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Maria Yuryevna Kirilenko-Stepanova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Кириле́нко, IPA: [mɐˈrʲijə ˈjʉrʲjɪvnə kʲɪrʲɪˈlʲɛnkə]; born 25 January 1987) is a former professional tennis player from Russia. She won the 2002 US Open Girls' Singles, and won her first title on the WTA Tour in 2005, defeating Anna-Lena Grönefeld in the China Open. She reached three Grand Slam singles quarterfinals, at the 2010 Australian Open, the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, and the 2013 French Open. In women's doubles, she reached two Grand Slam finals, at the 2011 Australian Open and the 2012 French Open, won the 2012 WTA Tour Championships and was a bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics. In June 2013, Kirilenko reached her career-high ranking of world No. 10. In September 2014, she played her last WTA event in Beijing.
In 2002, Kirilenko became one of the youngest winners of the junior tournaments at the Canadian Open and US Open.
In 2002, Kirilenko started participating in WTA events. She began moving up the rankings in 2004, but was set back by an injury. At the 2004 French Open, Kirilenko took the first set off Serena Williams before losing in three sets. She was the runner-up to Nicole Pratt at the Hyderabad Open.
At the end of 2005, she climbed back up the rankings and won her first title in Beijing. On 12 June 2006, she broke into the world's top 20 for the first time. At the US Open, Kirilenko was seeded 20th and reached the third round, before losing to Aravane Rezaï.
Kirilenko made her debut for Russia at the Fed Cup tournament in April 2006. In the World Group quarterfinal tie against Belgium, she lost her singles match against 2005 US Open champion Kim Clijsters, but partnering with Dinara Safina, won her doubles match against Justine Henin and Clijsters. However, Russia ended up losing, 2–3.
In January 2007, she advanced to the third round of the Australian Open, before being defeated by third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. She then competed in the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, where she advanced to the second round, upsetting world No. 15 Shahar Pe'er of Israel, before being defeated by Ai Sugiyama. She then competed in the Dubai Tennis Championships, where she reached the second round, before losing in a close match to Daniela Hantuchová.
At the Acura Classic in San Diego, California, Kirilenko upset second seeded Jelena Janković to advance to the quarterfinals, before losing to fellow Russian Elena Dementieva. At the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles, she upset sixth seed Marion Bartoli in straight sets before losing to eventual champion Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals.
Unseeded at the US Open, she defeated Martina Müller and 22nd seed Katarina Srebotnik. She then lost to unseeded Julia Vakulenko. After the US Open, she appeared in the Sunfeast Open. There, Kirilenko won her second WTA Tour singles title, defeating unseeded Mariya Koryttseva in straight sets. The next week at a tournament in Seoul, Kirilenko, as the fourth seed also reached the finals, but lost to top seed Venus Williams.
At the Australian Open, Kirilenko reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career, beating sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze. Her next opponent was Daniela Hantuchová, to whom she lost, 6–1, 4–6, 4–6, after leading 6–1, 3–1.
Kirilenko then reached the second round of a Tier-I event in Doha, beating Ekaterina Makarova, before losing to Anabel Medina Garrigues in three sets. Kirilenko then lost four matches in a row at Dubai, Bangalore, Indian Wells, and Miami. However, as the second seed, she reached the final of a Tier-IV event at Estoril, where she defeated Iveta Benešová in straight sets. She also won the doubles title there, partnering with Flavia Pennetta. Kirilenko also won in Barcelona, defeating Martinez-Sanchez for her fourth career WTA title and the second of the year.
Kirilenko played at the Tier-III tournament in Cincinnati in August, where she was third seed. She reached the semifinals, where she lost to eventual champion Nadia Petrova. She partnered with Petrova as the second-seed doubles team and beat the top-seed pair of Hsieh Su-wei and Yaroslava Shvedova in the finals.
In the Dubai doubles tournament, Kirilenko partnered with Agnieszka Radwańska, and even though they were unseeded, they reached the final, eventually losing to Liezel Huber and Cara Black, the world No. 1 doubles pairing at that time.
At the 2009 French Open, Kirilenko was unseeded in the singles tournament, and lost to Olivia Rogowska of Australia in the first round. In the doubles tournament, Kirilenko and doubles partner Flavia Pennetta of Italy were seeded eighth. They made it to the third round, before losing to 11th seeded Anna-Lena Grönefeld of Germany and Patty Schnyder of Switzerland.
At the US Open, she made it to the third round, defeating her doubles partner Radwańska before losing to Li Na. She then competed in the Korea Open in Seoul, where she was the defending champion, but lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Kimiko Date-Krumm.
2010: First Grand Slam quarterfinal
Kirilenko began the year by competing in the ASB Classic, where she reached the quarterfinals but lost to Shahar Pe'er. With a ranking at that time of No. 58, Kirilenko was unseeded at the Australian Open, where in the first round she upset her friend, former doubles partner, 2008 champion and 14th seed Maria Sharapova, 7–6, 3–6, 6–4, in a 3-hour 22-minute marathon. It was the second-longest women's match in Australian Open history (only behind the 2011 fourth-round match between Francesca Schiavone and Svetlana Kuznetsova). She advanced to the quarterfinals, losing to Zheng Jie, who was also unseeded for this tournament. In the doubles portion, she and her partner, Agnieszka Radwańska, were seeded 15th and advanced to the semifinals, losing there to the world No. 1 pairing of Cara Black and Liezel Huber in three sets.
Kirilenko entered as 32nd seed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. She made it to the third round, losing there to second seeded Caroline Wozniacki. Kirilenko participated in the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami as 32nd seed. Like Indian Wells, she advanced to the third round, again losing to Wozniacki.
Kirilenko played in Rome in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, where she was unseeded. She advanced to the quarterfinals, where she lost to world No. 1 Serena Williams.
Kirilenko entered the French Open as 30th seed where she advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in her career, before losing to 17th seed and eventual champion Francesca Schiavone, having defeated defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova en route. In the doubles draw, Kirilenko and Radwańska were seeded 11th. They reached the quarterfinals, before losing to the eventual champions Serena and Venus Williams in straight sets.
At Wimbledon, she was 27th seed in the singles draw. She advanced to the third round, losing to eighth seed Kim Clijsters. Kirilenko also paired up with Agnieszka Radwańska in the doubles draw, where they were seeded 10th.
Kirilenko made the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California before losing to Radwańska. She entered in the doubles tournament with Victoria Azarenka, they ended in the semifinals.
She then reached the second rounds of Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open and the Rogers Cup, losing to Vera Zvonareva and Victoria Azarenka, respectively. At the Pilot Pen Tennis, she reached the semifinals, losing to Nadia Petrova.
She reached the third round of the US Open losing to 11th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
She then reached the second rounds of Korea Open, losing to former world No. 1 Dinara Safina, and Toray Pan Pacific Open, losing to Flavia Pennetta. At the last Premier-Mandatory event of the year, the China Open, she lost in the third round to eventual finalist and compatriot Vera Zvonareva. In the HP Open, she retired in the second round due to a hip injury against Chang Kai-chen, after losing the first set 4–6. Kirilenko reached the final of the Kremlin Cup where she fell to Victoria Azarenka.
Kirilenko ended the 2010 season ranked No. 20 in the world.
2011: Steady ranking
She competed at the Hong Kong Tennis Classic and won the Gold Group Championship with her compatriots Vera Zvonareva and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. At the Australian Open, she failed to defend her quarterfinal points by being knocked out in the second round. However, in the doubles competition, she reached the final, partnered with Victoria Azarenka, but lost to Pennetta and Dulko. She then fell early in the Pattaya Open and Dubai Tennis Championships. She then reached the third round of both BNP Paribas Open and Sony Ericsson Open losing to Agnieszka Radwańska on both occasions. She then suffered three losses in a row in the second round of Family Circle Cup, and the first rounds of Mutua Madrid Open and Internazionali BNL d'Italia. However, she won doubles at the Mutua Madrid Open with Victoria Azarenka. At the French Open, she reached the fourth round losing to Andrea Petkovic in three sets.
She then fell in the first round of UNICEF Open to Kimiko Date-Krumm, However, she rebounded by reaching the third round of the Wimbledon Championships, eventually being stopped by the seventh-seeded Serena Williams. She then failed to win back-to-back matches falling in the second rounds of Bank of the West Classic, Mercury Insurance Open, first round of Rogers Cup, and the second rounds of Western & Southern Open and Bank of the West Classic. She then rebounded at the US Open, losing to eventual champion Samantha Stosur 2–6, 7–615–17, 3–6 in the fourth round. The second set tie-break score of 15–17 was the longest in any major in the history of women's tennis.
She reached her first semifinal of the year at the Guangzhou International Women's Open, losing to Chanelle Scheepers 5–7, 7–5, 4–6. She then played at the Pan Pacific Open and the China Open, where she defeated Samantha Stosur in three sets in both occasions in the second round; she also fell in the quarterfinals on both events losing to Vera Zvonareva and Monica Niculescu, respectively. She played her last tournament of the year at the BGL Luxembourg Open, where she had to withdrew in the second round due to an ankle injury.
2012: 4th place at 2012 Olympics
Kirilenko began her 2012 season at the Apia International Sydney in Sydney. She lost in the second round of qualifying to Sofia Arvidsson. Seeded twenty-seventh at the Australian Open, Kirilenko retired during her third-round match against second seed Petra Kvitová due to an upper left leg injury.
Seeded fourth at the PTT Pattaya Open, Kirilenko reached the final where she was defeated by third seed Daniela Hantuchová. In Doha at the Qatar Total Open, Kirilenko lost in the second round to fourteenth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. At the Dubai Tennis Championships, Kirilenko was defeated in the second round by Ana Ivanovic. Seeded twentieth at the BNP Paribas Open, Kirilenko advanced to the quarterfinal where she lost to second seed Maria Sharapova. Seeded twenty-second in Miami at the Sony Ericsson Open, Kirilenko was defeated in the fourth round by seventh seed Marion Bartoli.
Kirilenko began her clay-court season at the Estoril Open. Seeded second, she lost in the second round to qualifier Karin Knapp. Seeded sixteenth at the Mutua Madrid Open, Kirilenko was defeated in the second round by Ekaterina Makarova. Seeded sixteenth in Rome at the Italian Open, Kirilenko lost in the first round to Flavia Pennetta. Seeded third at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, Kirilenko retired during her first-round match against Sloane Stephens due to a right ankle injury. Seeded sixteenth at the French Open, Kirilenko was defeated in the second round by Klára Zakopalová.
Kirilenko played only one tournament before Wimbledon which was the UNICEF Open. Seeded fifth, she lost in the first round to Francesca Schiavone. Kirilenko then played at the Wimbledon Championships where she was the seventeenth seed. She had sudden success reaching the round of 16 for the first time with easy wins over Alexandra Cadanțu, Lourdes Domínguez Lino and Sorana Cîrstea. She had officially reached the second week of all four majors. She defeated thirtieth seed Peng Shuai to reach her second Grand Slam quarterfinal and her first at Wimbledon. After almost three hours of play, three rain delays and switching courts, she eventually lost in a very close and tough quarterfinal to third seed and eventual finalist Agnieszka Radwańska.
Playing for Russia at the Summer Olympics, Kirilenko reached the semifinal upsetting sixth seed Petra Kvitová in her quarterfinal match. She lost the semifinal match to eventual silver medalist Maria Sharapova. Despite the loss, she still had a chance to win the bronze medal. In the bronze medal match, she was defeated by Victoria Azarenka to end u being in 4th place. However, she won a bronze medal in women's doubles with Nadia Petrova by beating the No. 1 ranked team of Liezel Huber/Lisa Raymond.
Kirilenko started her preparation for the US Open at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Seeded twelfth, she lost in the first round to Venus Williams. She bounced back into form at the Premier level New Haven Open at Yale. Seeded seventh, Kirilenko reached her second final of the year where she was defeated by second seed Petra Kvitová. Seeded fourteenth at the US Open, Kirilenko suffered a third-round upset at the hands of Andrea Hlaváčková. In doubles, Kirilenko and Petrova upset the Williams sisters in the third round before losing in the quarterfinal to eighth seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives/María José Martínez Sánchez.
Seeded second at the Korea Open, Kirilenko retired from her first-round match against Lee So-ra due to a back injury. Competing as the thirteenth seed at the China Open, Kirilenko lost in the first round to Ekaterina Makarova. Seeded seventh at the Kremlin Cup, Kirilenko was defeated in the semifinal by Sofia Arvidsson. Seeded third at the Qatar Airways Tournament of Champions, Kirilenko lost her first match to second seed Nadia Petrova, but she won her second one over eighth seed Tsvetana Pironkova. She withdrew from her third match against sixth seed Jie Zheng due to an upper respiratory illness. Kirilenko played her final tournament of the season at the WTA Tour Championships. She and Petrova won the doubles title beating Andrea Hlaváčková/Lucie Hradecká in the final.
Kirilenko ended the year ranked 14 in singles and 7 in doubles.
2013: World No. 10 & injuries
Beginning her season at the Apia International Sydney, Kirilenko lost in the second round to third seed Sara Errani. Seeded fourteenth at the Australian Open, Kirilenko made it to the fourth round where she lost to third seed Serena Williams.
Seeded second at the PTT Pattaya Open, Kirilenko won the tournament defeating fifth seed Sabine Lisicki in the final. During the Fed Cup tie versus Japan, Kirilenko played one match and beat Kimiko Date-Krumm. Russia won the tie 3-2 to advance to the semifinal. Seeded twelfth at the Qatar Total Open, Kirilenko retired from her first-round match versus qualifier Ekaterina Bychkova due to a shoulder injury. Seeded thirteenth at the BNP Paribas Open, Kirilenko reached the semifinal after wins over Christina McHale, qualifier Mallory Burdette, third seed Agnieszka Radwańska, and fifth seed Petra Kvitová. She was defeated in her semifinal match by second seed and eventual champion Maria Sharapova. Seeded fourteenth at the Sony Open Tennis, Kirilenko lost in the third round to twenty-first seed Klára Zakopalová. Seeded third in Mexico at the Monterrey Open, Kirilenko made it to the semifinal where she was defeated by top seed and eventual finalist Angelique Kerber. In the Fed Cup semifinal tie versus Slovakia, Kirilenko lost her first match to Daniela Hantuchová but beat Dominika Cibulková in her final match. Russia won 3-2 to advance to the final in November versus Italy.
Kirilenko began her preparation for the French Open at the Mutua Madrid Open. Seeded thirteenth, she was defeated in the third round by top seed, defending champion, and eventual champion Serena Williams. Seeded twelfth at the Italian Open, Kirilenko retired during her third-round match against seventh seed Sara Errani due to a left knee injury. Seeded twelfth at the French Open, Kirilenko defeated Nina Bratchikova, Ashleigh Barty to advance to the third round where she defeated Stefanie Vögele. In the fourth round, she defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands to reach her first quarterfinal at the French Open. She subsequently lost her quarterfinal match to her former doubles partner and third seed Victoria Azarenka. Her run in Paris catapulted her into the top 10 for the first time.
Seeded sixth at the Aegon International, Kirilenko was suffering from a knee injury, but she still made it through to the quarterfinal where she was defeated by Yanina Wickmayer. Seeded tenth at the Wimbledon Championships, Kirilenko suffered a first-round upset at the hands of home crowd favorite Laura Robson. As a result, Kirilenko dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings due to the fact that she was defending a quarterfinal appearance from 2012.
Kirilenko started her US Open series at the Rogers Cup. Seeded eleventh, she lost in the second round to Alizé Cornet. Seeded sixteenth at the Western & Southern Open, Kirilenko was defeated in the second round by Mona Barthel. Seeded fourteenth at the US Open, Kirilenko lost in the third round to twenty-first seed Simona Halep.
Kirilenko started the Asian swing at the Korea Open. Seeded second, she was defeated in the second round by Kimiko Date-Krumm. In Beijing at the China Open, Kirilenko lost in the third round to top seed and eventual champion Serena Williams. Seeded third at the Kremlin Cup, Kirilenko was defeated in the second round by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Injury ended her season at the Garanti Koza WTA Tournament of Champions in Sofia with a 0–5 retirement loss to Alizé Cornet.
Kirilenko ended the year ranked 19.
2014: Last season
Kirilenko was not listed on any entry lists for 2014 tournaments, still recovering from the knee injury suffered in the Tournament of Champions in Sofia. She also missed the Australian Open due to the injury.
After missing the pair of Premier Mandatory events at Indian Wells and Miami, Kirilenko made her comeback at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. Seeded tenth, she was upset in the first round by qualifier Belinda Bencic, who eventually reached her first WTA semifinal. At the Mutua Madrid Open, Kirilenko defeated qualifier Kristina Mladenovic in the first round to recorded her first victory of the year. She withdrew from her second-round match against qualifier Caroline Garcia due to a left wrist injury. In Rome at the Italian Open, Kirilenko lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round. Kirilenko exited in the first round at the French Open, winning three games against Johanna Larsson. As a result, her ranking plunged 44 places down to 88 after failing to defend quarterfinal points.
Kirilenko played the pre-Wimbledon tournament in Rosmalen at the Topshelf Open but lost to Mona Barthel in the first round. Kirilenko entered the Wimbledon Championships ranked 109, her lowest ranking in five years. She caused an upset by defeating eighteenth seed and the previous year's quarterfinalist Sloane Stephens in the first round. She was defeated in the second round by Peng Shuai.
In Seoul, South Korea at the Korea Open, Kirilenko participated as a wildcard. She reached her first quarterfinal in 15 months by defeating Donna Vekić and third seed Klára Koukalová in her first two matches. She then defeated sixth seed Kaia Kanepi for a place in the semifinals. Her run came to an end in the hands of second seed and eventual champion Karolína Plíšková. Kirilenko played her final tournament of the season at the China Open. She was defeated in the first round by qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova.
Kirilenko ended the year ranked 186.
Between 2015 and 2017, Kirilenko gave birth to two children, and has since not returned to professional tennis; it is not known for certain whether or not Kirilenko will return to the game, as she has not competed professionally since 2014, and at present she is not ranked by the WTA.
In 2006, Kirilenko was selected to be the face of Adidas tennis gear designed by noted British fashion designer Stella McCartney and played exclusively in it for three years. In 2009, she was replaced by Caroline Wozniacki following the US Open.
In November 2011, Russian ice-hockey player Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals identified Kirilenko as his girlfriend on his Twitter account. On 31 December 2012, Ovechkin confirmed the rumors that he and Kirilenko were engaged. In July 2014, she called off her planned wedding saying in comments distributed by the Russian Tennis Federation that there were "a lot of reasons" behind her decision. Ovechkin had faced questions from Russian media about the relationship when he did not accompany Kirilenko to Wimbledon in June.
On 24 January 2015, Kirilenko got married but the name of her husband was not revealed until a few days later: she married Alexei Stepanov, reported to be the head of the Committee of Public Services in Moscow.
Grand Slam performance timelines
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María Yúrievna Kirilenko (ruso: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Кириле́нко) es una jugadora de tenis profesional nativa de Rusia, nacida el 25 de enero de 1987 en Moscú, Unión Soviética. de 5 títulos de la WTA, actualmente es la Nº 29 del ranking mundial de la WTA.
Ganó su primer título del WTA Tour en 2005 venciendo a Anna-Lena Groenefeld por 6-3, 6-4 en el Abierto de China. María Kirilenko es muy amiga de María Sharápova. Es llamada cariñosamente “MaKiri” por sus allegados.
María Kirilenko ganó el evento para juniors en el Abierto de Canadá de 2002, como también ganó en la categoría juniors del Abierto de Estados Unidos del 2002. En diciembre del 2004 jugó en una exhibición de tennis en Tampa, Florida, Estados Unidos para juntar dinero para la Fundación de afectados por huracanes de Florida.
En el Abierto de Australia de 2006 ella ganó la atención de los medios por usar una vestimenta Adidas diseñada por la británica diseñadora Stella McCartney y por ella misma. En el 2007 se adjudico su segundo título en el Torneo de Calcuta al derrotar a la ucraniana Mariya Koryttseva por 6-0 y 6-2.
El 17 de enero de 2010, eliminó a su compatriota María Sharápova en primera ronda del Abierto de Australia.