Tennis

Dementieva: The Most Overlooked Player

DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 29:  Elena Dementieva of Russia reacts to a lost point against Serena Williams of the United States in round robin play during the Sony Ericsson WTA Championships at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on October 29, 2009 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Tommy KeelerCorrespondent IIIDecember 21, 2009

It occurred to me that in my column yesterday I forgot to mention Elena Dementieva. She is consistently one of the top players in the game. She always challenges at grand slams. She's won an Olympic Gold Medal, but yet she's always so easy to overlook.

That's in part because she still hasn't won a grand slam or been to No. 1 in the world. I hope that I am wrong, but I don't think that trend will change this year. I love Elena. I love watching her play. I think she is the best mover in the game.

She moves gracefully around the court, but she can also come up with some big shots on both sides of the ball. Her serve has improved, but it can still be a liability on important points.

To me the biggest problem with Elena is that she gets too tight when the match is on the line. I still don't think she fully believes she can win a slam. She played a great match against Serena Williams at Wimbledon. The best women's match of the year. However, Serena came up with the goods on the big points, while Elena got tight.

I hope that 2010 will be the year Elena loosens up and goes for it on the big points and finally believes she can be the best. The game is there all she needs is the belief. And if she does believe, the women's game will be that much better for it.

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