|I came across 2 great articles about Elena Dementieva so I thought why not share it to everyone.
Here's the first one from TennisReporters.net:
With Carson title, Dementieva ready for first Slam
By Matthew Cronin,
FROM THE JPMORGAN CHASE OPEN IN CARSON/LOS ANGELES – The best woman not to have won a Grand Slam title grabbed the JP Morgan Chase Open crown with a hard fought 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Jelena Jankovic in the final.
Elena Dementieva proved once again that she's a big-time force on hard courts. Now if she can just show the world that she has finally overcome the yips on her serve and has learned to trust shots other than her vicious groundies, she may end up being the queen of New York.
"I feel like its just starting for me," Dementieva said. "I feel like I'm just getting to my best game. I just need one more step. I'm young enough and I can make it in the future. It's just taken me a little longer."
When Jankovic was feeling right, the ambitious Serbian was able to hang with Dementieva in rallies and hurt her on numerous occasions with her signature shot, a whizzing backhand down the line.
But she grew very tired early in the third set and took a medical timeout down 3-0 for heat illness. She fell behind 5-0, but then Jankovic began to zone, and scrapped back to 5-4, knocking off numerous volley winners.
"I wanted to come back, so I didn't give up," Jankovic said. "I told myself to fight every point, even when I felt tired and dizzy. I knew I could break her, but the problem was holding my serve."
But in the final game, Dementieva began to play deeper and controlled the center of the court, winning the two-and-a-half-hour match with a well-struck forehand crosscourt winner. She then yelled and leapt into the air.
A finalist at the ’04 US Open, where she played terribly against Svetlana Kuznetsova, and a semifinalist there another two times, including last year, when she fell to Mary Pierce, the strong-legged blonde is the most tireless player on tour.
Kim Clijsters used to own that accolade, but she's been battered and bruised by injury. Since she came on tour in 1999, Dementieva has played 568 singles matches and 220 doubles contests - and then doesn't include Fed Cup. She's the Sony Ericsson's WTA Tour Iron Woman - but could use a bionic arm when she's serving.
"She's really fit," said Jankovic, who admitted that her conditioning failed her. "She's one of the most physically prepared players on tour. She could play five sets and not really get tired. I need to improve that so that I don't lose matches because I'm physically not strong enough."
Dementieva noted, "I could play five sets, no problem." Dementieva plays week-in, week-out and has never sustained a major injury. It took her seven years to win her first Tier One crown in Tokyo earlier this year, when she thrashed Martina Hingis in the final. She reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the first time last month.
She's also been a fourth-round Slam casualty on nine occasions and lost countless tough matches to the other elite players. Her strengths are obvious: speed, conditioning and ball-machine-like groundies.
But her serve is still pretty lousy (Jankovic called it "weird"), she lacking in variety and doesn't trust herself enough at the net. But with the number of injuries to the top women's players reaching the stratosphere, Dementieva has to be given a decent shot at reaching the final four at the Open, and even going further.
"I'm not going to be that excited to each the semifinals like I was in 2000," she said. "Then I didn't know what to do on court and it came to me really early. Now I'm more solid and I deserve to be in the quarters and the semis of the big events. I'm optimistic for the future."
But on a sunny Sunday in Carson, Dementieva tried to keep her mind on the present, the day that she won her first US hard court title. She was planning on going for a swim in the ocean, accompanied her brother 27-year-old brother, Vsevolod, who had a heck of a week as her coach and is due a big bonus. Her boyfriend, hockey star Maxim Afinogenov, was also going along for the celebration. Raising a glass to herself is a rare thing for a woman who is always on the next flight to following week's tournament.
In fact, even though she's not playing Montreal, she was already looking at the
draw sheet. "Life is short and I need to learn to celebrate more," she said, adding that in a week where she bested the likes of Shahar Peer, Maria Sharapova and Jankovic, she deserved to celebrate. "There were so many of the best players here and I'm the best one, wow. That's why I'm working every day is for these moments. I hope this momentum keeps going forever."
And here's the second one:
No Nervous Breakdown for Her
Dementieva overcomes her usual late-match tightness and shaky serving to beat Jankovic in final of Carson event.
Dillman, Times Staff WriterAugust 14, 2006
This is for all those out there with shaky serves and a nagging inability to close out a tennis match.
You might say Elena Dementieva is almost one of those people — her nervous struggles with the serve are often the same struggles of fans. Which is why her performance at the Home Depot Center at Carson on Sunday was especially gratifying for the Russian, as she overcame her nerves, her serve and, more important, Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, a woman having a breakthrough tournament.
The third-seeded Dementieva nearly lost a 5-0 third-set lead and gripped hard as the lead shriveled to 5-4.But she finally left No. 16 Jankovic behind for good in the final with an emphatic forehand winner on her third match point to take the JPMorgan Chase Open title, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.A giddy Dementieva jumped in celebration after the entertaining 2-hour 23-minute final, thrilling her brother and interim coach Vsevolod and her boyfriend, Maxim Afinogenov of the Buffalo Sabres, who were
among the 6,719 in attendance, and her weary mother, Vera, back home in Moscow
awaiting a result.
"It's a very great feeling," Dementieva said. "It's great to be champion for one week. So many great players are playing this week, and I'm the best one. I mean, wow! This is an amazing feeling. That's why I'm working so hard, to feel this moment and hope to keep this moment. I hope this momentum will go forever."
Losing the tag of best player without a Grand Slam title is difficult work, but the groundwork is laid in these types of tournaments. For instance, Kim Clijsters won at Carson last year and went on to take her first Grand Slam event a few weeks later, at the U.S. Open.
With Clijsters breaking through in 2005, and Amelie Mauresmo twice this year, the focus shifts to the 24-year-old Dementieva, who lost in two Slam finals, both in 2004. Now she has landed in the select group of women with momentum heading into New York, joining Clijsters and Maria Sharapova, who won in Palo Alto and Carlsbad,
Dementieva was so pleased that the smile hardly left her face during the post-match news conference, even when she was answering the same old questions about her serve — six double faults to Jankovic's five — and the Grand Slam drought."I feel like it's just starting for me," said Dementieva, who won her second title of 2006 and sixth in her career. "I feel I'm just getting to my best game, two finals. I just need one more step. I feel young enough and I can make it in the future."
The crowd caught a glimpse of another potential future star in the 21-year-old Jankovic. She is expected to move to No. 21 in the world today and has recorded victories over sisters Venus and Serena Williams this summer, the latter coming Saturday night in the semifinals.
Jankovic is unusual on the tour in that she attends a university in her native Belgrade."I'm not an ordinary tennis player who most of the time I think never ever have seen a classroom," she said. "They don't know how it looks like. They don't know what the desks look like…. Tennis career is really short and you don't know what will happen tomorrow, so I need to think about my future."
On Sunday she overcame a sluggish start and made it a surprisingly competitive third set after needing treatment for heat illness from the trainer when trailing, 0-3."I didn't give up," said Jankovic, who felt tired and dizzy. "I was still thinking I could do it. I know I can break her all the time. I just have to hold my serve, which I had problems doing because I was really tired. I almost did it. I almost came back to 5-5. She can run all day. I think she can play five sets and not get tired."
Then there was the matter of the serve. The tighter Dementieva got, the slower the serve became, and she frequently side-armed it in during the third set. It has thrown off many others before Jankovic."You don't know what's coming up, a slow serve or a fast serve," Jankovic said, smiling. "Sometimes she changes. Sometimes for the second serve, she hits like a first. Normally with the players, they hit a big serve and a little kick serve, and she hits all kinds."