A beautiful game, but so ruthlessly distorted by the passage of time.” Martin Amis, The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump Essays and Reports, 1994-2016.
Sports fans already know that tennis is much more than hitting a ball over the net with a racket. Tennis is synonymous with endurance, power, physical and mental strength, discipline, beauty and elegance to the delight of the public. In today’s article we will look at the 10 best Russian tennis players who have ever been on the tennis court.
Best Russian Tennis Players List
1. Maria Sharapova
Talented and extraordinarily beautiful, Maria Sharapova is one of the most famous Russian tennis players.
Maria Yuryevna Sharapova was born on April 19, 1987 in Nyagan, Russia. Maria Sharapova, a former professional tennis player known for her talent and beauty, is the first Russian tennis player to win Wimbledon. Although she played under the Russian flag, Maria has been a permanent resident of the United States since 1994.
Marat Mubinovich Safin was born on Jan 27 (1980) in Moscow. He and his sister Dinara inherited their mother’s love for tennis and are the only sibling duo to reach the No. 1 ranking. Marat reached the No. 1 ATP world singles ranking in November 2000 and kept it for nine weeks, while his sister reached the WTA world No. 1 ranking in 2009. His mother, Rauza Islanova, served as Marat’s first coach.
Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova was born on June 7, 1981 in Moscow. Anna made her professional tennis debut aged just 14, becoming the youngest player to win the Fed Cup for Russia. At only 15 years old, she participated in the US Open. At 16, she reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon. In 1996, Anna won the WTA Newcomer of the Year award. Although she never won a singles title, she managed to reach number eight in the world in 2000.
4. Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Kafelnikov was born on February 18, 1974 in Sochi. Kafelnikov made national history when in May 1999 he became the first Russian tennis player to reach world No. 1 in the ATP rankings. He held his post for six weeks. The following year, Marat Safin would also reach world number 1.
But Yevgeny Kafelnikov made national history again in 1996, becoming the first Russian player to win a Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros. He is one of the few tennis players to have won the doubles and singles titles at the same tournament. In 1999 he also won the Australian Open.
Safina was born on April 27, 1986 in Russian capital. Dinara is the younger sister of famous former Russian world No. 1 tennis player Marat Safin.
Dinara Safina won her first WTA title in Sopot (2002) and was a singles runner-up at the French Open (2008), Australian Open (2009) and French Open (2009).
Elena Sergeyevna Vesnina was born on August 1, 1986 in Lviv, Ukraine.
Elena turned pro in 2002 and qualified for the first time in a WTA Tour main draw in 2004 at the Bell Challenge (Quebec). During her career, Elena Vesnina was one of the highest ranked doubles players, winning four Grand Slam titles (French Open (2013), US Open (2014) and Wimbledon (2017) with Ekaterina Makarova, and the Australian Open). (2016) Mixed doubles with Bruno Soares).
7. Svetlana Kuznetsova
Svetlana Aleksandrovna Kuznetsova was born on June 27, 1985 in St. Petersburg. At the age of 7, Svetlana moved to Spain and attended the prestigious Sanchez-Casal Academy.
Svetlana turned professional in 2000 and a year later competed in the Madrid Open, her first WTA tournament. In 2001, after her performances at Roland Garros, Svetlana received the Russian Cup as the newcomer of the year. In 2002, she won her first WTA title in Helsinki at the Nordea Nordic Light Open.
8. Elena Dementieva
Elena Viacheslavovna Dementieva was born on October 15, 1981 in Moscow.
Since she turned pro in 1998, Elena has won a silver medal at the Summer Olympics in Sydney (2000) and a gold medal at the Olympics in Beijing (2008). Although she has never won a Grand Slam singles title, she has 16 WTA singles titles and has reached two Grand Slam finals (French Open and US Open in 2004) and seven other Grand Slam semifinals. In 2005, Dementieva was part of the Russian team that won the Fed Cup. In April 2009, Elena Dementieva achieved her career-high ranking of world No. 3. She had seven seasons in the top 10.
9. Anastasia Myskina
Anastasia Andreevna Myskina, born on July 8, 1981 in Moscow, turned professional in 1998 and entered the WTA Top 500 that year. In 2004, Anastasia won the French Open and became the first Russian player to win a singles title at a Grand Slam and enter the top 3. Myskina was part of the Russian team that won the first Fed Cup title.
10. Daniel Medvedev
Daniil Sergeyevich Medvedev was born on February 11, 1996 in Russian Capital.
He turned professional in 2014 and is currently ranked No. 2 in the world by the ATP. In March 2021, he reached his career high in singles. Daniil made his ATP debut in 2015 in the Kremlin Cup (double). A year later, he won his first singles match at the Ricoh Open. 2018 was the year Daniil Medvedev would win his first ATP titles: Winston-Salem, Sydney and ATP 500 Tokyo.