Elena Dementieva was a consistent top 10 player from the very late 1990s up until her sudden retirement at the conclusion of the 2010 season. Dementieva won a gold medal during her best year in 2008, and also that year, she reached a grand slam final, along with achieving her career high ranking of No. 3 on the WTA Tour.
During this oustanding run in 2008, Dementieva trained at the Harold Solomon Tennis Institute in Ft Lauderdale, FL where I was the Head Pro for several years. I spent a lot of time on court with Elena, and it was obvious to me that it was no fluke that she had the stellar and consistent career that she had. I marvelled at her discipline that went into every shot. She hit every ball in practice as though it was the last ball she ever hit. I respected the fact that she was willing to learn and improve. I loved how she was open to new suggestions and was willing to better her serve. Lets take a look at 3 things that all aspiring professional, as well as professional players, can learn from Dementieva in their quest to become the best player they can be.