READ MORE COVERAGE OF MARIA’S SHOCKING EXPLOITS HERE.
The feeble Maria Sharapova, who is just about to drop from #9 to #10 in the world rankings (and who has protection from being booted out of the top 10 entirely only because #11 is her even more pathetic countrywoman Nadia Petrova) has announced she will not play the first grand slam tournament of the year, in Australia. She attempted to blame her withdrawal on a nagging shoulder injury, then admitted in fact it’s just plain cowardice: “My shoulder is doing great, but I just started training a few weeks ago and I am just not near the level I need to be to compete at the highest levels.” In other words: “I might struggle so I’m going to hide instead.”
Shamapova also skipped the final grand slam event of 2008, in New York, after being ousted in the second round at Wimbledon in easy straight sets by a player not ranked in the world’s top 150 and being whipped in the quarterfinals in Paris. Both ejections came at the hands of fellow Russians (if that term can be used in regard to a person who spends all her time in the USA).
Shamapova hasn’t played in a tournament in over five months, and hasn’t won a tournament since she took the lowly tier II event at Amelia Island in April 2008 by beating a player not ranked in the world’s top 30 in the finals. She hasn’t had a match victory against a top-ten opponent since she beat world #8 Daniela Hantuchova in March 2008. She hasn’t beaten a top five player since doing so to win the Australian Open a full year ago.
Luckily, Shamapova has her natural class, grace and elegance to fall back on as her athletic career goes the way of the Russian ruble.
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In other tennis news, Venus Williams thrashed a pair of Russians at the JB Group Classic 2009 tennis competition in Hong Kong over the weekend, to seize the team title for the Americans. Brutally dominating both Vera Zvonareva and Anna Chakvetadze as well as top-ranked Jelena Jankovic from Russia’s “Slavic little brother” Serbia, Williams showed the Russians to be second-rate pretenders in the rarified world of true tennis greatness.