Venus Williams

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Posted by pompos 03/09/2009 @ 18:11

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Venus breaks on through - SkySports
Venus Williams got her French Open campaign up and running with a 6-1 4-6 6-2 win over fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Monday. Clay is comfortably Williams' least favourite surface and she has only progressed beyond the quarter-finals once at...
Americans appreciably better in Day 2 - ESPN
By Greg Garber PARIS -- It's hard to believe, but Venus Williams has been coming to Roland Garros for 13 years now. In the midst of this undeniably fallow period for Americans at Roland Garros, there is some comfort in that. Bertrand Guay/Getty Images...
Safina in devastating form - BreakingNews.ie
While fellow title contender Venus Williams, the third seed, struggled into the second round, Safina provided further evidence she is ready to claim her first grand slam title to justify her world number one ranking. The Russian ruthlessly saw off...
French Open draw is set. - WJBD Online
That means they can only meet in the final at Roland Garros, where Serena beat Venus in the 2002 finale. Second-seeded Serena, a two-time French Open champion, begins play against Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic. Third-seeded Venus Williams will...
Nadal, Federer advance to 2nd round at French Open - The Associated Press
3 Venus Williams and unseeded Maria Sharapova. Nadal's win bettered the French Open record held by Bjorn Borg, who won 28 straight from 1978-81. Nadal also equaled the overall tournament record, matching the 29 straight that Chris Evert won between...
Venus stays cool to reach second round in Paris - guardian.co.uk
PARIS, May 25 (Reuters) - Venus Williams kept a cool head in scorching conditions to reach the second round of the French Open with a 6-1 4-6 6-2 win over fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Monday. The third seed appeared to be in a hurry to get...
V. Williams takes over No. 3 world ranking - The Money Times
St. Petersburg -- Venus Williams jumped to No. 3 in the latest WTA tennis rankings, marking her highest ranking since 2002. Williams went from fifth to third in the rankings released Monday by the WTA. She is 19-4 this year with a pair of tournament...
Venus Williams makes winning start at Italian Open - The Associated Press
ROME (AP) — Venus Williams needed three sets to win her opening match at the Italian Open on Monday, beating Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. "I was OK with the match being a little longer," Williams said. "I just I want to hit balls...
Venus Williams ousted in Madrid - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Venus Williams joined sister Serena on the sidelines of the Madrid Open on Tuesday after the third-ranked American player lost 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to Alisa Kleybanova. Serena, who retired from her match Monday because of a right knee injury, watched from the...
LIVE from the French Open - ESPN
Venus Williams won, as did Maria Sharapova. Andy Roddick, laying right now, just won his second set against French wildcard Romain Jouan. Send me your questions ASAP and let's get on with it.... mike (camp hill, pa: do you think serena will make it to...

Venus Williams

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

Infobox last updated on: March 2 2009.

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

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

She is the older sister of Serena Williams.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Williams reached the semifinals of the Australian Open for the first time, where she lost to World No. 1 Martina Hingis 6–1, 6–1. She also reached the semifinals of the Tier I Tennis Masters Series tournament in Indian Wells, California, where she defaulted her match with sister Serena. She won, however, the next tournament on the tour calendar, the Tier I Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, defeating Hingis in the semifinals 6–3, 7–6(6) and World No. 4 Jennifer Capriati in the final, after saving eight championship points.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Williams ended the year ranked World No. 6.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Williams professes to be a devout Jehovah's Witness.

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

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

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

Grand slam events in boldface.

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

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, which ended February 28, 2009.

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

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

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

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Anna Kournikova

Kournikova-SYD-1.jpg

Infobox last updated on: October 29, 2008.

Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova (Russian: Анна Сергеевна Ку́рникова, Anna Sergeevna Kurnikova; born 7 June 1981) is a semi-retired Russian professional tennis player and model. Her celebrity status made her one of the best known tennis players worldwide. At the peak of her fame, fans looking for images of Kournikova made her name (or misspellings of it) one of the most common search strings on the internet search engine Google.

Although also successful in singles, reaching #8 in the world in 2000, Kournikova's specialty has been doubles, where she has at times been the world's number one-ranked player. With Martina Hingis as her partner, she won Grand Slam titles in Australia in 1999 and 2002. Kournikova's major-league tennis career has been curtailed for the past several years, and possibly ended, by serious back and spinal problems.

Kournikova was born in Moscow in the former Soviet Union to Alla and Sergei Kournikov; she and her mother later emigrated to the United States. Currently, she resides in Miami Beach, Florida, and plays in occasional exhibitions and in doubles for the St. Louis Aces of World Team Tennis.

Anna was born in Moscow, Russia (Soviet Union then) on June 7, 1981. Her father, Sergei Kournikov was 20 at the time. Sergei, a former Greco-Roman wrestling champion, had earned a Ph.D and was a professor at the University of Physical Culture and Sport in Moscow. As of 2001, he was still a part-time martial arts instructor there. Her mother Alla, a sturdily built blonde who was 18 when Anna was born, had been a 400-meter runner.

Sergei said: "We were young and we liked the clean, physical life, so Anna was in a good environment for sport from the beginning." The family name is spelled in Russian without an "o", so a direct translation would be "Kurnikova", and it is sometimes written that way. But it is pronounced "Kournikova", so the family chose that as their English spelling.

In 1986, Anna became a member of the prestigious Spartak Tennis Club, coached by Larissa Preobraschenskaja. In 1989, at the tender age of eight, Anna began appearing in junior tournaments, and by the following year, was attracting attention from tennis scouts across the world. Anna signed a management deal at age ten and went to Bradenton, Florida to train at Nick Bollettieri's celebrated tennis academy.

Following her arrival in the United States, Anna exploded onto the tennis scene, making her the internationally recognized tennis star she is today. At the age of 14, she went on to win the European Championships and the Italian Open Junior tournament. Anna also beat out the competition to win the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl, becoming the youngest player ever to win the 18 and under division at that tournament. By the end of the year, Anna was crowned the ITF Junior World Champion U-18 and Junior European Champion U-18.

In 1994, Anna Kournikova received a wild card into ITF tournament in Moscow qualifications, but lost to the third seed Sabine Appelmans.

Kournikova debuted in professional tennis at age 14 in the Fed Cup for Russia, the youngest player ever to participate and win behind Jacqui Kufersin who debuted at 3. In 1995, she turned pro, and won two ITF titles, in Midland, Michigan and Rockford, Illinois. At age 15, she made her grand slam debut, when she reached the fourth round of the 1996 U.S. Open, only to be stopped by then-top ranked player, Steffi Graf, eventual champion. After this tournament, her ranking jumped from No. 144 to debut in Top 100 at No. 69.

Kournikova was a member of the Russian delegation to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1996, she was named WTA Newcomer of the Year, and she was ranked No. 57 in the end of the season.

At the Australian Open, Anna Kournikova lost in the first round to World No. 12 Amanda Coetzer, 6–2, 6–2. She also reached the second round of the Pacific Life Open, when she was defeated by World No.3 Anke Huber in three sets (3–6, 6–2, 6–2). She played the fourth round of the Miami Open, when she lost to Jana Novotná in straight sets (6–3, 6–4). Novotná was the third seed at this tournament.

She also lost to Coetzer in the second round of the Italian Open in three sets (6–2, 4–6, 6–1). Kournikova reached the quarterfinals of the German Open to Mary Joe Fernandez in two sets, 6–1, 6–4. She then played at the French Open. She lost in the third round to the first seed Martina Hingis 6–1, 6–3.

In 1997, Anna Kournikova became the second woman in the open era to reach the semifinals (her first on WTA Tour) in her Wimbledon debut (Chris Evert in 1972 was first). As a 16-year-old, she reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon, where she lost to the eventual champion, Martina Hingis by a score of 6–3, 6–2. En her route to the semifinals, she defeated the World No. 5 Iva Majoli, No. 10 Anke Huber and Barbara Rittner.

She then lost in the first round of the Los Angeles Open to Anke Huber, and in the second round of the US Open to the 11th seed Irina Spîrlea. Her last 1997 tournament was Filderstadt, when she lost to Amanda Coetzer in the second round.

Kournikova also played doubles. Her best results were the semifinals of the Italian Open (partnering Elena Likhovtseva) and the Los Angeles Open (partnering Ai Sugiyama).

On May 19, she broke into the top 50, when she was ranked No. 48. At the end of the season, she was ranked No. 32 in singles and No. 41 in doubles.

1998 was her breakthrough year, when she broke into the WTA's top 20 rankings for the first time, when she was ranked No. 16. She also scored impressive victories over Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

Kournikova played at the Medibank International in Sydney, when she lost to Lindsay Davenport in the second round. She then reached the third round of the Australian Open where she lost to Martina Hingis in three sets (6–4, 4–6, 6–4). She lost in the second round of the Paris Open to World No.5 Anke Huber.

Kournikova reached the semifinals in Hannover. She lost to Jana Novotná in two sets 6–3, 6–3. She again lost to Novotná in the quarterfinals in Linz, and to Conchita Martínez in the fourth round in Indian Wells. Kournikova reached her first WTA Tour final in Miami, where she lost to Venus Williams in three sets, even though she won the first set (2–6, 6–4, 6–1).

She then played at Amelia Island, when she reached the quarter finals (lost to Lindsay Davenport). She then lost in the quarter finals of the Italian Open to Martina Hingis. She played the semifinals of the Italian Open, when she lost to Conchita Martínez. During this tournament, she defeated Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and Martina Hingis.

Kournikova then played at the French Open. She lost to Jana Novotná in the fourth round. She then played in the semifinals at Eastbourne (lost to Sánchez Vicario). She then lost in the first, second, third and fourth rounds of the tournaments. Her last tournament was the WTA Championships, where she lost in the first round to Monica Seles.

In 1998, Kournikova reached her first doubles final, partnering with Larisa Neiland. That was the final of the Paris Open, where they lost to Sabine Appelmans and Miriam Oremans in three sets 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(3). They also lost to Nathalie Tauziat and Alexandra Fusai in the final in Linz. Partnering Monica Seles, she won the Tokyo title. They defeated Mary Joe Fernandez and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 6–4, 6–4. With Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, she lost to Lindsay Davenport and Natasha Zvereva in the finals at Filderstadt. At the end of the season, she was ranked #10 in doubles.

At the end of the season, Anna Kournikova was ranked #12 in singles and #1 in doubles. Also at times during 1999, she was the most searched athlete in the world on Yahoo!, the premier search engine of the day.

On January 31, Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis won a grand slam title in women's doubles. They defeated Lindsay Davenport and Natasha Zvereva at the finals of the Australian Open.

Kournikova played the finals at Hilton Head, where she lost to Hingis. She also played the semifinals in Oklahoma City (lost to Amanda Coetzer), Amelia Island (lost to Ruxandra Dragomir) and Eastbourne (lost to Nathalie Tauziat).

She was more successful in doubles. Partnering Martina Hingis, she won the titles in Indian Wells, the Rome, Eastbourne and the WTA Championships, and played the finals of the French Open and Stanford (partnering with Elena Likhovtseva). At the end of the year, Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis were presented with the WTA Award for Doubles Team of the Year. She lost in the final of the mixed doubles at Wimbledon, partnering Jonas Björkman.

In 2000, Anna Kournikova broke into the top 10, reaching No. 8 in singles. She was also ranked #4 in doubles at the end of the season.

In singles she reached the finals of the Kremlin Cup, where she lost to Martina Hingis. She also reached eight semifinals and seven quarter finals. She was again more successful in doubles. She played the finals of the mixed doubles at the US Open, partnering with Max Mirnyi.

With Julie Halard-Decugis, she won the tournament in Gold Coast, Australia. Partnering with Barbara Schett, she reached the semifinals of the Australian Open. With Natasha Zvereva, she lost in the finals at Indian Wells. They also won at Hamburg. She lost in the finals at San Diego, partnering with Lindsay Davenport. With Martina Hingis, she won at Zürich, the Kremlin Cup, and at Philadelphia and the WTA Championships.

This season was dominated by injury, including a left foot stress fracture which forced her withdrawal from twelve tournaments, including the French Open and Wimbledon. She underwent surgery in April. She reached her second career grand slam quarter finals, at the Australian Open. Kournikova then withdrew from several events due to continuing problems with her left foot and did not return until Leipzig.

With Barbara Schett, she won the doubles title in Sydney. She then lost in the finals in Tokyo, partnering with Iroda Tulyaganova, and at San Diego, partnering with Martina Hingis. Hingis and Kournikova also won the Kremlin Cup.

At the end of the 2001 season, she was ranked #74 in singles and #26 in doubles.

In this season, Anna Kournikova was quite successful. She reached the semifinals of Auckland, Tokyo, Acapulco and San Diego, and the finals of Shanghai. She lost to Anna Smashnova. This was Kournikova's last singles finals and the last chance to win a single title.

With Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova lost in the finals of Sydney, but they won their second grand slam title together, Australian Open in women's doubles. They also lost in the quarterfinals of U.S. Open. With Chanda Rubin, Anna Kournikova played the semifinals of Wimbledon, but they lost to Serena and Venus Williams. Partnering Janet Lee, she won the Shangai title.

At the end of 2002 season, she was ranked #35 in singles and #11 in doubles.

In 2003, Anna Kournikova collected first grand slam match victory in two years at Australian Open. She defeated Henrieta Nagyová in the 1st round, and then lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne in the 2nd round. She withdrew from Tokyo due to sprained back suffered at Australian Open and did not return to Tour until Miami. Kournikova retired in the 1st round of Charleston due to left adductor strain.

At the end of 2003 season and her professional career, she was ranked #305 in singles and #176 in doubles.

Kournikova's two Grand Slam doubles titles came in 1999 and 2002, both at the Australian Open in the Women's Doubles event with partner Martina Hingis, with whom she played frequently starting in 1999. Kournikova proved a successful doubles player on the professional circuit, winning 16 tournament doubles titles, including two Australian Opens and being a finalist in mixed doubles at the U.S. Open and at Wimbledon, and reaching the No.1 ranking in doubles in the Women's Tennis Association tour rankings. Her pro career doubles record was 200-71. However, her singles career plateaued after 1999. For the most part, she managed to retain her ranking between 10 and 15 (her career high singles ranking was No.8), but her expected finals breakthrough failed to occur; she only reached four finals out of 130 singles tournaments, never in a Grand Slam event, and never won one.

Her singles record is 209-129. Her final playing years were marred by a string of injuries, especially back injuries, which caused her ranking to erode gradually.

Kournikova has not played on the WTA Tour since 2003, but still plays exhibition matches for charitable causes. In late 2004, she participated in three events organized by Elton John and by fellow tennis players Serena Williams and Andy Roddick. In January 2005, she played in a doubles charity event for the Indian Ocean tsunami with John McEnroe, Roddick, and Chris Evert. In November 2005, she teamed up with Martina Hingis, playing against Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur in the WTT finals for charity. Kournikova is also a member of the St. Louis Aces in the World Team Tennis (WTT), playing doubles only.

In September 2008, Kournikova showed up for the 2008 Nautica Malibu Triathlon held at Zuma Beach in Malibu. The Race raised funds for children's Hospital Los Angeles. She won that race for women's K-Swiss team. On September 27, 2008, Kournikova played exhibition matches in Charlotte, North Carolina; she played two mixed doubles matches. She partnered Tim Wilkison and Karel Novacek. Kournikova and Wilkinson defeated Jimmy Arias and Chanda Rubin, and then Kournikova and Novacek defeated Chanda Rubin and Tim Wilkison.

On October 12, 2008, Anna Kournikova played one exibitional match for the annual charity event, hosted by Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John, raised more than $400,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund. She played doubles with Andy Roddick (they were coached by Sir Elton John) versus Martina Navratilova and Jesse Levine (coached by Billie Jean King); Kournikova and Roddick won 5-4(3).

She is the current K-Swiss spokesperson.

In a feature for ELLE magazine's July 2005 issue, Kournikova stated that if she were 100% fit, she would like to come back and compete again.

As a player, Kournikova was noted for her footspeed and aggressive baseline play, and excellent angles and dropshots; however, her relatively flat, high-risk groundstrokes tended to produce frequent errors, and her serve was sometimes unreliable in singles.

Kournikova holds her racket in her right hand but uses both hands when she plays backhand shots. She is a good player at the net. She can hit forceful groundstrokes and also drop shots.

Her playing style fits the profile for a doubles player, and is complemented by her height. She has been compared to such doubles specialists as Pam Shriver and Peter Fleming.

Kournikova's marital status has been an issue on several occasions. There were conflicting rumors about whether or not she was engaged to ice hockey player Pavel Bure. There were reports that she married NHL ice hockey star Sergei Fedorov in 2001. Kournikova's representatives have denied this, but Fedorov stated in 2003 that the couple had married and since divorced.

Kournikova started dating pop star Enrique Iglesias in late 2001, (in whose video, "Escape", she appeared), and rumors that the couple had secretly married appeared in 2003 and again in 2005. Kournikova herself has consistently refused to directly confirm or deny rumors about the status of her personal relationships. But, in May 2007, Enrique Iglesias was (mistakenly, as he would clarify later) quoted in the New York Sun that he had no intention to marry Anna and settle down because they had split up. The singer would later deny these rumors of "divorce" or simply separation. In June 2008, Iglesias told the Daily Star that he had married Kournikova the previous year and that they are currently separated. Enrique has stated in interviews after that that it was simply a joke, and they are still very much together.

Most of Kournikova's fame has come from the publicity surrounding her personal life, as well as numerous modeling shoots. During Kournikova's debut at the 1996 U.S. Open at the age of 15, the world noticed her beauty, and soon pictures of her appeared in numerous magazines worldwide.

In 2000, Kournikova became the new face for Berlei's shock absorber sports bras, and appeared in the highly successful "only the ball should bounce" billboard campaign. Photographs of her scantily-clad form have appeared in various men's magazines, including one in the much-publicized 2004 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, where she posed in bikinis and swimsuits, and in other popular men's publications such as FHM and Maxim. Kournikova was named one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2003 and was voted "hottest female athlete" and "hottest couple" (with Iglesias) on ESPN.com. In 2002 she also placed first in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World in U.S. and UK editions. By contrast, ESPN—citing the degree of hype as compared to actual accomplishments as a singles player—ranked Kournikova 18th in its "25 Biggest Sports Flops of the Past 25 Years". Kournikova was also ranked #1 in the ESPN Classic series "Who's number 1?" when the series featured sport's most overrated athletes.

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Kim Clijsters

Clijsters at 2006 Wimbledon

Infobox last updated on: 7 May 2007.

Kim Antonie Lode Clijsters (IPA: , listen (help·info); born 8 June 1983, in Bilzen, Limburg) is a retired Belgian tennis player. She is a former World No. 1 ranked player in singles and in doubles.

During her professional career, Clijsters won 34 WTA singles titles and 11 WTA doubles titles. She won the US Open singles title in 2005 and the WTA Tour Championships singles title in 2002 and 2003. In doubles, she won the French Open and Wimbledon titles in 2003. Clijsters was twice a singles runner-up at the French Open and a one-time runner-up at the Australian Open, also reaching two Wimbledon singles semifinals. She announced her retirement with immediate effect on 6 May 2007.

Clijsters, known as Aussie Kim, Kim Kong, Killing Kim, or Kim Possible to many fans, was recognized for her deep, powerful, well-placed groundstrokes, as well as her court-wide defense, characterized by speed and athleticism. Clijsters, along with Jelena Janković and Svetlana Kuznetsova was among the few tennis players on either the Association of Tennis Professionals or Women's Tennis Association tours who could slide (known as the straddle) on all surfaces. After being defeated by Clijsters in the 2005 Nasdaq-100 Open, Maria Sharapova implied that Clijsters' strength lies in how she always forces her opponent to hit an extra shot, that "you just have to expect that she's going to get every ball back".

Kim Antonie Lode Clijsters was born on 8 June 1983, in Bilzen, in the Flemish Region of Belgium. She is the daughter of a successful football player, Lei Clijsters, and a national gymnastics champion, Els Vandecaetsbeek. Lei Clijsters died of lung cancer on 4 January 2009. Clijsters claims to have inherited footballer's legs from her father and a gymnast's flexibility from her mother. Clijsters' younger sister Elke finished 2002 as the ITF World Junior Doubles champion and retired in 2004 after back injuries.

In November 2003, Clijsters announced her engagement to Australian Lleyton Hewitt, but their relationship ended in October 2004 . In October 2006, Clijsters announced her engagement to American basketball player Brian Lynch, who is based in Clijsters' hometown of Bree. In an interview with "Sportweekend", Clijsters stated that she was retiring to start a family. Clijsters and Lynch married secretly on 13 July 2007, at 6:00 in the morning at the Bree city hall. She was married by the mayor, with sister Elke Clijsters, Lynch's brother Pat Lynch, and both sets of parents present.

Clijsters gave birth to a daughter on 27 February 2008, at 1:35 pm at the Vesaliushospital in Tongeren, Belgium. The girl, Jada Ellie, weighed 3.035 kg and measured 51 cm. Clijsters' mother had a son Zeth with second husband Jan Goossens a few weeks after Jada Ellie was born.

Clijsters was an accomplished junior player. In singles, she finished as runner-up in the 1998 Wimbledon junior event, placing 11th in the year-end singles ranking. In the same year in doubles, Clijsters won the French Open title with Jelena Dokić, and the US Open with Eva Dyrberg, ending the season as number four in the International Tennis Federation junior doubles world ranking.

In 1999, Clijsters made her breakthrough professionally. Playing through the qualifying rounds, she made it through the main draw of Wimbledon, wherein she defeated tenth ranked Amanda Coetzer en route to the fourth round, where Clijsters lost to her childhood idol Steffi Graf. Later that summer, Clijsters reached the third round of the US Open, losing to eventual champion Serena Williams after serving for the match. In the autumn, Clijsters won her first Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles title at Luxembourg. She followed up with her first WTA doubles title at Bratislava, partnering Laurence Courtois.

Clijsters climbed up the rankings over the next couple of years. In 2001, she reached her first Grand Slam final at the French Open, where she lost to Jennifer Capriati 12–10 in the third set. This two-hour, 21-minute match featured the longest third set in a French Open women's final. Clijsters was four times within two points of winning before Capriati prevailed. Her next important breakthrough came at the end of 2002, when she won the year-end Home Depot Championships in Los Angeles, defeating top ranked Serena Williams in the final. This was only the fifth defeat of the year for Williams and snapped her 18-match winning streak. On her way to the final, Clijsters defeated fourth ranked Justine Henin and second ranked Venus Williams, becoming just the fourth player to beat both of the Williams sisters in the same event. She also equaled the event's record for the fewest games dropped.

Clijsters won nine singles tournaments and seven doubles titles in 2003, including the WTA Tour Championships and two Tier I singles tournaments. She also reached two Grand Slam singles finals, losing at both the French Open and the US Open to Henin. At the Australian Open, Clijsters lost in the semifinals to Serena Williams 4–6, 6–3, 7–5 after Clijsters led 5–1 in the third set and held a match point at 5–2. She also lost in the semifinals of Wimbledon. Her Tier I singles titles were at the Telecom Italia Masters in Rome, where she defeated Amélie Mauresmo in the final, and at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, where she defeated Lindsay Davenport in the final. On 11 August 2003, Clijsters attained the World No. 1 ranking, holding the spot for 12 non-consecutive weeks during the remainder of the year, and was the first player to be top ranked by the WTA without first winning a Grand Slam singles title. The World No. 1 ranking was at stake in October during the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt, Germany. Clijsters rallied from a set down to beat Henin. The match marked only the eighth time that the top two players battled for the top ranking. Even though Clijsters won that match, she finished the year ranked World No. 2, just behind Henin.

Clijsters started 2004 by reaching her fourth career Grand Slam final at the Australian Open, where she lost once more to Henin. She then won two consecutive titles in Paris and Antwerp. While defending her Tier I title at the Pacific Life Open, however, Clijsters began to have problems with her wrist, eventually requiring surgery and forcing her to withdraw from most tournaments. She attempted a comeback towards the end of the year, winning several matches, before reaggravating the injury.

Clijsters finally won a Grand Slam singles title at the US Open. It was her first victory after reaching four Grand Slam finals previously. Clijsters defeated tenth-seeded Venus Williams in the quarterfinals 4–6, 7–5, 6–1, winning 11 of the last 13 games after Williams had led 6–4, 4–2. Clijsters also needed three sets to defeat top-seeded Sharapova in the semifinals but needed only two sets to defeat Mary Pierce in the final. By winning the US Open Series — a string of summer tournaments in North America before the US Open itself — Clijsters received a 100 percent bonus to the US$1.1 million in prize money she received for winning the US Open. Her US$2.2 million paycheck was the largest payday in women's sports history.

On 15 September, within days after her US Open victory, it was announced that the cooperation between Clijsters and her coach, Marc Dehous, would come to an end. Dehous thought that it was time to do something else.

At the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, Clijsters was eliminated after only two matches. She lost her first match to Pierce 6–1, 4–6, 7–6 and her second match to Amélie Mauresmo 6–3, 7–6. Clijsters said in interviews that her defeats were due to fatigue and maybe jet lag, having had a relatively short time to adjust and acclimatize before the tournament began. Although she won her third match in the round-robin tournament against Dementieva, it was considered a dead rubber.

Overall, she won nine singles events in 2005, her last one being at the Gaz de France Stars in Hasselt. She ended the year ranked World No. 2.

Clijsters started the year by winning an exhibition tournament, the Watson Water Challenge, in Hong Kong. On her way to the title she defeated Jie Zheng, Elena Dementieva, and top ranked Lindsay Davenport. Clijsters then withdrew from her semifinal match at the WTA tournament in Sydney, citing a left hip muscle strain.

At the Australian Open, Clijsters defeated former champion Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals 6–3, 2–6, 6–4 before retiring from her semifinal match with Amélie Mauresmo. Despite the loss, the ranking points she accumulated were enough to regain the World No. 1 ranking, a position she last held on 9 November 2003. She was the first tennis player, male or female, to rise from outside the Top 100 (World No. 134) to World No. 1 in less than a year. Clijsters' loss to Mauresmo in the Australian Open semifinals was due to an ankle injury. Although she had been expected to miss at least eight weeks to recover, Clijsters returned two weeks later at the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp. She lost the final of that tournament to Mauresmo in three sets.

Clijsters won her first title of the year at a clay court event in Warsaw, defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. At the French Open in May, Clijsters reached the semifinals without losing a set, defeating Hingis in the quarterfinals 7–6, 6–1. However, she lost to Justine Henin in the semifinals 6–3, 6–2 on her 23rd birthday. She was seeded second going into Wimbledon but was again eliminated in the semifinals by Henin.

Clijsters collected her second title of the year as the top seed in Stanford, defeating Patty Schnyder in the final. Clijsters then reached the final in San Diego, falling to second-seeded Maria Sharapova in straight sets. This was her first loss to Sharapova in five career meetings.

On 16 August, after receiving a first round bye at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Montreal, Clijsters faced Canadian Stéphanie Dubois in the second round. Having won the first set 6–1 and trailing 2–3 in the second set, Clijsters slipped and fell on her left wrist and was forced to retire from the match. On 18 August 2006, Clijsters announced on her official website that the condition of her wrist was worse than she had expected and that she would be unable to defend her title at the US Open. She also missed the Fed Cup final against Italy, which Italy won 3–2.

At the Gaz de France Stars, her first tournament in more than two months, Clijsters successfully defended her title by beating qualifier Kaia Kanepi in the final. At the year-ending WTA Tour Championships, Clijsters lost a semifinal to Mauresmo 6–2, 3–6, 6–3 after defeating Dementieva and Kuznetsova and losing to Sharapova in the round robin phase of the tournament.

Clijsters started her final year of professional tennis by winning an exhibition tournament, the Watson Water Challenge, in Hong Kong. On her way to the title, she defeated Jie Zheng, Patty Schnyder, and top ranked Maria Sharapova. Clijsters then won the Medibank International in Sydney, Australia, defeating Jelena Janković in the final after being down a match point. At the Australian Open, the fourth seeded Clijsters defeated sixth seeded Martina Hingis in a quarterfinal match before losing to Sharapova in a semifinal 6–4, 6–2.

She played her last tournament in Belgium at the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, where she lost to Amélie Mauresmo in the final. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Clijsters lost in the fourth round to Li Na 4–6, 6–4, 6–2. In May, she failed to defend her title in Warsaw, losing in the second round to Julia Vakulenko 7–6(3), 6–3. This was Clijsters's last professional match.

On 6 May 2007, citing injuries, Clijsters announced on her official website that she was retiring from professional tennis immediately, concluding a career highlighted by her 2005 US Open singles title.

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Ana Ivanović

Venus Williams serving to  Ivanović in their semi-final match at the Zurich Open

Infobox last updated on: February 23, 2009.

Ana Ivanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Ана Ивановић, pronounced , listen (help·info) born November 6, 1987, in Belgrade, Serbia, then Yugoslavia) is a former World No. 1 Serbian tennis player. As of February 23, 2009, she is ranked World No. 7 by the Women's Tennis Association and is the reigning French Open singles champion. She was also the runner-up in singles at the 2007 French Open and the 2008 Australian Open.

Ivanović's mother, Dragana who is a lawyer, attends all of her daughter's matches. Her father, Miroslav, a self-employed businessman, attends as many events as he possibly can. Ana has a younger brother, Miloš, with whom she loves to play basketball. Other hobbies include shopping, watching movies and playing Sudoku. She chooses not to have a permanent coach. Aside from her tennis career, Ivanović also studies finance at a university in Belgrade, and Spanish in her spare time. Her inspiration to begin playing was Monica Seles, and she also admires Roger Federer.

Ivanović is a fan of all sport clubs competing under the name of Partizan Belgrade.

Ivanović is friends with former doubles partner Maria Kirilenko, as well as other professional tennis players Daniela Hantuchová, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Sanja Ančić, Rafael Nadal, Tatiana Golovin and fellow Serbians Novak Djokovic (whom she has known since the age of 5) and Janko Tipsarević .

Ivanović confirmed in November 2008 that she was romantically involved with Spanish tennis player Fernando Verdasco; however, the relationship apparently ended in January. 2009.

Ivanović endorsed Nike apparel and shoes at the beginning of her professional career, but at the beginning of 2006, she switched to rival Adidas. She started with the Wilson HTour racquet, then upgraded to the nCode nTour and to the nCode nTour Two before switching to the nCode nBlade. Since the beginning of 2008, Ivanović has been using the Yonex RQiS-1TOUR racquet. She has now begun using the RQiS 1 Tour XL racquet.

Ivanović picked up a racket at the age of 5 after watching Monica Seles, a fellow Yugoslavian, at Roland Garros on television. She started her promising career at the age of 5, after memorizing the number of a local tennis clinic from an ad on TV. During her training she encountered the NATO bombings in 1999, where she would have to train in the morning to avoid them. Later on she admitted she would train in an abandoned swimming pool in the winter, as there were no other facilities. When she was 15, Ivanović spent four hours in the locker room crying after a defeat - the first that her new manager had watched - because she thought that Dan Holzmann was going to drop her because she felt that she wasn't good enough to become a professional tennis player. He has stayed as her manager to this day.

Ivanović first caught the eye of the tennis world when she reached the final of the Junior Wimbledon tournament in 2004, losing to Kateryna Bondarenko. In 2004, she also went 26-0 on the ITF circuit, and won all 5 events that she entered, two of them as a qualifier. Her first professional breakthrough occurred in October 2004 when she took Venus Williams to two tie breaks before losing 7–6(11), 7–6(6) in the second round of the Zürich Open in Zürich, Switzerland, in which she held several set points in both sets; this was after a 3-set battle with then-ranked Number 27 Tatiana Golovin. She followed that up with a quarterfinal showing in Luxembourg the following week.

Ivanović won her first career singles title, as a qualifier, in Canberra, Australia. Her ranking continued to rise after wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova, and Vera Zvonareva, all of whom were top 10 players. Ivanović lost to Amélie Mauresmo at the Australian Open, Doha, and Key Biscayne, Florida. However, Ivanović defeated Mauresmo in the third round of the French Open. Ivanović eventually reached the quarterfinals of that tournament, where she lost to Petrova. Later in the year, Ivanović reached the semifinals of the Zurich Open and Generali Ladies Linz, losing in both tournaments to Patty Schnyder.

Ivanović started off 2006 by playing at the Hopman Cup with fellow Serbian Novak Djokovic where the pair narrowly missed the final. To start off her WTA year she played at the Medibank International in Sydney where she once again defeated Amélie Mauresmo, this time in straight sets, before falling to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals.

At the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Ivanović defeated Anna Chakvetadze 6–3, 6–3 before falling to Elena Dementieva in three sets. In the clay court season, she defeated Patty Schnyder in straight sets at the J & S Cup in Warsaw before losing to Anna Chakvetadze after a three-set battle. Retiring against Na Li at the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin while leading a set, she was unable to reproduce her record from the previous year, falling to Anastasia Myskina in straight sets in the third round of Roland Garros. She progressed to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon but lost to eventual champion Amélie Mauresmo, 6–3 6–4.

Ivanović made her breakthrough in August when she defeated former world number one and comeback queen Martina Hingis in the final of the Canada Masters in Montreal, in which she won 6–2, 6–3. This ultimately led to her winning the United States Open Series ahead of Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova. At the US Open she lost to the resurgent Serena Williams. After some early round losses to Olga Poutchkova at the Wismilak International in Bali and Venus Williams at the FORTIS Championships in Luxembourg, Ivanović took a few weeks off to tend to a recurring injury in her right shoulder. She made her return in Linz and made it to the quarterfinals of Generali Ladies, before losing to Maria Sharapova in two tight sets. To finish off her year she had a disappointing run at the Gaz de France Stars in Hasselt, Belgium, as she lost to Dutch player Michaëlla Krajicek.

Ivanović also played 9 tournaments in doubles this year, teaming up with Maria Kirilenko and Sania Mirza. Ivanović and Kirilenko made 2 semi-finals and a final; they ended the year at number 17 in the annual Race to the Championships.

Ivanović finished off 2006 as the 14th best ranked woman in the world. In the doubles, she crept up to finish at number 51 in the world, an improvement of her Top 200 finish in 2005.

Ivanović's first tournament was the Mondial Hardcourts in Gold Coast, Australia, falling to Shahar Pe'er in the quarterfinals 5–7, 6–4, 6–4. Her next tournament was the Sydney Medibank International, where she again lost in the quarterfinals, this time to Nicole Vaidišová 6–4, 6–2.

Ivanović was the 13th seed at the Australian Open. She defeated Polish player Agnieszka Radwańska in the second round but lost to World No. 22 Vera Zvonareva in the third round 6–1, 6–2. Immediately after the tournament, Ivanović announced via her official website that she had terminated the services of her then-coach, David Taylor.

At the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Ivanović reached her third career final, defeating Jelena Janković in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Maria Sharapova retired from the match while trailing 6–1, 0–1. Ivanović then lost to Martina Hingis in the final 6–4, 6–2.

Ivanović then left for Europe and played the tournament in Antwerp, where she lost in the quarterfinals to Kim Clijsters.

Ivanović's next two tournaments were Tier I events in the United States. At the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, she was upset in the fourth round by Sybille Bammer. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Ivanović was upset by Yaroslava Shvedova in the second round.

The following week, Ivanović began her clay court season at the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida. She defeated Janković in the quarterfinals before falling to Tatiana Golovin 6–4, 3–6, 6–4. In her first appearance at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina the following week, Ivanović lost to Vera Zvonareva in the third round.

Ivanović then returned to Europe to play two red clay court tournaments. In Berlin at the Qatar Telecom German Open, she won her first Tier I clay court title. She defeated Patty Schnyder in the quarterfinals and World No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. However, Ivanović injured her ankle during the final, which forced her to withdraw from the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. The win in Berlin propelled her into the top ten of the WTA Rankings for the first time, at World No. 8.

Ivanović then headed into the French Open on a six-match winning streak. She increased this streak to twelve by reaching the final. She won her first three matches with the loss of only nine games. In her second career quarterfinal at Roland Garros, Ivanović defeated World No. 3 Kuznetsova 6–0, 3–6, 6–1. She then beat World No. 2 Sharapova in the semifinals 6–2, 6–1. In the final, Ivanović attempted to win her first Grand Slam singles title and complete a sweep of the top three players in the world. Three-time winner Justine Henin, however, won the error-strewn match 6–1, 6–2. Later on, Ivanović admitted that the idea of being in the final of a Grand Slam tournament overwhelmed her.

With the clay court season over, Ivanović played the Ordina Open on grass in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, losing in the quarterfinals to Daniela Hantuchová. At Wimbledon, Ivanović defeated World No. 9 Nadia Petrova in the fourth round 6–1, 2–6, 6–4. In the quarterfinals, Ivanović saved three match points to defeat Vaidišová 4–6, 6–2, 7–5. In the semifinals, three-time former Wimbledon champion Venus Williams defeated Ivanović 6–2, 6–4.

A persistent knee injury, sustained at Wimbledon, required Ivanović to withdraw from Serbian Fed Cup competition with Slovakia and two lead up events to the US Open. Ivanović returned to the tour at the East West Bank Classic in Carson, California. In the semifinals, Ivanović played her country woman Janković for the third time that year. Ivanović saved two match points before winning the match 4–6, 6–3, 7–5. In the final, Ivanović defeated Petrova to win the fourth singles title of her career, which propelled her to a career high ranking of World No. 4.

Ivanović next attempted to defend her title at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada. However, her title defence lasted only 65 minutes as she lost to Chinese qualifier Yan Zi 6–3, 6–1.

In Ivanović's first three matches at the US Open, she lost only 10 games. Venus Williams then eliminated her for the second consecutive time at a Grand Slam tournament, 6–4, 6–2.

Ivanović then returned to Europe for three tournaments. At the Tier II (now changed to Tier III) Luxembourg Championships, Ivanović qualified for the WTA Tour Championships as she reached the semifinals. In the final, Ivanović rallied from 6–3, 3–0 down to defeat Hantuchová in two hours and 25 minutes. This was her fifth career title. At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Ivanović lost to Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko in the second round 6–2, 1–6, 6–3. Playing at what Ivanović considers her home event, the Tier I Zürich Open, she lost to Golovin in the second round 6–3, 6–1.

To end the year, Ivanović played the WTA Tour Championships in Madrid, Spain. Seeded fourth and assigned to the Red Group during the round robin phase, she defeated World No. 2 Kuznetsova in a close three-set match and Hantuchová in straight sets. Sharapova then defeated Ivanović in the final match of the round robin 6–1, 6–2. Because she finished second in her group, Ivanović played World No. 1 Henin in the semifinals, which the Belgian won 6–4, 6–4.

Ivanović finished the year with a career-high ranking of World No. 4, a mere 14 points behind Janković.

Ivanović started the year by participating in an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong, where she was seeded first. She lost to Elena Dementieva in the quarterfinals, 6–4, 1–6, 6–3. Ivanović then entered the Silver Group, a competition among all first match losers. Based on her world ranking, she was favored to win that competition; however, she lost to World No. 45 Shuai Peng 6–1, 6–3.

Ivanović's next tournament was the Tier II Medibank International in Sydney, which attracted 12 of the top 15 ranked women. After trailing 5–2 in the third set of her second round match, Ivanović defeated Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano, 6–1, 2–6, 7–5. In the quarterfinals, Ivanović defeated Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik but then lost to Justine Henin in the semifinals, 6–2, 2–6, 6–4. This was the first time in four meetings that Ivanović took a set off Henin.

Ivanović was the fourth seed at the Australian Open and reached the quarterfinals for the first time. There, Ivanović defeated Venus Williams for the first time 7–6, 6–4. In her semifinal against Daniela Hantuchová, Ivanović prevailed, 0–6, 6–3, 6–4 after having trailed 2–0 in the second set. She then lost to Maria Sharapova in straight sets. Because of her performance at this tournament, her ranking rose to World No. 2, the highest of her career at the time.

In Serbia's Fed Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group I D round robin tie against Poland in Budapest, Ivanović defeated World No. 215 Urszula Radwańska in straight sets. In Serbia's second round robin tie against Romania, Ivanović defeated Monica Niculescu 5–7, 6–4, 7–5 and then teamed with Jelena Janković to win the deciding doubles rubber against the Romanian team 2–6, 7–6(3), 7–6(2). In the promotion playoff, Ivanović beat Renee Reinhard of the Netherlands 6–2, 3–6, 6–3, as Serbia advanced to the World Group II playoffs in April.

Ivanović was the top-seeded player at the Qatar Total Open in Doha for the first time in a Tier I tournament. She defeated Olga Govortsova in the second round but subsequently withdrew from the tournament because of an ankle injury suffered during that match. The following week at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, the third-seeded Ivanović lost in the quarterfinals to the eighth-seeded Dementieva 5–7, 6–3, 6–3.

In March at the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, the top-seeded Ivanović defeated Janković in the semifinals 7–6(3), 6–3, before defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. At the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Ivanović was the second-seeded player but lost to Lindsay Davenport in the third round in straight sets.

Ivanović was the defending champion and second-seeded player at the Tier I Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin. She lost, however, to Dementieva in the semifinals 6–2, 7–5 for the fourth time in four career matches. At the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, Ivanović was the top seed but lost in the second round to Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova 6–4, 5–7, 6–2. Ivanović was the second-seeded player at the French Open. She defeated World No. 3 Janković in the semifinals 6–4, 3–6, 6–4, guaranteeing that Ivanović would become the World No. 1, regardless of whether she won the final. Ivanović then went on to defeat Dinara Safina in the final, winning her first Grand Slam singles title.

At Wimbledon, Ivanović was the top-seeded player and defeated French veteran player Nathalie Dechy in the second round 6–7(2), 7–6(3), 10–8. The match took 3 hours, 24 minutes to play, with Ivanović saving two match points while trailing 5–4 in the second set and Dechy saving three match points in the third set before succumbing. Ivanović then lost in the third round to unseeded wildcard Zheng Jie of China, who was ranked World No. 133, 6–1, 6–4.

At the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Ivanović was the top seed and but fell in the third round to Austrian teen Tamira Paszek 6-2, 1-6, 6-2. Ivanović told reporters after the match that she had been bothered by a sore thumb throughout the tournament, sustained two weeks prior to the event while practicing.

After failing to defend her title at the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles, Ivanović officially relinquished her World No. 1 ranking on August 11 to fellow Serbian Janković. Ivanović had held the World No. 1 ranking for nine consecutive weeks.

At the Summer Olympics in Beijing, Ivanović withdrew before her first round match with 53rd-seeded Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine, citing a recurrent thumb injury sustained during training after Wimbledon. Seeded first at the event, Ivanović described the decision as "one of the worst moments of her career".

Because of Janković's loss to Safina at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Ivanović reclaimed her World No. 1 ranking on August 18 and was the top-seeded player at the US Open. Ivanović, however, lost her second round match in three sets to Julie Coin, who was an unseeded qualifier and ranked 187 places lower than her. The defeat was the earliest by a top seed in the open era at the US Open since Billie Jean King's third round loss to Julie Heldman in 1973. Ivanović then dropped to World No. 3.

In her first match since the US Open, which was the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Ivanović was upset by Nadia Petrova of Russia in three sets, bringing her win-loss record since her maiden Grand Slam win at the French Open to 4–4. Ivanović later told the press that she was "just happy to be back injury-free" and that she needed to "play more matches get back into rhythm".

In her next tournament, the China Open in Beijing, Ivanović beat World No. 18 Alizé Cornet of France in the second round after receiving a first round bye. The win was Ivanović's first straight sets victory since her opening round win at Wimbledon. She was, however, defeated by Zheng Jie in the quarterfinals 7–6, 2–6, 6–4.

At the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Ivanović played her first doubles match on the WTA Tour since June 2007, teaming with Francesca Schiavone to defeat the Spanish/Russian pairing of Nuria Llagostera Vives and Elena Vesnina. Ivanović lost in the singles competition to Slovak teenager Dominika Cibulková in the second round. Later that day in doubles, Ivanović and Schiavone were defeated by top seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber.

In the last edition of the Zurich Open in Switzerland, Ivanović defeated World No. 16 Marion Bartoli in the second round and Czech teenager Petra Kvitová in the quarterfinals. It was the first time Ivanović had won back-to-back matches since the first two rounds of Wimbledon. However, in her sixth semifinal of the year, Ivanović lost to Venus Williams 4–6, 6–3, 6–4.

At the Generali Ladies Linz in Austria, Ivanović was the top seed. Ivanović defeated Sybille Bammer in the second round and Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Ivanović overcame Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwańska 6–2, 3–6, 7–5 to reach her first WTA Tour final since her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open. Ivanović then went on to defeat second-seeded Vera Zvonareva in the final.

At the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar, Ivanović was the fourth seed. In her first round robin match, she was defeated by World No. 1 Janković 6–3, 6–4. Her next match was against Zvonareva, whom she lost to, 6–3, 6–7(5), 6–4. She withdrew from her final match against Kuznetsova because of a virus.

Ivanović started the year by playing two tournaments in Australia. At the Brisbane International, Ivanović defeated Petra Kvitova in the first round and Roberta Vinci in the second round 6–7(4), 7–5, 6–1 after saving two match points in the second set. Ivanović then lost to former World No. 1 Amélie Mauresmo 6–3, 6–2. At the Australian Open, Ivanović was seeded fifth and won her first two matches in straight sets before losing to Russian Alisa Kleybanova in the third round 7–5, 6–7(5), 6–2.

Ivanović then took part in Serbia's Fed Cup win in the World Group II tie against Japan. She defeated Ai Sugiyama in straight sets in the first singles rubber and Ayumi Morita in straight sets in the fourth singles rubber.

At the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, a Premier 5 event on the tour, she lost to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals 6–4, 6–4.

She began working with coach Craig Kardon in February after parting with former coach Sven Groeneveld.

Since Ivanović's professional debut in August 2003 she won 5 ITF Titles. When she won her maiden title in 2005, she was the first WTA winner to have won in the final playing an opponent that she had already beaten before (In the Qualifying Round).

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

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, which ended February 22, 2009.

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Source : Wikipedia