Thursday, February 5, 2009

Maria Yuryevna Kirilenko

Born January 25, 1987
Maria Yuryevna Kirilenko (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Кириле́нко; ) is a Russian professional tennis player. Born in Moscow, she won her first WTA Tour title in 2005, defeating Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6–3, 6–4 in the China Open

When Kirilenko was twelve years old, an Honored Master of sports, Elena Brioukhovets, saw her while training. All the next year Elena watched Maria making progress and then offered to work together with her. A three-year program was made and a special team was selected. In less than three years Maria became the number one in her age group and the number two in the group under eighteen. The well-known tennis players Yevgeni Kafelnikov, Andrei Olhovskiy and Max Mirnyi, who had created an organization supporting young tennis-players, helped Kirilenko to arrange her training-process and to attend tournaments.

In 2002 Kirilenko became one of the youngest winners of the Canadian Open and the US Open Junior Tournaments.

Since September 2002 Kirilenko started participating in WTA events. She made a lot of progress in WTA events but was setback by injury in 2004 and dropped down the rankings, whilst missing out on valuable experience. At the end of 2005 she had climbed right up the rankings and won her first title in Beijing. She has been recognized as one of the up and coming players of 2006 and, despite being off her best form during the Summer, she has broken into the top 20 for the first time on June 12, 2006.

Kirilenko made her debut for Russia at the nation-based Fed Cup tournament in April 2006 on the World Group Quarter-Final tie against Belgium. Maria lost a singles rubber against '05 US Open champion Kim Clijsters and won her doubles rubber against multiple major champion Justine Henin-Hardenne and the same Kim Clijsters partnering Dinara Safina. Russia ended up losing 3–2.

At the 2006 US Open, Kirilenko received the 20th seed of the tournament and reached the 3rd Round, eventually being defeated by Aravane Rezaï.

In January 2007, she advanced to the third round of the 2007 Australian Open, before being defeated by third-seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, immediately after which she competed in the 2007 Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, where she advanced to the second round upsetting #15 Shahar Pe'er of Israel, before being defeated by Ai Sugiyama. She then competed in the Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, where she reached the second round, before losing in a close match to Daniela Hantuchová 6–2 4–6 6–7 (4/7)

At the Australian Open, Kirilenko reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career, by beating No. 6 seed Anna Chakvetadze in three sets (6–7, 6–1, 6–2). Her next opponent was Daniela Hantuchová, to whom she lost in the fourth round 1–6, 6–4, 6–4, 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, 6-2 5-7 1-6. 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, 6-4 6-2. She also won the doubles title in Estoril, partnering Flavia Pennetta. Maria also won in Barcelona; in the final Kirilenko faced Martinez-Sanchez and won 6-0 6-2 for her fourth career WTA title and the second this year.

Kirilenko played at the Tier III tournament in Cincinnati in August where she was the number 3 seed. She reached the semi-finals, where she lost 1-6 6-2 6-1 to eventual champion Nadia Petrova. She partnered with Petrova as the 2nd seed doubles team that beat the number 1 seed pair of Su-Wei Hsieh and Yaroslava Shvedova in the finals, 6-3 4-6 10-8.

Kirilenko was seeded 27th at the 2009 Australian Open. She lost in the first round to unseeded Sara Errani of Italy 6-0 6-4 in the tournament's first upset.

Height : 5′ 8” (1.73 m)
Weight : 127 lbs. (57.6 kg)
Plays : Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach : Yuri Kirilenko
Manager : Octagon (
Interests : reading, music, computer gaming, basketball, football
Favorite players : Jennifer Capriati, Yevgeni Kafelnikov
Current Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Singles Rankings (February 2, 2009) : No.37
Highest ranking : No. 18 (July 7, 2008)
Grand Slam (0)
WTA Championships (0)
Tier I (0)
Tier II (1)
Tier III (1)
Tier IV (3)
ITF Circuit (3)

Doubles (5)
Legend (Wins/Runner-up)
Grand Slam (0/0)
WTA Championships (0/0)
Tier I (0/1)
Tier II (1/0)
Tier III (3/1)
Tier IV (1/1)

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