Eleni Daniilidou (Greek: Ελένη Δανιηλίδου; born September 19, 1982) is a Greek tennis player born in Chania, on the island of Crete.
As of 2010, she has won five WTA singles titles and two doubles titles. In 2003, she reached the Australian Open mixed doubles final. Her highest singles ranking has been 14th. By beating Justine Henin in the first round of the 2005 Wimbledon Championships, she became the first player to defeat a reigning French Open champion in the first round of Wimbledon.
Daniilidou begun her career in 1996, when she made the final in her first ITF event, having barely turned 14. She achieved her first ranking in 1998, finishing it as No. 294. In 2001, she broke into the top 100 following a third round appearance at the U.S. Open.
2002 was the best year of Daniilidou's career, finishing it at No. 22 in the world. She won her first WTA Tour singles title at the Ordina Open, beating Mauresmo, Dementieva and Henin; and reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time at Wimbledon. At the end of the year, she reached her second WTA final at the Brasil Open, beating Monica Seles en-route, but lost to Anastasia Myskina.
Daniilidou started 2003 by winning her second WTA title at the ASB Classic and reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, results which saw her break into the top 20 for the first time, reaching a career high of No. 14 after the Qatar Telecom German Open. She also reached the semifinals of the Open Gaz de France and the DFS Classic.
Daniilidou successfully defended her title at the ASB Classic in 2004, her third WTA singles title. She reached the semifinals at the prestigious NASDAQ-100 Open, beating Jennifer Capriati en-route. Later that year she equalled her best Grand Slam performance at the US Open by reaching the fourth round.
2005 was a relatively poor year for Daniilidou, becoming the first since 2001 where she did not win a title. She did, however, cause a huge upset at Wimbledon, beating the French Open champion, Justine Henin. It was the first time the French Open champion had lost in the first round of Wimbledon. It also brought the end of Henin's 24-match win streak dating back to the beginning of the clay season. Daniilidou eventually lost in the third round, her best Grand Slam performance of the year. She also reached the semifinals of a lower level WTA event in Portoroz, Slovenia.
She recovered in 2006, going back into the top 50 and winning her fourth WTA singles title at the Hansol Korea Open. She also reached the semifinals of the Ordina Open. She remained in the top 50 in 2007 with her best results being a semifinal at the Pilot Pen Tennis, where she beat Safina after saving a match point, and a semifinal at the Hansol Korea Open.
2008 was an injury-plagued season for Daniilidou, missing almost half the year with a right knee injury. She won her fifth – and to date, last – WTA singles title at the Moorilla Hobart International, but missed several months of events from March. She returned at the Summer Olympics in August, but failed to win a match for the rest of the season, finishing the year outside the top 100 for the first time since 2000.
In 2009, she played mostly on the ITF Women's Circuit, reaching the final at events in Midland, Westende and Athens but failing to win any of them. As of 2010, she continues to play mostly on the ITF Circuit. She has qualified for Wimbledon after double-bageling Anastasia Pivovarova in the third qualifying round.
Singles (5 WTA, 8 ITF)
Doubles (1 WTA, 9 ITF)
Singles Finalist (1)
* 2002: Bahia (lost to Anastasia Myskina)
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