Well, two top-ten Russian ladies made it to the semi-finals of the ATP tour event in Tokyo Japan last week. Guess how many of them made it to the finals?
World #8 Elena Dementieva, the serveless wonder, was destroyed in easy straight sets by Martina Hingus, who retired from tennis and is now making a comeback, slicing through the “top ten” Russians like a hot Swiss Army knife through butter.
And world #1 Maria Sharapova (who is only #3 on the 2007 rankings, and #1 over the past 365 days because the real #1, Justine Henin-Hardenne, didn’t play the Austrialian Open)? She was blown off the court in the first set by Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, a player not even ranked in the world’s top 15. Sharapova managed to take only 1 game from Ivanovic in the first set and then quit after the first game of the second, crying about an alleged injury. Sharapova barely managed to squeak by hometown girl Ai Sugiyama in the quarters, losing the first set to a Japanese player not ranked in the world’s top 25 (in the match previous, Sugiyama had defeated Russian Maria Kirilenko).
So much for the best-laid plans of Shamapova. Only two other top-ten players — Hingus and the woeful Dementieva — entered the Tokyo draw, so Sharapova undoubtedly thought she would have easy pickings in the land of the rising sun. Such a pity the scheme didn’t work out. Well, better luck next time, Maria.
In a truly breathtaking display of hypocrisy, Maria tried to blame her “injury” on having to play two tournaments, Tokyo and Australia, back-to-back. But the only reason she was playing Tokyo was to collect a bunch of essentially free ratings points against also-ran competition. Nobody forced her to play Tokyo. That’s to say nothing of the pathetic spectacle of a so-called professional “athlete” whining and crying about it being “too hard” to put forth all that work (just as Maria tried to blame her abysmal first-round performance at the Aussie Open on the weather).