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Maria Yuryevna Kirilenko-Stepanova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Кириле́нко, IPA: [mɐˈrʲijə ˈjʉrʲjɪvnə kʲɪrʲɪˈlʲɛnkə]; born 25 January 1987) is a former professional tennis player from Russia. She won the 2002 US Open Girls' Singles, and won her first title on the WTA Tour in 2005, defeating Anna-Lena Grönefeld in the China Open. She reached three Grand Slam singles quarterfinals, at the 2010 Australian Open, the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, and the 2013 French Open. In women's doubles, she reached two Grand Slam finals, at the 2011 Australian Open and the 2012 French Open, won the 2012 WTA Tour Championships and was a bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics. In June 2013, Kirilenko reached her career-high ranking of world No. 10. In September 2014, she played her last WTA event in Beijing.
Kirilenko at the 2013 French Open
|Born||25 January 1987|
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career record||364–257 (58.6%)|
|Career titles||6 WTA, 3 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 10 (10 June 2013)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||QF (2010)|
|French Open||QF (2013)|
|US Open||4R (2011)|
|Olympic Games||SF (2012)|
|Career record||255–150 (63.0%)|
|Career titles||12 WTA|
|Highest ranking||No. 5 (24 October 2011)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||F (2011)|
|French Open||F (2012)|
|US Open||SF (2011)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Tour Finals||W (2012)|
In 2002, Kirilenko became one of the youngest winners of the junior tournaments at the Canadian Open and US Open.
In 2002, Kirilenko started participating in WTA events. She began moving up the rankings in 2004, but was set back by an injury. At the 2004 French Open, Kirilenko took the first set off Serena Williams before losing in three sets. She was the runner-up to Nicole Pratt at the Hyderabad Open.
At the end of 2005, she climbed back up the rankings and won her first title in Beijing. On 12 June 2006, she broke into the world's top 20 for the first time. At the US Open, Kirilenko was seeded 20th and reached the third round, before losing to Aravane Rezaï.
Kirilenko made her debut for Russia at the Fed Cup tournament in April 2006. In the World Group quarterfinal tie against Belgium, she lost her singles match against 2005 US Open champion Kim Clijsters, but partnering with Dinara Safina, won her doubles match against Justine Henin and Clijsters. However, Russia ended up losing, 2–3.
In January 2007, she advanced to the third round of the Australian Open, before being defeated by third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. She then competed in the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, where she advanced to the second round, upsetting world No. 15 Shahar Pe'er of Israel, before being defeated by Ai Sugiyama. She then competed in the Dubai Tennis Championships, where she reached the second round, before losing in a close match to Daniela Hantuchová.
At the Acura Classic in San Diego, California, Kirilenko upset second seeded Jelena Janković to advance to the quarterfinals, before losing to fellow Russian Elena Dementieva. At the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles, she upset sixth seed Marion Bartoli in straight sets before losing to eventual champion Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals.
Unseeded at the US Open, she defeated Martina Müller and 22nd seed Katarina Srebotnik. She then lost to unseeded Julia Vakulenko. After the US Open, she appeared in the Sunfeast Open. There, Kirilenko won her second WTA Tour singles title, defeating unseeded Mariya Koryttseva in straight sets. The next week at a tournament in Seoul, Kirilenko, as the fourth seed also reached the finals, but lost to top seed Venus Williams.
At the Australian Open, Kirilenko reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career, beating sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze. Her next opponent was Daniela Hantuchová, to whom she lost, 6–1, 4–6, 4–6, 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. 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. She also won the doubles title there, partnering with Flavia Pennetta. Kirilenko also won in Barcelona, defeating Martinez-Sanchez for her fourth career WTA title and the second of the year.
Kirilenko played at the Tier-III tournament in Cincinnati in August, where she was third seed. She reached the semifinals, where she lost to eventual champion Nadia Petrova. She partnered with Petrova as the second-seed doubles team and beat the top-seed pair of Hsieh Su-wei and Yaroslava Shvedova in the finals.
In the Dubai doubles tournament, Kirilenko partnered with Agnieszka Radwańska, and even though they were unseeded, they reached the final, eventually losing to Liezel Huber and Cara Black, the world No. 1 doubles pairing at that time.
At the 2009 French Open, Kirilenko was unseeded in the singles tournament, and lost to Olivia Rogowska of Australia in the first round. In the doubles tournament, Kirilenko and doubles partner Flavia Pennetta of Italy were seeded eighth. They made it to the third round, before losing to 11th seeded Anna-Lena Grönefeld of Germany and Patty Schnyder of Switzerland.
At the US Open, she made it to the third round, defeating her doubles partner Radwańska before losing to Li Na. She then competed in the Korea Open in Seoul, where she was the defending champion, but lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Kimiko Date-Krumm.
2010: First Grand Slam quarterfinalEdit
Kirilenko began the year by competing in the ASB Classic, where she reached the quarterfinals but lost to Shahar Pe'er. With a ranking at that time of No. 58, Kirilenko was unseeded at the Australian Open, where in the first round she upset her friend, former doubles partner, 2008 champion and 14th seed Maria Sharapova, 7–6, 3–6, 6–4, in a 3-hour 22-minute marathon. It was the second-longest women's match in Australian Open history (only behind the 2011 fourth-round match between Francesca Schiavone and Svetlana Kuznetsova). She advanced to the quarterfinals, losing to Zheng Jie, who was also unseeded for this tournament. In the doubles portion, she and her partner, Agnieszka Radwańska, were seeded 15th and advanced to the semifinals, losing there to the world No. 1 pairing of Cara Black and Liezel Huber in three sets.
Kirilenko entered as 32nd seed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. She made it to the third round, losing there to second seeded Caroline Wozniacki. Kirilenko participated in the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami as 32nd seed. Like Indian Wells, she advanced to the third round, again losing to Wozniacki.
Kirilenko played in Rome in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, where she was unseeded. She advanced to the quarterfinals, where she lost to world No. 1 Serena Williams.
Kirilenko entered the French Open as 30th seed where she advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in her career, before losing to 17th seed and eventual champion Francesca Schiavone, having defeated defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova en route. In the doubles draw, Kirilenko and Radwańska were seeded 11th. They reached the quarterfinals, before losing to the eventual champions Serena and Venus Williams in straight sets.
At Wimbledon, she was 27th seed in the singles draw. She advanced to the third round, losing to eighth seed Kim Clijsters. Kirilenko also paired up with Agnieszka Radwańska in the doubles draw, where they were seeded 10th.
Kirilenko made the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California before losing to Radwańska. She entered in the doubles tournament with Victoria Azarenka, they ended in the semifinals.
She then reached the second rounds of Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open and the Rogers Cup, losing to Vera Zvonareva and Victoria Azarenka, respectively. At the Pilot Pen Tennis, she reached the semifinals, losing to Nadia Petrova.
She reached the third round of the US Open losing to 11th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
She then reached the second rounds of Korea Open, losing to former world No. 1 Dinara Safina, and Toray Pan Pacific Open, losing to Flavia Pennetta. At the last Premier-Mandatory event of the year, the China Open, she lost in the third round to eventual finalist and compatriot Vera Zvonareva. In the HP Open, she retired in the second round due to a hip injury against Chang Kai-chen, after losing the first set 4–6. Kirilenko reached the final of the Kremlin Cup where she fell to Victoria Azarenka.
Kirilenko ended the 2010 season ranked No. 20 in the world.
2011: Steady rankingEdit
She competed at the Hong Kong Tennis Classic and won the Gold Group Championship with her compatriots Vera Zvonareva and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. At the Australian Open, she failed to defend her quarterfinal points by being knocked out in the second round. However, in the doubles competition, she reached the final, partnered with Victoria Azarenka, but lost to Pennetta and Dulko. She then fell early in the Pattaya Open and Dubai Tennis Championships. She then reached the third round of both BNP Paribas Open and Sony Ericsson Open losing to Agnieszka Radwańska on both occasions. She then suffered three losses in a row in the second round of Family Circle Cup, and the first rounds of Mutua Madrid Open and Internazionali BNL d'Italia. However, she won doubles at the Mutua Madrid Open with Victoria Azarenka. At the French Open, she reached the fourth round losing to Andrea Petkovic in three sets.
She then fell in the first round of UNICEF Open to Kimiko Date-Krumm, However, she rebounded by reaching the third round of the Wimbledon Championships, eventually being stopped by the seventh-seeded Serena Williams. She then failed to win back-to-back matches falling in the second rounds of Bank of the West Classic, Mercury Insurance Open, first round of Rogers Cup, and the second rounds of Western & Southern Open and Bank of the West Classic. She then rebounded at the US Open, losing to eventual champion Samantha Stosur 2–6, 7–615–17, 3–6 in the fourth round. The second set tie-break score of 15–17 was the longest in any major in the history of women's tennis.
She reached her first semifinal of the year at the Guangzhou International Women's Open, losing to Chanelle Scheepers 5–7, 7–5, 4–6. She then played at the Pan Pacific Open and the China Open, where she defeated Samantha Stosur in three sets in both occasions in the second round; she also fell in the quarterfinals on both events losing to Vera Zvonareva and Monica Niculescu, respectively. She played her last tournament of the year at the BGL Luxembourg Open, where she had to withdrew in the second round due to an ankle injury.
2012: 4th place at 2012 OlympicsEdit
Kirilenko began her 2012 season in Sydney where she didn't reach the main draw losing against Sofia Arvidsson in the second round of qualifications. After that, she reached the third round of the Australian Open by defeating Gajdošová in the first and Wozniak in the second, before Kvitová stopped her run with a 6–0, 1–0 ret. Later in the year, she reached the final of the Pattaya Open but lost to Hantuchová. After second-round losses in both Dubai Championships and Doha, she reached the quarterfinals of Indian Wells as the 20th seed, losing to Sharapova 6–3, 5–7, 2–6. She then went on to the round of 16 of Miami as the 22nd seed losing to Marion Bartoli 1–6, 2–6.
She continued her year from Estoril to 's-Hertogenbosch with a losing record of 3–6. She then played the Wimbledon Championships as the 17th seed, where she had sudden success reaching the round of 16 for the first time with easy wins over Alexandra Cadanțu, Lourdes Domínguez Lino and Sorana Cîrstea. She had officially reached the second week of all four majors. She defeated Peng Shuai 6–1, 6–7, 6–3 to reach her second Grand Slam quarterfinal and her first at Wimbledon. After almost three hours of play, three rain delays and switching courts, she eventually lost in a very close and tough quarterfinal to the No. 3 seed, Agnieszka Radwańska 5–7, 6–4, 5–7.
At the Summer Olympics, Kirilenko reached the semifinals by defeating sixth seed Petra Kvitová 7–6, 6–3. She lost the semifinal match to silver medalist Sharapova 2–6, 3–6, and then lost in the bronze-medal match to Victoria Azarenka 3–6, 4–6 but won a bronze medal in women's doubles with Petrova by beating the No. 1 ranked team of Raymond and Huber 4–6, 6–4, 6–1.
Maria returned at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati and lost to Venus Williams 3–6, 7–6, 2–6 in the first round. She bounced back into form at the Premier level New Haven Open. She scored a top-10 victory over Caroline Wozniacki (7–5, ret.) en route to her second final of the season. She was defeated by Kvitová 7–6, 7–5 in the final. Kirilenko ended the summer with a third-round loss to Andrea Hlaváčková 7–5, 4–6, 4–6 at the US Open. Kirilenko and Petrova defeated the Williams sisters in doubles 6–1, 6–4, but lost in the quarterfinals to Martinez Sanchez and Llagostera Vives 5–7, 6–3, 6–7.
Maria was injured for most of the fall season, but she did reach the quarterfinals of the Kremlin Cup in October losing again to Arvidsson. In doubles, Maria and Nadia defeated Kops-Jones and Spears to qualify for the year-end championships in Istanbul.
2013: World No. 10 & injuriesEdit
At the Australian Open, Kirilenko made it to the round of 16 where she lost to Serena Williams in straight sets. On February 3, she won the Pattaya Open, beating Sabine Lisicki 5–7, 6–1, 7–6 in the final. She then won her first singles match in Fed Cup when Russia beat Japan in the first round in straight sets against Kimiko Date-Krumm. Maria's next tournament was the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. After receiving a bye into the second round, she beat Christina McHale and Mallory Burdette before upsetting the third seed Agnieszka Radwańska in the fourth round; that was followed by another upset victory over Petra Kvitová in the quarterfinals. However, her run came to an end in the semifinals with a straight sets defeat by eventual champion Sharapova.
She followed it up with a semifinal run at the Monterrey Open losing to Angelique Kerber. She reached back to back third rounds at the Mutua Madrid Open and Internazionali BNL d'Italia losing to Serena Williams and Sara Errani, respectively. At the French Open, Kirilenko defeated Nina Bratchikova, Ashleigh Barty to advance to the third round where she defeated Stefanie Vögele. In the fourth round, she defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands (who had upset Li Na in the second round) to advance to her first quarterfinal at the French Open, where she subsequently lost to her former doubles partner, world No. 3 Victoria Azarenka. Her run in Paris catapulted her into the top 10 for the first time.
She then suffered with a knee injury at the Aegon International but still made it through the quarterfinals losing to Yanina Wickmayer. At Wimbledon, Kirilenko was beaten in the first round by British player Laura Robson in straight sets. As a result, Kirilenko dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, as she was defending a quarterfinal appearance from 2012. Despite being a seed, Kirilenko was upset by Alizé Cornet and Mona Barthel at the second rounds of Rogers Cup and Western & Southern Open. At the US Open, Kirilenko fell to Simona Halep.
Kirilenko started an Asian swing with a 3–6, 1–6 loss to Kimiko Date-Krumm in the second round at Seoul. After losing a third-round match against Serena Williams in Beijing, Kirilenko lost to Pavyluchenkova, 3–6, 3–6 in Moscow. Injury ended her season in Sofia with a 0–5 retirement loss to Alizé Cornet.
2014: Last seasonEdit
Kirilenko was not listed on any entry lists for 2014 tournaments, still recovering from the knee injury suffered in the Tournament of Champions in Sofia. She also missed the Australian Open due to the injury.
After missing the pair of Premier Mandatory events at Indian Wells and Miami, Kirilenko made her comeback at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, but was upset by Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic, who eventually reached her first WTA semifinal.
Kirilenko conceded a walkover to Caroline Garcia before her second-round match at the Madrid Open. She defeated Kristina Mladenovic in the previous round and recorded her first victory of 2014. At the Rome Masters, she lost to compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round. She exited in the first round at Roland Garros, winning three games against Johanna Larsson. As a result, her ranking plunged 44 places down to 88th after failing to defend quarterfinal points.
Kirilenko played the pre-Wimbledon tournament at s' Hertogenbosch but lost to Mona Barthel in the first round. Kirilenko entered Wimbledon ranked 109th, her lowest ranking in five years but she caused an upset by defeating 18th seed and the previous year's quarterfinalist Sloane Stephens in the first round. She subsequently lost to Chinese Peng Shuai in the second round, winning three games in her straight-sets defeat.
After a month-long break, Kirilenko entered the US Open unseeded and drew Maria Sharapova in the first round. She lost the match in straight sets. At Seoul, Kirilenko participated as a wildcard. She reached her first quarterfinal in 15 months by defeating Donna Vekić and third-seed Klára Koukalová in her first two matches. She then defeated sixth-seed Kaia Kanepi for a place in the semifinals. Her run came to an end in the hands of second-seed and eventual champion Karolína Plíšková.
Between 2015 and 2017, Kirilenko gave birth to two children, and has since not returned to professional tennis; it is not known for certain whether or not Kirilenko will return to the game, as she has not competed professionally since 2014, and at present she is not ranked by the WTA.
In 2006, Kirilenko was selected to be the face of Adidas by Stella McCartney tennis range, designed by noted British fashion designer Stella McCartney and has played exclusively in the gear since the Australian Open. In 2009, she was replaced by Caroline Wozniacki following the US Open.
In November 2011, Russian ice-hockey player Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals identified Kirilenko as his girlfriend on his Twitter account. On 31 December 2012, Ovechkin confirmed the rumors that he and Kirilenko were engaged. In July 2014, she called off her planned wedding saying in comments distributed by the Russian Tennis Federation that there were "a lot of reasons" behind her decision. Ovechkin had faced questions from Russian media about the relationship when he did not accompany Kirilenko to Wimbledon in June.
On 24 January 2015, Kirilenko got married but the name of her husband was not revealed until a few days later: she married Alexei Stepanov, reported to be the head of the Committee of Public Services in Moscow.
Grand Slam performance timelinesEdit
- "Serena battles hard to top Russian teen". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Hantuchova Gets Better Than Kirilenko". Sporting Life. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
- "Australian Open 2011: Francesca Schiavone outlasts Svetlana Kuznetsova in longest women's major match". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "BBC Sport - Tennis - Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova loses to Maria Kirilenko". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- Wimbledon 2010: Clijsters races into fourth round BBC Sport, 25 June 2010
- Gloster, Rob (4 September 2011). "Stosur, Kirilenko Play Longest Tiebreaker in Women's History at U.S. Open". Bloomberg. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Winch, Jessica (4 July 2012). "Wimbledon 2012". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- "Maria Kirilenko has come a very long way". theroar.com.au. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Date-Krumm, 42, stuns Kirilenko in Seoul". FoxNews.com. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Cornet Advances, Kirilenko Withdraws". wtatennis.com. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Tennis - Russian Maria Kirilenko withdraw from Sofia event after injuring left knee in first match". TennisWorldUSA.org. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- Luke Saville closer to Australian Open berth after winning wildcard play-off quarter-final, ABC Grandstand Sport (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), 11 December 2013
- 10th Seed Kirilenko Falls At Family Circle Cup, Live5News, 1 April 2014
- "Maria Kirilenko Introduces adidas by Stella McCartney Tennis Range". Adidas Press Room. Archived from the original on 6 March 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2007.
- Golovin, Hantuchova, Kirilenko in SI swimsuit issue. Tennis.com, 11 February 2009 Archived 15 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Kirilenko Backs Boyfriend Andreev to Beat Federer Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Brough, Jason (30 November 2011). "Maria Kirilenko is Alex Ovechkin's "queen"". Pro Hockey Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Alex Ovechkin and Maria Kirilenko are engaged". Washington Post. 31 December 2012.
- "Kirilenko ends engagement to Caps' Ovechkin". go.com. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Updated: Shock of the day! Maria Kirilenko is getting married today!? - Women's Tennis Blog". WomensTennisBlog.com. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Maria Kirilenko finally reveals her husband, flies off to honeymoon - Women's Tennis Blog". WomensTennisBlog.com. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Maria Kirilenko gives birth to baby boy in Moscow". WomensTennisBlog.com. Women's Tennis Blog. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.