Vera Zvonareva is a powerful, all court tennis player.

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So she wanted the Dutch orthopaedic surgeon to be there to share a day she had dreamed about as a child.

She was brought up by her mother and grandmother in a small flat, on the ninth floor of a bleak apartment block in a colourless suburb of Moscow during the unstable years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

She is returning to this year’s tournament as one of the favourites, befitting a woman who now stands at number three in the world, and who won her 11th title in February at the Qatar Ladies Open in Doha.

Vera has deservedly stepped out of the shadow of Russia’s first princess of tennis Maria Sharapova, who secured her place in history by winning Wimbledon seven years ago, and is still the best-rewarded female athlete in the world, with an estimated annual income of $22.5 million (£13.8 million).

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And at last but not at least we have a little section in french for Francophones and francophiles fans of our favorite player Vera Zvonareva.

Vera Zvonareva is not just another player on the tour, she is capable of getting on the top 10 list of the WTA tour.

In this new era of power players like the Williams sisters, Vera Zvonareva has proved that she can be a formidable contender against players that strike the ball hard.

She speaks near-flawless English with a slight American accent, as she spends the short winter off-season training in Florida, although she proudly maintains her home is Moscow. ‘The way I am on court is different to the way I am off it. I like to learn.’Vera’s determination to win was instilled in her from the moment she began hitting tennis balls at the age of six at the instigation of her mother Natalia, who brought up her only child with the help of her own mother after she divorced Vera’s father, Igor.

Yet her soft demeanour camouflages the hard edge that she has to bring to a tennis court. Vera’s replica of the runner-up plate she received from Wimbledon is still in its box at her smart apartment in Moscow.

But Vera’s intellect and beauty are no longer going unnoticed now that she is achieving her potential.