Originally written on Tennis Grand Stand  |  Last updated 11/15/14

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 22: Alicia Molik of Australia reacts after a shot in her first round mixed doubles match with Matthew Ebden of Australia against Elena Vesnina of Russia and Andy Ram of Israel during day five of the 2010 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
By David Kane The first time I ever saw Elena Vesnina, she was far from a WTA Tour final. She was 19 and playing in US Open qualifying. I was drawn away from whatever match my family was watching to see her fight off a game opponent with a fiery determination that had clearly ingratiated itself with the small but lively Court 14 crowd. Elena Vesnina captures Hobart Not long after, Vesnina became a steady top 100 player, peaking close to the top 20 in 2009. Rarely bringing her best at the Slams, the Russian has been known to sporadically catch fire at Tour events, causing minor but contextually notable upsets and taking that good form all the way to the final. Here is where the strange tale of Elena Vesnina truly begins. One look at her resumé and it is clear that Vesnina’s has been a career defined by missed opportunities. In the last four years, the 26 year old reached six Slam finals (three in doubles, three in mixed) and lost all six. The trend was similar in singles, albeit on a...
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