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Mara Santangelo (born 28 June 1981) is a retired tennis player from Italy and Grand Slam champion in double.
|Born||28 June 1981|
Latina, Lazio, Italy
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Retired||28 January 2011|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Highest ranking||No. 27 (9 July 2007)|
|Grand Slam singles results|
|Australian Open||4R (2004)|
|French Open||3R (2007)|
|US Open||3R (2006)|
|Highest ranking||No. 5 (10 September 2007)|
|Grand Slam doubles results|
|Australian Open||SF (2009)|
|French Open||W (2007)|
|US Open||3R (2007)|
|Fed Cup||W (2006)|
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.
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.
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. On 28 January 2011, she declared her retirement from professional tennis due to recurring injuries with her left foot.
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. 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.
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Doubles: 1 (1–0)Edit
|Win||2007||French Open||Clay||Alicia Molik|| Katarina Srebotnik
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)|
|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)|
|Win||1.||3 October 2004||Hasselt||Hard (i)||Jennifer Russell|| Nuria Llagostera Vives
|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
|Win||2.||11 February 2007||Pattaya City||Hard||Nicole Pratt|| Chan Yung-jan
|Win||3.||8 April 2007||Amelia Island||Clay||Katarina Srebotnik|| Anabel Medina Garrigues
Virginia Ruano Pascual
|Win||4.||20 May 2007||Rome||Clay||Nathalie Dechy|| Tathiana Garbin
|Win||5.||8 June 2007||French Open||Clay||Alicia Molik|| Katarina Srebotnik
|Loss||3.||19 August 2007||Los Angeles||Hard||Alicia Molik|| Květa Peschke
|Win||6.||25 August 2007||New Haven||Hard||Sania Mirza|| Cara Black
|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
|Win||9.||18 May 2009||Strasbourg||Clay||Nathalie Dechy|| Claire Feuerstein
|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.|
|Runner-up||1.||16 August 1998||Alghero, Italy||Hard||Laura Dell'Angelo|| Alessia Lombardi
|6–3, 2–6, 4–6|
|Winner||2.||14 September 1998||Reggio di Calabria, Italy||Clay||Katia Altilia|| Andreea Ehritt-Vanc
|7–6(3), 4–6, 6–4|
|Winner||3.||26 September 1999||Horb, Germany||Clay||Rewa Hudson|| Eva Fislová
|Runner-up||4.||30 August 1999||Zadar, Croatia||Clay||Natasha Galouza|| Jana Macurová
|Winner||5.||13 September 1999||Biograd na Moru, Croatia||Clay||Natasha Galouza|| Silvia Uríčková
|Winner||6.||4 October 1999||Girona, Spain||Clay||Maria Wolfbrandt|| Marina Escobar
|6–7(3), 6–1, 6–3|
|Winner||7.||10 April 2000||Hvar, Croatia||Clay||Marijana Kovačević|| Zuzana Hejdová
|6–3, 4–6, 6–3|
|Runner-up||8.||30 April 2000||Cerignola, Italy||Clay||Maria Elena Camerin|| Maria Boboedova
|Winner||9.||20 August 2000||Aosta, Italy||Clay||Maria Elena Camerin|| Oana-Elena Golimbioschi
|7–5, 4–6, 6–1|
|Winner||10.||27 August 2000||Cuneo, Italy||Clay||Maria Elena Camerin|| Silvia Disderi
|Winner||11.||3 September 2000||Spoleto, Italy||Clay||Maria Elena Camerin|| Oana-Elena Golimbioschi
|Winner||12.||30 September 2000||Tbilisi, Georgia||Clay||Mariana Díaz Oliva|| Jolanda Mens
|4–6, 6–3, 6–2|
|Runner-up||13.||21 July 2003||Innsbruck, Austria||Clay||Melinda Czink|| Kira Nagy
|4–6, 6–4, 4–6|
|Runner-up||14.||18 August 2003||Bronx, United States||Hard||Selima Sfar|| Yuliya Beygelzimer
|Winner||15.||14 September 2003||Denain, France||Clay||Antonella Serra Zanetti|| Yuliya Beygelzimer
|Winner||16.||12 October 2003||Latina, Italy||Clay||Roberta Vinci|| Maret Ani
|3–6, 6–2, 6–4|
|Winner||17.||2 April 2005||Poza Rica, Mexico||Hard||Seda Noorlander|| Daniela Klemenschits
|6–2, 4–6, 6–3|
|Winner||18.||5 June 2005||Prostějov, Czech Republic||Clay||Yuliya Beygelzimer|| Dája Bedáňová
|6–1, 4–6, 6–2|
|Winner||19.||3 August 2008||Rimini, Italy||Clay||Roberta Vinci|| Stefanie Vögele
Grand Slam performance timelinesEdit
Head-to-head record against top playersEdit
Players who have been ranked world No. 1 are in boldface.
- Martina Hingis 0–1
- Nadia Petrova 1–2
- Serena Williams 0–2
- Dinara Safina 0–3
- Elena Dementieva 0–2
- Jelena Janković 1–3
- Nicole Vaidišová 1–1
- Lindsay Davenport 0–1
- Elena Vesnina 1–1
- Flavia Pennetta 0–3
- Ana Ivanovic 0–2
- Agnieszka Radwańska 1–1
- ^ Italy wins the Fed Cup for the first time Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, fedcup.com, 17 September
- ^ 2009 European Beach Tennis Championships completed, itf.com, 8 September 2009
- ^ , 26 May 2010
- ^ "Mara Santangelo, famous Italian tennis player in Medjugorje".
- ^ "Mara Santangelo: Ho vinto tanto ma ero infelice. A Medjugorje è cambiata la mia vita". 17 December 2018.