They were born in the same year (1981) in the same city ( Moscow) and have the same traffic-stopping looks of a Bond girl, but that's where the similarities between Anna Kournikova and Elena Dementieva end. While Kournikova attracts a media scrum traditionally reserved for movie stars, Dementieva's climb up the WTA ladder has barely registered outside the tennis world. All of 600 people were on hand at Court 10 last Saturday for Dementieva's third-round upset of No. 7 Conchita Mart�nez, which concluded moments after Kournikova marched into a crowded Arthur Ashe Stadium to face Justine Henin. By the end of the day, a long-legged Russian blonde had advanced to the fourth round—but she wasn't Kournikova. On Monday the No. 25-ranked Dementieva reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 win over Lilia Osterloh of the U.S.
Primarily a baseliner, Dementieva hits with power from both sides. She started playing as a seven-year-old, at the Spartak Club in Moscow, where she was tutored by Rausa Islanova, the mother of Russian star Marat Safin. Dementieva turned pro in 1998 and reached her first Tier 1 semifinal this March at Indian Wells, falling to the eventual champion, Lindsay Davenport.
Elena, who resides in Moscow with her father, Viatcheslav, an electrical engineer, and mother, Vera, who taught graphic arts at a university before quitting to accompany her daughter on tour, says she's fascinated by chess and plays often against her older brother, Sevia. "I would like to play tennis like a queen," she says, "but right now I am a queen without a great forehand."
The budding Kasparov needn't worry. Last week was merely her opening move.