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London Olympics 2012

Maria Kirilenko


Maria KirilenkoMaria KirilenkoMaria KirilenkoMaria KirilenkoMaria Kirilenko

Maria Kirilenko, born 25 January 1987 in Moscow, Russia is a professional tennis player. Kirilenko won her first WTA Tour title in 2005, defeating Anna-Lena Grönefeld in the China Open. Kirilenko reached number 16, her career-high singles ranking, on the WTA tour in May 2012. She won the junior event at the 2002 Canadian Open, as well as the 2002 US Open junior tournament. She has reached one Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2010 Australian Open. As of 28 May 2012, Kirilenko is ranked world no. 16. Born in the Soviet Union of paternal Ukrainian heritage, Kirilenko is a good friend to fellow WTA players Maria Sharapova, Daniela Hantuchová, Victoria Azarenka, Ana Ivanović, Agnieszka Radwańska, Nadia Petrova, and Marta Domachowska. Kirilenko dated fellow Russian player, Igor Andreev for several years.

In November 2011, Russian hockey player Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals identified Kirilenko as his girlfriend on his Twitter account. Maria Kirilenko started showing a passion for tennis at the age of 5, but it was difficult to practice while still attending school. Her father enrolled her in a tennis school, and hours of training started to pay off as she won several tournaments. When Kirilenko was 12 years old, an Honored Master of sports, Elena Brioukhovets, saw her while training. Brioukhovets watched Maria making progress and offered to work with her. A three-year program was set up, and a special team selected. In less than three years, Maria became no. 1 in her age group and no. 2 in the 18-and-under group. In 2002, Kirilenko became one of the youngest winners of the Canadian Open and US Open junior tournaments.

In 2002, Kirilenko started participating in WTA events. She began moving up the rankings in 2004, but was set back by an injury. At the end of 2005, she climbed back up the rankings and won her first title in Beijing. On 12 June 2006, she broke into the world's top 20 for the first time. At the Acura Classic in San Diego, California, Kirilenko upset second seeded Jelena Janković of Serbia to advance to the quarterfinals, before losing to fellow Russian Elena Dementieva. At the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles, she also reached the quarterfinals, upsetting sixth seed Marion Bartoli in straight sets. Unseeded at the US Open, she defeated Martina Müller of Germany, and then 22nd seed Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia. She then lost to unseeded Julia Vakulenko of Ukraine.

After the US Open, she appeared in the Sunfeast Open. There, Kirilenko won her second WTA Tour singles title, defeating unseeded Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine in straight sets. The next week at a tournament in Seoul, Kirilenko, as the fourth seed also reached the finals, but lost to top seed Venus Williams. At the Australian Open, Kirilenko reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career, beating sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze. Her next opponent was Daniela Hantuchová, to whom she lost, 6–1, 4–6, 4–6, after leading 6–1, 3–1. Kirilenko then reached the second round of a Tier I event in Doha, beating Ekaterina Makarova, before losing to Anabel Medina Garrigues in three sets. Kirilenko then lost four matches in a row at Dubai, Bangalore, Indian Wells, and Miami.

However, as the second seed, she reached the final of a Tier IV event at Estoril, where she defeated Iveta Benešová in straight sets. She also won the doubles title there, partnering with Flavia Pennetta. Kirilenko also won in Barcelona, defeating Martinez-Sanchez for her fourth career WTA title and the second of the year. Kirilenko began the 2010 by competing in the 2010 ASB Classic, where she reached the quarterfinals, before losing to Shahar Pe'er. With a world ranking at that time of 58, Kirilenko was unseeded at the 2010 Australian Open, where in the first round she upset her friend, and former doubles partner, 14th seed Maria Sharapova, 7–6(4), 3–6, 6–4, in a 3-hour, 22-minute marathon.

It was the second-longest women's match in Australian Open history. She advanced to the quarterfinals, before losing to Zheng Jie, who was also unseeded for this tournament. In the doubles portion, she and her partner, Agnieszka Radwańska, were seeded 15th and advanced to the semifinals, before losing to the world no. 1 pairing of Cara Black and Liezel Huber in three sets. Kirilenko entered as 32nd seed at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. She made it to the third round, before losing to second seeded Caroline Wozniacki. Kirilenko participated in the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Florida as 32nd seed. Like Indian Wells, she advanced to the third round, before again losing to Caroline Wozniacki. Kirilenko played in Rome in the 2010 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, where she was unseeded. She advanced to the quarterfinals, before losing to world ranked number 1 Serena Williams. Kirilenko's entered the French Open as 30th seed. She advanced to the round of 16 here for the first time in her career, before losing to 17th seed and eventual champion Francesca Schiavone. In the doubles draw of the French Open, Kirilenko and Agnieszka Radwańska were seeded 11th. They reached the quarterfinals, before losing to the eventual champions Serena and Venus Williams in straight sets. At Wimbledon, she was 27th seed in the singles draw. She advanced to the third round, before losing to eighth seed Kim Clijsters. Kirilenko also paired up with Agnieszka Radwańska in the doubles draw, where they were seeded tenth. Kirilenko made the quarterfinals of the 2010 Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California. before losing to Agnieszka Radwańska. She entered the doubles tournament with Victoria Azarenka, but they lost in the semifinals. She then reached the second rounds of 2010 Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open and the 2010 Rogers Cup, losing to Vera Zvonareva and Victoria Azarenka, respectively. Then at the 2010 Pilot Pen Tennis, she reached the semifinals, before losing to Nadia Petrova. She reached the third round of the 2010 US Open, losing to 11th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Kirilenko began her 2012 season in Sydney where she didn't reach the main draw after losing against Sofia Arvidsson in the second round of qualifications. After that she reached the third round of the Australian Open by defeating Gajdosiva in the first and Wozniak in the second. Then Kvitova stopped her run with a 6–0 1–0 ret'. Later in the year she reached the final of Pattaya Open and then lost to Hantuchova. In the finals of the French Open she and Nadia Petrova lost to Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy. Like her good friend Maria Sharapova, she likes connecting athletics and fashion and appeared in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition alongside Daniela Hantuchová and Tatiana Golovin in a pictoral entitled Volley of the Dolls.

More at: www.mariakirilenko.com

source: www.wikipedia.org







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