Born on October 15, 1981, Elena Vyacheslavovna Dementieva was raised by tennis-loving parents in Moscow, Russia. At the age of 7, she was turned down by several famous sports clubs in Moscow for enrollment because of slight flaws. She was, however, later accepted at the prominent Spartak Club in Moscow, where she trained for 3 years. In tournaments, she would either seize the championship, if not, at least remain a runner-up. She thereafter trained in the Central Red Army Club until she turned pro.
Dementieva had her first taste of international tournament and success at Les Petit As in France at the age of 13. In 1998, she turned professional with a rank of World No. 98. Her rank was elevated to World No. 62 in 1999. That same year, she qualified to enter all Grand Slam events.
In 2000, she was able to penetrate at last, the top 12. During the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Australia, Dementieva lost the gold medal to Venus Williams and settled for a silver medal instead. In the same year, she was named at the Sanex WTA awards as the Most Improved Player for having beaten top seeds including then World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport at the age of 19 only.
Dementieva took the no. 1 spot among female tennis professional Russian players from Anna Kournikova in 2001. Despite losing in a number of games due to injuries, which restricted her movement in court, Dementieva still managed to triumph over then World No. 1 Martini Hingis.
In 2003, the Russian player infiltrated the top 10 by climbing to World No. 8. This year, she won her first WTA title in Florida at the Bausch & Lomb Championships, beating Lindsay Davenport.