Petra Cetkovska

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Posted by r2d2 04/21/2009 @ 06:16

Tags : petra cetkovska, tennis players, tennis, sports

News headlines
Jelena Jankovic Beats Cetkovska in First Round of French Open - Bloomberg
By Christopher Elser May 26 (Bloomberg) -- Jelena Jankovic, who finished last year as the top-ranked women's tennis player, defeated Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3 in a first-round match at the French Open. The Serb joins Russian Dinara...
Serena comes through test - TeleText
Jelena Jankovic overcame Czech Petra Cetkovska and a rain delay to reach the second round of the French Open. The fifth seed was 4-1 up over the world No 85 before the weather forced a delay of over two hours, but Jankovic returned to clinch the set...
Tough draw for Keothavong - SkySports
The siblings are in different sections of the draw and cannot meet until the final, something that happened back in 2002, with Serena coming out on top. seed Jelena Jankovic comes up first against Petra Cetkovska. As well as Keothavong, Britain will...
French Open - day three - BBC Sport
First up on Court Philippe Chatrier is women's fifth seed Jelena Jankovic against Petra Cetkovska, followed by a tasty-looking tie between Nicolas Lapentti and Novak Djokovic. Other matches to look out for include home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga...
For The Record - Winston-Salem Journal
Sofia Arvidsson, Sweden, 6-2, 6-2; Petra Cetkovska, Czech Republic, def. Stephanie Foretz, France, 7-6 (5), 6-3; Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Czech Republic, def. Ayumi Morita, Japan, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3; Mariya Koryttseva, Ukraine, def....
Serena survives first-round test - BBC Sport
And former world number one Jankovic looked in convincing form during a rain-interrupted 6-2 6-3 victory over Petra Cetkovska. The Serbian, seeded fifth, was first on court on a blustery day in Paris and had to put up with the worst that the elements...
Kuznetsova cruises into round two - The Press Association
The Serbian's match with Petra Cetkovska was also affected by the rain - they scurried off court when Jankovic was 4-1 ahead - but she finished the job when they resumed, needing a second match point to prevail 6-2 6-3. Another seed to go through was...
Del Potro seals French Open progress in rapid time - More Than The Games
The fifth seed - who is still seeking a maiden Grand Slam title - beat Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3 while seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, a beaten finalist three years ago, eased past France's Claire Fauerstein 6-1, 6-4....
French Open Plans Covered Court in Tennis 'Roof Race' - Bloomberg
“ It's always a good idea to have a roof,” Jelena Jankovic, the fifth seed from Serbia, told reporters after her rain-delayed 6-2, 6-3 win over Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic. “It's not so easy to stop the match and then being in the areas over...

Petra Cetkovská

Petra-cetkovska.png

Infobox last updated on: March 2, 2009.

Petra Cetkovská (Petra Cetkovska) (born February 8, 1985 in Prostějov, Czechoslovakia) is a professional female tennis player from the Czech Republic & is of ethnic Macedonian origin. She reached her career high singles ranking No.49 on June 16, 2008.

Petra Cetkovská turned porfessional in 2000. Since then, she won 15 ITF singles titles and 16 doubles titles.

In 2007, she made breakthrough in her WTA ranking, and notched 3 ITF titles. Also, she won her first WTA doubles title with compatriot Andrea Hlaváčková in ECM Prague Open.

She made her grand slam main draw debut in 2007 US Open, going through to second round by defeating Jill Craybas from USA. She eventually lost to 14th seed Elena Dementieva in second round match.

At the 2008 French Open, she upset the 23rd seed Alyona Bondarenko 6-3, 6-0 in the first round en route to a fourth round showing, her best Grand Slam showing to date. However, she was soundly beaten by then World No. 2 and eventual champion Ana Ivanović in a 6-0, 6-0 whitewash.

Cetkovska lost in the opening round of the 2009 Australian Open to Marina Erakovic 4-6, 7-5.

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 2008 Wimbledon, which ended on June 26, 2008.

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Elena Dementieva

Elena Dementieva at 2008 Qatar Telecom German Open

Infobox last updated on: 20 April 2009.

Elena Dementieva (Russian: Елена Вячеславовна Дементьева, jɪˈlʲenə dʲɪˈmʲentjɪvə (help·info)); (born 15 October 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 6 April 2009, she is ranked World No. 3.

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. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, another Premier Mandatory event, Dementieva was seeded fourth but committed 45 unfourced errors while losing to 13th seeded Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round 7–5, 6–4. Despite the loss, she achieved her highest career singles ranking of World No. 3. By reaching the Top 3, she became the sixth Russian to do so, after Anastasia Myskina, Nadia Petrova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Maria Sharapova and Dinara Safina.

She began the Clay court season by competing in the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina. As the top seed, she received a bye for the 1st Round. She defeated American Julie Ditty, 6-0, 6-2 in the first round, and Uzbek-American Varvara Lepchenko, 6-1, 6-1 in the Third Round. In the quarterfinals, she defeated Dominika Cibulkova, of Slovakia who retired at the start of the 2nd set due to a knee Injury, after Dementieva had captured the first set, 6-4. She lost for the second straight time to Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 in a nearly 3 hour match where she committed 60 unforced errors. Dementieva came back from a 2-5 deficit in the second set and saved 3 match points on her own serve at 3-5 taking the next 6 games.

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 Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, which ended April 5, 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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Iveta Benešová

Iveta Benesova 2008.jpg

Infobox last updated on: April 6, 2009.

Iveta Benešová (born on 1 February 1983 in Most, Czechoslovakia) is a professional tennis player. She began playing tennis at age of 7 and turned professional in 1998 in Prague. She has won one WTA Tour event, Tier III in Acapulco in 2004.

In the 2006 Australian Open, for the first time, she reached the third round of a Grand Slam by beating 5th seed Mary Pierce 6–3, 7–5. She lost in the next round 6–4, 6–1 to former No.1 Martina Hingis.

Entering as a qualifier in the 2008 French Open, she reached the third round, beating 15th seed and compatriate Nicole Vaidišová 7-6(2), 6-1 in the first round, and losing to compatriate Petra Cetkovská 6-3, 6-3.

Benesova started the year by playing the first edition of the Brisbane International. She lost in the first round to qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva, 1–6, 6–4, 6–2. A week later, Benesova lost in the final of the tournament in Hobart, Australia to fellow-Czech Petra Kvitova. At the Australian Open, Benesova lost in the second round to eventual semifinalist and fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva 6–4, 6–1.

Immediately after the Australian Open Series, Benesova played in front of her home crowd in the Fed Cup tie against Spain. Despite losing her singles rubber to Nuria Llagostera Vives 1–6, 6–1, 6–4, the Czech team advanced to the semifinals after winning the tie 4–1.

At the Open GDF SUEZ in Paris, Benešová lost in the first round to World No. 1 Serena Williams 6–1, 6–4. Benešová then reached the semifinals of the the tournament in Acapulco, a clay court event. In the quarterfinals, Benesova beat Mathilde Johansson 6–1, 6–3 before losing in the semifinals to defending champion Flavia Pennetta 6–3, 6–3.

On 6 April 2009, Benešová achieved her career-high singles ranking of World No. 25.

Benešová was seeded sixth at the first edition of the Monterrey Open. She beat fellow Czech Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová in the quarterfinals 7–5, 6–4 before losing in the semifinals to unseeded Li Na, 6–3, 6–3.

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 Australian Open, which ended on February 1, 2009.

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Ekaterina Makarova

Infobox last updated on: September 29, 2008.

Ekaterina Valeryevna Makarova (Russian: Екатерина Валерьевна Макарова, born on June 7, 1988) is a professional Russian tennis player.

She began playing tennis when she was six years old and joined the senior women's circuit at the age of fifteen.

After first cracking the World Top 250 in May 2005, when she was still sixteen, she suffered varied results and stasis in her ranking over the following eighteen months, failing to advance significantly on her early promise until the 2007 season, which saw her leap up from outside the Top 250 to just outside the Top 100. Her career high WTA world ranking to date is #48, achieved on June 23, 2008.

Although she has not yet achieved much main-draw success on the main WTA Tour outside Grand Slams, she has won one ITF $25,000 title and two $10,000 titles, and has reached the third round at two Grand Slams, one $75,000 ITF semi-final, two $50,000 semi-finals, two $50,000 quarter-finals, three $25,000 finals, and three $25,000 semi-finals.

In June 2003, just two weeks after her fifteenth birthday, the young Russian was wildcarded into the main draw of the first ever ITF tournament she entered, a $10,000 event at Elektrostal, Russia. She won two matches but lost a three-setter in the quarter-finals to Ukrainian Olga Savchuk, 6–3 3–6 0–6.

Another wildcard the following week into the main draw at the $10,000 event at Balashikha, also in Russia, failed to bear fruit; but a couple of months later she entered the qualifying draw for her first $25,000 tournament at Zhukovsky, Russia, and succeeded in qualifying for the main draw with two back-to-back three-set victories, including a win against compatriot Anna Lapushchenkova in the qualifying round, 6–4 6–7 6–3. She was then comfortably beaten in the first round of the main draw, however, taking just three games against her little-known Romanian opponent.

Makarova did not play again for the remainder of the year, and ended it ranked a nominal 9999th on the computer, but returned to action towards the end of March 2004 at a $10,000 event in Cairo, Egypt, where she came through four rounds of qualifying with ease before reaching the second round of the main draw. The following week, in the second successive $10,000 tournament played at the same venue, she was defeated in the fourth and final round of qualifying.

She next entered herself for a $10,000 contest at Antalya, Turkey towards the end of May, and as a direct entrant, still aged fifteen, but now ranked World No. 886, she battled all the way through to the final and won her career first title for the loss of just one set in her second round tie against Margalita Chakhnashvili of Georgia, and having only once previously reached a quarter-final in her short career.

Appearing at her next $10,000 tournament at Felixstowe, Great Britain in July, ranked World No. 764, she lost in three sets to an Irish player in the first round.

But at Târgu Mureş, Romania, in August, she claimed her second $10,000 title without dropping a set, for the loss of just eighteen games in five full matches played.

Wildcarded into the main draw of only the second $25,000 event in which she had ever competed at Moscow late that month, world ranked 595th, she lost in the first round to a player from Belarus ranked over 300 places above her, in three close sets, 4–6 6–4 6–7.

But the following week at Balashikha, she managed to come through qualifying for another $25,000 competution, and succeeded in taking her first ever main draw match at this level to reach the second round before losing there to compatriot Elena Vesnina 3–6 5–7.

Back at Moscow in time for the annual Tier I WTA event held there in mid-October, world-ranked 535th, she was awarded a wildcard into the qualifying draw, and proceeded to justify it with successive victories over the first two Top-100-ranked players she had ever played, Ukrainian World No. 93 Tatiana Perebiynis (whom she was leading 2–6 6–4 4–0 before Perebiynis retired) and Polish World No. 83 Marta Domachowska (whom she defeated in two close sets, 7–6 6–4). In the qualifying round, however, she was denied entry to what would have been her first ever WTA main draw by a future Top 5 star, then ranked World No. 88, in the form of her compatriot Anna Chakvetadze.

On the back of this heartening performance, her ranking surged upwards to 412th in time for the next ITF $25,000 draw she entered at Minsk, Belarus at the end of October. She came through qualifying in straight sets, then reached her career-first quarter-finals at $25,000 level or above in the main draw before losing to upcoming Belarussian World No. 318 Ekaterina Dzehalevich, 2–6 1–6.

She did not play again for the rest of the year, but had compiled a win-loss record of 27-7 (including qualifying draws) and brought her ranking up from nowhere to 381st in just nine tournaments entered, two of which she had won.

Starting the new year in February in Great Britain, she entered qualifying for $25,000 tournaments at Sunderland and Redbridge in successive weeks. At Sunderland, she qualified with comfortable wins over Belgian Caroline Maes and British player Melanie South, but then lost a tight three-setter in the first round of the main draw to British World No. 119 Elena Baltacha, 6–3 6–7 3–6. At Redbridge, she again came through qualifying with ease, and proceeded to reach as far as her career-first $25,000 semifinal before losing again to Baltacha, this time by the more decisive scoreline of 4–6 2–6.

Returning to play next at St. Petersburg, Russia in late March, world ranked No. 328, Makarova entered another $25,000 draw, and again came through qualifying, before beating World No. 205 Kathrin Woerle of Germany, emerging fellow-Russian talent Alla Kudryavtseva, and Estonian Margit Rüütel in the main draw to reach her second successive semi-final, in which she lost to her compatriot, World No. 145 Ekaterina Bychkova, 6–7 2–6.

She took another month off from competition before entering qualifying for a $75,000 tournament for the first time in her career at Cagnes-sur-Mer, France at the beginning of May. After slogging out two closely competitive three-set matches in the first two rounds of qualifying, she won her qualifying match with relative ease, 6–2 6–0, then scored back-to-back straight-sets victories against three successive players in the main draw to reach the semi-finals in only her first main draw appearance at $50,000 level or above. Her vanquished opponents included World No. 133 Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus in the main draw second round, whom she drubbed 6–0 6–1, and World No. 104 Julia Schruff of Germany in the quarter-finals, whom she defeated 7–5 6–2. But it was again to be Ekaterina Bychkova, now world-ranked No. 134, who would stop her at the semi-final stage, toughing out a 6–2 5–7 6–1 victory.

Makarova's ranking was thus advanced again to a then career-best World No. 246. Her run of breakthrough successes was not to be sustained over the summer, however, as she lost first in mid-June, in the first round of the $25,000 tournament at Gorizia, Italy to a low-ranked qualifier, in three sets; next in early August, in the first round of her first ever $50,000 tournament (to which she gained direct entry) at Rimini, Italy to Estonian rising-star Kaia Kanepi, 2–6 2-6; again in early September, in the second round of qualifying for the US Open to World No. 122 Shikha Uberoi of India, 5–7 6–3 4-6; and once more in late September, in the first round of qualifying for a Tier IV WTA tournament at Portorož, Slovenia, to a little-known low-ranked Slovenian player, in three sets.

Returning to Moscow in mid-October for the annual Tier I fixture there world-ranked 256th, she enjoyed her third career victory over a Top-100-ranked player in the first round of qualifying as she defeated Michaela Paštiková of the Czech Republic 6–2 6–1, but then in the second round of the qualifying draw she lost to World No. 58 Iveta Benešová, 1–6 4–6.

Retreating to the ITF circuit the following week, world-ranked 264th, she entered the qualifying draw for a $50,000 tournament for the second time in her career at Saint Raphael, France, and this time succeeded in qualifying, with three-set wins over World No. 273 Margalita Chakhnashvili of Georgia and World No. 215 Lucie Hradecká of the Czech Republic, before reaching the second round of the main draw, where she was overcome by Virginie Pichet of France, 1–6 2–6.

A week later, as a direct entrant into a $25,000 event at Istanbul, world-ranked 242nd, she lost to Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky, 3–6 5–7 in the first round.

The last tournament she would play that year would be a $75,000 event held in mid-December at Dubai, where, her ranking having slipped back to 258th, she received a wildcard into the main draw but then lost in the first round to her then lower-ranked compatriot Yaroslava Shvedova 5–7 0–6.

She finished a season marked by ups and downs with her ranking unchanged from before the event at Dubai, but up 123 places for the year, and with a healthy-looking 24-12 win-loss record, although on analysis in the first five months of the year she had won 18 matches for the loss of just four, whereas in the period from June to December inclusive she won only six matches and lost eight.

Returning to action in the qualifying draw for the $75,000 contest at Ortesei, Italy in February, world ranked 270th, Makarova came through all three qualifying rounds in straight sets to reach her third main draw at this level, but could not advance past World No. 112 Eva Birnerová of the Czech Republic in the first round of the main draw, losing to her 2–6 1–6.

The following week, she had to qualify again for the lower-level $25,000 event at Capriolo, Italy, and managed this despite a tough three-set battle against a low-ranked Italian in the first round of the qualifying draw. In the main draw, she defeated World No. 152 Kathrin Woerle of Germany in Round One before losing to a Romanian player ranked just outside the Top 200 in the second round.

Early in March, ranked 285th, she tried her hand at qualifying for the Tier II WTA event at Qatar, but lost in three sets in the first round of the qualifying draw to a lower-ranked German player.

Towards the end of that month, as a direct entrant to a $25,000 ITF tournament at St. Petersburg, Russia, she defeated her compatriot Vesna Manasieva 6–2 7–5 in Round One, and World No. 187 Petra Cetkovská of the Czech Republic 6–2 6–4 in Round Two, but then lost to Italian Alberta Brianti in the quarter-finals, 3–6 2–6.

By the time that she next competed in mid-April, at a $25,000 contest held in Biarritz, France, her ranking had fallen back to World No. 299. In the second round, she met World No. 132 Tatiana Poutchek of Belarus, and fought out a very even match against her, but ultimately lost 6–7 (5) 6–4 4–6.

At the end of April, entering a $25,000 event at Torrent, Valencia, Spain ranked 295th, she enjoyed her best performance of the year yet in reaching her career-first final at $25,000 level or above with notable wins over World No. 222 Oxana Lyubtsova of the Ukraine in Round Two, 6–1 6–1, and again against Petra Cetkovská (now ranked 181st in the world) in the semi-finals, 7–5 4–6 6–2. But she lost in the final to on-form Italian World No. 168 Romina Oprandi, 1–6 3–6.

Nonetheless, her previous year's performance in reaching the semi-final of a $75,000 tournament at the same time of the year had earned her considerably more ranking points, and she found her ranking slipping back to World No. 312 by the middle of May, a deficit of 66 places on her position twelve months earlier.

For the second successive year, the summer brought her relatively poor results, although she would manage to win a few more matches than she had done the previous year.

She began by losing within the first two main draw rounds of her next three competitions, all of which were at $25,000 level - the first at Monzón, Spain in mid-May (where she lost to American World No. 286 Diana Ospina in three sets, 4–6 6–3 4–6, in Round Two); the second at Gorizia, Italy in mid-June (where she lost to Czech World No. 195 Barbora Strýcová, 2–6 2–6, in Round One); and the third at Fontanafredda, Italy at the end of June (where she had to come through qualifying to the main draw, then toughed out a 6–1 6–7 7–6 first round win over Australian World No. 255 Monique Adamczak before losing in the second round to World No. 246 Margalita Chakhnashvili of Georgia for the first time, 3–6 6–0 3–6.

In the latter part of July, she then decided to attempt to qualify for a couple of $50,000 tournaments. First, at Vittel, France, she came through into the main draw despite two very tight three-set matches against lower-ranked opponents, but then lost in two close sets to French World No. 151 Stephanie Cohen-Aloro in the first round of the main draw, 6–7 5–7. The following week, at Pétange, Luxembourg, she was defeated in the qualifying round by a lower-ranked German player in three sets, and despite being awarded entry to the main draw as a lucky loser, she immediately lost her first round match to World No. 54 Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus, 5–7 2–6.

In mid-August, she was awarded direct entry into the main draw of another $50,000 tournament at Rimini, Italy, but lost in the first round to Romanian World No. 205 Simona Iulia Matei, 2–6 3–6.

The following week, ranked World No. 286, she enjoyed her first run beyond the second round of any main draw in four months at a $25,000 tournament held in Moscow, winning through to the final for the second time at this level in her career with a succession of straight sets victories over lower-ranked opponents, including her upcoming compatriots Vesna Manasieva in the quarter-finals and Anna Lapushchenkova in the semi-finals. But it was another emerging Russian youngster, Evgeniya Rodina, who would claim the title in the final, defeating her 7–6 (4) 6–3.

In September, awarded direct entry into the $75,000 tournament at Denain, France, she survived a close three-set battle in the first round against a similarly-ranked Spaniard, then put up a strong challenge against Romina Oprandi, now ranked 62nd in the world, in Round Two, but ultimately lost 0–6 6–4 4–6.

At Bordeaux the following week, world-ranked 270th, she found herself having to qualify for entry into her second successive $75,000 draw, but managed it without losing a set, notably defeating compatriot Ekaterina Ivanova in the qualifying round, 6–2 6–3. But in the first round of the main draw she lost in three sets to French World No. 57 Émilie Loit, 6–3 3–6 2–6.

At Nantes in early October, as a direct entrant into a $25,000 event, she reached the semi-finals with wins over French World No. 181 Virginie Pichet (6–2 1–6 6–1), British player Amanda Keen (6–2 6–1) and emerging German talent Sabine Lisicki (6–0 5–7 6–1), but then lost in the semi-finals to a little-known player from Belarus called Iryna Kyryanovich, 4–6 6–7.

Although the ranking points attained at Nantes had improved her ranking to World No. 253, in her next four tournaments she would win only one main-draw match, recording mostly unremarkable losses in the second-round of qualifying for the $50,000 event at Saint Raphael, France in mid-October, in the first round of the main draw of the $25,000 contest at Podolsk, Russia the following week (losing 6–7 6–3 4–6 to her compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova), in the second round of a $25,000 fixture at Minsk, Russia in early November, and in the first round of a $25,000 event at Opole, Poland a week later (losing 6–7 (5) 2–6 to Czech World No. 107 Zuzana Ondrášková).

But in the last week of November, world-ranked 268th, she decided to try to qualify for a $75,000 tournament again at Poitiers, France, and succeeded with wins over Darya Kustova of Belarus (7–6 7–5) and, in the qualifying round, World No. 233 Iryna Kuryanovich, against whom she avenged her recent semi-final defeat by taking her out 6–2 6–3. In the main draw, she advanced to the second round by first beating Croatian World No. 173 Sanja Ančić, but then lost to 72nd-ranked fellow-Russian Ekaterina Bychkova in Round Two, 6–7 1–6.

The following week, at Milan, Italy in early December, world-ranked 251st, she attempted to qualify for a $50,000 tournament main draw, but was defeated in the qualifying round by then lower-ranked Olga Govortsova of Belarus, 3–6 4–6. Although awarded main draw entry as a lucky loser, she immediately lost to Italian World No. 253 Giulia Gabba in three sets.

Makarova did not play again that year, and ended it world-ranked 264th, a marginal slip of 11 places year-on-year. She had clocked up a win-loss record of 41-24 after entering many more tournaments than she had done the previous year. Overall, however, her results had been inconsistent, with a few notable strong runs to the last four of lower-level ITF draws, but a lot of early disappointments, many of her wins confined to qualifying tournaments, and no evident breakthrough in comparison to the previous year.

Makarova began her 2007 season in mid-January with a first-round loss in three sets to a fractionally lower-ranked player from the Czech Republic, Olga Blahotova, in a $25,000 event at Tampa, Florida.

Staying in Florida the following week to play the $25,000 tournament at Fort Walton Beach, she advanced to the quarter-finals after defeating higher-ranked Vilmarie Castellvi of Puerto Rico, 6–4 7–5 in Round Two, but then lost to a lower-ranked qualifier from Slovakia, Jana Juricova, who would go on as far as the final.

In mid-February, world ranked a career-best-equalling No. 241, she entered the qualifying draw for the $75,000 event at Midland, Missouri, and comfortably defeated Australian Lauren Breadmore and American Diana Ospina in straight sets before losing in the qualifying round to resurgent former Top-20 Dutch star Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, 3–6 7–6 6–2.

The following week, she lost in straight sets in the first round of a $50,000 tournament at St. Paul, Minnesota to upcoming American Madison Brengle. And a week later she fell in the first round of qualifying for the Tier III WTA event at Memphis, Toronto to German Angelika Bachmann after a close three-set match, 7–6 (1) 6–7 (8) 4–6.

At Minsk, Belarus in mid-March, she entered a $25,000 event and defeated both Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan and Evgenia Grebenyuk of Russia in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals, where she lost for the second time in three matches to Iryna Kuryanovich, 1–6 5–7.

At Moscow in early April, world-ranked a career-best 238th, she enjoyed arguably her most successful result on the circuit since her $75,000 semi-final performance in 2005 in capturing her career-first title at $25,000 level, with victories over Evgenia Grenbenyuk in the semi-finals, 6–1 6–4, and Evgeniya Rodina in the final, 6–4 6–7 (6) 6–3.

The following week, she made it to the quarter-finals of another $25,000 tournament at Putignano, Italy, where she defeated Nika Ožegović of Croatia in Round One and Italian Nathalie Vierin in Round Two before ceding a three-set victory to Estonian Maret Ani, 6–4 4–6 2–6.

In the middle of the month, at Civitavecchia, Italy, ranked a new career-high 214th, she lost in the first round of a $25,000 contest to former Top-150 German Sabine Klaschka, 4–6 5–7.

Then at the end of April, she came through qualifying into the main draw of a $50,000 contest at Torrent, Valencia, Italy, without dropping a set, and reached the quarter-finals of the main draw with wins over Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain, 7–5 6–7 6–3, and World No. 139 Sara Errani of Italy, 7–5 6–4. But she was squarely defeated in the quarter-finals by upcoming Romanian World No. 164 Ioana Raluca Olaru, 2–6 1–6.

The following week, she attempted to qualify for the Tier IV WTA tournament at Estoril, Portugal, and reached the qualifying round after dealing a straight sets defeat to World No. 123 Renata Voráčová of the Czech Republic, but then faced Arantxa Parra Santonja for the second successive week in the qualifying round, and this time lost to her 6–7(3) 3–6.

After taking the rest of May off from competition, she next returned to action at a $25,000 tournament in Moscow early in June, and won through to the final, defeating fellow-Russians World No. 235 Ekaterina Afinogenova 2–6 6–4 7–5 in the quarter-finals, and World No. 237 Alisa Kleybanova 7–5 6–4 in the semi-finals, before losing to upcoming Russian youngster Anastasia Pivovarova in the final, 3–6 5–7.

At the end of that same week, Makarova entered the qualifying draw for a Grand Slam for only the second time in her career to date, and for the first time since September 2005. It was to be the qualifying draw for the French Open at Roland Garros; and she knocked out Japan's World No. 145 Erika Takao in the first round of the draw, 6–2 6–2, but was defeated again by Olaru (now world-ranked 122, and well on her way to the Top 100) in the second, 1–6 5–7, so stopping two hurdles short of the main draw.

She jetted off to Zagreb, Croatia in time for the $50,000 tournament taking place simultaneously with the French Open, and, as a direct entrant, reached the semi-finals, defeating Belgian World No. 151 Caroline Maes in the second round after Maes retired 2–3 down in the first set. But Hungarian World No. 157 Kyra Nagy stopped her in the semi-finals, 7–5 6–2.

Makarova proceeded to skip the warm-up tournaments for the grass-court season, but nonetheless decided to enter qualifying for The Championships, Wimbledon at the start of July, where, world-ranked 179 following her recent unprecedented early summer successes, she reached the qualifying round, her best performance yet at a Grand Slam, after defeating World No. 113 Lilia Osterloh in two straight tie-breaks in the second round of qualifying. But then she lost in the qualifying round to Czech World No. 152 Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová.

Although she had managed to travel to Cuneo, Italy in time for a $50,000 tournament held there simultaneously with The Championships, Wimbledon, she lost 4–6 5–7 in the first round against Eva Birnerová of the Czech Republic, in her second successive loss to the Czech player, who was by now ranked World No. 97.

A week later, world-ranked 165th, she entered the qualifying draw for a $100,000 tournament for the first time in her career, at Biella, Italy, but lost in the qualifying round to lower-ranked Australian Christina Wheeler in three sets, despite having earlier enjoyed a notable victory in the first round of the qualifying draw against former Top 100 star Antonella Serra Zanetti, 7–5 7–6.

As July turned to August, she decided to enter the qualifying draws for a succession of higher-level WTA tournaments. At first, this decision did not appear to be working out to her advantage, as she lost in three sets in the first round of qualifying for the Tier I event at San Diego to World No. 124 Czech veteran Hana Šromová, 3–6 7–5 3–6.

But the following week, she did at least manage to qualify for the Tier II tournament at Los Angeles, California, following back-to-back straight-sets wins in the qualifying draw over world No. 106 Akgul Amanmuradova, 7–5 7–6 (8) and American World No. 95 Bethanie Mattek, 6–2 7–5. In the main draw, however, she was foiled at the first step by World No. 13 Elena Dementieva, 3–6 1–6.

Retreating to the $50,000 level the following week, she directly entered the main draw at Bronx, New York, and won through to the quarter-finals with straight sets wins over her compatriot, World No. 97 Ekaterina Bychkova, 6–3 7–6(4), and Ukrainian World No. 178 Mariya Koryttseva, 6–2 6–4. But she was confronted in the quarter-finals by American World No. 122 Ahsha Rolle, to whom she lost 4–6 6–0 5–7.

In September, ranked at a new career-high of World No. 156, she entered her third straight Grand Slam qualifying draw of the year at the 2007 US Open, and surpassed her previous best result set at The Championships, Wimbledon earlier that summer by winning three straight rounds to gain entry into the main draw. Her successively vanquished opponents were British rising star World No. 228 Melanie South, whom she defeated 4–6 6–1 6–4 in the first round, Chinese World No. 255 Sun Shengnan (6–4 7–6(3)), and, in more comprehensive fashion, French World No. 117 Stéphanie Foretz (6–2 6–1). She then proceeded to rise to the occasion of her Grand Slam main draw début by serving three-sets defeats to German World No. 124 Julia Schruff in the first round (6–1 0–6 6–2) and 28th seeded Japanese World No. 30 Ai Sugiyama in the second round (6–4 4–6 6–2). But she faced the steepest challenge of her career to date in the third round in the form of a head-to-head with Belgian reigning World No. 1 Justine Henin, and could take home only two games from the second set of their encounter, and none in the first.

Catapulted upwards to World No. 112 on the tail of this breakthrough Grand Slam run, the young Russian found herself gaining direct entry into a $100,000 ITF tournament at Kharkov, Ukraine the following week, but faced Ukrainian World No. 21 Alyona Bondarenko in the first round, and lost to her 5–7 3–6.

At the end of the month, she entered qualifying for a Tier II WTA tournament at Luxembourg, and reached the qualifying round with wins over World No. 146 Nika Ožegović of Croatia (6–2 6–2) and World No. 93 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland (6–1 2–6 6–3). But in the qualifying round she faced Alona's improved sister, World No. 45 Kateryna Bondarenko, and lost to her 4–6 1–6.

In mid-October, world-ranked No. 111, she entered the qualifying draw for the customary annual Tier I event at Moscow, but lost at the first stage to resurgent former Top-ten star Alicia Molik of Australia in three sets, 2–6 6–4 2–6.

A week later, she retreated again to the ITF circuit, and reached the semifinals of the $50,000 event at Saint Raphael, France after dishing out a double bagel to World No. 182 Ekaterina Dzehalevich in Round Two and then prevailing in a close three-set battle against Israeli World No. 88 Tzipora Obziler, 6–4 1–6 6–2, in the quarter-finals. But in the semi-finals she met Stéphanie Foretz again, and this time it was the French player who dominated their encounter, winning it 6–1 6–2 in a virtual mirror-image of her previous loss to Makarova.

In the last week of October, as a direct entrant into a $100,000 ITF tournament at Bratislava, Slovak Republic, ranked 110th, she defeated World No. 84 Anne Kremer of Luxembourg in two tie-breaks in the first round, before losing a very close three-setter to American Lilia Osterloh in the second, 6–1 5–7 4–6.

She played only one more tournament that year, a $50,000 ITF fixture at Minsk in mid-November, where, world-ranked at a new personal best of No. 107, she reached only the second round before World No. 188 Ekaterina Dzehalevich avenged her recent double-bagelling at the Russian's hands, upsetting her 2–6 6–3 6–2.

Makarova finished a year of much more progressive attainments world-ranked 110th, a gain of 154 places on her position twelve months previously, and with a 48-26 win-loss record to her credit, having again played a very full season on the circuit.

Makarova began the new year in the southern hemisphere by attempting to qualify for the Tier II event at Sydney, Australia in mid-January. Despite conquering American World No. 69 Laura Granville in the first round of qualifying for the loss of just three games, she could only manage four games herself against resurgent Ukrainian World No. 96 Tatiana Perebiynis in the second round.

Moving on to the Australian Open, where she obtained direct entry to the main draw for the first time in her career at any Grand Slam thanks to her newly elevated world ranking, she scored her career-first win over a current Top 20-ranked player in Round One as she took out World No. 19 Ágnes Szávay of Hungary, 3–6 6–4 7–5. Then in the second round she made short work of Austrian World No. 70 Yvonne Meusburger, defeating her 6–3 6–1. But in the third she lost 1–6 6–7(8) to World No. 14 Nadia Petrova.

Nonetheless, in scoring her second successive Grand Slam third round finish, she had succeeded in breaking into the World Top 100 for the first time in her career at No. 80 on February 4, 2008 in the wake of this event.

To the top



2008 French Open

Women's doubles semifinalist Alona Bondarenko

The 2008 French Open was a tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts. It was the 107th edition of the French Open, and the second Grand Slam event of the year. It took place at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France, from May 25 through June 8, 2008.

Justine Henin did not defend her trophy due to her retirement from the sport on May 14. Henin had the potential to become the only woman in the Open Era to win four consecutive French Open titles (currently, she shares the record of three with Monica Seles). Her retirement meant that the French Open would have a new women's champion in 2008, and Ana Ivanovic, the runner-up to Henin in 2007, was the victor. On the men's side, Rafael Nadal equalled Bjorn Borg's record of four consecutive titles in the open era. Other competitions included men and women's doubles, junior singles and doubles as well as wheelchair and 'veteran' competitions.

On May 14, 2008, less than two weeks before the start of the 2008 French Open, defending champion and World No. 1 Justine Henin, announced in a press conference her immediate retirement from the sport. Four-time winner in Roland-Garros, where she defeated Kim Clijsters in 2003, Mary Pierce in 2005, Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2006 and Ana Ivanovic in 2007, Henin became the first player, at 25, to stop her career while holding the number one rank. Despite undergoing a poor run in the 2008 season, Henin was still considered to be a strong favourite for the French Open crown. Her retirement allowed WTA No. 2 Maria Sharapova to be installed as the new No. 1, and become the top seed for the tournament. Henin's last match was against Dinara Safina, who went on to have a successful French Open, reaching the final. Henin returned at the end of the women's tournament, and presented new champion Ana Ivanovic with the trophy.

The 2008 French Open saw the last appearance on the ATP Tour of former World No. 1 Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten. The 31-year-old Brazilian champion, had been awarded a wild card to play his final tournament in Roland-Garros, where he won his three Grand Slam titles in 1997, 2000 and 2001. Kuerten played his first round, and final singles match on Court Philippe Chatrier against eighteenth-seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu. Kuerten conceded the victory in straight sets after a little less than two hours on the court. A ceremony followed, where Kuerten was awarded a trophy encasing the multiple layers of the French Open's clay courts. Kuerten played his last match in the men's doubles with Sebastien Grosjean. The pair was defeated after three sets by Florin Mergea & Horia Tecau on the score of 5–7, 6–3, 6–1, ending the very final appearance of Gustavo Kuerten on the tour.

As each year since 1981, three trophies are awarded during the tournament to the players of Roland-Garros: the Prix Orange (Orange Prize), awarded by the public to the player with the most sportsmanship, the Prix Citron (Lemon Prize), awarded by both the public and a journalists' association to the player with the strongest nature, and the Prix Bourgeon (Bud Prize), given by the journalists only to the most improved player of the year. In 2008, the Prix Orange was received, for the fourth year in a row, by Roger Federer, who came first of a tally with five choices, followed by Rafael Nadal, Gustavo Kuerten, James Blake and Carlos Moya. The Prix Citron was obtained by Fabrice Santoro, who preceded Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Juan Carlos Ferrero in the votes. The Prix Bourgeon was given by the press to Alize Cornet, ahead of Janko Tipsarevic and Ernests Gulbis. Gustavo Kuerten, already the recipient of three Prix Orange in 1998, 2002, and 2004, was presented a special ten-year prize for fair-play, in honor of his career and his successes at the French Open.

The Sunday start saw several seeds in the women's field go out, with Nicole Vaidisova losing to compatriot Iveta Benesova, and Virginie Razzano to Klara Zakopalova. Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams, Alize Cornet, Dominika Cibulkova and Caroline Wozniacki all advanced to the second round.

In the men's field, all eyes were turned to a clash between Paul-Henri Mathieu and former No. 1, 1997, 2000 and 2001 French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten, which saw the Frenchman winning 6–3, 6–4, 6–2, marking the closure of Kuerten's career. Third-seeded Novak Djokovic came back from a one set deficit to Denis Gremelmayr to make it into the second round. James Blake, David Nalbandian and Nicolas Almagro proceeded to the next round in straight sets, while Andy Murray needed almost three hours to beat French wild card Jonathan Eysseric 6–2, 1–6, 4–6, 6–0, 6–2. 1998 French Open winner Carlos Moya fell to qualifier Eduardo Schwank and Janko Tipsarevic lost to Nicolas Lapentti.

In the women's event, Jelena Jankovic, Karin Knapp, Agnes Szavay and Patty Schnyder all advanced, along with Venus Williams, who lost a set against Tzipora Obziler before eventually winning the match 6–3, 4–6, 6–2. Twenty-third seed Alona Bondarenko was upset by Petra Cetkovska in straight sets.

On the men's side, favorites Roger Federer, Fernando Gonzalez and Fernando Verdasco all won, as well as Tomas Berdych, who crushed his opponent Robert Smeets 6–1, 6–0, 6–0, and Tommy Robredo, who defeated 2004 French Open runner-up Guillermo Coria in four sets. Marcos Baghdatis, who had been injured since Indian Wells lost to Simone Bolelli, and 2007 French Open quarterfinalist Guillermo Canas was also upset in straight sets and three tie-breaks by Wayne Odesnik. The shock of the day came as French No. 1 Richard Gasquet announced his withdrawal a few hours before his match, due to a knee injury. Rain interrupted the play during the afternoon, causing all matches to be stopped and rescheduled to the third day.

Rain disturbed the play during the whole day, causing a late start, following which Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina qualified for the second round. After a long interruption in the afternoon, Agnieszka Radwanska, Ai Sugiyama and Amelie Mauresmo had just enough time to advance to the next round.

In the men's singles, Nikolay Davydenko and Stanislas Wawrinka won in straight sets, whereas Juan Monaco was upset by Robin Soderling, and Mario Ancic defeated Andreas Seppi. Another rain delay eventually forced the ongoing matches to be stopped and rescheduled to the fourth day.

Seventy-four matches were programmed to compensate for the rain delays, allowing Francesca Schiavone, Elena Dementieva, Flavia Pennetta, Katarina Srebotnik, Vera Zvonareva, Anna Chakvetadze, Nadia Petrova, Maria Kirilenko, Victoria Azarenka and Anabel Medina Garrigues to advance, along with World No. 1 Maria Sharapova, who was pushed for two-and-a-half hours, but came back from being led 3–4, 15–40, in the final set by compatriot Evgeniya Rodina, only No. 103 in the rankings, to win the match 6–1, 3–6, 8–6. Ninth seed Marion Bartoli, who led Casey Dellacqua when their match was stopped on day three, eventually lost, while Sybille Bammer fell to Aleksandra Wozniak, and Shahar Peer to Samantha Stosur. Agnieszka Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Patty Schnyder and Serena Williams all proceeded to the third round.

In the men's event, Radek Stepanek, Lleyton Hewitt, David Ferrer, Jarkko Nieminen, Dmitry Tursunov, Ivan Ljubicic, Mikhail Youzhny and Igor Andreev advanced, as well as defending champion Rafael Nadal, who survived a first set scare to eventually overpower qualifier Thomaz Bellucci 7–5, 6–3, 6–1. Meanwhile, 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero retired against Marcos Daniel due to a leg injury, and Alejandro Falla defeated Ivo Karlovic 3–6, 7–6(4), 7–6(6), 5–7, 6–4, after nearly four hours. Novak Djokovic, Nicolas Almagro and Andy Murray were among the first to qualify for the third round, alongside Paul-Henri Mathieu, who rallied from two-sets-to-love to overcome Oscar Hernandez in four hours and eleven minutes on the score of 2–6, 1–6, 6–4, 6–3, 6–2, and unseeded Michael Llodra, who upset Tomas Berdych in three hours and five sets 6–3, 4–6, 5–7, 6–3, 6–4.

Rain again caused some delays and interruptions during the day, but it did not prevent Venus Williams, Alize Cornet, Jelena Jankovic, Elena Dementieva, Karin Knapp, Flavia Pennetta, Dominika Cibulkova, Katarina Srebotnik, Dinara Safina, Francesca Schiavone, Victoria Azarenka, Agnes Szavay, Anabel Medina Garrigues and Svetlana Kuznetsova from qualifying for the next round. In the meantime, Amelie Mauresmo lost to Carla Suarez Navarro, Ai Sugiyama was defeated by Olga Govortsova, Maria Kirilenko was beaten by Jie Zheng, and Anna Chakvetadze became the highest seed to fall on day five, when she was upset by Kaia Kanepi in straight sets.

The men's field suffered several upsets as well, as James Blake lost to Ernests Gulbis, David Nalbandian was defeated by French wild card Jeremy Chardy, who climbed back from being two sets down to beat the Argentinian 3–6, 4–6, 6–2, 6–1, 6–2, in over three hours and Igor Andreev was upset by American Robby Ginepri. World No. 1 Roger Federer came back from losing the first set to dispatch his opponent Albert Montanes 6–7(5), 6–1, 6–0, 6–4, and advance to the third round along with Rafael Nadal, Mikhail Youzhny, Fernando Gonzalez, Jarkko Nieminen, Dmitry Tursunov, Ivan Ljubicic, Stanislas Wawrinka, Fernando Verdasco, Nikolay Davydenko, David Ferrer, Lleyton Hewitt and Tommy Robredo.

The first matches of the doubles competition were played, with World No. 1 team Liezel Huber & Cara Black, Mariya Koryttseva & Vladimira Uhlirova, and Shuai Peng & Tiantian Sun to be among the first to advance to the second round of the women's doubles.

On the men's side, Lukas Dlouhy & Leander Paes, Jonas Bjorkman & Kevin Ullyett, Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic, Mariusz Fyrstenberg & Marcin Matkowski, Marcelo Melo & Andre Sa, Jonathan Erlich & Andy Ram, and No. 1 duo Bob & Mike Bryan all proceeded to the next round, while defending champion Mark Knowles, who partnered Mahesh Bhupathi this year, was defeated in straight sets by Stephen Huss & Ross Hutchins, and 2005 and 2006 champion Max Mirnyi, who teamed with Jamie Murray, lost in three sets to Rik de Voest & Robin Haase.

On the women's side, Nadia Petrova, Maria Sharapova and Vera Zvonareva all won their second round matches. Ana Ivanovic, victor of Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Alize Cornet, and Patty Schnyder all advanced to the fourth round. They were joined by twenty-seventh seed Katarina Srebotnik, who produced the first big upset of the day by eliminating 2002 French Open champion, fifth seed and favorite Serena Williams 6–4, 6–4, and twenty-sixth seed Flavia Pennetta, who defeated 2002 French Open runner-up, eighth seed and other favorite Venus Williams 7–5, 6–3, marking the first time since Roland-Garros 2004 both Williams sisters lost on the same day.

In the men's draw, Novak Djokovic and Paul-Henri Mathieu advanced to the fourth round, along with Rafael Nadal, who breezed by Jarkko Nieminen, Nicolas Almagro, who overcame Andy Murray in almost three hours, on the score of 6–3, 6–7(3), 6–3, 7–5, Fernando Verdasco, who defeated Mikhail Youzhny 7–6(5), 5–7, 7–5, 6–1, and French wild card Jeremy Chardy, who continued his run in the tournament by upsetting Dmitry Tursunov.

In the women's doubles field, favorites Yung-jan Chan & Chia-jung Chuang, Nathalie Dechy & Elena Likhovtseva, Tatiana Poutchek & Anastasia Rodionova, Zi Yan & Jie Zheng, Dinara Safina & Agnes Szavay, Victoria Azarenka & Shahar Peer, Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur, Kveta Peschke & Rennae Stubbs and Katarina Srebotnik & Ai Sugiyama all proceeded to the second round, whereas defending champions Alicia Molik & Mara Santangelo were upset in their first match by unseeded Sara Errani & Bethanie Mattek.

Christopher Kas & Rogier Wassen, Jeff Coetzee & Wesley Moodie, and Simon Aspelin & Julian Knowle were among the teams advancing to the second round on the men's side, as Lukas Dlouhy & Leander Paes won their second round match. Martin Damm & Pavel Vizner were defeated in straight sets by Lukas Arnold Ker & Juan Ignacio Chela, as Arnaud Clement & Michael Llodra, who lost to Pablo Cuevas & Luis Horna, while Mariusz Fyrstenberg & Marcin Matkowski lost their second round encounter to Michal Mertinak & Jean-Claude Scherrer.

Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Jankovic qualified for the fourth round alongside Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva and Vera Zvonareva, at the expense of Francesca Schiavone, Nadia Petrova and Dominika Cibulkova. WTA No. 1 Maria Sharapova was again pushed in the first set by Karin Knapp, before crushing her opponent in the second, to win 7–6(4), 6–0. World No. 49 Kaia Kanepi, victor of Chakvetadze on day five, pursued her run in the tournament by upsetting Anabel Medina Garrigues in three sets 6–1, 6–7(5), 7–5, and Agnes Szavay was defeated by unseeded Petra Kvitova in three sets in the last match of the day.

In the men's field, twenty-first seed Radek Stepanek dispatched Tommy Robredo in straight sets 6–3, 6–2, 6–1, and Roger Federer advanced past Mario Ancic in little more than an hour-and-a-half, whereas his compatriot and ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who led two-sets-to-love and 3–0 in the third, saw his adversary, Chilean Fernando Gonzalez make a comeback to eventually win the match 5–7, 2–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4, in just over three hours. Meanwhile, Lleyton Hewitt and David Ferrer battled through five sets, breaking each other repeatedly, until the Spaniard gained the final advantage, breaking the Australian at 4–4 in the fifth set, which allowed him to win 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4. Former Top Ten member Ivan Ljubicic produced the biggest upset of the men's field thus far, coming back from a two sets deficit to defeat World No. 4, 2007 French Open semifinalist Nikolay Davydenko 4–6, 2–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4, and obtain his first fourth round spot in a Grand Slam event since the 2006 French Open.

In the doubles, Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko, and Anabel Medina Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual won their first round matches, while Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur, Mariya Koryttseva & Vladimira Uhlirova, Yung-jan Chan & Chia-jung Chuang, Cara Black & Liezel Huber, Shuai Peng & Tiantian Sun, Victoria Azarenka & Shahar Peer, Zi Yan & Jie Zheng advanced to the third round. Nathalie Dechy & Elena Likhovtseva were defeated by unseeded team Sorana-Mihaela Cirstea & Aravane Rezai, second-seeded Katarina Srebotnik & Ai Sugiyama lost to Ashley Harkleroad & Galina Voskoboeva, and Iveta Benesova & Janette Husarova were beaten by Natalie Grandin & Raquel Kops-Jones.

World No. 1 doubles duo and 2003 French Open champions Bob & Mike Bryan cruised to the third round of the men's draw, along with Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic, Jonathan Erlich & Andy Ram, and Simon Aspelin & Julian Knowle. Frantisek Cermak & Jordan Kerr won one of the last first round encounters. Favorites Jeff Coetzee & Wesley Moodie were upset in straight sets by Serbian pair Janko Tipsarevic & Victor Troicki, Brazilian team Marcelo Melo & Andre Sa lost to Rajeev Ram & Bryan Reynolds, and fifteen-seeded Christopher Kas & Rogier Wassen retired against tall opponents John Isner & Sam Querrey.

Finally, in the mixed doubles competition, No. 1 seeds Katarina Srebotnik & Nenad Zimonjic breezed by their opponents to advance to the second round along with Kveta Peschke & Pavel Vizner and Cara Black & Paul Hanley. Eighth seeds Alicia Molik & Jonas Bjorkman were eliminated by Janette Husarova & Andre Sa, fourth-seeded pair Chia-jung Chuang & Jonathan Erlich lost to Olga Govortsova & Daniel Martin, and seventh seeds Lisa Raymond & Simon Aspelin to Kateryna Bondarenko & Jordan Kerr. Unseeded defending champions Nathalie Dechy & Andy Ram were upset, in the last mixed doubles match of the day, by Dominika Cibulkova & Gael Monfils.

WTA No. 2 and 2007 Roland-Garros runner-up Ana Ivanovic left no hopes to opponent Petra Cetkovska as the Serb double-bageled her way into the quarterfinals in less than an hour. Jelena Jankovic faced more difficulties as she had to battle during more than two hours against fourteenth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska to win only 6–3, 7–6(3), and secure a quarterfinal spot, along with Patty Schnyder, who defeated Katarina Srebotnik. Meanwhile, twenty-sixth seed Flavia Pennetta lost in straight sets to nineteen-year-old Spanish qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro, in her first ever Grand Slam appearance.

In the men's draw, nineteen-year-old Latvian, unseeded Ernests Gulbis was the first player to qualify for the round of eight, by defeating Michael Llodra in straight sets. He was followed by Novak Djokovic, who defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu 6–4, 6–3, 6–4, to reach his third consecutive quarterfinal in Roland-Garros, Nicolas Almagro, whose opponent, the French wild card Jeremy Chardy held set points in all three sets, but eventually lost on the score of 7–6(0), 7–6(7), 7–5, and ATP No. 2 and defending champion Rafael Nadal, who crushed compatriot and twenty-second seed Fernando Verdasco 6–1, 6–0, 6–2, in little less than two hours.

In the women's doubles, Tatiana Poutchek & Anastasia Rodionova were upset in three sets by Casey Dellacqua & Francesca Schiavone in their second round match, while Anabel Medina Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual, Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko, Kveta Peschke & Rennae Stubbs, and Dinara Safina & Agnes Szavay won theirs. In the third round encounters, sixth seeds Victoria Azarenka & Shahar Peer defeated Chinese team Shuai Peng & Tiantian Sun after three sets, Cara Black & Liezel Huber beat Mariya Koryttseva & Vladimira Uhlirova, and unseeded pair Nuria Llagostera Vives & Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez upset Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur. Unseeded Ashley Harkleroad & Galina Voskoboeva were the fourth team of the day to advance to the quarterfinals.

On the men's side, Bob & Mike Bryan, and Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic qualified without problems for the quarterfinals, alongside Jonas Bjorkman & Kevin Ullyett, whereas ninth seeds Lukas Dlouhy & Leander Paes were eliminated by South American duo Pablo Cuevas & Luis Horna, and Australian Open champions Jonathan Erlich & Andy Ram lost to Bruno Soares & Dusan Vemic. Unseeded Belgians Steve Darcis & Olivier Rochus also secured a quarterfinal spot. Meanwhile, thirteenth-seeded Frantisek Cermak & Jordan Kerr were knocked out of the second round by Igor Kunitsyn & Dmitry Tursunov.

In the mixed doubles, Zi Yan & Mark Knowles, and Victoria Azarenka & Bob Bryan advanced past the first round. Second-seeded Kveta Peschke & Pavel Vizner proceeded to the quarterfinals, alongside unseeded teams Janette Husarova & Andre Sa, Kateryna Bondarenko & Jordan Kerr, and wild cards Virginie Razzano & Rogier Wassen. Despite their second round win in the morning, Zi Yan & Mark Knowles decided to withdraw from the mixed competition, allowing Liezel Huber & Jamie Murray to secure a quarterfinal spot.

In the women's draw, Elena Dementieva came back from the loss of the second set to defeat compatriot Vera Zvonareva 6–4, 1–6, 6–2, and reach her first quarterfinal spot in a Grand Slam since 2006. Berlin Tier I titlist, and thirteenth seed Dinara Safina saved one match point at 3–5 in the second set and overcame a 2–5 deficit in the second set tie-break, before climbing back to upset World No. 1 Maria Sharapova on the score of 6–7(6), 7–6(5), 6–2, and set up a rematch of the Berlin final against Dementieva.

After a difficult first set, Fernando Gonzalez cruised to the quarterfinals beating Robby Ginepri 7–5, 6–3, 6–1, in less than two hours. World No. 1 Roger Federer struggled during almost three hours, but eventually defeated unseeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau, by breaking in the last game of every set to win the match 6–4, 7–5, 7–5. Twenty-one-year-old, ATP No. 59 Gael Monfils was the only French player out of the five present in the round of sixteen to advance, as he upset his opponent Ivan Ljubicic on the score of 7–6(1), 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, to reach his first quarterfinal in a Grand Slam event. David Ferrer's 4–6, 6–2, 1–6, 6–3, 6–3 win over Radek Stepanek allowed him to become the last man qualified for the singles' quarterfinals.

Unseeded Russian pair Igor Kunitsyn & Dmitry Tursunov advanced, and were shortly followed by the unseeded team, Janko Tipsarevic & Victor Troicki, who upset fifth seeds Simon Aspelin & Julian Knowle in three close sets, to complete the men's doubles' quarterfinals' line-up. Unseeded South American team Pablo Cuevas & Luis Horna produced the biggest upset of the men's draw in the first quarterfinal match, by knocking out of the tournament World No. 1 duo Bob & Mike Bryan 6–3, 5–7, 7–6(1). In the second quarterfinal of the day, Bruno Soares & Dusan Vemic upset eight seeds Jonas Bjorkman & Kevin Ullyett, to advance to the semis.

On the women's side, Yung-jan Chan & Chia-jung Chuang proceeded to the quarterfinals, alongside Anabel Medina Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual who beat Zi Yan & Jie Zheng, unseeded Casey Dellacqua & Francesca Schiavone, who upset third seeds Kveta Peschke & Rennae Stubbs, and Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko, who defeated ninth-seeded Dinara Safina & Agnes Szavay.

Mixed doubles sixth seeds Cara Black & Paul Hanley were defeated by Jie Zheng & Mahesh Bhupathi in their second round encounter.

In the women's singles, WTA No. 49, twenty-two-year-old Estonian Kaia Kanepi defeated unseeded Petra Kvitova 6–3, 3–6, 6–1, to advance to the quarterfinals, her best result thus far in a Grand Slam tournament. World No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova matched her 2007 Roland-Garros performance by advancing to the quarterfinals, easily defeating sixteenth-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6–2, 6–3. The first quarterfinal saw the highest seed remaining, Ana Ivanovic, beat tenth seed Patty Schnyder 6–3, 6–2, to reach her second consecutive semifinal at the French Open. She was joined in the afternoon by another 2007 French Open semifinalist, World No. 3 and Serbian No. 2 Jelena Jankovic, who dispatched nineteen-year-old Spanish qualifier Carla Suarez Navarro 6–3, 6–2, in little more than an hour.

After three hours of play, ATP No. 3 Novak Djokovic came out the winner of a close three-setter against nineteen-year-old unseeded Latvian Ernests Gulbis, on the score of 7–5, 7–6(3), 7–5, to reach his fifth consecutive Grand Slam semifinal. On the Philippe Chatrier central court, defending champion Rafael Nadal crushed compatriot Nicolas Almagro 6–1, 6–1, 6–1, in less than two hours, to set-up a rematch of the Hamburg Masters' semifinal, and of last year's French Open semifinal, both against Djokovic.

No. 1 seeds Cara Black & Liezel Huber defeated all-Spanish team Nuria Llagostera Vives & Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in straight sets, in the first quarterfinal encounter of the women's doubles. On the other side of the draw, Australian Open champions Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko also advanced, beating unseeded pair Ashley Harkleroad & Galina Voskoboeva. Unseeded Casey Dellacqua & Francesca Schiavone were the third duo to qualify for the semifinals, upsetting sixth seeds Victoria Azarenka & Shahar Peer, and were followed by Anabel Medina Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual, who defeated fourth seeds Yung-jan Chan & Chia-jung Chuang after three close sets and more than three hours of play.

Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic, the only seeded players remaining in the men's doubles draw, advanced to the semifinals past Belgians Steve Darcis & Olivier Rochus in straight sets, while Igor Kunitsyn & Dmitry Tursunov continued their run in the tournament and completed the semifinal line-up, by defeating Janko Tipsarevic & Victor Troicki.

In the first quarterfinal matches of the mixed doubles, unseeded team Jie Zheng & Mahesh Bhupathi defeated wild cards Virginie Razzano & Rogier Wassen, and second seeds Kveta Peschke & Pavel Vizner overcame Janette Husarova & Andre Sa. Meanwhile, first-seeded Katarina Srebotnik & Nenad Zimonjic won their second round match.

The third quarter of the women's draw was a rematch of the 2001 French Open girls' singles final, but the unseeded twenty-two-year-old Estonian Kaia Kanepi, victor in 2001, was defeated this time by her opponent Svetlana Kuznetsova, now the WTA No. 4, in little less than an-hour-and-a-half, on the score of 7–5, 6–2, allowing the Russian to reach her fourth Grand Slam semifinal, and her second at the French Open, after an appearance in 2006. Dinara Safina repeated her drama-filled performance of the fourth round as she saved one match point against Elena Dementieva at 3–5 in the second set, before climbing back and crushing her adversary in the final set to claim a 4–6, 7–6(5), 6–0 victory, secure her first Grand Slam semifinal spot, and set an all-Russian clash against Kuznetsova.

Fernando Gonzalez made a powerful start at the beginning of his quarterfinal against Roger Federer, winning the first set 6–2 in only twenty-four minutes, before the World No. 1 took back the control of the match and easily won the following sets, to end the encounter on the score of 2–6, 6–2, 6–3, 6–4, and advance to his sixteenth consecutive Grand Slam semifinal, his fourth in Roland-Garros. In the last quarterfinal of the men's singles, ATP No. 59, twenty-one-year-old Gael Monfils, winner of the Juniors competition at the 2004 French Open, became the first French player to go past the round of eight in Roland-Garros since 2001, as he upset fifth seed David Ferrer 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 6–1, to set a semifinal against Federer, already the third encounter between the two players in 2008.

Unseeded team Casey Dellacqua & Francesca Schiavone proceeded to their first Grand Slam final by defeating Australian Open champions Alona & Kateryna Bondarenko 6–2, 6–1. In the second semifinal of the women's doubles, World No. 1 Cara Black & Liezel Huber were upset in straight sets 6–4, 7–6(2), by Anabel Medina Garrigues, who advanced to her first Grand Slam final, & Virginia Ruano Pascual, who reached her fifteenth Grand Slam final, and her seventh at the French Open.

In the mixed competition, third seeds Victoria Azarenka & Bob Bryan were the last players to qualify for the quarterfinals, by beating Vladimira Uhlirova & Mariusz Fyrstenberg, while first seeds Katarina Srebotnik & Nenad Zimonjic defeated unseeded Kateryna Bondarenko & Jordan Kerr to be the third team to advance to the semifinals. Victoria Azarenka & Bob Bryan played a second match at the end of the day, and proceeded past unseeded Liezel Huber & Jamie Murray to complete the semifinals line-up.

On "Ladies Days", Berlin champion, WTA No. 14 Dinara Safina advanced to her first ever Grand Slam final, dominating World No. 4 and 2006 French Open runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova during nearly an-hour-and-a-half, to eventually claim victory on the score of 6–3, 6–2. Kuznetsova's loss, following Sharapova's fourth round exit, meant that the second semifinal between Australian Open finalist and Indian Wells Tier I titlist Ana Ivanovic and Rome winner Jelena Jankovic was bound to decide who would be the next World No. 1. Jankovic took the first advantage in the match, leading 4–2 when Ivanovic made a comeback and snatched the first set, extending her dominance to the midst of the second, when she saw her adversary win seven games in a row, even the score to one-set-all, and take the early advantage in the final set. Ivanovic broke back once to 3–3 but lost her serve, before breaking again to even the score at 4–4, win her serve, and take Jankovic's to finally win, after over two hours of play, on the score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–4, advance to her third Grand Slam final, her second consecutive in Roland-Garros, and be assured to become the new World No. 1 on June 9, 2008.

The first semifinal of the men's doubles, that opposed unseeded Uruguyan Pablo Cuevas & Peruvian Luis Horna to alternates Brazilian Bruno Soares & Serbian Dusan Vemic, lasted almost three hours and extended to a third set tie-break, until Cuevas & Horna took a final advantage, to score a 6–4, 6–7(6), 7–6(6) victory, and advance to their first Grand Slam final. After losing the first set to unseeded Russian pair Igor Kunitsyn & Dmitry Tursunov, second seeded Daniel Nestor, the defending champion, & new partner Nenad Zimonjic battled to take back the advantage, ultimately winning the match, and reach their first Grand Slam final together on the score of 4–6, 6–4, 6–4.

In the mixed category, Jie Zheng & Mahesh Bhupathi withdrew, consequently offering a final spot to their opponents Katarina Srebotnik & Nenad Zimonjic, who reached their third consecutive French Open final together, having previously won in 2006, and lost in 2007. The second semifinal was played in the afternoon, and saw Victoria Azarenka & Bob Bryan defeat Czech team Kveta Peschke & Pavel Vizner 4–6, 6–3, 10–8, to advance to their first Grand Slam mixed doubles final together.

The first men's singles semifinal, which opposed World No. 2 and defending champion Rafael Nadal to World No. 3 and Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, saw the Spaniard dominating his opponent throughout two-and-a-half sets, until Djokovic made a comeback, breaking Nadal several times to extend the match to a third set tie-break. Nadal won six consecutive points in the tie-break, to finally win the encounter at his fourth match point on the score of 6–4, 6–2, 7–6(3), to advance to his fourth consecutive French Open final. World No. 1 Roger Federer made a strong start in the second semifinal that opposed him to ATP No. 59 Gael Monfils, winning the first set in thirty minutes and breaking early in the second, before Monfils fought back, and broke the Swiss to snatch the second set. Federer cruised again in the third, before the match evened in the fourth, each player saving break points, until Federer took the Frenchman's serve at 6–5, to win on the final score of 6–2, 5–7, 6–3, 7–5, after three hours of play, and advance to his sixteenth Grand Slam final, his third consecutive one in Roland-Garros, a third time against Nadal.

Tenth-seeded, all Spanish-team Anabel Medina Garrigues & Virginia Ruano Pascual competed with unseeded Australian Casey Dellacqua & Italian Francesca Schiavone for the women's doubles title. Dellacqua & Schiavone commanded the game in the first set, winning 6–2 in nearly forty minutes, before their adversaries broke to 6–5 in the second, and won their serve to come back to one-set-all. Garrigues & Ruano Pascual broke in the first game of the third set, kept their advantage up to 4–3, when Dellacqua & Schiavone broke back to 4–all. Garrigues & Ruano Pascual managed to immediately take their opponents' serve again and keep theirs to win the match 2–6, 7–5, 6–4, after two-hours-and-a-half. In becoming the 2008 French Open women's doubles champions, Anabel Medina Garrigues won her first ever Grand Slam doubles title, & Virginia Ruano Pascual, a fifteen-time Grand Slam doubles finalist, holder of eight titles, won her fifth victory at the French Open.

The final of the mixed doubles took place between first seeds Slovene Katarina Srebotnik & Serbian Nenad Zimonjic, and third seeds Victoria Azarenka, from Belarus & Bob Bryan, from the USA. After easily winning the first set 6–2 in only twenty-two minutes, Azarenka & Bryan saw their adversaries even the competition, as Srebotnik & Zimonjic held their serve to a second set tie-break, in which they even took the early advantage, leading 4–3. Azarenka & Bryan were able to break back, and win four points in a row to eventually claim victory on the score of 6–2, 7–6(5), in little more than an hour. Victoria Azarenka, already the 2007 US Open mixed doubles champion, and the 2007 Australian Open mixed doubles runner-up, & Bob Bryan, finalist of the mixed doubles competition in Wimbledon 2006, and winner at the US Open in 2003, 2004, and 2006, won their first Grand Slam title together, becoming the new Roland-Garros mixed doubles champions.

The women's singles final was played by then WTA No. 2 Ana Ivanovic, the 2007 French Open and 2008 Australian Open runner-up, assured to become World No. 1 on June 9, 2008, and thirteenth seed Dinara Safina, the Berlin Tier I titlist, in her first ever Grand Slam final appearance. Ivanovic made the strongest start in the match, taking Safina's serve in the opening game, and once more at 3–1, to open a 4–1 lead in the first set. Safina started to take back the advantage, as she broke the Serbian twice and won her own serve to come back at 4–4. Ivanovic immediately recovered her break, and eventually kept her serve at 5–4, to close the first set on the score of 6–4. Ivanovic broke the Russian for a 2–1 lead in the second set, and continued to dominate Safina up to the seventh game, where she held double-break balls at 4–2. Af the end of this long game, in which both players repeatedly took and lost the advantage, Safina ultimately kept her serve, but the Russian was unable to attack Ivanovic in the following game, and found herself serving to stay in the match at 3–5. The Serbian pressured Safina, and eventually broke her a final time, to win the match on the score of 6–4, 6–3, after ninety-eight minutes of play. Both players received their trophies from the hands of former World No. 1 and 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2007 French Open champion Justine Henin in the awards ceremony that followed, which crowned Ivanovic, a first-time Grand Slam winner, as the new Roland-Garros women's singles champion.

The men's doubles final featured second seeds Canadian Daniel Nestor, a nine-time Grand Slam doubles finalist, winner of the 2007 French Open with Mark Knowles, & Serbian Nenad Zimonjic, a two-time doubles final runner-up in Wimbledon, and unseeded South American duo, composed of Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, No. 50 in the doubles rankings, & Peruvian Luis Horna, No. 43 in the doubles rankings, on their first ever Grand Slam final appearance separately and together. The unseeded South Americans completely dominated the seasoned champions during the final, breaking them twice in each set, never losing their serve themselves, to crush Nestor & Zimonjic in only fifty-six minutes, on the score of 6–2, 6–3, and win their first doubles title together. Pablo Cuevas & Luis Horna knocked out four seeded teams, Arnaud Clement & Michael Llodra, Lukas Dlouhy & Leander Paes, World No. 1 pair Bob & Mike Bryan, and ultimately Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic on their way to becoming the first South American team to win a Men's Doubles Grand Slam title, and the 2008 French Open men's doubles champions.

The men's singles final took place at 15:00 (UTC+1) on the Philippe Chatrier Central Court, and featured, for the third straight year after 2006 and 2007, the World No. 1 and holder of twelve Grand Slam titles, Roger Federer, and ATP No. 2 Rafael Nadal, the winner in Roland-Garros since 2005. Federer decided to serve after being given the choice, but the Spaniard immediately attacked the Swiss' serve, and broke him, winning his own service game to quickly open a 2–0 lead. Though Federer won his following serve, he was not able in the rest of the set to convert the few break points he had on Nadal's serve, or win his own service games, allowing the Spaniard to close the first set in thirty-two minutes, on the score of 6–1. Despite being broken in the beginning of the second set, Federer started to fight back, as he finally took Nadal's serve, came back to 2–2, and held to 3–3. After a long game on Federer's serve, Nadal finally broke once more, and rapidly finished the set on the score of 6–3, after forty-nine minutes. There was no competition in what would become the final set as Nadal left no chances to Federer, and the Swiss was not able to find a second breath to start a comeback, not winning any game in the twenty-seven minutes set, and suffering a bagel for the first time in a Grand Slam since a 1999 Roland-Garros first round loss to Pat Rafter. Particularly relevant to the outcome of their meeting were Federer's thirty-five unforced errors to Nadal's seven during the brief match which never allowed him to gain a foothold. Rafael Nadal claimed his fourth consecutive French Open crown, on the final score of 6–1, 6–3, 6–0, and in becoming the 2008 French Open champion equalled Bjorn Borg's record of four straight Roland-Garros titles, and extended his win-loss record at the tournament to 28–0.

Withdrawals: Andy Roddick, Tatiana Golovin, Sania Mirza, Lindsay Davenport, Daniela Hantuchova, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet.

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Marina Erakovic

Infobox last updated on: February 23, 2009.

Marina Erakovic (Croatian: Marina Eraković, born March 6, 1988) is a professional tennis player from New Zealand. She was born in Split, Croatia, however her roots are of Montenegrin descent. She emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand in 1994 as a 6 year old with her family. She attended Glendowie College in Auckland. Her career high WTA doubles ranking is World No. 43, achieved on October 27, 2008.

She teamed with Michaëlla Krajicek to win the 2004 US Open junior doubles title and Victoria Azarenka to win 2005 Australian Open junior doubles title. Erakovic was the runner-up in the 2004 and 2005 Wimbledon junior doubles with Monica Niculescu.

In 2005 and 2006, Erakovic won five International Tennis Federation singles titles. She was a wildcard entry in the 2005 ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand where she lost in the second round. She lost in the second round of qualifying for the 2006 French Open.

Erakovic lost in the second round of qualifying for the Australian Open, the first round of qualifying for the French Open, the first round of qualifying for Wimbledon, and the third round of qualifying for the U.S. Open. She was a wildcard entry in the ASB Classic in Auckland where she lost in the second round.

Erakovic received another wild card into the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand where she defeated World No. 67 American Ashley Harkleroad in the second round 7–6(5), 7–5 to reach the quarterfinals for the first time. This was the best result at this event by a New Zealand tennis player since 1990 and was the first time since 1990 that a New Zealand female tennis player had reached the singles semifinals of a Women's Tennis Association (WTA) event. In her quarterfinal match, Erakovic defeated the top seed and World No. 22 Russian Vera Zvonareva 6–3, 2–6, 7–6(5) but lost in the semifinals to World No. 90 French player Aravane Rezaï 6–3, 7–5.

Erakovic then lost in the first round of qualifying for the Australian Open.

At the Cellular South Cup in Memphis, Tennessee, Erakovic won five qualifying and main draw matches before defeating Russian Alla Kudryavtseva in the quarterfinals 4–6, 6–3, 6–3. She then lost to Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals 6–0, 6–3. Following this tournament, Erakovic's world ranking entered the top 100 for the first time.

Erakovic lost in the first round of qualifying for the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California.

At the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Erakovic initially was awarded a wildcard into the qualifying portion of the tournament but was upgraded to a main draw wildcard after a withdrawal. Erakovic defeated World No. 34 Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands in the second round 6–2, 3–6, 6–2 to set up a third round match with Venus Williams. Erakovic then lost the match 6–2, 6–1.

Erakovic then lost in the second round of the ITF Circuit tournament in Monzón, Spain, the first round of the Tier IV Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Fes, Morocco, and the first round of the Tier III Istanbul Cup. In doubles, Erakovic and Polona Hercog were the runners-up at the Istanbul Cup.

At the French Open, World No. 80 Erakovic defeated World No. 56 Tathiana Garbin in the first round 6–7(9), 6–3, 6–3 before losing to third-seeded Jelena Janković in the second round 6–2, 7–6(5). She was the first New Zealand-raised player to make the main draw of a Grand Slam singles tournament since 1993.

On grass, Erakovic won the Surbiton tournament in London, her ninth career ITF singles title, and then reached the semifinals at the DFS Classic in Birmingham, United Kingdom, which was her third career WTA tournament semifinal.

At the Ordina Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, Erakovic lost in the second round of the singles competition but won her first WTA doubles title with partner Michaella Krajicek.

At Wimbledon, Erakovic played her second career Grand Slam singles tournament. She defeated Krajicek in the first round and Julia Goerges in the second round before losing to Tamarine Tanasugarn in the third round 4–6, 6–4, 6–4. She was the first New Zealand player to reach the third round at Wimbeldon since Belinda Cordwell in 1988.

Erakovic lost in the first round of five consecutive tournaments after Wimbledon. She played for New Zealand at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, where she lost in the first round to wildcard Ayumi Morita from Japan. At the US Open, Erakovic lost in the first round to Pauline Parmentier of France 6–3, 7–6(2) but reached the doubles quarterfinals with new partner Jelena Kostanić Tosic. This was the first time a New Zealander had reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament in either singles or doubles since 1994.

Erakovic began her 2009 season by participating in the 2009 ASB Classic. Playing in Auckland, in her home country of New Zealand, she ended her run of first-round exits by defeating Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain in the first round 7-5 6-4. In the second round, she lost to top-seed Elena Dementieva of Russia 6-2 6-3. At the Moorilla Hobart International, she was defeated by fourth-seeded Zheng Jie, 6-1 4-6 6-1 in the first round.

At the 2009 Australian Open, in her first participation in the event, Erakovic advanced to the second round by beating Petra Cetkovska 6-4, 7-5. In the second round she was defeated in a lengthy 2hr and 16min 3 setter by Lucie Safarova 6-1, 3-6, 9-7.

In February, at the Cellular South Cup in Memphis, Tennesse, Erakovic defeated American players Julie Ditty 7-6(4), 6-0 and Melanie Oudin 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 before falling to Britain's Anne Keothavong 2-6, 6-1, 2-6 in the quarterfinals.

At the 2009 Monterrey Open in Mexico, a new event on the WTA tour, she lost in the first round to Maria Kirilenko, 4-6, 3-6. She also played doubles at the event with Safarova, losing in the semifinals to the Czech pair of Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

At the 2009 BNP Paribas Open, the first Premier Mandatory event of the year on the WTA Tour Erakovic lost in the first round to Tsvetana Pironkova 4-6, 1-6. She was then soundly beaten in the first round of the next Premier Mandatory event of the year, the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open by qualifier Karolina Sprem 0-6, 2-6.

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Source : Wikipedia