Elena Likhovtseva - one of the most stable tennis players in Russia
Likhovtseva Elena Aleksandrovna - the well-knownKazakh (and later Russian) tennis player. Seven-time finalist of the Grand Slam competition. Master of Sports of the Russian Federation. Winner of 30 WTA tournaments. This article will present a brief biography of the athlete.
Elena Likhovtseva was born in Almaty in 1975year. The girl began to play tennis at the age of seven. Her first coach was Lilia Maksimova. Already from an early age Elena played rather uncommonly. In 1989 she won the junior championship of the USSR. A couple of years later, the girl took part in the international tournament "Orange Ball" and took second place there (Natalya Zvereva became the first).
1992 - the year when she began to speak at theprofessional competitions Elena Likhovtseva. Tennis has become for her the main business of life. The debut title (10 thousand in Portugal), Elena took in the first season. Also, the sportswoman defeated the player from the top 200. A year later the girl was selected for the tournament in Jakarta (WTA). A few months later, Likhovtseva went to San Diego and reached the quarter-finals, beating Natalia Medvedeva (64 rackets of the world) and Natalie Tozia (15th place in the rating). Thanks to this successful performance Elena made her way to the top 200 and was selected for the Grand Slam competition. Until the end of the year the sportswoman played well several other tournaments. Successes of the season-1993 allowed her in just two years to go from promising junior to tennis player, included in the first hundred adult rating.
In 1994-95, Elena Likhovtseva was entrenched in thepreviously achieved level, taking part in both small and large WTA tournaments. In 1996, the athlete defeated Marie Pierce (4th world racket) on the fourth round of the Australian Open. A few months later, Likhovtseva beat Aranchu Sanchez (2nd place in the ranking) at the competitions in Berlin. A series of significant victories allowed Elena to enter the top 20 strongest athletes of the planet.
At the beginning of the next season, the Russian tennis playerwon the second WTA title at the Gold Coast tournament. But by the end of the year the effectiveness of her game has decreased and Likhovtseva has fallen to the 38th line of the rating. In 1998-99 Elena gradually returned to her peak level. The sportswoman again got into the top 20 and was selected for the Final tournament.
In 1996, Elena managed to reach a goodlevel in the pair results (WTA). Together with Anna Kournikova, she perfectly played several tournaments. And then the athletes managed to reach the quarterfinals at the Grand Slam competitions in America. Soon, Likhovtseva joined forces with Ai Sugiyama from Japan. This tandem became more successful, and soon the girls entered first in the top 20, and then in the top 10 of the world rating. Together they won six titles at the WTA competitions.
The zero season started for Elena with a newachievements in a career. From the fifth attempt the tennis player was able to win in the fourth round of the Grand Slam. Thus, Likhovtseva entered the top eight of the strongest athletes in this competition. To do this, the girl had to beat herself Serena Williams (at that time the 4th racket of the world). Then Elena's results at such meetings were stable. She several times went to the semifinals and finals. Later in the Grand Slam tournaments tennis player has never shown such a level of play.
The next few years Elena Likhovtseva, familywhich has always supported her at the competitions, consistently entered the top 50. But before 2004, there were no major victories. And this summer, Elena managed to reach the final of the first category tournament in Canada. After Likhovtseva won in Forest Hills its 3rd and last WTA title.
The next peak of the tennis player took place in May2005. The girl took advantage of the confusion on Roland Garros and reached the semifinals. A series of stable results allowed her at that time to reach the highest rankings in her career, taking after the US Open 16-th line. Later, Elena's game stabilized at the usual level. In 2008, the tennis player started serious problems with the right shoulder, which led to a prolonged skipping of the competition, and then the end of his career.
Well, the flowering of Likhovtsev's pair achievementsfell in the first half of the 2000s. First Elena played in with Kara Black, and then with Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova. With them she more than fifty times visited the finals of various competitions. For eight years of stable results, Likhovtseva twice reached the decisive match in the paired Final tournaments (both times with Kara Black).
After receiving Russian citizenship, Elena entered thethe national team and began to speak at the Federation Cup. The first matches of the sportswoman took place in 1996 at the tournament of the Euro-African zone. Over the next eight years, the Russian tennis player only one season was absent in these competitions. Likhovtseva played for the national team of 42 matches, having won in 26 of them. Also, the athlete performed at the Olympics, but she did not achieve much success there.
After the end of her career Elena Likhovtseva begancoaching in the FTR. Now she is one of the mentors of the national team in the Federation Cup. Also Elena trains the Russian women's team (up to 12 years).
In November 2010, Likhovtsev was included in the Tennis Hall of Fame.
Since 2008 Elena has been involved in various channels as an expert on tennis programs. On a regular basis, it can be seen on the air of the television channel Eurosport (Russian version).
Elena Likhovtseva was married twice. Now the spouse of the sportswoman is the TV presenter and journalist Andrei Morozov. From it, Elena gave birth to two daughters: Anastasia (2012) and Alexander (2014).