Mara Santangelo

Mara Santangelo (born 28 June 1981) is a retired tennis player from Italy and Grand Slam champion in double.

Mara Santangelo
Mara santangelo in borghese.jpg
Country (sports) Italy
ResidenceRome, Italy
Born (1981-06-28) 28 June 1981 (age 41)
Latina, Lazio, Italy
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Turned pro1998
Retired28 January 2011
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,691,518
Career record286–238
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 27 (9 July 2007)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian Open4R (2004)
French Open3R (2007)
Wimbledon3R (2007)
US Open3R (2006)
Career record219–143
Career titles9
Highest rankingNo. 5 (10 September 2007)
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian OpenSF (2009)
French OpenW (2007)
WimbledonSF (2007)
US Open3R (2007)
Team competitions
Fed CupW (2006)

Tennis careerEdit

Mara Santangelo

Santangelo reached the fourth round at the 2004 Australian Open, defeating 16th-seeded Magüi Serna, Barbara Schett, and 19th-seeded Eleni Daniilidou—losing to eventual champion and world No. 1 Justine Henin after having been up 4–2 in the second set. She also won her first WTA title in 2006, defeating Jelena Kostanić in the final, her first victory on the WTA-level.

She took a set from top-seeded Amélie Mauresmo in the third round of the 2006 US Open, and led 2–0 in the deciding set, only to lose the next six games. She also defeated Anastasia Myskina in 2006, her first win over a top-20 player. She and her Italian teammates Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, and Roberta Vinci beat the Belgian team 3–2 in the 2006 Fed Cup final. Justine Henin had to retire in the fifth and final match because of an injury in her right knee, which let Italy win their first Fed Cup trophy.[1]

Despite holding match points in both matches, Santangelo lost to Agnieszka Radwańska and Dinara Safina in successive first rounds at Luxembourg and Stuttgart respectively, in three set matches. In Moscow, Santangelo lost in the first round to Iveta Benešová in another three-setter. In Linz, Santangelo defeated Alona Bondarenko; she lost to eventual semifinalist Nicole Vaidišová. At her final tournament of the year in Hasselt, Santangelo retired while 5–2 down against Michaëlla Krajicek in the first round. She ended the year ranked world No. 31, a new career high.

Santangelo was still recovering from injury when 2007 commenced. At her first tournament in Hobart, she defeated countrywoman Maria Elena Camerin in the first round, losing to Catalina Castaño in the second round. At the Australian Open, Santangelo drew then-world No. 81 eventual champion Serena Williams in the first round, losing in two sets. Santangelo reached her first quarterfinal of the year at the Tier IV Pattaya City tournament, losing to Sania Mirza in straight sets. At her very next tournament, the Tier III Bangalore, as the defending champion, Santangelo made the final for the second straight year, where she lost to Yaroslava Shvedova in the final.

In Doha during the second round, Santangelo faced fellow countrywoman Francesca Schiavone, and led 6–4, 6–6(6–5), but lost 4–6, 7–6, 1–0 retired after dropping a match point. She rebounded during her next tournament, however, in Key Biscayne, defeating Jelena Janković in the third round in three sets – which was the first top 10 victory of her career. She lost in the round of 16 to Anna Chakvetadze. Reaching the fourth round of Key Biscayne has thus far been the best showing of Santangelo's in a high-tier event.

During the clay court season, Santangelo defeated Nadia Petrova in the second round of Warsaw, for her second career top-10 victory, reaching her third quarterfinal of the year. She lost to eventual champion Henin. At the French Open, in singles, Santangelo reached the third round, losing to eventual champion Henin. For doubles, however, partnering Alicia Molik, she won the championship, winning her first Grand Slam title. The victory was her fourth title in doubles for the year, with four different partners at each championship.

In 2007 Wimbledon Championships, Santangelo was defeated in round three by the defending champion and fourth-seeded, Amélie Mauresmo, in 57 minutes. Santangelo took part in the 2007 Fed Cup final, where she was defeated by Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second rubber and by Elena Vesnina in the fourth rubber; Italy unsuccessfully defended its title and Russia won the trophy with a 4–0 score. Santangelo had to miss the warm-ups for the Australian Open and the Australian Open itself in 2008 because of a troublesome left foot injury. She also had to miss the Paris Indoors event and the Bangalore Open event, where she has previously won a WTA title and been a runner-up.

Santangelo returned from eight-month left foot injury lay-off in May; she reached the second round twice (including the 2008 Wimbledon Championships) and she won two ITF tournaments, Biella and Ortisei. At the Beijing Olympics, she was defeated by Dinara Safina in the first round.

In 2009, once again plagued by her foot injury, Santangelo won three doubles tournaments, all of them partnering Nathalie Dechy: ASB Classic, where they defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives and Arantxa Parra Santonja, the Monterrey Open with a two-sets win over Iveta Benešová and Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová and, finally, Strasbourg, defeating Claire Feuerstein and Stéphanie Foretz with a 6–0, 6–1 score. On 6 September, partnering Laura Olivieri, she won the 2009 European Beach Tennis Championships with a straight-sets win over the defending champions, Simona Briganti and Rossella Stefanelli.[2]

In May 2010, Santangelo announced her decision to compete in doubles events only, citing her recurrent left foot injury as the main cause that persuaded her to renounce to play singles matches.[3] On 28 January 2011, she declared her retirement from professional tennis due to recurring injuries with her left foot.

Personal lifeEdit

Santangelo was born in Latina, but grew up in the Fiemme Valley in Trentino. She started playing tennis at the age of 6. Her mother, Patrizia, died in a car accident in 1997, when she was sixteen.

Santangelo is a Catholic.[4] In 2010, she went on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Medjugorje, and has been vocal about her faith since then. Santangelo has written an autobiography, Te lo prometto (I promise you), based on her tennis career and spiritual life.[5]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Doubles: 1 (1–0)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 2007 French Open Clay   Alicia Molik   Katarina Srebotnik
  Ai Sugiyama
7–6(7–5), 6–4

WTA career finalsEdit

Singles: 2 (1–1)Edit

Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
Tour Championships (0–0)
Tier I (0–0)
Tier II (0–0)
Tier III (1–1)
Tier IV & V (0–0)
Result No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1. 19 February 2006 Bangalore Hard   Jelena Kostanić 3–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–3
Runner-up 1. 18 February 2007 Bangalore Hard   Yaroslava Shvedova 4–6, 4–6

Doubles: 12 (9–3)Edit

Legend: Before 2009 Legend: Starting in 2009
Grand Slam tournaments (1–0)
Tour Championships (0–0)
Tier I (1–0) Premier Mandatory (0–0)
Tier II (2–1) Premier 5 (0–0)
Tier III (1–0) Premier (0–0)
Tier IV & V (1–2) International (3–0)
Result No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1. 3 October 2004 Hasselt Hard (i)   Jennifer Russell   Nuria Llagostera Vives
  Marta Marrero
6–3, 7–5
Loss 1. 11 October 2004 Tashkent Hard   Marion Bartoli   Adriana Serra Zanetti
  Antonella Serra Zanetti
6–1, 3–6, 4–6
Loss 2. 8 August 2005 Stockholm Hard   Eva Birnerová   Émilie Loit
  Katarina Srebotnik
4–6, 3–6
Win 2. 11 February 2007 Pattaya City Hard   Nicole Pratt   Chan Yung-jan
  Chuang Chia-jung
6–4, 7–6(7–4)
Win 3. 8 April 2007 Amelia Island Clay   Katarina Srebotnik   Anabel Medina Garrigues
  Virginia Ruano Pascual
6–3, 7–6(7–4)
Win 4. 20 May 2007 Rome Clay   Nathalie Dechy   Tathiana Garbin
  Roberta Vinci
6–4, 6–1
Win 5. 8 June 2007 French Open Clay   Alicia Molik   Katarina Srebotnik
  Ai Sugiyama
7–6(7–5), 6–4
Loss 3. 19 August 2007 Los Angeles Hard   Alicia Molik   Květa Peschke
  Rennae Stubbs
0–6, 1–6
Win 6. 25 August 2007 New Haven Hard   Sania Mirza   Cara Black
  Liezel Huber
6–1, 6–2
Win 7. 10 January 2009 Auckland Hard   Nathalie Dechy   Nuria Llagostera Vives
  Arantxa Parra Santonja
4–6, 7–6(7–3), [12–10]
Win 8. 8 March 2009 Monterrey Hard   Nathalie Dechy   Iveta Benešová
  Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová
6–3, 6–4
Win 9. 18 May 2009 Strasbourg Clay   Nathalie Dechy   Claire Feuerstein
  Stéphanie Foretz
6–0, 6–1

ITF finalsEdit

Singles (8–4)Edit

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 14 August 2000 Aosta, Italy Clay   Andreea Ehritt-Vanc 1–6 6–0 6–1
Winner 2. 27 August 2000 Cuneo, Italy Clay   Edith Nunes 6–2 3–6 6–3
Runner-up 3. 24 June 2002 Fontanafredda, Italy Clay   Alona Bondarenko 3–6 0–6
Winner 4. 25 August 2002 Maribor, Slovenia Clay   Edina Gallovits-Hall 6–2 6–3
Runner-up 5. 8 September 2002 Fano, Italy Clay   Flavia Pennetta 6–3 4–6 0–6
Runner-up 6. 20 October 2002 Joué-lès-Tours, France Hard (i)   Camille Pin 6–2 3–6 0–6
Winner 7. 2 February 2003 Ortisei, Italy Carpet (i)   Sofia Arvidsson 2–6 6–2 6–2
Winner 8. 29 March 2005 Poza Rica, Mexico Hard   Ryōko Fuda 3–6 6–2 6–0
Winner 9. 26 April 2005 Taranto, Italy Clay   Kira Nagy 6–1 6–0
Runner-up 10. 23 October 2005 Saint Raphael, France Hard (i)   Maret Ani 3–6 5–7
Winner 11. 20 July 2008 Biella, Italy Clay   Jelena Kostanić Tošić 6–3 6–1
Winner 12. 19 October 2008 Urtijëi, Italy Carpet (i)   Kristina Barrois 6–3 ret.

Doubles (14–5)Edit

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1. 16 August 1998 Alghero, Italy Hard   Laura Dell'Angelo   Alessia Lombardi
  Elena Pioppo
6–3, 2–6, 4–6
Winner 2. 14 September 1998 Reggio di Calabria, Italy Clay   Katia Altilia   Andreea Ehritt-Vanc
  Elena Pioppo
7–6(3), 4–6, 6–4
Winner 3. 26 September 1999 Horb, Germany Clay   Rewa Hudson   Eva Fislová
  Andrea Šebová
6–2, 6–2
Runner-up 4. 30 August 1999 Zadar, Croatia Clay   Natasha Galouza   Jana Macurová
  Olga Vymetálková
1–6, 3–6
Winner 5. 13 September 1999 Biograd na Moru, Croatia Clay   Natasha Galouza   Silvia Uríčková
  Eva Fislová
6–2, 6–2
Winner 6. 4 October 1999 Girona, Spain Clay   Maria Wolfbrandt   Marina Escobar
  Rocio Gonzalez
6–7(3), 6–1, 6–3
Winner 7. 10 April 2000 Hvar, Croatia Clay   Marijana Kovačević   Zuzana Hejdová
  Petra Kučová
6–3, 4–6, 6–3
Runner-up 8. 30 April 2000 Cerignola, Italy Clay   Maria Elena Camerin   Maria Boboedova
  Liudmila Nikoyan
Winner 9. 20 August 2000 Aosta, Italy Clay   Maria Elena Camerin   Oana-Elena Golimbioschi
  Andreea Ehritt-Vanc
7–5, 4–6, 6–1
Winner 10. 27 August 2000 Cuneo, Italy Clay   Maria Elena Camerin   Silvia Disderi
  Anna Floris
7–5, 6–2
Winner 11. 3 September 2000 Spoleto, Italy Clay   Maria Elena Camerin   Oana-Elena Golimbioschi
  Andreea Ehritt-Vanc
Winner 12. 30 September 2000 Tbilisi, Georgia Clay   Mariana Díaz Oliva   Jolanda Mens
  Alena Paulenková
4–6, 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 13. 21 July 2003 Innsbruck, Austria Clay   Melinda Czink   Kira Nagy
  Maria Wolfbrandt
4–6, 6–4, 4–6
Runner-up 14. 18 August 2003 Bronx, United States Hard   Selima Sfar   Yuliya Beygelzimer
  Tatiana Poutchek
4–6, 5–7
Winner 15. 14 September 2003 Denain, France Clay   Antonella Serra Zanetti   Yuliya Beygelzimer
  Tatiana Poutchek
7–5, 6–3
Winner 16. 12 October 2003 Latina, Italy Clay   Roberta Vinci   Maret Ani
  Libuše Průšová
3–6, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 17. 2 April 2005 Poza Rica, Mexico Hard   Seda Noorlander   Daniela Klemenschits
  Sandra Klemenschits
6–2, 4–6, 6–3
Winner 18. 5 June 2005 Prostějov, Czech Republic Clay   Yuliya Beygelzimer   Dája Bedáňová
  Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová
6–1, 4–6, 6–2
Winner 19. 3 August 2008 Rimini, Italy Clay   Roberta Vinci   Stefanie Vögele
  Kathrin Wörle
6–1, 6–4

Grand Slam performance timelinesEdit

(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.


Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 W–L
Australian Open LQ 4R 1R 3R 1R A 1R 5–5
French Open LQ 1R 1R 2R 3R 1R 1R 3–6
Wimbledon LQ 1R 2R 1R 3R 2R LQ 4–5
US Open 1R 1R 1R 3R 1R A A 2–5


Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 W–L
Australian Open 1R QF 1R 1R A SF 7–5
French Open 2R 1R 2R W 1R 1R 8–5
Wimbledon 3R 2R 2R SF 1R 1R 8–6
US Open 1R 1R 2R 3R 2R A 4–5

Head-to-head record against top playersEdit

Players who have been ranked world No. 1 are in boldface.


  1. ^ Italy wins the Fed Cup for the first time Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine,, 17 September
  2. ^ 2009 European Beach Tennis Championships completed,, 8 September 2009
  3. ^ [1], 26 May 2010
  4. ^ "Mara Santangelo, famous Italian tennis player in Medjugorje".
  5. ^ "Mara Santangelo: Ho vinto tanto ma ero infelice. A Medjugorje è cambiata la mia vita". 17 December 2018.

External linksEdit