The top 5 Russian women tennis players

The Russians are coming was the old Cold War cry. In women's tennis they have already arrived, schooled on the warm courts of Florida and challenging in every tournament on the WTA tour. We picked 5 formidable stars from the east.

  1. Vera Zvonareva is ranked number 2 in the world without making too much of an impact with the general public. She reached 2 Grand Slam finals in 2010, at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows, losing both, but her consistency may offer better results in 2012. She has an Olympic bronze from 2008.
  2. Maria Sharapova remains the pin-up star of women's tennis, although that tends to underestimate her competitive drive and power. Currently the world number 4, she was a world number one at just 18, and looks capable of reclaiming the top spot, and adding to her 3 Grand Slam titles.
  3. Svetlana Kuznetsova is rated 16 in the world, but has been as high as number 2. She has a French Open and US Open title to her name, and has also been a runner-up at Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows.
  4. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is just 20, and rated 18 in the world. If she can find a consistent serve she should rise much higher, and reach the later stages of major tournaments. Her best Grand Slam performance is a quarter final at the French Open in 2011.
  5. Alisa Kleybanova is 21 and a powerful prospect, regarded by some as the Russian version of one of the great women tennis players Lindsay Daveport, with a similar style of play.

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