Whats happened to Elena!?!?
Check this out. I just found it ( 1/2 hour ago). It what was said about Elena just before Australian Open 2001:
'Elena Dementieva is the real deal. Seeded No. 9, we wouldn't be surprised if the Russian were in the winner's circle. Dementieva's intensity propels her ferocious game. At November's Chase Championships, Dementieva saved a handful of match points in her first-round battle with Lindsay Davenport. She beat the American in three sets, and two nights later, proved her mettle against Kim Clijsters, storming back to take the third set. Dementieva, a semifinalist at last year's U.S. Open, should easily sail into the second week Down Under.'
And did Elean 'sail' into the second week. NO.
This is what was said about Elena's match with Clijsters in US Open 2001 (its a summary of what they said was the best womens match of the tournament):
'Kim Clijsters (5) def. Elena Dementieva (11) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
Kim Clijsters and Elena Dementieva, two of the WTA Tour's brightest stars, met in the fourth round. Dementieva, a surprise semifinalist a year earlier, had trouble with her serve from the beginning, throwing in crucial double faults. Clijsters took charge, forcing errors from the Russian. But, when the Belgian served for the set at 5-4, she lost her nerve and the game. Clijsters, though, collected herself, broke Dementieva again, and then served out the set.
The teenagers produced Mach 1 rallies, hitting the ball hard and harder still. Most points required at least eight shots to determine a winner. Dementieva, who has the steeliest determination, refused to give up, dug in her nails, and took the second set. Her concentration broke in the third set, and Clijsters, a clever player, took advantage.
This is a match-up to watch in the future. Both women are hard hitters who refuse to lose.'
Does Elena 'refuse to lose'?? Sometimes it looks like she doesn't care if she wins or loses!!!!!
Check out was is said about Elena now at the Pacific Life Open (is that a crap name or what!!):
'It's a funny thing about the wondrously talented Russian women - Elena Dementieva, Anna Kournikova, Nadia Petrova, Anastasia Myskina, Lina Krasnoroutskaya and now Maria Sharapova - they come on the tour like lions and within two years or so, their confidence more closely resembles a lamb's when confronting a hungry wolf.
Such is the fate of Elena Dementieva, who by all rights should be a top-10 stalwart and has fallen to No. 14, partly because of injuries but mostly because she has suffered stage fright.
As Dostoevsky once wrote of his people, the Russians love to suffer for higher causes, but locating Dementieva's on-court philosophical bent right now is harder than finding a lost Venus Williams' bead in an arts and craft store. She is not the same player who reached the '00 Indian Wells semis, the '00 U.S. Open semis nor the player who nearly toppled Venus for the Olympic gold medal. She's not the tall fearless stroker who would leap at any mid-court ball and power it away, or happily sprinted and traded lightening fast groundies with Lindsay Davenport.
She's more than bit gun shy now and her once fierce eyes have turned a softer color. Her once big dreams are now small dreams. Like her aforementioned countrywomen, she just wants to win her first title - any title.
'NO. 1 FOR A WEEK'
"The goal for me is to win a tournament," Dementieva said. "I just hope not have the injuries I had last year. I feel like I'm playing better. [Winning a tournament] is a great thing to have in your career. It's the most important thing to feel like No. 1, even for a week"
Dementieva said that without a title, she can't even think about knocking off the likes the of the Williamses and Capriati on a regular basis. Heck, without a title, the lean blonde daughter of highly educated parents can't even consider how she going to beat the likes of Clijsters and Henin, who annihilated her at the Australian Open.
"That was so unfortunate," Dementieva said. I couldn't find any rhythm, do anything on the court. But I felt like I was in good shape."
In her three-set win over Amy Frazier on Thursday in Indian Wells, Dementieva showed that when motivated, she can push her sound intellect in the right direction. She said that playing "inconvenient" Frazier irks her, because Amy plays so fast and she doesn't always understand where Amy's balls are going. Usually, Frazier will go crosscourt a few times to open up the down the line, which Elena figured out in the end of their contest. But many times, Dementieva allows herself to get too stressed out and loses her head, like she did against Henin.
"Sometimes when I play it's too much emotion on court and I cannot hit my favorite shots," Dementieva said. "But I feel good physically and mentally. I think my serve is a little better than last year and as usual, I'm working on my volleys."
What Dementieva needs is to regain her aggressive posture and begin fly around the court like she did in '00. Her strength is her fast hands and feet, as well as her remarkable ability to take even the hardest balls on the rise. If she's not on her game, she needs to allow it to come her, but cannot wait until she is down a set and a half before she takes a few risks. As so many champions have said of themselves in the past, Dementieva needs to learn how to win even on her most mediocre days.
"When I start to play aggressive, I make so many unforced errors," said Dementieva, who will play Alexandra Stevenson in the third round. "That's what makes me defensive and makes me wait for faults. I don't like to play this way. I will try to do everything possible to come back to the game I played before." '
You may have read the last one somewhere else on this site, but I thought I'd show it anyway.
I actually think Elena is playing better tennis now than in 2000, but she just can't seem to string enough wins together in a row to win a tournament. Which is a shame, because she is good enough to deserve a title. But will she (and Kournikova) EVER get one.
'The longer the drout goes on, the more I doubt it will rain'
as my mother would say.