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Maria Kirilenko 2010

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Maria Kirilenko Off Court and On

Although she did not win a single tournament, 2010 was not a disaster for Maria Kirilenko as she has climbed up the rankings from 63 at the end of 2009 to 20 in at the end of this year.

She reached the quarter finals of the Australian Open, coming into the Grand Slam unseeded she caused an upset in the first round, she knocked out her friend and former doubles partner 14th seed Maria Sharapova 7-6(4)/3-6/6-4 in a 3 hour 22 minute battle.

It was the 2nd longest women's match in the history of the Australian Open. She lost in the quarter finals to unseeded player Zheng Jie.

In the French Open she was beaten in the 4th round which she reached for the first time and was beaten by the eventual Champion Francesca Schiavone. En route Kirilenko knocked out the defending Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3/2-6/6-4.

She is an aggressive baseliner with power and angle to her shots. She is quick round the courts and can switch between offensive and defensive shots. Unlike many female players from previous years she is not afraid to come to the net.

In 2006 she was selected to be the face of the Adidas by Stella McCartney tennis range and has played exclusively in the gear since the 2006 Australian Open. In 2009 she was replaced by Caroline Wozniacki as the face of the range, but she has modelled for McCartney.

She loves modelling for her because she has a good team and makes good clothes. Kirilenko said they are very comfortable and thinks McCartney is one of the best designers in the world.

Kirilenko likes connecting athletics and fashion and she told "Teen Vogue" in August 2006 she was dressed by Stella McCartney for a banquet and she felt so glamorous.

In 2009 she appeared in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition alongside Daniela Hantuchova in a pictorial entitled "Valley of the Dolls". She has also modelled for other magazines.

In October she suffered a hip injury in the Osaka Open and had to pull out but now she is back in training for the 2011 season.

She has been dating Russian player Igor Andreev for a long time and they often laugh and joke together in Russian. He thinks his girlfriend has got great potential but thinks she needs to improve physically to be faster and stronger round the court.

He also says she doesn't listen much to what he says about her tennis, but she has a coach and that is his job.

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