. That was the only tournament Williams played in 1994.

In 1995, Williams played three more events as a wild card, falling in the first round of the tournament in Los Angeles and the tournament in Toronto but reaching the quarterfinals of the tournament in Oakland, defeating World No. 18 Amy Frazier in the second round for her first win over a top 20 ranked player.

Williams played five events in 1996, falling in the first round four times but reaching the third round in Los Angeles, losing to World No. 1 Steffi Graf 6–4, 6–4.

Williams began to play regularly on the tour in 1997. She reached the quarterfinals of three Tier I events — the State Farm Evert Cup in Indian Wells, California, the European Indoor Championships in Zürich, and the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. During her debut at the US Open, she lost in the final to Martina Hingis after defeating Irina Spîrlea in a semifinal famous for "the bump" in which Spîrlea and Williams collided during a changeover. Richard Williams, her father, later claimed that this incident was racially motivated.

In 1998, Williams teamed with Justin Gimelstob to win the mixed doubles titles at the Australian Open and the French Open. Her sister Serena Williams won the other two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles that year, completing a "Williams Family Mixed Doubles Grand Slam". She began the year ranked outside the top 20 but ended the year ranked in the top 5. Williams won the first three WTA tour singles titles of her career in Oklahoma City (defeating World No. 2 Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals) and Key Biscayne, Florida (defeating World No. 1 Hingis in the semifinals) and at the Grand Slam Cup. Williams also was the runner-up in Sydney (defeating Hingis in the second round for her first win over a reigning World No. 1), Rome (defeating sister Serena in the quarterfinals), Stanford, California (defeating World No. 6 Monica Seles in the semifinals), and Zürich. Another highlight of Williams's year was reaching at least the singles quarterfinals of all four Grand Slam events. Williams won the first two doubles titles of her career, in Oklahoma City and Zürich. Both titles came with sister Serena, becoming only the third pair of sisters to win a WTA tour doubles title. Williams suffered from patella tendinitis in her left knee, which caused her to retire from her quarterfinal match in San Diego and not play in the year-ending Chase Championships.

In 1999, Williams again won the Lipton International Players Championships in Key Biscayne, defeating Jana Novotná, Graf, and her sister Serena in successive matches. Williams also won the tournament in Hamburg, the Italian Open in Rome, the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament in New Haven, Connecticut, and the tournament in Zurich. Venus and Serena teamed to win the doubles titles at the French Open and the US Open, becoming the first sister team to win a Grand Slam doubles title in the 20th century. Venus also went 2–1 (1–1 in singles and 1–0 in doubles with Serena) in the United States' 4–1 win over Russia in the final of the Fed Cup, giving the U.S. its 16th title.

Williams missed the first four months of the year with tendinitis in both wrists. At the French Open, Williams lost to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the quarterfinals.

Williams then won 35 consecutive singles matches and five tournaments. She won her first Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon, defeating World No. 1 Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals 6–3, 4–6, 6–4, sister Serena in the semifinals 6–2, 7–6(2), and defending champion Lindsay Davenport in the final. She won three Tier II events during the North American summer hard court season, defeating Davenport in the final of the tournament in Stanford, California and Monica Seles in the finals of both the tournament in San Diego and the tournament in New Haven, Connecticut. At the US Open, Williams defeated still-World No. 1 Hingis in the semifinals 4–6, 6–3, 7–5, coming back from 5–3 (15–30) down in the third set, and World No. 2 Davenport in the final. At the Olympic games in Sydney, Williams defeated Sánchez Vicario in the quarterfinals, Seles in the semifinals, and Elena Dementieva in the final to win the gold medal. Her winning streak was eventually snapped in October by Davenport in the final of the tournament in Linz. Williams did not play a tournament the rest of the year because of anemia.

In women's doubles, Williams teamed with her sister Serena to capture the Wimbledon doubles title for the first time and the Olympic gold medal. Williams became only the second player to win the women's singles and doubles titles at the same Olympic games.

Williams reached the semifinals of the Australian Open for the first time, where she lost to World No. 1 Martina Hingis 6–1, 6–1. She also reached the semifinals of the Tier I Tennis Masters Series tournament in Indian Wells, California, where she defaulted her match with sister Serena just before the match started. Venus claimed that an injury prevented her from playing, but the withdrawal was controversial. Neither Williams sister has entered the tournament since. She won, however, the next tournament on the tour calendar, the Tier I Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, defeating Hingis in the semifinals 6–3, 7–6(6) and World No. 4 Jennifer Capriati in the final, after saving eight championship points.

During the European clay court season, Williams won the Tier II tournament in Hamburg but lost in the third round of the Tier I EUROCARD Ladies German Open to Justine Henin and the first round of the French Open to Barbara Schett.

Williams then successfully defended her Wimbledon title, defeating third-seeded Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals 6–2, 6–7(1), 6–1 and eighth-seeded Henin in the final.

During the summer hard court season in North America, Williams won the tournament in San Diego, defeating Monica Seles in the final, and the tournament in New Haven, Connecticut, defeating Davenport in the final, for the second consecutive year. Williams also won the US Open singles title for the second consecutive year, without dropping a set. In the quarterfinals, she beat fifth-seeded Kim Clijsters 6–3, 6–1, followed by a semifinal victory over World No. 2 Capriati 6–4, 6–2 and a defeat of World No. 10 Serena Williams in the final. Venus was only the sixth woman in history to win the singles titles at both Wimbledon and the US Open in consecutive years, the others being Martina Navaratilova (twice), Steffi Graf (twice), Althea Gibson, Maureen Connolly Brinker, and Helen Wills Moody (twice).

In women's doubles, Venus and Serena Williams won the Australian Open title for the first time and became only the fifth team to complete a career Grand Slam in that event.

Williams began the year in Australia by defeating Justine Henin to win the tournament in Gold Coast and losing in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open to World No. 10 Monica Seles 6–7(4), 6–2, 6–3.

Williams then won the Open Gaz de France in Paris and the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp before losing in the semifinals of the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open and the NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.

On clay, Williams beat Henin in the final of the tournament in Amelia Island, Florida before traveling to Europe for two clay court tournaments. At the tournament in Hamburg, Williams defeated Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in a three-set quarterfinal and World No. 4 Martina Hingis in the semifinals before losing to World No. 3 Kim Clijsters in the final. At the French Open, Williams defeated Seles in the quarterfinals before sister Serena defeated Venus in the final in straight sets.

Williams then reached the Wimbledon singles final for the third consecutive year after defeating World No. 6 Henin in the semifinals. In the second consecutive all-Williams Grand Slam singles final, Serena defeated Venus in straight sets.

During the summer hard court season in North America, Williams won two tournaments for the third consecutive year — the Acura Classic in San Diego and Pilot Pen Tennis in New Haven, Connecticut. She defeated World No. 5 Jelena Dokić in the San Diego final and Lindsay Davenport in the New Haven final. She also won the tournament in Stanford, California, defeating World No. 5 Clijsters in the final. At the US Open, Williams defeated sixth-seeded Seles in the quarterfinals and Amélie Mauresmo in the semifinals before losing to sister Serena for the third consecutive time in the final of a Grand Slam event.

Williams won seven singles titles during the year, a career best. In February, Williams became the World No. 1, the first African-American player to garner that spot since the computer rankings began in 1975.

In women's doubles, the Williams sisters won the Wimbledon title for the second time.

Williams started the year by losing to her sister Serena in three sets in the Australian Open final. Williams then won the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, Belgium for the second consecutive year, defeating Daniela Hantuchová and Kim Clijsters in consecutive matches.

During a semifinal match against Clijsters at Wimbledon, Williams suffered an abdominal injury that required medical attention during the match. Williams lost the first set and was behind early in the second set before rain delayed the match. Once play resumed, Williams won the match 4–6, 6–3, 6–1, advancing to her fourth consecutive Wimbledon final, where she lost to her sister Serena. Following Wimbledon, both Venus and Serena suffered injuries that kept them out of competition for the last half of the year.

On the morning of September 14, 2003, Venus's older half sister, Yetunde Price, was murdered in the Compton, California area.

Williams came back to the tour and experienced inconsistent results. As the third seeded player because of a protected ranking, she reached the third round of the Australian Open, where she lost to Lisa Raymond. After quarterfinal losses at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open, and the NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Williams won the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina. At the Tier II tournament in Warsaw, Williams defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. The following week, Williams reached the final of the Tier I tournament in Berlin but was forced to retire from her match against Amélie Mauresmo. Going into the French Open, Williams had the best clay court record among the women and was among the favorites to win the title; however, she lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Anastasia Myskina 6–3, 6–4.

At Wimbledon, Williams lost a controversial second round match to Croatian Karolina Šprem. The umpire of the match, Ted Watts, awarded Šprem an unearned point in the second set tiebreak. Upon the conclusion of the match, he was relieved of his duties.

Williams was the third seed at the hard court tournament in Stanford, California, where she lost the final to top seeded Lindsay Davenport in a third set tiebreak. At the tournament in Los Angeles the following week, Williams lost again to Davenport, this time in the semifinals. Williams was leading 5–1 in the first set when she suffered an injury and lost the last six games of the set. She then retired from the match.

During the Olympic Games in Athens, Williams failed to defend the gold medal she won at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney as she lost to Mary Pierce of France in the third round 6–4, 6–4.

In the fourth round of the US Open, Williams lost to Davenport for the third consecutive time. Williams ended her year by losing in the quarterfinals of three consecutive tournaments — the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich, and the Advanta Championships Philadelphia.

Williams started the year by losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open to Alicia Molik. She then reached the final of the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, where she was attempting to win the tournament for the third time in four years. She defeated Kim Clijsters in the quarterfinals, Anastasia Myskina in the semifinals, and was up a set and a break in the final against Amélie Mauresmo before losing the match. Williams then lost in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open.

At the NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Venus defeated her sister Serena in the quarterfinals before losing to Maria Sharapova. This was the first time since the 2001 US Open that Venus had defeated Serena.

On clay, Williams reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in Amelia Island, Florida, where she lost to top seeded Lindsay Davenport. In her next tournament in Charleston, Williams lost in the third round. She then won a Tier III title at the Istanbul Cup, defeating second seeded Nicole Vaidišová in the final. At the French Open, Williams lost in the third round to 15-year old Bulgarian Sesil Karatantcheva, who subsequently failed a doping test and was suspended from the tour for two years.

At Wimbledon, Williams defeated defending champion Maria Sharapova in a semifinal 7–6(2), 6–1, breaking Sharapova's serve four times. (Sharapova had lost only one service game to that point.) This marked the sixth consecutive year that at least one of the Williams sisters had reached the final, and it was Venus's fifth appearance in the Wimbledon final in the past six years. In the longest Wimbledon final in history, Williams was down match point at 6–4, 6–7(4), 5–4 (40–30) before coming back to defeat top seeded Davenport. This was Williams's third Wimbledon singles title, and this was the first time in 70 years that a player had won after being down match point during the women's final at Wimbledon. In addition, Williams was the lowest-ranked (World No. 16) and lowest-seeded (14th) champion in tournament history.

Playing for the fifth consecutive week, including Fed Cup, Williams reached the final of the tournament in Stanford, California after defeating Patty Schnyder in a semifinal 2–6, 7–6(4), 6–2. Visibly exhausted, Williams lost the final to Clijsters.

At the US Open, Williams defeated her sister Serena in the fourth round for the second consecutive time but lost in the quarterfinals to Clijsters 4–6, 7–5, 6–1, who went on to win the tournament.

Williams did not qualify for the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships because of an injury sustained during the tournament in Beijing.

In 2005, TENNIS Magazine ranked her 25th on its list of the 40 Greatest Players of the TENNIS era.

Williams was upset in the first round of the Australian Open by Tszvetana Pironkova 2–6, 6–0, 9–7, which was her earliest loss at that tournament.

Williams was out of action from January 16 until April 30 because of injuries. After defeating Martina Hingis in the second round, she reached the quarterfinals of the J&S Cup in Warsaw, losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova. She then lost to Hingis in a semifinal of the Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, after defeating Jelena Janković and Patty Schnyder in earlier rounds. Williams ended her clay court season with a French Open quarterfinal loss to Nicole Vaidišová 6–7, 6–1, 6–3.

Williams was one of the favorites to win the singles title at Wimbledon. She defeated fellow American Lisa Raymond in the second round after Williams was two points from defeat. Williams then lost in the third round to 26th-seeded Janković 7–6(8), 4–6, 6–4. After the loss, Williams said that she was having pain in her left wrist, although she admitted that the injury was not the cause of her loss.

Williams did not play in the US Open series or the US Open itself due to a recurring wrist injury. During her first tournament in almost three months, she reinjured her wrist at the tournament in Luxembourg and lost in the second round to qualifier Agnieszka Radwańska after defeating Ana Ivanović in the first round.

Williams started the year by withdrawing from the Australian Open because of a recurring wrist injury. This was the second consecutive Grand Slam event that Williams had missed because of injury.

Williams then won the Cellular South Cup in Memphis, Tennessee, defeating top-seeded Shahar Pe'er of Israel in the final. This was her first singles title since October 2006 and her 34th career singles title.

Williams's next tournament was the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, where she lost in the third round to top seeded Maria Sharapova 2–6, 6–2, 7–5. However, her ranking rose seven places to World No. 32.

She then started the clay court season, playing at the Tier II Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida. She beat fourth seeded Patty Schnyder before falling in the quarterfinals to the eighth seed and eventual champion Tatiana Golovin 6–2, 6–3. Her next tournament was the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, where she lost in the semifinals to Jelena Janković. Despite the loss, her ranking rose to World No. 22.

Williams played Fed Cup with her sister Serena for the first time in four years, in a home tie against Belgium on hard courts in Delray Beach, Florida, beating the young Belgian team 5–0. Williams won both of her singles matches.

Williams then traveled to Europe to prepare for the French Open. At the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Williams lost in the quarterfinals to Svetlana Kuznetsova 3–6, 6–3, 6–4. Two weeks later, Williams played the Istanbul Cup, defeating Tatiana Poutchek in the first round before losing to French hard hitter Aravane Rezaï in the second round 6–4, 6–4. This was Williams's first defeat in a Tier III event on the WTA Tour. At the French Open, Williams lost her third round match with Janković 6–4, 4–6, 6–1. During her second round win over Ashley Harkleroad, Williams hit a 206 km/h (128.8 mph) serve, which is the second fastest woman's serve ever recorded and the fastest ever recorded during a main draw match.

At Wimbledon in a first round match on Court 2, Williams was within two points of defeat against Alla Kudryavtseva before winning. In the third round, Akiko Morigami served for the match in the third set before Williams regrouped and won the match 6–2, 3–6, 7–5. In her fourth round match, Williams defeated second-seeded Sharapova 6–1, 6–3. In the quarterfinals, Williams defeated fifth-seeded Kuznetsova 6–3, 6–4 to reach her sixth career Wimbledon semifinal, where she defeated sixth-seeded Ana Ivanović 6–2, 6–4. In the final, Williams defeated Marion Bartoli in straight sets. Seeded 23rd and ranked World No. 31, Williams broke her own record set in 2005 as the lowest seeded and lowest ranked Wimbledon singles champion. With her fourth Wimbledon title, Williams joined Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf as the only women to who have won at least four Wimbledon singles titles during the open era. The win also bettered her ranking to World No. 17, her first return to the top 20 in a year.

Williams then played for the U.S. in its Fed Cup semifinal tie against Russia. Williams won both her singles matches over Nadia Petrova and Anna Chakvetadze; however, the U.S. lost the tie when Williams and Lisa Raymond were defeated in the deciding doubles match.

At the Tier I Acura Classic in San Diego, Williams lost her quarterfinal match to Chakvetadze 6–7, 7–6, 6–2 after Williams double faulted while holding a match point in the second set. Nevertheless, her ranking increased to World No. 14.

At the US Open, after setting a Grand-Slam record 129 mph (208 km/h) serve in the opening round, Williams defeated Janković in the quarterfinals 4–6, 6–1, 7–6(4) before losing to the eventual champion, Justine Henin, in a semifinal 7–6(2), 6–4. Both players had health issues during the match. In the second set, Williams was treated for a stomach ache and dizziness. The tournament resulted in Williams's ranking moving up to World No. 9. With sister Serena at World No. 7, it was the first time the sisters were in the top 10 together since September 2005.

Williams then played three tournaments in Asia. Williams won her 36th career singles title at the Hansol Korea Open Tennis Championships in Seoul, South Korea, defeating fourth-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko in the final. Despite having a heavily strapped leg, Williams then played in the AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo, where she lost to Virginie Razzano in the final after holding three match points. At the PTT Bangkok Open, Williams lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Flavia Pennetta 6–4, 7–6(8).

Despite officially qualifying for the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, Williams withdrew because of continuing problems with anemia.

Williams began the year at an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong, defeating Maria Sharapova in the final 6–4, 6–3. She also won the doubles tournament with Caroline Wozniacki.

Williams was the eighth-seed at the Australian Open. Playing in the quarterfinals at this tournament for the first time since 2003, Williams lost to fourth-seeded Ana Ivanović 7–6(3), 6–4. When asked after the match about whether the quarterfinal losses by both Williams sisters at the Australian Open marked their decline, she replied that she had heard the same talk "every single year. Serena and I, we don't have anything to prove. The way we're playing still maintains what other women are doing in tennis. We still set a very high standard. I don't get too caught up in what the next person thinks." Playing with her sister Serena in the women's doubles event at the Australian Open, they defeated the second-seeded team of Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama in the second round but lost in the quarterfinals to the seventh-seeded team and 2006 Australian Open champions Zi Yan and Jie Zheng.

At the Tier I Qatar Total Open in Doha, Williams was upset in the third round by 18 year old Dominika Cibulková of Slovakia. Williams also played the doubles tournament in Doha as a wild card team with Wozniacki. Their first round win marked the first time that Venus had won an official WTA tour women's doubles match without sister Serena. In the second round, Williams and Wozniacki lost to the fourth-seeded Taipei pair of Yung-Jan Chan and Chia-Jung Chuang. According to the Women's Tennis Association, it was the first doubles match Venus had ever played without an American partner, having played with Serena, Chanda Rubin, Corina Morariu, and Lisa Raymond in the past.

At the Cellular South Cup in Memphis, Tennessee, Williams was the top seeded player but lost to Petra Kvitová in the first round 2–6, 6–4, 6–3 after Williams had led 2–0 in the third set.

At the Tier II Canara Bank Bangalore (India) Open, Venus and her sister Serena lost in the doubles quarterfinals to third-seeded and eventual tournament winners Shuai Peng and Tiantian Sun. In singles, Venus lost to Serena, the eventual tournament champion, in the semifinals 6–3, 3–6, 7–6(4) on Serena's second match point after Serena had saved a match point while trailing 6–5 in the third set.

At the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Williams lost in the quarterfinals to Svetlana Kuznetsova 6–4, 6–4.

Williams returned to the tour at the Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, where she lost in the quarterfinals to fourth-seeded Jelena Janković 5–7, 6–2, 6–3.

At the French Open, Williams was seeded eighth but was eliminated by 26th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta in the third round 7–5, 6–3.

Williams was the defending champion and seventh-seeded player at Wimbledon. Without dropping a set, she reached her seventh Wimbledon singles final after defeating fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva in the semifinals 6–1, 7–6(3). Venus then won her fifth Wimbledon singles title, beating her sister Serena in straight sets. This was the first time since 2003 that Venus and Serena had played each other in a Grand Slam final and was the first time since 2001 that Venus had won a Grand Slam final against Serena. Venus and Serena then teamed to win the women's doubles title without dropping a set the entire tournament, defeating Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur in the final. The Williams sisters have won all seven Grand Slam women's doubles finals they have played.

Williams was on the Philadelphia Freedoms team in World Team Tennis in July. She won six of the nine singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles matches she played. Williams then withdrew from the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles and the Rogers Cup in Montreal because of an injury to her right knee.

At the Olympic Games in Beijing, Williams was seeded seventh but lost to unseeded Li Na in the quarterfinals 7–5, 7–5. She did, however, earn a gold medal (with her sister Serena) in women's doubles, defeating the Spanish team of Virginia Ruano Pascual and Anabel Medina Garrigues in the final. It was their second gold medal as a team, having won together in Sydney, Australia in 2000.

Williams was seeded seventh at the US Open and lost to her fourth-seeded sister Serena in the quarterfinals 7–6(6), 7–6(7). Venus led 5–3 in both sets and failed to convert on two set points in the first set and eight set points in the second set.

Seeded sixth at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, Williams lost to second-seeded Janković in the semifinals 6–7, 7–5, 6–2. Also seeded sixth at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Williams was upset in the first round by Pennetta 6–4, 2–6, 6–4. At the TENNIS.com Zurich Open, Williams defeated Ivanović in the semifinals before defeating Pennetta in the final to claim her second title of the year and secure a position in the Sony Ericsson Championships.

At the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, Williams was seeded seventh. In her round robin matches, she defeated Dinara Safina, Dementieva, and her sister Serena 5–7, 6–1, 6–0 to qualify for the semifinals. Williams defeated Janković in the semifinals 6–2, 2–6, 6–3 and won the tournament for the first time by defeating eighth-seeded Vera Zvonareva in the final.

Williams ended the year ranked World No. 6.

At the JB Group Classic, an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong, Williams defeated World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, Anna Chakvetadze, and Vera Zvonareva, thus making team Americas the Gold Group champion.

Williams was seeded sixth at the Australian Open where, in the first round, she defeated Angelique Kerber of Germany. She was upset in the second round by unseeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 2–6, 6–3, 7–5, having led 5–2 in the third and holding a match point on Suarez Navarro's serve. Venus and her sister Serena won the women's doubles title, defeating ninth-seeded Ai Sugiyama and Daniela Hantuchova in the final. This was their eighth career Grand Slam doubles title together, and they are undefeated in Grand Slam doubles finals.

Williams then won the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. She beat Alize Cornet in the third round, defending champion Elena Dementieva in the quarterfinals, her sister Serena in the semifinals, and unseeded Virginie Razzano in the straight sets final. The win raised Williams's ranking to World No. 5, her highest since August 2003. She also became the twelfth player during the open era to win 40 professional singles titles and has won more of those titles than any other active player.

At the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, Williams won her second title in two weeks, defeating Flavia Pennetta in the final in straight sets.

Williams's next scheduled tournament is the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, a Premier Mandatory event.

Venus has played her sister Serena Williams many times in Grand Slam singles tournaments and a few times in other tournaments. Venus leads their head-to-head series 10–9. They are the only women during the open era to have played each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals.

Despite years of protesting by tennis pioneer Billie Jean King and others, in 2005 the French Open and Wimbledon still refused to pay women's and men's players equally through all rounds. In 2005, Williams met with officials from both tournaments, arguing that female tennis players should be paid as much as males. Although WTA tour President Larry Scott commented that she left "a very meaningful impression", Williams's demands were rejected.

I feel so strongly that Wimbledon's stance devalues the principle of meritocracy and diminishes the years of hard work that women on the tour have put into becoming professional tennis players.

I believe that athletes — especially female athletes in the world's leading sport for women — should serve as role models. The message I like to convey to women and girls across the globe is that there is no glass ceiling. My fear is that Wimbledon is loudly and clearly sending the opposite message....

Wimbledon has argued that women's tennis is worth less for a variety of reasons; it says, for example, that because men play a best of five sets game they work harder for their prize money.

This argument just doesn’t make sense; first of all, women players would be happy to play five sets matches in grand slam tournaments....

Secondly, tennis is unique in the world of professional sports. No other sport has men and women competing for a grand slam championship on the same stage, at the same time. So in the eyes of the general public the men's and women's games have the same value.

Third, ... we enjoy huge and equal celebrity and are paid for the value we deliver to broadcasters and spectators, not the amount of time we spend on the stage. And, for the record, the ladies’ final at Wimbledon in 2005 lasted 45 minutes longer than the men's....

Wimbledon has justified treating women as second class because we do more for the tournament. The argument goes that the top women — who are more likely also to play doubles matches than their male peers — earn more than the top men if you count singles, doubles and mixed doubles prize money. So the more we support the tournament, the more unequally we should be treated! But doubles and mixed doubles are separate events from the singles competition. Is Wimbledon suggesting that, if the top women withdrew from the doubles events, that then we would deserve equal prize money in singles? And how then does the All England Club explain why the pot of women's doubles prize money is nearly £130,000 smaller than the men's doubles prize money?

I intend to keep doing everything I can until Billie Jean's original dream of equality is made real. It's a shame that the name of the greatest tournament in tennis, an event that should be a positive symbol for the sport, is tarnished.

Venus herself became the first woman to benefit from the equalization of prize money at Wimbledon, as she won the 2007 tournament and was awarded the same amount as the male winner Roger Federer.

Williams professes to be a devout Jehovah's Witness.

On December 13, 2007, Williams received her associate degree in Fashion Design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale with Cum Laude honors and a 3.5 GPA.

Williams is the chief executive officer of her interior design firm "V Starr Interiors" located in Jupiter, Florida. Williams's company designed the set of the "Tavis Smiley Show" on PBS, the Olympic athletes' apartments as part of the U.S. bid package for New York City to host the 2012 Olympic Games, and residences and businesses in the Palm Beach, Florida area.

In 2001, Williams was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by the Ladies Home Journal.

Grand slam events in boldface.

To help interpret the performance table, the legend below explains what each abbreviation and color coded box represents in the performance timeline.

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which ended March 22, 2009.

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded.

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded.

Players who have been ranked World No. 1 are in boldface.

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Dubai Tennis Championships

Dubai Tennis Championships 2006

The Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships is a professional tennis tournament owned and organized by Dubai Duty Free and held annually in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on outdoor hardcourts. The tournament organizes both a men's and women's event. The tournament takes place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

For five years Swiss Roger Federer, on the men's side, and Belgian Justine Henin, on the women's side, dominated the singles' tournaments. Between 2003 and 2007, Federer and Henin each won the singles title four times. However, in 2008, neither player managed to reach the finals; Andy Roddick and Elena Dementieva became the new champions.

Israeli player Shahar Pe'er was refused a visa to take part in the 2009 Dubai Tennis Championships. The refusal to have Pe'er participate drew immense criticism from top seed players. WTA chief executive Larry Scott said the women's tour was "deeply disappointed" by the decision. "Ms Pe'er has earned the right to play in the tournament and it's regrettable that the UAE is denying her this right," he said. "Ms Peer and her family are obviously extremely upset and disappointed by the decision of the UAE and its impact on her personally and professionally." Scott said the WTA would "review appropriate future actions with regard to the future of the Dubai tournament". In reaction to the move, the Tennis Channel decided not to televise the event, and The Wall Street Journal dropped its sponsorship.

In response to the move by the UAE, the Dubai Tennis Championship was fined a record US$300,000. The fine has been appealed by DTC. Pe'er was awarded US$44,250, an amount equal to the average prize money she earned per tournament in 2008. A number of highly-ranked tennis players, including 2008 winner Andy Roddick, pulled out of the mens' ATP tournament in Dubai in protest. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal also pulled out of the tournament, although they both cited injury as their reason for withdrawal, not the incident involving Pe'er.

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Serena Williams

Williams delivering a serve in 2004.

Infobox last updated on: February 23, 2009.

Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player who, as of February 2, 2009, is ranked World No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association, having now held that ranking on four different occasions. She is the current US Open and Australian Open singles champion and has won 20 Grand Slam titles: ten in singles, eight in women's doubles, and two in mixed doubles. She also has won two Olympic gold medals in women's doubles. She is the most recent player, male or female, to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously. Williams has won more career prize money than any other woman, in any sport. In 2005, Tennis magazine ranked her as the 17th-best player of the preceding forty years. She is the younger sister of former World No. 1 professional female tennis player Venus Williams.

Serena was born in Saginaw, Michigan to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. Williams is the youngest of five sisters: Lyndrea, Isha, Yetunde (deceased September 14, 2003), and Venus. Richard and Oracene raised their children as Jehovah's Witnesses. When their children were young, Richard and Oracene moved their family to the Los Angeles suburb of Compton. Richard dreamed of making at least one of his daughters a tennis superstar, hoping that involvement in sports would give them an opportunity for a better life. The children were homeschooled. Serena is still coached by both her parents.

Serena currently resides at Ballen Isles in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has an apartment in Paris.

Williams is primarily a baseline player. Her game is built around taking immediate control of rallies with her powerful and consistent serve, return of serve, and forceful groundstrokes that can come from both the forehand and backhand swing.

Her serve is widely regarded as the best in the women's game. She is known for having a very smooth motion and her serve is one of the most highly respected on the WTA tour. For example, Lindsay Davenport has said that Williams's serve is the best serve that she has faced on the WTA tour. Williams frequently hits serves over 120 mph and often varies the placement of her serve; in 2006 at Cincinnati she struck a serve which measured at 127 mph and in 2008 at Charleston she recorded 129 mph, a speed which only two other female players have exceeded. She can hit flat, slice, and topspin serves to both corners of the service box. Williams is capable of overpowering her opponents when returning serve, off both second and first serve.

Williams is also effective at the net, employing solid volleys (being especially effective on the drive volley) and powerful overheads. She also can produce good drop volleys, a shot that not many players use.

Although Williams's forehand is among the most powerful shots in the women's game, her backhand is considered to be one of the best, if not the best, on the Women's Tennis Association tour. Williams can often hit a winning backhand shot in any position or place on the court down the line or cross court albeit on the defence or under pressure. Williams strikes her backhand groundstroke using an open stance. She also uses the same open stance for her forehand.

Because of her aggressive style of play, Williams hits a relatively high number of unforced errors. This is tempered, however, by the fact that she typically hits more outright winners than her opponents. Other times her number of unforced errors are tempered by her powerful strokes forcing her opponents to commit errors.

Although many think of Williams as only an offensive player, she also has a good defensive game. Williams is quick around the court, and her core strength enables her to hit the ball efficiently from difficult positions. Williams has more variety in her game than the typical offensive baseline player. Although she normally dictates play from the baseline with heavy strokes, Williams occasionally slices her backhand or hits heavy topspin groundstrokes or drop shots to change the pace of the ball.

Serena Williams was taught tennis by her parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price, with additional early coaching supplied by Rick Macci. When Serena was four and a half, she won her first tournament, and she entered 49 tournaments by the age of 10, winning 46 of them. At one point, she replaced her sister Venus as the number one ranked tennis player aged 12 or under in California.

In 1991, Richard Williams, saying that he hoped to prevent his daughters from facing racism, stopped sending them to national junior tennis tournaments, and Serena attended a tennis school run by professional player Rick Macci in Haines City, Florida at Greneleaf Resort and Conference Center instead. Macci had already helped the careers of Jennifer Capriati and Mary Pierce, among others. During that time period, Serena would sometimes train with Andy Roddick. Both players recall that Serena beat him in a practice match, although the two dispute the score, with Serena saying it was 6–1 and Roddick claiming it was 6–4. Soon Richard, who had struck a deal on behalf of his daughters with a major clothing company, was able to move the rest of the Williams family to West Palm Beach, to be near Serena and Venus.

Williams became a professional in September 1995 at the age of 14. Because of her age, she had to participate in non-WTA events at first. Her first professional event was the tournament in Quebec City, where she was ousted in less than an hour of play, with 240 dollars in winnings.

Williams's biggest achievement of 1997 was her run in Chicago; ranked World No. 304, she upset both Monica Seles and Mary Pierce, recording her first career wins over top 10 players and becoming the lowest-ranked player in the open era to defeat two Top 10 opponents in one tournament. She finished 1997 at World No. 99.

1998 was the first year that Williams finished ranked in the WTA top 20. She began the year in Sydney as a qualifier, ranked World No. 96, and defeated World No. 3 Lindsay Davenport in a quarterfinal. Williams lost in the second round of the Australian Open to sister Venus in their first professional meeting.

Williams reached six other quarterfinals during the year. She won the mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open with Max Mirnyi, completing the Williams family's sweep of the 1998 mixed doubles Grand Slams. Williams won her first pro title in doubles at Oklahoma City with sister Venus, becoming the third pair of sisters to win a WTA tour women's doubles title. She earned U.S. $2.6 million in prize money during the year.

In 1999, Serena defeated Amélie Mauresmo in the final of the Open Gaz de France tournament in Paris, the same day that Venus won the tournament in Oklahoma City. This was the first time in professional tennis history that two sisters had won titles in the same week.

In March, Williams won the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, becoming the second of only five unseeded Tier I champions in WTA history. Williams (ranked 21st) defeated the World No. 2 Lindsay Davenport in the second round, the World No. 8 Mary Pierce in a quarterfinal, and the World No. 7 Steffi Graf in the three-set final.

At the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, sister Venus halted Serena's 16-match winning streak in the final. This was the first all-sister singles final on the WTA tour. Serena defeated World No. 3 Monica Seles and World No. 1 Martina Hingis en route to the final.

On April 5, 1999, Serena made her top 10 debut at World No. 9. Venus was ranked sixth the same week, marking the first time that two sisters appeared in the top ten simultaneously since April 22, 1991, when Manuela and Katerina Maleeva were in the top ten.

Williams teamed with sister Venus to win the women's doubles title at the French Open but lost in the third round in singles at that tournament. Williams missed Wimbledon because of an injury.

In the summer, Williams won the hard court tournament in Los Angeles, defeating World No. 8 Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, World No. 1 Hingis, and Julie Halard-Decugis.

Williams went on to take the Grand Slam Cup in Munich, defeating Venus in the final.

Williams won her singles match and doubles match during the tie between the United States and Russia in the final of the Fed Cup. The U.S. won four of the five matches and its 16th title overall. In their doubles match, Serena and Venus defeated Elena Dementieva and Elena Makarova 6–2, 6–1.

Williams finished the year at World No. 4 in just her second full year on the main tour.

Williams became the focus of many ad campaigns, including one with shoe and clothes maker Puma, which signed her to a U.S.$12 million agreement.

Following her breakthrough season, Williams's results declined slightly in 2000. Her best Grand Slam showing was a run to the semifinals at Wimbledon, before losing to sister and eventual champion Venus. Her defense of the US Open title came to a disappointing end when she fell to Lindsay Davenport in straight sets in the quarterfinals.

Perhaps the highlight of Williams's year was picking up the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics for women's doubles, along with Venus. The Williams sisters also teamed up to take the women's doubles title at Wimbledon, while Serena picked up singles titles in Hanover, Los Angeles and Tokyo. She finished the year at number six, a slight decline on her finish the year before.

Williams reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the first time before falling to World No. 1 Martina Hingis. Serena and her sister Venus won the women's doubles title there, becoming only the fifth women's doubles team in history to win all four Grand Slam doubles titles during their career, a "Career Grand Slam".

Williams then won the Tier I Tennis Masters Series in Indian Wells, California. She advanced to the final there when Venus withdrew just before the start of their semifinal match. Venus claimed that an injury prevented her from playing, but the withdrawal was controversial. Neither Williams sister has entered the tournament since.

Williams reached the quarterfinals at both the French Open and Wimbledon.

During the North American summer hard court season, Williams captured her second title of the year at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, defeating World No. 3 and top-seeded Jennifer Capriati in the final. At the US Open, Williams defeated Hingis in the semifinals to reach her second Grand Slam final before losing to sister Venus.

At the year-ending Sanex Championships, Williams defeated Silvia Farina Elia, Justine Henin, and Sandrine Testud en route to the final. She then won the championship by default when Lindsay Davenport withdrew.

Williams finished the year at World No. 6 for the second straight year.

Williams was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open due to injury but won her first event of the year in Scottsdale, defeating World No. 1 Jennifer Capriati in the final. She then won the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, again defeating Capriati in the final. She then captured her first career title on clay at the Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, defeating Justine Henin in the final.

Williams was the third-seeded player at the French Open and dropped just two sets en route to the final. She then defeated sister Venus in straight sets. At Wimbledon, Williams won the title without dropping a set, defeating Venus once again in the final. This win earned Williams the World No. 1 ranking (dethroning her sister and becoming the second African-American woman to hold that ranking on the Women's Tennis Association computer). The Williams sisters also won the doubles title at this event.

Williams captured her third straight Grand Slam singles title at the US Open, once again not dropping a set en route, and defeated Venus yet again in the final in straight sets. Williams then won back-to-back titles in Leipzig and Tokyo. She reached the final at the year-ending Home Depot Championships but lost to 19-year-old Kim Clijsters in straight sets.

Williams finished 2002 with a 56–5 record, eight singles titles, and the World No. 1 ranking.

At the Australian Open, Williams dropped only one set while reaching the semifinals. She then defeated Kim Clijsters 4–6, 6–3, 7–5, recovering from a 5–1 deficit in the third set and saving two match points. She then faced her sister Venus for the fourth consecutive Grand Slam final and won in three sets, to become the sixth woman in the open era to complete a Career Grand Slam, joining Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Margaret Court. She also became the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1994 to hold all four of the Grand Slam titles at one time, referred to as a non-calendar Grand Slam, which Williams and some media sources have dubbed the "Serena Slam". The Williams sisters won their sixth Grand Slam doubles title together at this event.

Williams then captured titles at the Open Gaz de France in Paris and the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida and went into the French Open trying to capture her fifth consecutive Grand Slam singles title. However, she lost to eventual champion Justine Henin in the semifinals 6–2, 4–6, 7–5 (having led by a break in the third set) in a match marred by controversy, in which Williams was booed. Two weeks later, however, Williams won her sixth Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon, defeating Henin in the semifinals 6–3, 6–2 before defeating Venus in the final.

Wimbledon was Williams's last event of the year, as a knee injury forced her to withdraw from all other events (including the US Open). As a result, she lost her World No. 1 ranking to Clijsters in August, having held it for 57 weeks. Williams finished the year ranked World No. 3, despite having played only seven tournaments plus Fed Cup.

Williams's older sister, Yetunde Price, was murdered on the morning of September 14, 2003, by gunshots as she passed by in a car driven by a man in the Compton area.

Williams withdrew from the Australian Open to continue rehabilitating her left knee. After eight months away from the tour, Williams began her comeback at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, where she defeated Elena Dementieva in the final. She then lost in the French Open quarterfinals to Jennifer Capriati 6–3, 2–6, 6–3, which was the first time she had lost before the semifinals at a Grand Slam singles tournament since Wimbledon in 2001. She reached the final of Wimbledon, but in one of the most surprising upsets in the tournament's history, the 17-year old Russian player, Maria Sharapova, defeated Williams in straight sets.

On July 30, Williams withdrew from her quarterfinal match in San Diego against Russia's Vera Zvonareva with another left knee injury. On August 1, she announced her withdrawal from the Rogers Cup due to the same injury.

Williams's next tournament was the US Open, where she lost a quarterfinal match to Capriati. The match was plagued by disputes over calls with the umpire.

At the China Open in Beijing, Williams defeated the newly crowned US Open champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova, in the final. Williams earned enough points there to qualify for the WTA Tour Championships, where she again lost to Sharapova in the final. After suffering an abdominal muscle strain while leading Sharapova 6–4, 5–2, Williams began delivering serves barely reaching the 65 mph mark and Sharapova eventually won the match. Despite the loss, Williams finished the year ranked World No. 7.

Williams won the Australian Open, her seventh Grand Slam singles title. She defeated three of the tournament's top four seeds (#2 Amélie Mauresmo, #4 Maria Sharapova, and #1 Lindsay Davenport) en route to the title. Williams saved three match points against Sharapova in the semifinals. The win moved her up to World No. 2, and Williams stated she was now targeting the number one spot in the foreseeable future.

Williams did not reach the final at any of her next five tournaments. This period included a loss to sister Venus - her first since 2001 - in the quarterfinals of the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.

An ankle injury forced Williams to miss the French Open. At Wimbledon, Williams was defeated in the third round by fellow American Jill Craybas (ranked World No. 85) 6–3, 7–6(4).

At the US Open, Williams lost to her sister Venus in the fourth round 7–6, 6–2. This was the earliest the sisters had met in a Grand Slam tournament since their first meeting at the 1998 Australian Open. Williams played just one more match during the remainder of the year, a loss to World No. 127 Sun Tiantian in Beijing.

Williams finished the year ranked World No. 11 and with just one singles title.

Williams did not participate in any of the official warm-up tournaments for the Australian Open. Williams was the defending champion at the Australian Open but fell to Daniela Hantuchová 6–1, 7–6(5) in the third round, provoking media reports that Williams had lost enthusiasm for the sport, which she denied. Her world ranking then fell out of the top 50 for the first time in many years, and she withdrew from the tournaments in Tokyo and Dubai and from the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.

After withdrawing from the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, Williams's world ranking fell out of the top 100 for the first time in almost nine years. Shortly after, she announced that she would miss both the French Open and Wimbledon because of a chronic knee injury. She said that she would not be able to compete before "the end of the summer", on doctor's orders.

Williams, however, returned to the game earlier than expected, accepting wildcards to summer hard court tournaments in Cincinnati and Los Angeles. Ranked World No. 139 because of her inactivity, Williams upset the Cincinnati tournament's second seed and World No. 11 Anastasia Myskina 6–2, 6–2 in the first round before losing in the semifinals to the eventual champion Vera Zvonareva 6–2, 6–3. Williams's ranking rose to World No. 108 after Cincinnati. In Los Angeles, Williams defeated Hantuchová in the third round but lost in the semifinals to Jelena Janković 6–4, 6–3.

Williams was granted a wildcard into the US Open, as her ranking prevented her from gaining direct entry into the tournament. She was unseeded in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 1998. However, she defeated US Open Series champion Ana Ivanović in the third round before losing to top seed Amélie Mauresmo in the fourth round 6–4, 0–6, 6–2. Williams did not play again for the rest of the year.

Williams ended the year ranked World No. 95, her lowest end-of-year ranking since 1997 when she finished World No. 99.

Williams finished 2007 ranked World No. 7 and won two singles titles, her best performance in both aspects since 2004. She was also the top-ranked American for the first time since 2003.

Williams began the year by stating that she had no doubt she would be World No. 1 again, a comment that attracted criticism in the press from Pat Cash.

Williams competed at the tournament in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia as a warm-up for the Australian Open. However, she lost to unseeded Sybille Bammer of Austria in the quarterfinals. Williams was unseeded at the Australian Open because of her World No. 81 ranking and was widely regarded as "out of shape". In the third round, however, Williams defeated fifth-seeded Nadia Petrova, which was her first win over a top 10 player since defeating Lindsay Davenport in the 2005 Australian Open final. In the quarterfinals, Williams was two points from losing to Shahar Pe'er before prevailing and then defeated tenth-seeded Nicole Vaidišová in the semifinals in straight sets. In the final, Williams defeated top-seeded Maria Sharapova in straight sets to win her third Australian Open singles title, her eighth Grand Slam singles title, and her sixteenth Grand Slam title overall. Williams dedicated the title to her deceased sister Yetunde. Her performance in the final was described by TENNIS.com as "one of the best performances of her career" and by BBC Sport as "arguably the most powerful display ever seen in women's tennis". Williams explained how her deceased older sister Yetunde inspired her to win this title: "I just said, 'Serena, this has to be motivating. This has to be more than enough to motivate me,' and I think it was." Her ranking rose to World No. 14 as a result of the win.

Williams next played at the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida. In the fourth round, Williams again defeated World No. 2 Sharapova 6–1, 6–1. She went on to reach the final, where she defeated World No. 1 Justine Henin in three sets after Williams saved two match points in the second set.

At the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina on clay courts, Williams received a first round bye and then retired from her second round match due to a groin pull. The following week, Williams won her first singles match in the first round Fed Cup tie against Belgium on hard courts but withdrew from the second singles match to rest her knee.

Despite this loss, Williams was one of the favorites for the Wimbledon title. During her fourth round match against Daniela Hantuchová, Williams collapsed from an acute muscle spasm at 5–5 in the second set. After a medical timeout and holding serve to force a tiebreak, the rain came and play was suspended for nearly two hours. When the players returned to the court, Williams won the match 6–2, 6–7(2), 6–2. Williams then lost her quarterfinal match with World No. 1 Henin 6–4, 3–6, 6–3. Williams started the match with a heavily taped calf and was forced to use a one-handed backhand slice because of an injury to her left thumb. Williams drew criticism when she claimed after the match that she would have beaten Henin had Williams been healthy. After Wimbledon, Williams moved up to World No. 7, her highest ranking since 2005.

Because of the thumb injury, Williams did not play a tournament between Wimbledon and the US Open. At the US Open itself, she beat 2007 Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli in the fourth round, setting up her third consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal with Henin. Williams lost again, 7–6(3), 6–1, her third straight loss to Henin in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event.

In October, Williams lost in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Stuttgart to World No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6–3, 6–3. Williams then reached her third final of the year at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, defeating Kuznetsova in the semifinals. In the final, however, she lost to Elena Dementieva. Nevertheless, Williams's performances at these tournaments increased her ranking to World No. 5 and qualified her for the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid. Williams's participation there was short. Because of injury, she retired from her first match with Anna Chakvetadze after losing the first set and then withdrew from the tournament.

Williams started the year by participating on the U.S. team that won the Hopman Cup for the fifth time in Perth, Australia.

Williams entered the 2008 Australian Open as the defending champion and seventh seed but lost in the quarterfinals to World No. 4 and third-seeded Jelena Janković 6–3, 6–4. This was her fourth straight loss in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam singles tournament. In the women's doubles event, Serena and her sister Venus lost in the quarterfinals to the seventh-seeded team, Zheng Jie and Yan Zi.

Williams then withdrew from the Open Gaz de France in Paris, the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, and the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open due to an urgent need for dental surgery.

Upon her return to the tour, Williams won three consecutive singles titles. At the Tier II tournament in Bangalore, India, Serena defeated sister Venus in the semifinals 6–3, 3–6, 7–6(4) after Serena saved a match point 6–5 in the third set. This was the first time they had played each other since the fourth round of the 2005 US Open. Serena then defeated Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in the final. At the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Williams won her fifth career singles title there, tying Steffi Graf for the most singles titles at this tournament. Williams defeated World No. 1 Justine Henin in the quarterfinals, World No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semifinals, and World No. 4 Janković in the final. This was Williams's 30th career singles title. At the clay court Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, Williams defeated, for the fourth consecutive time, second-seeded Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals 7–5, 4–6, 6–1. In the final, Williams defeated Vera Zvonareva to capture her tenth career Tier I title and first clay court title since the 2002 French Open.

Williams's 17-match winning streak was ended by Dinara Safina in the quarterfinals of the Tier I Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin 2–6, 6–1, 7–6(5). Williams was the fifth-seeded player at the Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome and made it to the quarterfinals, where Alizé Cornet received a walkover over Williams because of a back injury.

Williams was the fifth-seeded player at the French Open. Although she was the only former winner of this tournament in this year's draw, she lost in the third round to 27th-seeded Katarina Srebotnik 6–4, 6–4.

At Wimbledon, the sixth-seeded Williams reached the semifinals for the first time in four years. She defeated former World No. 1 and 2006 Wimbledon champion Amélie Mauresmo in the third round 7–6(5), 6–1. She then defeated Agnieszka Radwańska in the quarterfinals and Zheng Jie, a Chinese wild card, in the semifinals. Williams, however, lost the final to her older sister Venus in straight sets. Serena and Venus then teamed to win the women's doubles title without dropping a set the entire tournament, defeating Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur in the final.

Williams then played four World Team Tennis matches for the Washington Kastles, contributing 49 points for her team.

Williams was seeded first at the tournament in Stanford, California. After defeating fifth-seeded Schnyder in the quarterfinals, Williams retired from her semifinal match against qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak while trailing 6–2, 3–1 because of a left knee injury. That injury caused Williams to withdraw from the tournament in Los Angeles the following week.

At the Beijing Olympics, Williams was the fourth-seeded player in singles but lost to fifth-seeded and eventual gold-medalist Elena Dementieva in the quarterfinals 3–6, 6–4, 6–3. Serena and her sister Venus were the second-seeded team in doubles. They won the gold medal, beating the Spanish team of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual in the final.

Williams was seeded fourth at the US Open and defeated her seventh-seeded sister Venus in the quarterfinals 7–6(6), 7–6(7). Serena trailed 5–3 in both sets and saved two set points in the first set and eight set points in the second set. Williams then defeated Safina in the semifinals 6–3, 6–2. She went on to win the title, her ninth career Grand Slam, defeating second-seeded Janković in the final, and became the new World No. 1.

At the Tier II Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Williams was the top seed but lost to World No. 30 Li Na in the second round 0–6, 6–1, 6–4. Serena also played doubles in Stuttgart with her sister Venus, but they withdrew after winning their first round match because of a left ankle injury to Serena.

On October 3, 2008, Williams announced her withdrawal from the Tier I Kremlin Cup in Moscow, citing a continuing left ankle injury and a desire to give her body time to recover from a packed 2008 playing schedule. Because of her withdrawal, she lost the World No. 1 ranking to Janković.

Williams defeated Dinara Safina in her first round robin match at the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha 6–4, 6–1 before losing to her sister Venus 5–7, 6–1, 6–0 in her second round robin match. She then withdrew from her match against Elena Dementieva citing a stomach muscle injury. She ended the year ranked World No. 2.

At the Medibank International in Sydney, top-seeded Williams defeated Australian Samantha Stosur in the first round 6–3, 6–7(4), 7–5 after saving four match points when Stosur served for the match at 5–4 in the third set. Williams then defeated Sara Errani in the second round 6–1, 6–2. In the quarterfinals against Danish player Caroline Wozniacki, Williams won 6–7(5), 6–3, 7–6(3) after saving three match points when Wozniacki served for the match at 6–5 in the third set. In the semifinals against Russian Elena Dementieva, Williams was defeated 6–3, 6–1.

Williams was the second-seeded player at the Australian Open. She defeated Yuan Meng of China in the first round, Gisela Dulko in the second round (saving six set points in the second set), Peng Shuai of China in the third round, and Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round after Azarenka was forced to retire from the match in the second set. Williams twice was three points from defeat before beating eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals and then defeated fourth-seeded Dementieva in the semifinals. She went on to defeat Dinara Safina in the final to claim her tenth Grand Slam singles title, ranking her seventh on the list of female players with the most Grand Slam singles titles. The win also returned her to the World No. 1 ranking and resulted in her becoming the all-time career prize money leader in women's sports. In women's doubles, Serena and her sister Venus captured the title for the third time, defeating Daniela Hantuchová and Ai Sugiyama in the final.

At the Open GDF SUEZ in Paris, Williams withdrew from the tournament before her scheduled semifinal with Dementieva because of a knee injury.

Williams was the top seed at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, a Premier 5 event on the tour. She defeated 13th-seeded Zheng Jie in the third round and former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals 6–4, 6–4. However, she lost to her sister Venus in the semifinals 6–1, 2–6, 7–6(3).

Williams is next scheduled to play in the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, followed by the Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella, Spain and the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina.

Serena has played her sister Venus Williams many times in Grand Slam singles tournaments and a few times in other tournaments. Venus leads their head-to-head series in WTA matches 10–9. They are the only women during the open era to have played each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals.

Williams is known for her unusual and colorful outfits on court. In 2002, Williams created an on-court stir when she wore a leather-looking catsuit at the US Open. Again at the US Open, in 2004, Williams wore denim skirts and boots. At Wimbledon in 2008, Williams donned a white trench coat while warming up for her opening match against Kaia Kanepi. The trench coat created a buzz since Williams wore it despite the perfect and sunny weather. She ended up wearing the trench coat for the remainder of the tournament. Williams formerly had a special line with Puma and currently has a line with Nike. The deal with Nike is worth US$40 million dollars and was signed in April 2004.

Outside the tennis courts, Williams was also the center of attention when in November 2004, she reached a new level of exposure at the London premiere of Pierce Brosnan's new film, After the Sunset. In an outfit that had a near-topless effect, Williams wore a red gown with strips of sheer fabric.

Williams has her own line of designer clothing called Aneres — her first name spelled backward — that she plans to sell in boutiques in Miami and Los Angeles. Her sister Venus also appeared as one of Serena's models, showing her latest designs.

In 2001, Williams appeared in The Simpsons episode "Tennis the Menace"; after Bart and Lisa are dropped by parents Marge and Homer respectively to play against each other. She has also posed for a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and has had a lucrative career in advertisements.

In April 2005, MTV announced plans to broadcast a reality show around the lives of Serena and Venus Williams; however, ABC Family ended up airing the show.

Williams was the fifth victim and the ninth star ever to be on Punk'd more than once. Her first appearance was when Williams had to save a Punk'd problem kid played by Rob Pinkston until Kutcher exposed the set-up. Her second was when Serena passed the prank on her sister Venus after both Serena and Venus were fighting with a fraud during a photoshoot with some handicapped people.

In 2002, Williams played Miss Wiggins in the season 3 episode "Crouching Mother, Hidden Father" of My Wife and Kids. In 2005, Williams guest starred in an episode of the twelfth season of ER. She also guest starred on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Welsh indie band, Super Furry Animals, sang a track on their 2003 album Phantom Power called "Venus and Serena" - dedicated to the sisters.

In 2007, Williams appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. In the first round of competition, Williams matched up against surfer Laird Hamilton and former NFL quarterback John Elway. That same year, Williams appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, where he challenged Williams to a tennis match on the Wii video game console. Conan overcame a break point to win the match.

On the fourteenth page of a January 2007 issue of TV Guide, it is stated that "Tennis star Serena Williams will provide a guest voice on the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender next season." Williams herself has gone as far to state that Avatar is her favorite show.

She was previously a guest voice on the Playhouse Disney animated kids show, Higglytown Heroes as the snow plough driver hero.

Williams appears in the July issue of Jane Magazine along with Eva Mendes, Joss Stone, and five other famous faces.

Williams appears in an American music video for the conscious rapper Common, along with Alicia Keys, and rapper Kanye West called "I Want You", released on November 2007.

Serena funded the construction of a secondary school in Kenya in November 2008. The school is named after her.

Serena received Celebrity Role Model Award from Avon Foundation in 2003 for work in breast cancer.

Grand slam events in boldface.

To help interpret the performance table, the legend below explains what each abbreviation and color coded box represents in the performance timeline.

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which ended March 22, 2009.

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded.

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded.

Players who have been No.1 in boldface.

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Jelena Janković

Janković at the 2007 Dubai Tennis Championships

Infobox last updated on: February 16, 2009.

Janković has reached the singles final of the US Open and the singles semifinals of the Australian Open and the French Open. In 2007, she won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with British partner Jamie Murray.

Janković learned her first tennis skills in Tennis Club 'Red Star'. As a nine-and-a-half year old she was introduced to tennis by her elder brother and fitness coach Marko. She was later trained at the Tennis Academy of Nick Bollettieri. As a junior she won the 2001 Australian Open. In 2001, she started to play on the WTA Tour; she reached the second round at her first tournament at the Indian Wells Masters.

In October 2003, Janković entered the top 100 at No. 90 for the first time after winning her first ITF title in Dubai. Three months later, Janković garnered her first top 10 win against Elena Dementieva 6–1, 6–4 in the first round of the 2004 Australian Open. In May, Janković won her first WTA title, a Tier V event, in Budapest, defeating Martina Suchá in the final 7–6, 6–3. Following her win in Budapest, she reached No. 51 in the world. Elsewhere in her 2004 season, she defeated top 20 players Nadia Petrova (twice), Vera Zvonareva, Patty Schnyder and Paola Suárez. Janković finished 2004 ranked No. 28 in the world.

In March, at Dubai, she advanced to the final following Serena Williams's retirement in the semifinal. Janković then lost in the final to Lindsay Davenport 6–4, 3–6, 6–4. She made her first Tier I semifinal in Berlin, losing to Nadia Petrova 6–4, 6–7, 6–3. In June, she reached her first grass court final at Birmingham, but lost to Maria Sharapova 6–2, 4–6, 6–1. In October, Janković reached her third final of the year in Seoul, ranked No. 17 in the world, her highest ranking at that time, losing to 16-year-old Nicole Vaidišová 7–5, 6–3. Her ranking at the end of the season eclipsed her 2004 record at No. 22.

After winning her first round match at the Australian Open, Janković lost ten straight matches, not winning a match from late January into early May. She then reached the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome before losing to Venus Williams in three sets. The following week, she reached the semifinals in Strasbourg, retiring against Nicole Vaidišová in the second set. At the French Open, Janković upset 25th-seeded Marion Bartoli before losing to World No. 1 Amélie Mauresmo in the third round. At Wimbledon, she beat sixth-seeded and defending champion Venus Williams in the third round in three sets but went on to lose to ninth-seeded Anastasia Myskina in the fourth round 6–4, 7–6(5).

During the North American summer hard court season, Janković reached her fifth career final at the JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles, defeating tenth-seeded Ana Ivanović in the quarterfinals and unseeded Serena Williams in the semifinals before losing to third seeded Elena Dementieva in the final. The US Open saw Janković defeat World No. 10 Vaidišová in the third round, World No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round, and World No. 5 Dementieva in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Janković lost to Justine Henin 4–6, 6–4, 6–0 after Janković had led 6–4, 4–2. Janković argued with the chair umpire when the umpire refused to offer an opinion as to whether a service call had been correct, suggesting that Janković use one of her electronic challenges. Janković then lost ten consecutive games.

At Janković's first tournament following the US Open, she reached the semifinals of the Tier II China Open, losing to Mauresmo 6–1, 3–6, 7–6 after Janković served for the match at 6–5 in the third set. The following week, Janković reached the Guangzhou semifinals, retiring against Anna Chakvetadze while trailing 7-5, 2-0. In her last four tournaments of the year, she lost to Kuznetsova, Vaidišová and Olga Poutchkova in the quarterfinals of three of them and to Kuznetsova in the second round of the other one.

Janković finished the year ranked World No. 12.

To begin the year, Janković won her second title at the Tier IV ASB Classic in Auckland, defeating Vera Zvonareva in the final. At the Tier II Medibank International in Sydney, Janković defeated World No. 7 and former No.1 Martina Hingis and top-seeded Amélie Mauresmo on the way to the final where she lost to Kim Clijsters. She then reached the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she was eliminated by the eventual champion Serena Williams 6–3, 6–2. Because of her results at these tournaments, her ranking rose to World No. 10, the first time she had been included in the top ten.

At the first Tier I event of the year in Tokyo, Janković lost in the quarterfinals to countrywoman Ana Ivanović and at the Dubai Tennis Championships, she retired from her semifinal match with Mauresmo because of an ankle injury. The following week in Doha, Janković again reached the semifinals, losing to Justine Henin in three sets. After that, she played at the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California where she was eliminated by Na Li in the fourth round. To complete the spring hard court season, Janković lost in the third round of the Tier I tournament in Miami Masters to Italian Mara Santangelo in three sets despite holding a 6–2, 5–2 lead.

Janković then started her clay court season at Amelia Island, Florida, where she lost in the quarterfinals to Ivanović 7–5, 6–3. She then won her first career Tier I title, at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, defeating Venus Williams in the semifinals 3–6, 6–3, 7–6 and Dinara Safina in the final. On European red clay, Janković then lost to Henin three times and won one tournament. At the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Janković lost to Henin in the semifinals 7–5, 2–6, 6–4. At the Qatar Telecom German Open, Janković lost to Henin in the quarterfinals 3–6, 6–4, 6–4 after failing to hold a 4–0 lead in the third set. Janković next won her second career Tier I title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, defeating second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. Janković was the fourth seed at the French Open, falling to Henin in the semifinals 6–2, 6–2. Her results at these six clay court tournaments improved her ranking to World No. 3.

On grass, Janković captured the DFS Classic title in Birmingham, beating top-seeded Maria Sharapova in the final. Sharapova led 3–0 in the third set before Janković rallied to win the match. This was her first career victory over Sharapova. The next week, Janković reached the final of the Ordina Open in the Netherlands and became the first player since Chris Evert in 1974 to win 50 matches in the first half of a year. Janković, suffering from a hamstring injury, lost the final to Anna Chakvetadze. At Wimbledon, Janković was the third-seed but lost in the fourth round to eventual finalist Marion Bartoli, 3–6, 7–5, 6–3. In the mixed doubles competition at Wimbledon, Janković teamed with doubles specialist Jamie Murray to win the title by beating the fifth-seed team, Jonas Björkman and Alicia Molik, in the final 6–4, 3–6, 6–1.

During the North American summer hard court season, Janković lost in the third round of the Tier I Acura Classic in San Diego. Janković blamed her loss on the flu but despite her illness, she reached the semifinals of the East West Bank Classic in Carson, California the next week. There, she lost to Ivanović in three sets. Janković said, "I cannot expect myself to play my best tennis when I am still blowing my nose on each changeover with paper towels." In August, Janković reached the final of the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, where she lost to Henin on Henin's sixth match point. Janković had led 4–1 in the first set and 4–2 in the second set but was unable to maintain her lead. At the US Open, Janković lost to Venus Williams in the quarterfinals 4–6, 6–1, 7–6(4).

To complete her hectic playing year, Janković traveled to Asia for two tournaments, Europe for one tournament, back to Asia for one tournament, and finally back to Europe for two tournaments. At the Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic in Bali, Janković was upset in the quarterfinals by former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport 6–4, 2–6, 6–2. This was Davenport's first singles tournament since giving birth. The following week at the China Open in Beijing, Janković received a wildcard into the tournament after top-ranked Henin withdrew due to illness. In the second round, Janković defeated Virginia Ruano Pascual 6–0, 6–0, the third time in her career she had won a match without losing a game. Janković lost only four points during the second set, all on her own serve. In the semifinals, Janković beat Davenport 6–3, 7–5 but lost in the final to Hungarian teenager Ágnes Szávay after Janković had a match point in the second set.

After a two week break, Janković then played three consecutive weeks but won only two matches. At the Tier II tournament in Stuttgart, Janković lost to Henin in the semifinals 7–6(2), 7–5. Janković then retired from her first round match in Bangkok with Yan Zi. After a first round bye at the Zürich Open, Janković lost to Vaidišová 6–4, 6–4. Janković took a three week break before playing the year-ending WTA Tour Championships in Madrid. However, Janković lost all three of her round robin matches, to Henin, Chakvetadze, and Bartoli. Janković had successful nose surgery immediately after Madrid to correct a breathing problem. The surgery prevented her from practicing for three weeks.

Instead of defending her title in Auckland, Janković joined Novak Djokovic in playing for Serbia in the Hopman Cup, an exhibition team event sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation. In the final, Janković and Djokovic lost to the American team of Serena Williams and Mardy Fish, with Janković unable to play her singles rubber because of injury. In her final preparation event for the Australian Open, the Medibank International in Sydney, Janković lost in the quarterfinals to Nicole Vaidišová. Her first match at the Australian Open was against Tamira Paszek, which Janković won in three sets in over three hours. Both players needed medical attention during the final set. Janković then reached the quarterfinals for the first time, defeating defending champion Serena Williams reaching her third career Grand Slam singles semifinal where she lost to Maria Sharapova 6–3, 6–1.

Janković then played two tournaments in the Middle East. At the Tier I Qatar Total Open in Doha, Janković lost in the quarterfinals to Li Na 6–3, 6–4. The next week at the Tier II Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Janković lost in the semifinals to Svetlana Kuznetsova 5–7, 6–4, 6–3. Janković played one more Asian event, the Tier II Canara Bank Bangalore Open in India. Although she was the top seeded player, she lost in the quarterfinals to Yan Zi of China 6–3, 3–6, 6–3. At the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, Janković was the third seed and defeated 24th-seeded Lindsay Davenport in the quarterfinals when Davenport retired from the match with a shoulder and back injury after losing the first set. Janković then lost to fellow Serb Ana Ivanović in the semifinals 7–6(3), 6–3. The following fortnight, Janković was the runner-up at the Miami Masters, losing to Serena Williams 6–1, 5–7, 6–3 after Williams was unable to convert on seven match points in the third set.

Janković lost in the quarterfinals of her next two Tier I tournaments, the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina (where she was defending champion) and the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin. Janković then successfully defended her Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia title in Rome. She defeated Venus Williams in the quarterfinals, advanced by walkover against Sharapova in the semifinals, and defeated French teenager Alizé Cornet in the final. This was Janković's first singles title of the year. At the French Open in Paris, Janković lost in three sets to Ivanović. Janković failed to sustain leads of 3–0 in the first set and 3–1 in the third set, although she did win the second set after trailing 3–1. Janković committed 51 unforced errors compared to 28 winners during the match.

On grass, Janković withdrew from the DFS Classic in Birmingham, United Kingdom because of an arm injury sustained during the French Open. Nevertheless, she replaced Sharapova as World No. 2 following the tournament. At Wimbledon, Janković was the second seeded player and defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the third round despite injuring her left knee. Because of early round losses by other highly ranked players, Janković only needed to reach the semifinals to replace Ivanović as World No. 1. However, she lost to Tamarine Tanasugarn in the fourth round 6–3, 6–2. Janković lost her third opportunity to grasp the World No. 1 ranking at the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles when she lost to Dinara Safina in the semifinals 7–6(3), 6–1.

At the Tier I Rogers Cup in Montreal, Janković had a fourth chance to claim the World No. 1 ranking. Because Ivanović had lost in the third round, Janković only needed to reach the final to replace Ivanović as the top ranked player. However, Janković lost in the quarterfinals to Dominika Cibulková 7–5, 6–2 after Janković had led 4–0 in the first set. After the match, Janković said, "At the moment I don't deserve the top spot. I am not in the best shape, I am not at my highest level". Despite the loss, Janković moved up to World No. 1 on August 11, 2008. She is the 18th woman to have been ranked World No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association. She is the first woman to have attained that ranking without ever having reached a Grand Slam final and only the third woman (the others being Amélie Mauresmo and Kim Clijsters) to have become World No. 1 without first winning a Grand Slam title. Serbia is only the third nation (the others being Belgium and the United States) to have had consecutive World No. 1 female players. Janković then lost her World No. 1 ranking on August 18, 2008, to Ivanović.

At the Beijing Olympics, Janković was seeded second and played the tournament with a sore right calf muscle that caused her to consider withdrawing. Janković defeated Cibulková in the third round but lost to sixth seed and eventual runner-up Safina in the quarterfinals in three sets.

Janković's next tournament was the final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open. She defeated fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva in the semifinals to reach her first Grand Slam final, where she lost to fourth-seeded Serena Williams 6–4, 7–5. Janković then lost in the quarterfinals of the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo to Svetlana Kuznetsova 2–6, 7–5, 7–5. Janković scored a win over Kuznetsova the next week though, when she beat her 6–3, 6–2 in the final of the China Open. In the semifinal, she defeated Olympic bronze medalist, Vera Zvonareva, in three sets. Janković played in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, where she defeated Venus Williams in the semifinals 6–7(8), 7–5, 6–2, and Nadia Petrova in the final 6–4, 6–3. This was her second title in two weeks. After that, she returned to World No. 1 spot on October 6.

In the Kremlin Cup, Janković defeated Vera Dushevina 6–7(6), 6–3, 6–2 in round two after a first round bye. In the quarterfinals, she beat Italian wild-card, Flavia Pennetta, 7–6(6), 6–3. She defeated Elena Dementieva in the semifinals 0–6, 6–1, 6–0 before triumphing against Vera Zvonareva in the final, 6–2, 6–4 for her third title in three weeks, the first time for a player on the WTA tour to do so since 2005. Because of her result in the Kremlin Cup, this made Janković the only female in 2008 to make all quarter-finals or better in Tier I events.

Janković's 12-match winning streak came to an end at the Zürich Open where, playing in her fifth event in five weeks, she lost to eventual runner-up Flavia Pennetta 5–7, 6–3, 6–3 in the second round after an injury to her left wrist at the end of the first set and a cut on her knee, where the trainer was called, in the second. It was just her second pre-quarterfinal loss of the year, the other being at Wimbledon.

In the first round-robin match of the 2008 WTA Tour Championships held in Doha, Qatar, Janković saw off Ana Ivanović, for the first time since the 2006 East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles. This was also her first win at a WTA Tour Championships event. In the second round-robin match she beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7–6, 6–4, thus confirming her place in the semifinals. She lost her third round-robin match, which would determine whether she played Elena Dementieva or Venus Williams, to Vera Zvonareva, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4. She lost in the semifinals, to Williams, 6–2, 2–6, 6–3, and ended the year as World No. 1. Jankovic was later named the ITF World Champion for her performances in 2008.

Janković started the year at the JB Group Classic, an exhibition prior to the Australian Open. She was the top seed of Team Europe. She started by winning a doubles match in which she was paired with Portuguese player Michelle Larcher de Brito. The team defeated Team Americas' World No. 6 Venus Williams and newcomer to the women's tour, Coco Vandeweghe, 6–4, 7–5. Janković then lost to Williams in singles 6–2, 6–2. Janković later withdrew from the remainder of the tournament because of illness.

Janković was seeded first at the Australian Open in Melbourne, defeating Yvonne Meusburger in the first round and hitting 27 winners to Meusburger's three. Janković then beat Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in the second round and Ai Sugiyama in the third round. Sixteenth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France then upset Janković in the fourth round 6–1, 6–4. Bartoli hit 34 winners compared to Janković's 17 and won 81% of her first serve points compared to Janković's 56%. Janković lost her World No. 1 ranking to Serena Williams as a result.

Her next Women's Tennis Association event was the Open GDF SUEZ tournament in Paris, where she entered as a wildcard and was the second seeded player. In the first round, Janković beat Francesca Schiavone and in the second round, she beat Li Na. In the quarterfinals, she beat fifth-seeded Alizé Cornet 5–7, 6–4, 6–4 but then lost to Amélie Mauresmo in the semifinals 6–2, 0–6, 6–1.

Janković had a first round bye at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, where she was seeded third. She was upset by Kaia Kanepi in the third round, 6–2, 7–5, in what she called "the worst match of my career". She was the second seeded player at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, a Premier Mandatory tournament. She received a bye in the first round before losing in the second round to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6–4, 6–4. After the match, she conceded that she has been struggling with her confidence, saying "I need a lot of work".

Janković was born in Belgrade, in then Yugoslavia, now Serbia, as the third child of Veselin and Snežana Janković, both economists. Her mother is from Serbia and her father is from Montenegro (Vasojevići clan). She also has two brothers, Marko and Stefan. She is a student at the Megatrend University in Belgrade, studying economics; however, she has put her course of study on indefinite hold as she continues to pursue her tennis career. She trained at tennis club "Crvena Zvezda".

At Wimbledon 2007, in a mixed doubles match at the semi-final stage she invited a ballboy to come and sit with her and began asking him questions, much to the crowd's amusement. Though the boy was clearly enjoying himself, he swiftly jumped out of the chair when Jamie Murray returned from his toilet break. The British press have linked Janković and Murray romantically but she has remained coy about their relationship, though she joked in interviews that she used kisses as a way of motivating the Scot.

Off-court, Janković has done work in film, starring in Jelenin svet (Jelena's World) in 2008, a documentary about her life. Janković portrayed herself; Justine Henin, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanović and other notable players also featured. In September 2008, Janković announced that she has been dating Montenegrian water polo player Mlađan Janović since August 2008. The pair had been dating since the 2008 Summer Olympics.

On December 5, 2007, Janković became a UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia, for Children's Fund. "I am happy to have become a UNICEF ambassador for Serbia. This is a great honour for me and I will try to justify the role that has been given to me", she said. Janković is the second Serbian tennis star to have volunteered to help promote the rights of children and collect funds for UNICEF after Ana Ivanović became an ambassador in September.

Janković had endorsed Reebok sportswear, and had her own line with them for her tournament wear, but now is with ANTA Sports. Janković also has an endorsement with Prince Sports and now uses the Prince O3 Speedport Pro White Racquet after formerly using the Prince O3 Red Racquet. She is the face of the Serbian fashion design company Mona with her own line of clothing. Janković recently signed up to endorse Aqua Viva Hydroactive Water. Her picture will appear on the bottles for a limited timeand she will now feature in a TV advertisement.

To help interpret the performance table, the legend below explains what each abbreviation and color coded box represents in the performance timeline.

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which ended March 22, 2009.

Players who have been ranked World No. 1 are in boldface.

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Source : Wikipedia