The shocker of the day for me came when I turned on the tv and saw an interview with Elena Dementieva. First I just thought it's a normal one after a regular match at the Championships, but they showed highlights of her career, and then it hit me: today is the day she calls it a career and retires from professional tennis.
Quite possibly the greatest player to never win a Grand Slam tournament, she was always one of my favorites. Not only did I love her style of play and her stunningly good looks, but she was always completely down to earth, light-hearted and a good person all around.
The highlight of her career was the Olympic Gold medal in Beijing 2008, as well as two Grand Slam finals and seven semifinals. She won the best womens tennis match I have ever seen (2004 US Open semifinal vs. Capriati 6:0, 2:6, 7:6) and her semifinal loss in Wimbledon to Serena Williams 2009 is regarded as one of the best matches ever. I thought she'd still have it in her to win a Slam, therefore her retirement is even more shocking to me. I wish her all the best for her life, and maybe she'll pull a Date Krumm and comes back in five years:-)
This mad me really sad. As soon as I saw the title of the thread on my twitter thing I just knew it was Elena Dementieva. I was just relieved to come here and not see the RIP logo next to the thread. lol
After Martina Hingis, Dementieva is probably my favorite athlete. I remember watching her when she first arrived and was impressed right away. Watching the rankings come out and seeing her break the top ten for the first time was exciting.
I wish she had won a Grand Slam as I always thought she could have, but I always enjoyed watching her play, and he wins over players like the Williams sisters, Capriati, and other players were exciting. That excitement probably made more-so by the fact that the American commentators tended to write her off before the match would even start as a non-challenge to any American "star" until just the past couple years. She was always the underdog, and that made her wins even more important.
With Clijsters and Henin coming back from retirement, and even Hingis returning to world team play, I'll still hold out hope that we see her again.