One of the professional atheletes who has given me most enjoyment, Russian tennis player Elena Dementieva, has announced her retirement at the current tour championships going on at the moment in Doha. Dementieva has one of the most colourful games among the women on the tour, with huge groundstrokes but generally a rather weak and erratic serve. The latter actually improved a lot in the last two or three seasons, and for awhile there she looked like the most likely challenger to Serena Williams as the best player on the tour. Although she never won a Grand Slam event, she made a couple of finals and she did win the Olympic Gold Medal in 2008, defeating Williams on the way to the final, where she prevailed over Dinara Safina.
Dementieva also had a great rivalry with my favourite player on the women's circuit for many years, the French amazon Amelie Mauresmo (who retired a year or so ago, but not before winning a couple of Grand Slam titles). Farewell, Elena!