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Nadia Petrova – Making Russia Proud

Nadia Petrova was born on 8 June 1982 in Moscow, Russia. A competitive spirit runs in her family with her father, Victor Petrova, excelling as a hammer thrower and her mother, Nadezhda Ilyina, winning a bronze medal in the 400 meter relay at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Both Nadia’s parents are still involved in athletics coaching. During her childhood, Nadia Petrova travelled with her parents to many countries around the world. The family settled for a time in Eqypt, giving Nadia the opportunity to train as a tennis player under the guidance of her parents and Mohammed Seif.

As a junior tennis player, Nadia Petrova started off by beating Jelena Dokić in the final of the 1998 French Open. Thereafter, due to her many victories and finishing as runner-up at a number of tournaments, by the end of 1999, Nadia had achieved being placed among the top 100 tennis players worldwide. The year 2000 saw Nadia Petrova reaching the third round of the Australian Open and the quarter-finals of the Miami Masters. At the end of the season, the Russian tennis player had reached number the 50 ranking. During 2001 Nadia’s ranking reached number 38, but unfortunately, due to injuries, her ranking dropped out of the top 100 during the 2002 season.

In 2003, Nadia Petrova, then ranking number 76 in the world, stunned everyone by beating world’s top tennis players, Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati, in the semi-finals of Roland Garros. This made her the third lowest-ranked tennis player to reach the semi-finals, causing her ranking to rise to number 30, which was a career high for her at that time.

Continuing her success, in March 2004, tennis player Nadia Petrova achieved number 9 in the world ranking, reaching the Miami Masters semi-finals. Her winning streak continued at the Bausch & Lomb Championships where she reached the semi-finals by beating second-seeded Serena Williams. She then lost to Lindsay Davenport, but her ranking was elevated to number 7 – a new career high. Another highlight of 2004 was her win over Justine Henin, who was the reigning world number 1 at the time, as well as being the defending champion. Nadia finished the season at number 12.

The 2005 season, with more victories than defeats, saw Nadia Petrova being ranked at number 9 in the world. The 2006 season provided another career highlight when she ascended to the ranking of number 3 in the world, by defeating Justine Henin-Hardenne in the final of the Qatar Telecom German Open. Nadia finished 2006 with her best year-end world ranking of number 6.

In August 2007 Nadia Petrova was ranked as the number 8 tennis player in the world. At the U.S. Open on 1 September 2007, 18 year old Hungarian Agnes Szavay had a surprise victory over Nadia Petrova. However, this set-back is unlikely to deter this world-class sports star and the rest of the 2007 season is sure to present opportunities for Nadia Petrova to reach new career heights.


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