The stunning loss today of the Anna - Elena D. doubles team today made me think of this question. I think we can rule out those two players immediately in this discussion (feel free to disagree, but please provide evidence to the contrary if you do!)
I have not seen the youngest players play yet, so it will be hard for me to judge their mental strength at this time. But Vera Douchevina
seems to me to be the strongest mentally so far of the 15 & 16 year old group. It will be interesting to see how she does as she continues to ease into the WTA.
Among the older players, the fact that they have won singles titles immediately places Elena L., Elena B., Svetlana, and Anastasia
into a higher category than ED or AK -- it generally takes some mental strength to close out a tournament. But look what happened to these players this week!
Only Elena L. did not perform well below expectations.
So right now my pick would be the unlikely Tatiana Panova
. This is a player who makes the most of what she's got. Maybe she can't beat the top players very often, but she doesn't lose to them because of crumbling mentally, and occasionally she does beat some of them. She never seems to consider herself out of the match before even stepping on the court; in other words, she does not beat herself.
I don't know why Tatiana does not have a singles title yet; it puzzles me! But even so, I think she is currently the #1 Russian player in mental strength.
SO! WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK? I want to know!