Russian tennis pro Violetta Degtiareva “dropped dead during a training session as a result of heart failure” on January 12. She was 23. News of Degtiareva’s death was not immediately released. Her close friend and fellow pro Anastasia Vdovenco just this week posted words of condolence on Facebook. “I can hardly believe it,” Vdovenco wrote. “Rest in peace.”
Degtiareva was ranked 1,084 in the world at the time of her death. She had recently been compared to Anna Kournikova – due to her beauty and celebrity status despite not winning a title.