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Vera Zvonareva, Russian professional tennis player

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Vera Zvonareva

Vera Igorevna Zvonareva is a Russian professional tennis player She has won twelve WTA Tour singles titles. Her career high is World No. 2 by the WTA, and she is currently ranked as the World No. 4

Vera Zvonareva was born in Moscow in 1984. She was introduced to tennis at the age of 6 and had a very successful junior career during which she won the Orange Bowl tournament, which is considered the Junior World Championships, in 2000 and 2001.

She turned professional in 2000 and reached the top 100 for the first time in 2002, reaching the fourth round at the French Open . She rose to the top 20 in 2003,reaching her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the French Open. She won at Bol for her first Tour singles title. In 2004, she reached the fourth round at the Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon, and won her first Grand Slam mixed doubles title, teaming with Bob Bryan at the US Open.

Zvonareva missed 2005 season due to her left ankle sprain however returned to the top 20 in 2006-2007, and added her second mixed doubles Grand Slam, teaming up with Rajeev Ram to take the title at Wimbledon. Vera Zvonareva made her ascension to the top 10 in 2008 and 2009. She won her 10th Tour singles title in February of 2010 at Pattaya City, reached the fourth round at the Australian Open and the second at the French. She entered Wimbledon as the 21st seed, but knocked off fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic and eighth-seeded Kim Clijsters on her way to the final. She went on to reach the final at the US Open, and again at the Tour Championship Finals. Zvonareva reached the semifinals of the Australian Open to start the 2011 campaign.

As of 2011 career highlights Zvonareva won in the final against Europe with her compatriots Maria Kirilenko and former male player Yevgeny Kafelnikov at Hong Kong Tennis Classic. Zvonareva was seeded No. 2 at the 2011 Australian Open in singles and reached quarterfinal, yet in the semifinal she was defeated by No. 3 seed and eventual champion of the 2011 Australian Open, Kim Clijsters, 3-6, 3-6. At the 2011 PTT Pattaya Open, Zvonareva was the top seed and was seeking her third consecutive title and second title defense. She defeated Tamira Paszek 6-4, 6-2 in the first round, qualifier Nungnadda Wannasuk 6-1, 7-5 in the second round, and Peng Shuai 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Zvonareva was upset by the No. 4 seed Daniela Hantuchová 6(3)-7, 4-6. Zvonareva picked up her first title of 2011 in late February at the 2011 Qatar Ladies Open. She was the No. 2 seed, receiving a bye into the second round, where she defeated Dominika Cibulková 6-1, 6-2. In the quarterfinals, she defeated Daniela Hantuchová 7-5, 6(5)-7, 7-5 in a match lasting over three hours after trailing 5-4 in the third set. She defeated former World No. 1 Jelena Janković 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the semifinals, and current World No. 1 and top seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4 in the final. It was Zvonareva's first title in over a year and the third time she defeated the reigning World No. 1. She reached semifinals at 2011 BNP Paribas Open but was defeated by Victoria Azarenka . Zvonareva was the No. 2 seed at Wimbledon Championships, defeating Alison Riske 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 in the first round and Elena Vesnina 6-1, 7-6(5) in the second round before falling to Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-3, in a rematch of the prior year's semifinal match. She got her twelfth WTA title at Baku Cup and rose to rose to World No. 2 in the middle of the year. At the US Open, Zvonareva was the No.2 seed and defeated qualifier Stéphanie Foretz Gacon, Kateryna Bondarenko, the No. 30 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, and the No. 22 seed Sabine Lisicki to reach the quarterfinals where she lost to the No. 9 seed and eventual champion Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-3. Unable to defend her runner-up points from 2010, she fell to World No. 4.

Vera Zvonareva is a powerful, all court tennis player. From a technical standpoint she definitely has one of the better service motions among the top women in the world. From the tactic view point Zvonareva is an offensive baseliner and most of the time she manages to put just the right amount of pressure on her opponents without over hitting or making too many unforced errors. Zvonareva is well trained and is in a good athletic shape. She moves around the court extremely well and one of her biggest assets as a tennis player is her explosive first step. However she is known for being too emotional and not being able to control her feeling on the court. She frequently showed nervous breakdown, tears and aggression on the court. And her mental fragility costs her matches when she self-destructs.

Vera is graduated from Russian State Academy of Physical Education and is currently getting second degree in international economic relations at Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow.

Zvonareva is a known philanthropist and a social activist. She works with International Rett Syndrome Foundation to find ways to increase awareness and raise funds for research of genetic disease Rhett syndrome, which is exactly Vera Zvonareva's charity activity. After US Open, donated a portion of her prize money and went to Russia to assist in creating organizing committee for Russian Rett Syndrome Foundation. She frequently draws attention to charity in her blog, takes part in exhibition and charity matches and participates in auctions for support of Children with Rett Syndrome. In May 2009 Zvonareva was became UNESCO-Sony Ericsson WTA Tour "Promoter of Gender Equality" along with Venus Williams (USA), Tatiana Golovin (France) and Zheng Jie (China).

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