Vera Igorevna Zvonareva (Russian: Ве́ра И́горевна Звонарёва[a], IPA: [ˈvʲɛrə ˈiɡərʲɪvnə zvənɐˈrʲɵvə] (listen); born 7 September 1984) is a Russian tennis player. She was introduced to tennis at the age of six and turned professional in 2000. Her career-high ranking is world No. 2 by the WTA. Zvonareva has won twelve WTA Tour singles titles including 2009 Indian Wells Masters and reached the finals of the 2008 WTA Tour Championships, 2010 Wimbledon Championships, and 2010 US Open. She also was a bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In doubles, she has won five Grand Slam titles. Three of the titles came in women's doubles, the first two at the 2006 US Open, partnering Nathalie Dechy, and the 2012 Australian Open, with Svetlana Kuznetsova. Following her return to tennis, Zvonareva won her third women's doubles Grand Slam title at the 2020 US Open, partnering Laura Siegemund. Her other two titles came in mixed doubles, the first at the 2004 US Open, partnering Bob Bryan, and her second at the 2006 Wimbledon Championships, alongside Andy Ram.
|Born||7 September 1984|
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Turned pro||September 2000|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Coach||Sam Sumyk (2007–2009)|
Antonio van Grichen (2010)
Sergei Demekhine (2010–2011)
Arnaud Decugis (2018–)
Stéphane Robert (2019–)
|Prize money||US$ 14,839,405|
|Career record||566–289 (66.2%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 2 (25 October 2010)|
|Current ranking||No. 96 (17 May 2021)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||SF (2009, 2011)|
|French Open||QF (2003)|
|US Open||F (2010)|
|Tour Finals||F (2008)|
|Olympic Games||Bronze medal (2008)|
|Career record||239–155 (60.7%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 9 (8 August 2005)|
|Current ranking||No. 39 (17 May 2021)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (2012)|
|French Open||QF (2006)|
|US Open||W (2006, 2020)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (2021)|
|US Open||W (2004)|
|Fed Cup||W (2004, 2008), record 8–2|
|Last updated on: 24 May 2021.|
Zvonareva was born in 1984 in Moscow to Igor Zvonarev and Natalia (née Bykova). Igor played Bandy in the USSR championship with Dynamo Moscow, and Nataliya played field hockey and was the bronze medalist at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Zvonareva was introduced to tennis at age six by her mother.
1999–2002: Early career, ITF titles and top 50Edit
Zvonareva started to compete on the ITF Women's Circuit in 1999, debuting at an ITF tournament in Tbilisi, Georgia. She won three qualifying matches there to reach the main draw before losing in the first round. The next year, she won an ITF event in Moscow, without dropping a set, despite being unranked. The event was just the second event she had played in her professional career. Five weeks later, she made her WTA-level debut at the Tier I tournament in Moscow, beating world No. 148, Elena Bovina, before losing to world No. 11, Anna Kournikova, in the second round. In 2001, she failed to qualify for WTA Tour events in Key Biscayne and Moscow, but reached a semifinal at the ITF tournament in Civitanova, Italy. During this time, she also showed her adeptness in juniors' competition by winning the Orange Bowl Under-18s event in 2000 and 2001.
In 2002 Zvonareva won her second ITF title in Naples, Florida and in July reached her first singles final on the WTA Tour at Palermo, losing to Mariana Díaz Oliva, in three sets. She also achieved semifinal finishes in Warsaw and Sopot, plus a quarterfinal finish in Bol, Croatia. Zvonareva won three qualifying matches at the French Open to reach the main draw for the first time at a Grand Slam tournament. She lost there in the fourth round to eventual champion, Serena Williams, 6–4, 0–6, 1–6. Her ranking was high enough for a direct entry into the Wimbledon Championships, where she lost in the second round to the 23rd seed Iva Majoli, 6–7, 2–6. At the US Open, Zvonareva lost to world No. 7, Kim Clijsters, in the third round, 6–1, 5–7, 4–6. Her ranking rose into the top 100 after the French Open and into the top 50 after the US Open.
2003–2004: French Open singles quarterfinal, top-10 debut and first Grand Slam doubles titleEdit
In 2003, Zvonareva won the title at the Tier-III event in Bol, beating Conchita Martínez Granados in the final, and reached three other semifinals (including the Tier-II event in Linz). She defeated a top-10 player for the first time when she beat world No. 10 Anastasia Myskina in Berlin. At the French Open, Zvonareva defeated world No. 3, Venus Williams, in the fourth round, before losing in the quarterfinals to world No. 76, Nadia Petrova. Her French Open results caused her ranking to enter the top 20. She reached the quarterfinals in six out of the seven Tier I events she contested. Her debut for the Russian Fed Cup team was in the World Group quarterfinals against Slovenia. Russia won 5–0, but lost to France 2–3 in the semifinals. In doubles, she reached her first WTA final at Moscow with Myskina. She ended the year ranked world No. 13.
In 2004, Zvonareva won her first career Grand Slam title, winning the mixed doubles competition at the US Open with Bob Bryan. She won one singles title, in Memphis and reached the final of the events in Cincinnati and Philadelphia, losing to top-10 players Lindsay Davenport and Amélie Mauresmo. In the final of the Memphis event, Zvonareva trailed hometown favorite Lisa Raymond 5–2 in the third set, before saving three match points and winning the last five games of the match to win the title, 4–6, 6–4, 7–5. In addition to this, she reached the semifinals of three Tier-I tournaments in Rome, San Diego, and Montreal. She lost in San Diego to fellow Russian Anastasia Myskina in a match that featured a final set tiebreak that ended 17–15. Zvonareva and Myskina teamed in the final of the Fed Cup, playing in the crucial final rubber against Marion Bartoli and Émilie Loit, which the pair won, 7–6, 7–5, to seal Russia's first Fed Cup title.
Zvonareva ended 2004 the year ranked world No. 11. In August, she reached her then-career high of world No. 9. Because of several withdrawals, Zvonareva was able to compete at the WTA Championships, an event reserved for the top eight players in the world. She was unable to win a match and exited at the round-robin stage.
2005: First injuryEdit
Zvonareva obtained an invitation from the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association to play in the Watsons Water Champions Challenge. She defended her Memphis title, defeating Meghann Shaughnessy, but she was injured in the second half of 2005 (from June to December). Her ranking dropped from no. 11 to No. 42.
2006: Two Grand Slam doubles titlesEdit
In 2006, Zvonareva won her first women's doubles Grand Slam tournament at the US Open, partnering Nathalie Dechy of France. She obtained a second mixed doubles title at Wimbledon, partnering Andy Ram of Israel. They defeated Bob Bryan and Venus Williams, 6–2, 6–3. She garnered some success in singles competition, winning two titles in a season for the first time in her career. This included her first tournament win on grass, at the Birmingham Classic in England. Her other title came in Cincinnati, where she played a nearly flawless match against Serena Williams in the semifinals, and beat Katarina Srebotnik in the final.
2007: Second injuryEdit
The 2007 season was a year of mixed fortune for Zvonareva. At Indian Wells, she stunned world No. 1, Maria Sharapova, who was the defending champion, 4–6, 7–5, 6–1, in the fourth round, marking her first victory over a reigning world No. 1. However, she fell in the next round to Li Na. At her next tournament, the Charleston Open, she was forced to retire when playing Dinara Safina and down a set, due to a left wrist injury. This injury kept her out of the European clay-court season, the grass-court season, and most of the North American hard-court season. On returning to the tour, she reached the third round of the US Open, losing to Serena Williams. At the remaining tournaments on her schedule, she reached the quarterfinals or better at four out of five, with semifinal finishes in Luxembourg and Quebec. Her one final came during the first week of the year, in Auckland, New Zealand.
2008: Back to Top 10, Olympic bronze and WTA Tour Championships finalEdit
Zvonareva began the year by losing to wildcard Marina Erakovic, then ranked world No. 153, at Auckland, and then reached the final of the Hobart International. She did not play the final against Eleni Daniilidou because of an ankle injury, and this injury also forced her to retire in her first round match at the Australian Open against Ai Sugiyama, trailing 3–6, 1–1.
She then reached the final of the Tier I Qatar Open in Doha, beating Dinara Safina, Sybille Bammer, and Li Na along the way. In the final against world No. 5 and fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova, Zvonareva lost in three sets. In March, at the Bangalore Open, Zvonareva lost in the quarterfinals to Venus Williams. Zvonareva then reached the quarterfinals of the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, before losing to eventual champion Ana Ivanovic, 1–6, 4–6. Two weeks later, Zvonareva reached the semifinals of the Tier I Miami Open in Key Biscayne, where she lost to fourth seed Jelena Janković, 1–6, 4–6.
On clay, Zvonareva then reached her third final overall and second Tier I final of the year at the Charleston Cup. En-route to the final, she defeated world No. 5, Jelena Janković, and world No. 8, Elena Dementieva, the first time in her career that she beat two top-10 players in the same tournament. In the final, she lost to fifth seed Serena Williams in three sets. In May, Zvonareva won her first WTA title in nearly two years. At the Tier IV ECM Prague Open, Zvonareva defeated third seed Victoria Azarenka in the final. This was her sixth career singles title. She then lost to Venus Williams in the third round of the Tier I Internazionali d'Italia in Rome, and to Dementieva in the fourth round of the French Open.
During the North American summer hard-court season, commonly known as the US Open Series, she lost in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, the second round of the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles, and the first round of the Tier I Rogers Cup in Montreal. At the Beijing Olympics, Zvonareva lost in the semifinals to fifth seeded Dementieva, 4–6, 6–7, but then defeated Li Na, 6–0, 7–5, to win the bronze medal. These results caused Zvonareva's ranking to rise to a career-high-equaling world No. 9. Two weeks later, Zvonareva was seeded eighth at the US Open, but lost in the second round to Tatiana Perebiynis of Ukraine, 3–6, 3–6.
In September, Zvonareva helped Russia to victory against Spain in the final of the Fed Cup. Zvonareva won the opening match of the tie in Madrid, defeating Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6–3, 6–4. At the Guangzhou International Women's Open, a Tier III event, she defeated Zheng Jie in straight sets in the semifinals, before beating Peng Shuai in the final. She then reached the semifinals at the China Open in Beijing, losing a three-set match to top-seeded Janković. At the Tier II Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Zvonareva lost in the quarterfinals, again to Janković, 6–7, 6–7. In her hometown event, the Kremlin Cup in Moscow the next week, Zvonareva beat second seed Dinara Safina in straight sets in the semifinals, but lost to Janković for the third time in three weeks in the final in straight sets. In a second round match against Medina Garrigues at the Zurich Open, Zvonareva retired from the match while trailing 3–6, 0–3. However, she then reached the final of the Generali Ladies Linz in Austria, beating Marion Bartoli in the semifinals, 6–0, 6–1, before losing the final to Ivanovic in straight sets, hitting 32 unforced errors.
To finish off the year, Zvonareva qualified for the year-end WTA Finals (open to the top eight players) for the second time in her career. To accrue enough points to qualify, she had played six consecutive tournaments after the US Open. In her first round-robin match, she won against compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6–2, 6–3. Zvonareva then beat Ivanovic, 6–3, 6–7, 6–4, before completing a clean sweep of her group by defeating world No. 1 Janković, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4. She reached the final by defeating Olympic gold medalist Dementieva, 7–6, 3–6, 6–3, but lost a three-setter to Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, 7–6, 0–6, 2–6.
2009: Constant success, first Grand Slam semifinal and Indian Wells championEdit
Zvonareva was seventh seed at the Australian Open. She defeated the tenth seed Nadia Petrova in the fourth round, 7–5, 6–4, and 16th seed Marion Bartoli in the quarterfinals, 6–3, 6–0. She then lost to world No. 3, Dinara Safina, in the semifinals, 3–6, 6–7. This tournament, however, caused Zvonareva's ranking to rise to world No. 5, the highest of her career at the time.
In February, she won the Pattaya Open, an International event in Thailand, where she defeated Sania Mirza in the final. She also played the Dubai Championships, a Premier 5 event, where she defeated Marion Bartoli in the third round, before losing to Virginie Razzano in the quarterfinals, 6–7, 5–7.
In March, Zvonareva was the fourth seed at the first Premier Mandatory event of the year, the Indian Wells Open. She won the title, overcoming Santa Ana winds and defending champion Ana Ivanovic in the final. In the doubles final, she and Victoria Azarenka beat unseeded Gisela Dulko and Shahar Pe'er.
At the Key Biscayne, at the second Premier Mandatory event of the year, Zvonareva beat Tathiana Garbin of Italy in the second round, before being upset in the third round by Li Na, 4–6, 6–3, 2–6. Zvonereva had beaten Li the previous week in the fourth round of the Indian Wells Open.
At the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, Zvonareva was the third seed and received a first-round bye. She beat Rossana de los Ríos in the second round, 6–3, 6–2. In the third round against Virginie Razzano, she was forced to retire due to an ankle injury. Zvonareva tore two ligaments in her ankle, which later forced her to withdraw from Russia's Fed Cup tie with Italy. The ongoing ankle injury forced her to withdraw from the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome and the Madrid Open, and ultimately the French Open.
Zvonareva was seeded seventh at the Wimbledon and met Great Britain's Georgie Stoop in the first round. The game was close, being abandoned due to bad light at the end of the first day at one set apiece. Zvonareva went on to win, 7–6, 4–6, 6–4. Zvonareva then beat Mathilde Johansson in the second round. Zvonareva then withdrew against the 26th seed Virginie Razzano in the third round, due to a recurrence of the ankle injury.
In the İstanbul Cup, she was upset by Mariya Koryttseva, 2–6, 6–1, 4–6. In her first tournament in the 2009 US Open Series, she competed in the LA Championships, where she lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Flavia Pennetta, 4–6, 2–6. She then reached the third round of the Cincinnati Open and of the Rogers Cup, losing to Daniela Hantuchová, 6–7, 6–0, 6–7, and to Maria Sharapova, 2–6, 6–7. She defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives, Anna Chakvetadze, and Elena Vesnina, before missing six match points and crumbling to Flavia Pennetta, 6–3, 6–7, 0–6, at the US Open. She then competed in the Pan Pacific Open, where she lost to compatriot Alisa Kleybanova, 6–3, 4–6, 2–6, in the second round, after receiving a bye in the first round. She followed it up by competing in the China Open, where she reached the quarterfinals, losing to Marion Bartoli, 6–3, 5–7, 2–6.
Zvonareva competed in the Kremlin Cup in Moscow as the first seed. She was defeated in the second round by Tsvetana Pironkova, 0–6, 2–6. Because of her loss, she did not qualify for the Tour Championships in Doha, but did win a spot as an alternate. Due to the withdrawal of Dinara Safina, Zvonareva was set to play two matches there. However, she played only one match against Caroline Wozniacki, where she lost, 0–6, 7–6, 4–6, in a dramatic match in which both players suffered injuries. She then withdrew from the tournament, citing ankle injury, and the last match was played by her co-alternate Agnieszka Radwańska. She finished the year ranked world No. 9.
2010: Wimbledon and US Open finals and world No. 2Edit
Zvonareva obtained an invitation from the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association once again to play in the Hong Kong Tennis Classic and won the championships with her compatriots Maria Sharapova and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Seeded ninth at the Australian Open, she made it to the fourth round, winning her first three matches against Kristína Kučová, Iveta Benešová, and Gisela Dulko. She eventually lost to Victoria Azarenka, 6–4, 4–6, 0–6, after leading 6–4, 4–1. Due to this loss, Zvonareva fell out of the top 10. As the top seed and defending champion at the Pattaya Open, Zvonareva defeated Ksenia Pervak in the first round, Alberta Brianti in the second round, fifth seed Sybille Bammer in the quarterfinals, and fourth seed Yaroslava Shvedova in the semifinals. In the final, she defeated local favorite Tamarine Tanasugarn in straight sets, 6–4, 6–4, thereby successfully defending her title. At Dubai, Zvonareva defeated compatriot Elena Vesnina in three sets in the first round, and then following it up with a double bagel against qualifier Kirsten Flipkens. She then defeated Jelena Janković in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals, where she lost to Azarenka, 1–6, 3–6.
Despite being the defending champion at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Zvonareva lost her fourth-round match against Samantha Stosur, 2–6, 5–7. With this loss, she fell out of the top 20. At the Miami Open, Zvonareva lost to Justine Henin, 1–6, 4–6, in the fourth round, after defeating Melanie Oudin and Sara Errani in straight sets.
Her next tournament was the Charleston Cup, where she was seventh seed. She beat Melanie Oudin in straight sets, 7–5, 6–2, in the quarterfinals. She advanced to her second final of the year and second Family Circle Cup final after top seed and world No. 2, Caroline Wozniacki, retired while trailing 5–2 in the semifinals due to a sprained ankle. Zvonareva was then overwhelmed in the final by Samantha Stosur, 0–6, 3–6.
Zvonareva's next tournament was the Internazionali d'Italia, where, as 15th seed, she lost to Petra Kvitová, 4–6, 0–6, in the second round. At the Madrid Open, she lost to Venus Williams, 5–7, 3–6, in the second round, after defeating Melanie Oudin, 6–3, 6–4. Zvonareva was seeded 21st at the French Open. She defeated Alberta Brianti in the first round, but was then upset by Anastasia Rodionova in the second round, in straight sets.
Zvonareva reached her first Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon, where she was 21st seed. She defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives, Andrea Hlaváčková, 15th seed Yanina Wickmayer, fourth seed Jelena Janković, eighth seed Kim Clijsters, and Tsvetana Pironkova to reach the final, where she fell in straight sets to world No. 1 Serena Williams. Later the same day she lost the women's doubles final in straight sets as well, playing with Elena Vesnina. Zvonareva rose to world No. 9 in singles following the tournament.
Zvonareva was seeded third at the San Diego Open. She defeated Dominika Cibulková in three sets in the first round, before falling to CoCo Vandeweghe. Seeded sixth at the Cincinnati Open, Zvonareva received a bye into the second round, where she faced compatriot Maria Kirilenko. In a match with several rain interruptions, Zvonareva found herself down 2–5 in the third set before another rain delay. Coming back onto court, Zvonareva rallied to take the third set and the match, 7–5, 2–6, 7–6. She lost to 11th seed Flavia Pennetta in the third round. At the Rogers Cup, Zvonareva had a bye in the first round and beat Yaroslava Shvedova in the second round, 6–2, 6–1, Ágnes Szávay, 6–3, 6–3, in the third round and Kim Clijsters, 2–6, 6–3, 6–2, in the quarterfinals. After two days of rain, Zvonareva returned on Monday, winning her semifinal against Victoria Azarenka, who retired when trailing, 7–6, 1–0. Zvonareva was then beaten by Caroline Wozniacki in the final, 3–6, 2–6.
As the seventh seed, Zvonareva reached her second career and second straight Grand Slam final at the US Open, where she lost to second seed Kim Clijsters, 2–6, 1–6. She had defeated Zuzana Kučová, Sabine Lisicki, 25th seed Alexandra Dulgheru, Andrea Petkovic, 31st seed Kaia Kanepi, and top seed Caroline Wozniacki. Zvonareva attained her then career-high ranking of world No. 2 following the US Open.
Zvonareva's first tournament after the US Open was the Pan Pacific Open, where she was second seed. She advanced to the quarterfinals, before falling to world No. 10 and seventh seeded Elena Dementieva. She then competed in the China Open, rallying from a set down against Kirilenko in the third round, 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, and beating French Open champion Schiavone, 6–2, 6–0, in the quarterfinals. This was her tenth victory over the Italian in ten career meetings. This win ensured that Zvonareva would rise to world No. 3. She then defeated Li Na in the semifinals, before falling to top-seeded Wozniacki in the final, 3–6, 6–3, 3–6. Zvonareva qualified for the year-end Tour Championships in Doha, where she was the second seed. She was in the White Group with Kim Clijsters, Jelena Janković, and Victoria Azarenka. Zvonareva went 3–0 in her group and advanced to the semifinals, where she lost to Caroline Wozniacki. She finished the season with a career-high rank of world No. 2.
2011: Mixed resultsEdit
At the Hong Kong Tennis Classic, she joined Russia's group and won in the final against Europe with Maria Kirilenko and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. As the second seed at the Medibank International Sydney, Zvonareva received a bye into the second round, where she was defeated by Flavia Pennetta, 7–5, 7–5. Zvonareva was seeded second at the Australian Open in singles. She defeated Sybille Bammer, 6–2, 6–1, in the first round, breaking Bammer four times in a row. Zvonareva defeated unseeded Bojana Jovanovski in the second round, 2–6, 6–3, 6–1. In the third round, Zvonareva defeated 31st seed Lucie Šafářová in straight sets, 6–3, 7–6(9). Zvonareva defeated unseeded Iveta Benešová in the round of 16, 6–4, 6–1. She then defeated 25th seed Petra Kvitová in the quarterfinal, 6–2, 6–4. In the semifinal, she was defeated by third seed and eventual champion Kim Clijsters, 6–3, 6–3.
At the Pattaya Open, Zvonareva was the top seed and was seeking her third consecutive title and second title defense. She defeated Tamira Paszek, 6–4, 6–2, in the first round, qualifier Nungnadda Wannasuk, 6–1, 7–5, in the second round, and Peng Shuai, 6–4, 4–6, 6–4, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Zvonareva was upset by fourth seed Daniela Hantuchová, 7–6, 6–4. As the second seed at the Dubai Tennis Championships, Zvonareva received a bye into the second round. There, she defeated Roberta Vinci, 6–3, 6–1. In the third round, she was upset by the 15th seed Alisa Kleybanova, 6–3, 6–2.
Zvonareva picked up her first title of 2011 in late February at the Qatar Ladies Open. She was the second seed, receiving a bye into the second round, where she defeated Dominika Cibulková, 6–1, 6–2. In the quarterfinals, she defeated Daniela Hantuchová, 7–5, 6–7, 7–5, in a match lasting over three hours, after trailing 5–4 in the third set. She defeated former world No. 1, Jelena Janković, 6–1, 2–6, 6–4, in the semifinals, and current world No. 1 and top-seed Caroline Wozniacki, 6–4, 6–4, in the final. It was Zvonareva's first title in over a year and the third time she had defeated the reigning world No. 1.
Zvonareva was the third seed at the Indian Wells Open and had a bye into the second round. Despite letting a 6–3, 5–1 lead escape her, she defeated Timea Bacsinszky, 6–3, 7–6. In the third round, in a match that lasted over three hours, she was upset by 25th seed Dominika Cibulková, 4–6, 7–6, 6–4, despite saving five match points. Zvonareva was the third seed at the Sony Ericsson Open with a bye into the second round, where she defeated Dinara Safina, 3–6, 6–3, 6–2. In the third round, she faced 28th seed Jarmila Groth, defeating her in straight sets, 7–6, 6–2. In the fourth round, she faced the 15th seed Marion Bartoli, prevailing 2–6, 6–3, 6–2. Then in the quarterfinals, Zvonareva faced ninth seed Agnieszka Radwańska, whom she defeated, 7–5, 6–3, to reach the semifinals in Key Biscayne for the second time, the last time being in 2008. Despite winning two of her four previous matches after trailing a set in the tournament, Victoria Azarenka, the eighth seed, dispatched Zvonareva in the semifinals, 6–0, 6–3. Zvonareva led the Russian Fed Cup team in their semifinal tie against Italy. She defeated both Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in straight sets to ensure a spot for Russia in the final.
Zvonareva kicked off her clay-court season at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart. As the second seed, she received a bye into the second round, defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 3–6, 6–4, 6–2, before losing to Sam Stosur in the quarterfinals. She was the second seed at the Madrid Open, where she beat Patty Schnyder and Elena Vesnina, before being upset by 16th seed and eventual champion Petra Kvitová in the third round. At the inaugural Brussels Ladies Open, after a first round bye, she defeated qualifier Galina Voskoboeva, after dropping the first set in the second round. In the quarterfinals, she blew out world No. 28 and sixth seed Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania, 6–0, 6–1, losing just one point on serve. Her run ended in the semifinals, where she was upset 6–3, 6–3 by eighth seed Peng Shuai of China. Zvonareva was seeded third at the French Open and defeated unseeded Lourdes Domínguez Lino in the first round, 6–3, 6–3. In the second round, she defeated Sabine Lisicki, 4–6, 7–5, 7–5, despite trailing 5–2 in the third set and having to save a match point. Zvonareva avenged her loss at the previous year's French Open by defeating Anastasia Rodionova in the third round, 6–2, 6–3. In the fourth round, where she was the top remaining seed, Zvonareva came up against the 15th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The match showed sporadic form by both women, until Pavlyuchenkova prevailed, 7–6, 2–6, 6–2.
Beginning the grass-court season at Eastbourne as the top seed, Zvonareva defeated Heather Watson, 6–3, 6–3, and Serena Williams, 3–6, 7–6, 7–5, but lost to Samantha Stosur, 4–6, 7–6, 6–4, in the quarterfinals. Zvonareva was second seed at Wimbledon, defeating Alison Riske, 6–0, 3–6, 6–3, in the first round and Elena Vesnina, 6–1, 7–6, in the second round, before falling to Tsvetana Pironkova, 6–2, 6–3, in a rematch of the previous year's semifinal match. Zvonareva suffered an ankle injury during her singles match and subsequently withdrew from the doubles competition.
Zvonareva's hardcourt summer began at the inaugural Baku Cup, where she was the top seed. Zvonareva defeated Nigina Abduraimova, Kristína Kučová, Anna Tatishvili, and Mariya Koryttseva to reach the final, where she defeated Ksenia Pervak, 6–1, 6–4, for her twelfth WTA title. At the Carlsbad Open in California, she was the top seed and made it to the final, where she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska, 6–3, 6–4. By making it to the final, Zvonareva achieved a career-high winning streak of nine matches. Zvonareva then went on to play in the Canadian Open in Toronto,, where she was third seed. After receiving a bye into the second round, she defeated Nadia Petrova, 7–5, 6–4, before again falling to Agnieszka Radwańska, 6–4, 7–6. Despite the early loss compared to her 2010 performance, Zvonareva rose to world No. 2, matching her career-high ranking. At the Cincinnati Open, she was second seed and received a bye into the second round. She defeated Ekaterina Makarova, Petra Martić, and Daniela Hantuchová en route to the semifinals, where she fell to the fourth seed and eventual champion Maria Sharapova, 2–6, 6–3, 6–3. At the US Open, Zvonareva was second seed and defeated qualifier Stéphanie Foretz Gacon, Kateryna Bondarenko, 30th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, and the 22nd seed Sabine Lisicki to reach the quarterfinals, where she lost to ninth seed and eventual champion Samantha Stosur, 6–3, 6–3. Unable to defend her runner-up points from 2010, she fell to world No. 4.
Zvonareva began her Asian hard-court swing at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, where she was the fourth seed and received a bye into the second round, then defeating Tsvetana Pironkova, Iveta Benešová, Maria Kirilenko, and Petra Kvitová—all in straight sets to progress to the final for the first time, where she lost to ninth seed Agnieszka Radwańska, 6–3, 6–2. She next played at the China Open in Beijing, where she was third seed and received a bye into the second round as a result of making the final in Tokyo. She lost in the third round to Ana Ivanovic. After Beijing, Zvonareva became the sixth qualifier for the year-end Tour Championships. At her home tournament, the Kremlin Cup, she reached the quarterfinals, where she lost to the No. 8 seed and eventual champion Dominika Cibulková, 4–6, 6–4, 6–4.
At the Tour Championships, Zvonareva was placed in the Red Group alongside world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová, and Agnieszka Radwańska. In round robin play, she fell to Kvitová 6–2, 6–4 before rebounding to defeat Wozniacki 6–2, 4–6, 6–3, her fourth victory over a reigning world No. 1. She then faced Radwańska in her final round-robin match, eventually falling 1–6, 6–2, 7–5 after not able to capitalize on three match points serving at 5–3. By virtue of the highest games won percentage of her group after Kvitová, Zvonareva became the second qualifier for the semifinals from the Red Group. She lost to Victoria Azarenka 6–2, 6–3, and ended the year as world No. 7.
2012: Fourth Grand Slam doubles title and third injuryEdit
Zvonareva began her season at the Sydney International. Seeded sixth, she lost in the opening round to Svetlana Kuznetsova. Seeded seventh at the Australian Open, she was defeated in the third round by compatriot Ekaterina Makarova. She experienced more success in the doubles tournament with partner Kuznetsova. As an unseeded pair, they reached the final, beating defending champions Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta in the process. She and Kuznetsova defeated Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci for the title.
As the top seed at the Pattaya Open, Zvonareva retired during the third set of her quarterfinals match against seventh seed Sorana Cîrstea due to a left hip injury. Seeded sixth and the defending champion at the Qatar Open, she retired in the second set of her second-round match against Monica Niculescu due to that same left hip injury. Seeded ninth at the Indian Wells Open, she pulled out of her third-round match versus Klára Zakopalová due to a viral illness. As the ninth seed at the Miami Open, she was stunned in the second round by 18-year-old wildcard Garbiñe Muguruza.
Zvonareva began her clay-court season at the Charleston Open. Seeded fourth, she lost in the quarterfinals to ninth seed and eventual finalist Lucie Šafářová. Seeded tenth at the Madrid Open, she was defeated in the first round by Petra Cetkovská. Zvonareva missed the French Open due to a right shoulder injury.
Representing Russia at the Summer Olympics, Zvonareva suffered the worst defeat of her entire playing career, losing to eventual gold medalist Serena Williams in the third round. Zvonareva previously never scored lower than two games before the defeat against Williams.
Zvonareva withdrew from the US Open due to the same illness which forced her to retire from her Wimbledon match against Kim Clijsters in June. Having not played any tournaments since August due to illness, she lost important rankings points.
Zvonareva ended the year ranked 98, her lowest ranking since 2002.
2013: Shoulder surgeryEdit
After one-and-half-year hiatus, Zvonareva officially came back at the Shenzhen Open as a wildcard. She drew top seed and defending champion Li Na in the first round and lost in straight sets. At the Australian Open, she was defeated in the first round by Australian wildcard Casey Dellacqua.
Playing as a wildcard at the PTT Pattaya Open, Zvonareva defeated fellow wildcard Peangtarn Plipuech in the first round for her first win since the 2012 Summer Olympics. She lost in the second round to fourth seed and eventual champion Ekaterina Makarova. In March, she entered the Indian Wells Masters as a wildcard but fell in the first round to Peng Shuai.
Zvonareva ended the year ranked 251.
Zvonareva began her 2015 season by playing a $10,000 prize money event in Hong Kong. She played as the second seed; she advanced to the quarterfinals but withdrew from the tournament. Zvonareva used her protected ranking to play at the Shenzhen Open. She reached the quarterfinals where she retired against eighth seed and eventual finalist Timea Bacsinszky due to a lower back injury. At the Australian Open, Zvonareva won her first-round match against qualifier Ons Jabeur. She lost in the second round to world No. 1 and eventual champion, Serena Williams.
Entering the main draw as a wildcard at the Thailand Open, Zvonareva advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating Wang Qiang and eighth seed Zhang Shuai. She was defeated in her quarterfinal match by Marina Erakovic. Competing at Dubai, Zvonareva lost in the first round to Camila Giorgi. In Mexico at the Monterrey Open, Zvonareva upset sixth seed Alison Riske in the first round. She was defeated in the second round by Kristina Mladenovic. Zvonareva lost in the first round at Indian Wells to Polona Hercog. In Miami, Zvonareva was defeated in the first round by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Competing in Poland at the Katowice Open, Zvonareva beat sixth seed Karin Knapp in the first round. She lost in the second round to Klára Koukalová. This was the last match that Zvonareva would play for two years.
Zvonareva ended the year ranked 182.
2017–2018: Comeback and first WTA title in six yearsEdit
Zvonareva came back to tennis from a two-year hiatus – her last match being at the Katowice Open in April 2015 – and debuted in the $15k tournament in Istanbul. She lost in the main draw to Brit Katie Boulter after retiring in the second set. She then qualified for the $25k tournament in Fergana, Uzbekistan, having been an alternate in the qualifying draw. Zvonareva won her first ITF title in Sharm El Sheikh since 2002's $50k tournament in Naples, Florida. She defeated Slovak Tereza Mihalikova in three sets. This became her overall third ITF title in her career.
Zvonareva won her first match when she returned to the WTA Tour and played at the Connecticut Open. By receiving a wildcard in the qualifying draw, she defeated Anastasia Rodionova in three sets. However, she retired from her second round match against Magdaléna Rybáriková with an Achilles injury, after losing the first set 7–5. Zvonareva then got into the US Open qualifying rounds, reaching the second round where she lost to Jamie Loeb in three sets. She then participated in the WTA 125K tournament in Dalian, reaching the final where she lost to Kateryna Kozlova. At the Tashkent Open, she reached her first WTA Tour semifinal in nearly six years as a qualifier.
In 2018, Zvonareva lost in the first round of Australian Open qualifying. She received a wildcard for the St. Petersburg Trophy, where she got to the second round. After beating Kiki Bertens, she lost to world No. 6, Jelena Ostapenko. In doubles, she won the title partnering Timea Bacsinszky, marking her first WTA doubles final in six years and her first title as a mother.
At the Kremlin Cup Zvonareva scored a 6–1, 6–2 win over world No. 5, Karolina Pliskova, in the second round, marking her first Top 10 win since 2011. She, however, lost her third round match against Anastasija Sevastova 6–4, 5–7, 3–6.
2019–2020: Back to top 100 in doubles and first Grand Slam doubles title in eight yearsEdit
In 2019 Zvonareva started off her season at the Shenzhen Open, where she reached the semifinals before retiring in her match against Alison Riske. She then lost to home favourite Astra Sharma in the first round of qualifying at the Australian Open. In February, Zvonareva was given a wildcard for the St. Petersburg Trophy for the second year in a row. She beat Ekaterina Makarova, Julia Görges and Daria Kasatkina to reach the semifinals, where she lost to Donna Vekic.
At the 2020 Qatar Open of Doha Zvonareva defeated Hsieh Su-wei in the first round in straight sets 6–4, 6–4. She then lost in the second round to Zheng Saisai 7–5, 6–1. At the US Open Zvonareva won the doubles title partnering Laura Siegemund. They defeated No. 3 seeds Nicole Melichar and Xu Yifan, 6–4, 6–4.
2021: Back to top 100 in singles and top 40 in doublesEdit
Zvonareva began the year at the first edition of the Abu Dhabi Women's Open. She lost in the second round to second seed Elina Svitolina. At the first edition of the Yarra Valley Classic, she made it to the third round where she was defeated by eighth seed Markéta Vondroušová. Zvonareva lost in the first round of the Australian Open to 17th seed Elena Rybakina.
In April, Zvonareva competed at the İstanbul Cup. She lost in the second round to Fiona Ferro. Getting past qualifying at the Mutua Madrid Open, she was defeated in the first round by fifth seed and eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka. Passing through qualifying at the Italian Open, Zvonareva stunned world No. 10 Petra Kvitová in her second-round match. It was her first top-ten win on clay in eleven years (since 2010 Charleston where she defeated No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki). She lost in the third round to ninth seed and 2019 champion Karolína Plíšková. For the first time since August 2019, she returned to the top 100 in singles by climbing 17 spots to No. 96, on 17 May 2021. Zvonareva was stunned in the final round of qualifying at the French Open by Anna Karolína Schmiedlová.
Zvonareva vs. WozniackiEdit
Zvonareva and Caroline Wozniacki have met nine times, with Zvonareva leading their head-to-head 5–4. Throughout 2010 and 2011, they reigned as the top two players in the world and during this period they met each other seven times with Zvonareva winning on four occasions.
They have met in three finals, Wozniacki winning two of them: in rain-delayed finals at the 2010 Rogers Cup and the China Open, the latter of which was contested whilst they reigned as two of the top three players in the world, whilst Zvonareva prevailed in Qatar in 2011. In 2010, they met in two important semi-finals: Zvonareva winning at the US Open[deprecated source] and Wozniacki prevailing at the 2010 WTA Tour Championships in a match which decided which of the two would finish 2010 ranked World No. 1.
Zvonareva vs. RadwańskaEdit
Throughout their meetings, Radwańska matched Zvonareva's pace and movements around the court, with Zvonareva considered the more powerful of the two, but Radwańska noted as more focused at times, utilizing what Sports Illustrated's Courtney Nguyen dubbed "selective aggression" during their matches in 2011.
At the 2007 Kremlin Cup, Zvonareva won their first meeting in straight sets. The two did not play again until 2011, when Radwańska won four of their five matches, including the finals of the Mercury Insurance Open and the Pan Pacific Open. Their final meeting of 2011 was an acclaimed match at the WTA Championships. In the third set, Zvonareva served for the match while leading 5–3. However, Radwańska saved three match points and went on to win 1–6, 6–2, 7–5. The victory marked Radwańska's fourth straight win against Zvonareva, whom she described as "very consistent and always tough to beat."
Zvonareva vs. ClijstersEdit
Prior to her first retirement in 2007, Clijsters won all five of her matches with Zvonareva. The women met again in 2010, with Zvonareva winning three of their four matches—the exception being the US Open final. Zvonareva's first victory against Clijsters came at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships. Their only match of 2011 was won by Clijsters at the Australian Open. At Wimbledon 2012 she retired after the second set against Clijsters for medical reasons.
Zvonareva vs. StosurEdit
Zvonareva has a 3–8 head-to-head record against Samantha Stosur, having finally taken down Stosur (4–6, 6–2, 6–2) at the 2020 Indian Wells challenger. This come-from-behind victory came on the heels of eight consecutive losses to the Australian. Zvonareva has never lost to any other player eight times in a row.
Stosur puts heavy topspin onto the ball, which has proven detrimental to Zvonareva's ball-striking ability. Stosur's style has impeded Zvonareva's ability to predict where Stosur is going to place the ball when she runs around her backhand to hit her forehand inside out.
Equipment and gearEdit
Zvonareva has used a wide variety of racquets, mostly Prince. At the start of her career she used a Fischer M Speed Pro Number One. In 2006 she signed a contract with Prince and switched to a Prince O3 White. She then played with a Prince EXO3 Black in 2010–2011, the year her contract ended. In 2012 she briefly switched to Wilson before going on an injury hiatus. For her comeback in 2014 Zvonareva returned to Prince. In 2017–2018 she used a Head Graphene Touch Instinct. Since 2019 she has been playing with a Prince Phantom 100.
In 2007, Zvonareva graduated from the Russian State University of Physical Education with a degree in Physical Education. She studied for a second degree in international economic relations at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow.
On 23 August 2016, Zvonareva announced her marriage. Her husband Alexander Kucher is a former officer who worked in the administration of the Moscow Oblast and currently works in the logistic division of the German hardware store OBI. Their daughter Evelina was born in 2016.
Singles performance timelineEdit
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|Australian Open||A||A||A||1R||4R||2R||1R||4R||1R||SF||4R||SF||3R||A||1R||2R||A||A||Q1||Q1||A||1R||0 / 13||23–13|
|French Open||A||A||4R||QF||3R||3R||1R||A||4R||A||2R||4R||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||1R||Q3||Q3||0 / 9||18–9|
|Wimbledon||A||A||2R||4R||4R||2R||1R||A||2R||3R||F||3R||3R||A||3R||A||A||A||1R||A||NH||0 / 12||23–12|
|US Open||A||A||3R||3R||4R||A||3R||3R||2R||4R||F||QF||A||A||A||A||A||Q2||2R||A||1R||0 / 11||26–11|
|WTA Finals||Did Not Qualify||RR||Did Not Qualify||F||RR||SF||SF||Did Not Qualify||0 / 5||9–10|
|Titles||0||0||0||1||1||1||2||0||2||2||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Career total: 12|
|Finals||0||0||1||1||3||1||3||1||8||2||6||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Career total: 30|
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Singles: 2 (2 runner–ups)Edit
|Loss||2010||Wimbledon||Grass||Serena Williams||3–6, 2–6|
|Loss||2010||US Open||Hard||Kim Clijsters||2–6, 1–6|
Doubles: 4 (3 titles, 1 runner–up)Edit
|Win||2006||US Open||Hard||Nathalie Dechy|| Dinara Safina
|Loss||2010||Wimbledon||Grass||Elena Vesnina|| Vania King
|Win||2012||Australian Open||Hard||Svetlana Kuznetsova|| Sara Errani
|5–7, 6–4, 6–3|
|Win||2020||US Open||Hard||Laura Siegemund|| Nicole Melichar
Mixed doubles: 2 (2 titles)Edit
|Win||2004||US Open||Hard||Bob Bryan|| Alicia Molik
|Win||2006||Wimbledon||Grass||Andy Ram|| Venus Williams
- Also transliterated as Zvonaryova
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- Звонарёва: за этот год я вышла замуж и стала мамой!
- Лайф раскрыл личность мужа теннисистки Веры Звонарёвой
- Former World No.2 Vera Zvonareva discussed some of her big changes in the last few months, with an eye on a possible return to tennis.
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