With those large steely eyes and an equally great resolve underneath a slight frame, Anastasia Myskina lit up the WTA tour all too briefly from 2000 to 2007. In that time the Moscow-born baseliner became the first Russian player to reach number two in the world and with her sole major title at Roland Garros in 2004 (by far her best year) she became the first Russian player to triumph at such a stage (against compatriot and another ATT Tribute recipient Elena Dementieva).
An all rounder, but predominantly defensive in nature, Myskina’s strength laid in her resilience, fitness and the ability to deliver power from out of nowhere. Quiet and largely unassuming, she was one of many Russian’s critical of Sharapova’s antics and flitting allegiances, which only makes her more likeable in my opinion.
After seemingly set for stratospheric stardom, it was all over rather quickly as with increasing severity the three seasons following her breakout year saw steep declines in form, fitness and win rates as injury finally took hold.
She still hasn’t officially retired but at 38 and with three children she surely has no reason to return. Her record is very fine indeed and her place in the history books, albeit a quiet page away from the any theatrics – is assured.
Australian Open – QF (2003, 2004)
French Open – W (2004)
Wimbledon – QF (2005, 2006)
US Open – QF (2003)
Tour Finals – SF (2004)
Fed Cup – W (2004, 2005)