Photo of Liudmila Samsonova


Russian Federation


Ljudmila Samsonova was born in Olenegorsk on 11 November 1998. In the past she represented Italy.

Her family is made up of her father Dmitriy who is a former European champion table tennis player and several times Soviet Union champion, her mother Svetlana who is also a former athlete, more precisely a volleyball player, her brother Yaroslav also plays tennis like her sister and the grandfather who is a former skier, moreover it was the latter who pushed Ljudmila to start playing tennis.

In 2021 she gets her first WTA title, round of 16 at Wimbledon, top 40 and triumph in the Billie Jean King Cup.

In June, the Russian manages to win her first career WTA title in the Berlin 500. Starting from qualifying, eliminate Noma Akugue Noha (6-3 6-1), Ana Konjuh (4-6 6-1 7-6(4)), Markéta Vondrousova (6-4 7-6(6)), Veronika Kudermetova (6-4 6-3), Madison Keys (7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(0)), seventh seed Viktoryja Azaranka (6-4 6-2) and in the final the number five of seed Belinda Bencic in comeback for 1-6 6-1 6-3.

Thanks to this result, Ljudmila makes her debut in the top 100, positioning herself in 63rd position in the world. Later, she receives a wild card to participate in the Wimbledon tournament. The Russian manages to reach the round of 16 in a Slam for the first time in her career, beating Kaia Kanepi (6-4 6-2), Jessica Pegula (6-4 3-6 6-3) and Sloane Stephens (6- 2 2-6 6-4). In the round of 16, she finds the number eight seed Karolína Pliskova: Samsonova surrenders in two sets.

As her last annual commitment, Ljudmila plays for Russia in the final stage of the Billie Jean King Cup: in the group stage, she wins both of her doubles together with Veronika Kudermetova, contributing to the Russians' successes over Canada (3-0) and France (2-1). In the semifinals, Ljudmila proved to be decisive in the 3-1 victory over the United States, thanks to her success over Sloane Stephens (1-6 6-4 6-3) and her success in doubles alongside Kudermetova over Shelby Rogers and Coco Vandeweghe ( 6-3 6-3).

In the final, she was deployed in the second single against Bencic's Switzerland: Samsonova beat the Olympic champion by 3-6 6-3 6-4, giving Russia the point of victory and the fifth victory in the competition for the Russian Federation. For Ljudmila it is the first triumph in the ex-Fed Cup.

Samsonova starts 2022 at the Melbourne Summer Set, where she immediately loses to Andrea Petković. At the 250 in Adelaide she takes the first WTA quarter of the season, beating Mayar Sherif and Nuria Párrizas Díaz; among the last eight, she surrenders to the eventual champion Madison Keys, with the score of 3-6 6-3 3-6. At the Australian Open she bowed out in the second round against No. 31 seed Markéta Vondrousova.

In Dubai she did not pass the qualifiers while in Doha she was eliminated by Alizé Cornet on her debut (6-3 4-6 5-7). At Indian Wells she reaches the round of 16 by defeating Ann Li (4-6 6-4 6-3) and Danka Kovinić (6-4 7-6 (4)); in the fourth round she gives way to Petra Martić in two partials. In Miami she is quickly ousted by Madison Brengle. In Stuttgart you kick off the clay court season: you reach the semifinals thanks to victories over Chloé Paquet (6-0 6-0), Karolína Plíšková (6-4 6-4) and the winner of the 2017 edition Laura Siegemund (7 -5 6-3).

In the penultimate act, the Russian surrenders to world number one Iga Swiatek after three hours of battle, with a score of 7-6(4) 4-6 5-7. She disappoints expectations in subsequent clay court tournaments, recording defeats on her debut in Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros; she does no better on grass, where she achieves only one win out of three tournaments played.

She rediscovers her tennis on American hard courts. In Washington she wins her second title of her circuit by beating Kaia Kanepi 4-6 6-3 6-3 in the final, after having previously defeated, among others, Elise Mertens and the top 10 Emma Raducanu. Two weeks later she gives Cleveland an encore, dominating all matches. In the final she beats Sasnovic 6-1 6-3, for a total of only 18 games lost in 5 games. At the end of October she reaches her best ranking at position n.19 in the WTA rankings.

In 2023, she plays and loses the Abu Dhabi final against Belinda Bencic.

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