Olympic champion in the women’s doubles alongside Elena Vesnina in Rio 2016
Four-time Grand Slam champion in doubles (Roland Garros 2013, US Open 2014, Wimbledon 2017, US Open – Mixed Doubles 2012)
Three-time WTA Tour winner in singles (2010 Aegon International [Eastbourne], Pattaya Open 2014, Washington D.C. 2017)
Semifinalist in the US Open 2014 and Australian Open 2015 in singles
Career and personal history
Childhood and youth
I started playing tennis when I was five and a half. Some friends of ours wanted to do something for their, daughter Elena Konovalova, who was the same age as me, at the “Luzhniki” sports center. Her parents decided that it would be more fun for us, so that’s how our families began spending more time together.
My first coach was Anna Nartsissova. I was with her for half a year. After that, the Granaturova sisters came to be some of my main coaches, they laid the whole foundation. That’s how my tennis career started.
Irina Grigorevna Granaturova said that there is a moment in tennis when you transfer from the small tournaments with small prize pools to the larger tournaments. You need to go through the small tournaments as fast as possible because it’s kind of like a marsh where you can get stuck your whole life without ever leaving. Those words pushed me towards the larger tournaments.
Irina and Yelena also kept telling me that I didn’t have a sportsman’s anger, and that I was very kind, like it was a shame to offend my opponent. It’s only worth getting angry on the court, not in the rest of your life, but that’s how you end up winning. My coaches spent years working on that, but with a fair amount of work they managed to succeed. I only started with adult tennis when Eugenia Alexandrovna Maniokova introduced me to a new word - confidence, that became one of the most important things in my career.
The first turning point was in junior tennis. I had started playing well when I was 16, but I had less success the following year and my rating took a big hit. I had already been training for 11 years in “Luzhniki” at that point, so I started thinking about changing something in my life and trying something in a different area. Instead of the Russian State University of Physical Education, I chose the National Design Institute where I studied costume design for a year. It was hard to combine my education in the evening with tournaments and training sessions, so I took academic leave and went to Spain for three months to the renowned Valencia Tennis Academy. When I came back to Moscow, I started working with a new coach, Eugenia Maniokova, and with her my career quickly took off. After some time, I nevertheless went to the Russian State University of Physical Education and graduated successfully.
The next turning point can be linked to two injuries: a hand injury which took three months to heal with me having to miss tournaments, and the second injury with my Achilles tendon which became chronic because it hadn’t healed in time.
The first doubles Olympic gold Medal in Russian History
Ekaterina Makarova was born on June 7 1988 in Moscow. She got into tennis on the advice of some friends of her family.
They bought their six-year-old left-handed daughter her first equipment.