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Vera Zvonareva
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Vera Zvonareva was born September 7, 1984 in Moscow to Igor Zvonarev and Nataliya Zvonareva (née Bykova). Igor played Bandy in the USSR championship with Dynamo Moscow, while Nataliya played field hockey and was the bronze medalist at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Vera was introduced to tennis at the age of six by her mother, although no other members of her family play tennis.Zvonareva started to compete on the ITF Circuit in 1999, debuting at an ITF tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia. She won three qualifying matches there to reach the main draw before losing in the first round. The next year, she won an ITF event in Moscow, Russia without dropping a set, despite being unranked. The event was just the second event she had played in her professional career. Five weeks later, she made her WTA-level debut at the Tier I tournament in Moscow, beating World No. 148 Elena Bovina before losing to World No. 11 Anna Kournikova in the second round. In 2001, she failed to qualify for WTA events in Key Biscayne, Florida and Moscow, but reached a semifinal at the ITF Circuit tournament in Civitanova, Italy. During this time, she also showed her adeptness in juniors' competition by winning the Orange Bowl under-18s event in 2000 and 2001.

The Great Season

The tennis season 2008 was one of the most successful in Vera Zvonareva’s career. She showed stable and confident play, she won two tournaments in Prague and Guangzhou and was a finalist of six WTA tournaments: three of them were of tier 1 in Doha, Charleston and Moscow and the WTA Tour Championships in Doha.

Only the summer period was unsuccessful, when Vera was giving importance to dressage to Olympic doubles with her partner Elena Vesnina. However, it fell out that Maria Sharapova, being one of the four to go to Beijing, was seriously injured, and was not able to take part in the competition. At the same time, Anna Chakvetadze refused to go to China. In the end, suddenly, Vera got an opportunity to take part in singles Olympic tournament. She was very successful and took the most precious prize in her life – the Olympic Games bronze medal.

Also, in that season, Vera Zvonareva became a two-time winner of the Federation Cup in the national team. In addition, at the year-end she took up the 7th position in the singles ranking, which was the highest place in her career.

The best season

Before the beginning of the season 2010 Vera was not sure if she would be able to play to the utmost in the near future, but as a result, the season has proved to be the most successful in her career!! Having pulled out of the tournament in Sidney, Vera decided to take part in the Australian Open, where was rather successful and reached the forth circle. Luckily, the injury almost did not disturb her.

Then there was another title in Pattaya, after which the Russian woman managed to take part in the competition in Dubai, where she arrived just several hours after her taking a title in Thai courts. The American hard series were not rather successful, but on the green clay of Charleston Vera managed to reach the final, where she yielded to irrepressible Australian Samantha Stosur. On the European clay courts Vera was extremely unlucky and won only two matches from 7 (at Roland Garros she lost in the second round) and left the top-20.

In May Zvonareva started to work with a young, 26 years old, Russian coach Sergey Demekhin, with whom they won the Russian championship-2001. This cooperation brought up to unexpected and impressing results! At Wimbledon Vera was not considered to be among favourites, but having won such serious opponents as a Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, and a Serbian Jelena Jankovic, she reached the quarterfinals, where in beautiful match she defeated one of the main contenders to the title, Kim Clijsters, by a score of 3:6 6:4 6:2. For the right to play in the final of the Grand Slam tournament Vera struggled with the main sensation of the tournament a Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, who had not left any chances to Venis Williams in the quarterfinal. And again, after having yielded the first set, the Russian did not leave any doubts in her leadership and won 3:6 6:3 6:2. It was practically impossible to win the main favourite of the competition, Serena Williams 3:6 2:6. After Wimbledon Vera entered the world top-10.

The American series of hard tournaments Vera did not show her best, but gradually, she recaptured the form and reached the finals of the tournament in Montreal, having yielded to a newly-qualified the world #1 Caroline Wozniacki. Then there was the US Open where again Vera was not considered as a favourite, but she was well on the way along the tournament seeding and having lost no sets, she was through the semifinal with the same Wozniacki whom she easily won that time 6:4 6:3. In the final, again, the main contender to the title, a Belgian Kim Clijsters, was waiting for our tennis player. Unfortunately, Vera could not overcome her nerves and lost two sets 2:6 1:6. After the US Open, for the first time, Zvonareva reached the fourth place in the WTA-Ranking list.

In the Asian series of tournaments, Vera made a stable showing and reached the quarterfinals in Tokyo and the final in Beijin and before the Sony Ericsson Championships in the capital of Qatar, Doha, she stated another PR – the second place in the WTA ranking. At the tournament of the eight top-ranks Vera was the best in the group stage, having yielded no sets to her opponents Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenke and Kim Clijsters, but in the semifinal she lost to Caroline Wozniacki. The Russian player managed to maintain the second place of the year and now she is entering a new season with high hopes.

Source: zvonareva.ru

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Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva of Russia pose with the winners trophy after defeating Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani of Italy in the doubles final match during day twelve of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.

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