Here’s the Australian Open wrapup: Currently, half of the top-ten-ranked female professional tennis players in the world are Russians. All five of them entered the draw at the Aussie Open this year, and all five of them were ejected in straight sets by lower-ranked players. That’s right, not one single top-ten Russian lady managed to remain in the draw until a higher-ranked player beat her, and not one managed to win a set in her ejection match. Only one of the five managed to get as far as the quarter-finals (Russian shortcomings were confirmed in the ladies’ doubles tournament at the Aussie: only one Russian got as far as the quarter finals and none advanced from there).
Russia’s Maria Sharapova, ranked #2 in the world, was that one, and made it not only to the quarters but to the finals. However, she only got that far because, unlike any of the other top-ten rooskies, she was lucky enough to play against another Russian in the quarter finals — she then met the retiring Kim Clijsters in the semis, Clijster’s farewell match at the Aussie. In the finals, things got even uglier for Russia, making it seem it might have been better both for Rusisa and the sport if Shamapova had lost to Clijsters rather than winning.
Shamapova was blown off the court in the finals by an American tornado named Serena Williams, ranked #81 in the world and unseeded. Out of 15 games played in the match, Sharapova was able to win only three, having her serve broken four times and striking only 12 winners to 28 for Serena. Sharapova won only 35 of 96 points played. The least possible number of points a player needs to win a two-set match is 48, and Williams needed just 13 more than that. It was one of the most humiliatingly one-sided whippings in the history of Grand Slam finals. No wonder so many Russians are so afraid of dark-skinned people!
Sharapova, who will become #1 in the world next week simply because she played the Aussie while the world’s true #1, Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium, skipped it, was exposed as the utter fraud that she is in the most brutal way possible, on the biggest stage, in unprecedented fashion (no #1 pretender has ever been so badly destroyed by an unseeded player in a grand slam final). Both her own ranking and that of Williams were exposed as total fraud. And remember, Sharapova is Russia’s “best.” Not only was she revealed to be playing a completely different game from that of the true champions like Serena, but Sharapova moved to the United States when she was 9 and learned her game there. She resides in the U.S., owns real estate there, speaks flawless English, spends virtually no time in Russia and has never played for the national team. In other words, she’s about as “Russian” as French fries.
So much for the so-called “dominance” of Russian women in tennis, which is nothing more than an illusion — just like Russia being an “energy superpower.” Illusions are the one thing that Russia really excells at — especially the kind the at lead to self deception. Like the famous Emperor with his new clothes, like the Soviet Union before her, Russia is in for a rude awakening.
Still, believe it or not, La Russophobe actually has something nice to say about Maria. She didn’t succeed in anything, but in several areas apart from her actual game she showed the promise of improvement. Instead of wearing her trademark outrageous, clownlike outfit, she came on on the court dressed conservatively, respectfully, even demurely, in white and pale yellow (unfortunately, she threw on a ridiculous jacket for the post-match ceremony that made her again look like a circus freak). She made a clear effort to control her absurd and annoying grunting when striking the ball, though she has not mastered it yet. And despite being totally dominated in every aspect of the game, she stayed in there swinging until it was over (though it appeared on several occasions that she wanted to burst into tears). Instead of making excuses, as she had when she was humiliated by an unknown player in her first match of the tournament and almost lost, she also made a clear effort to take her loss like an adult (though she couldn’t help bringing up the weather in her her loser’s speech, or mentioning that nobody had expected Serena to make the finals, almost making it seem as if Serena might have been lucky). She still has long, long strides to go before anyone would think of calling her a true sportswoman but maybe, just maybe, America is finally starting to rub off on Shamapova.
In fact, La Russophobe thinks that maybe Maria Sharapova is not to blame for the Frankenstein monster known as Shamapova. In the final humiliation for poor Maria at the Aussie, her demonic father Yuri (who swept her away to the United States, keeping her separated from her mother for more than two years), leering from the stands like a drunken maniac, was caught (once again) during the tournament trying to illegally coach her and fined $2,000. This Svengali-like loser may very well be responsible for injecting far too much Russianess into Maria, and she ought to remove him from any connection with her tennis. Apparently, he spent an hour coaching her before the match, giving her all kinds of advice about her serve that promptly then fell apart on the court.