Kubok Kremlya Koshmar Kakoi-to!

Last week the WTA contested its final women’s tennis tour event, the “Kremlin Cup” (“Kubok Kremlya”) in Moscow. It was more truly spectacular humilation for Russia.

Russia’s highest-ranked female player, Dinara Safina, did not attend.

Russia’s most famous, and fifth-highest-ranked, female tennis player, Maria Sharapova, did not attend.

Russia’s second-highest ranked female player, Svetlana Kuznetsova, did not attend.

Russia’s third-highest ranked female tennis player, Elena Dementieva, did not attend.

Not even Russians, it seems, want any longer to go to Russia.

Vera Zvonareva

Vera Zvonareva

The most significant Russian player who deigned to play in her own country’s tournament was Russia’s fourth-highest ranked female tennis player, Vera Zvonareva.  At world rank #7, Zvonareva was allotted the top seed in the Kremlin Cup because, right along with the three higher-ranked Russians, all three of the higher-ranked non-Russian players spurned the Russian tournament as well. Not a single one of the world’s top six female players, including three Russians, had the slightest interest in setting foot in Moscow. Ouch.  Russia lost painfully and shamefully before the tournament even began.

Zvonareva likely wished she had done the same as all the other top-ten Russians.  She was brutally crushed in her second match of the tournament by an unseeded Bulgarian qualifier, winning only two of 14 games played, none in the opening set.  Not only was she humliated in front of her home crowed, but Zvonareva actually needed the points to be gained from going deep into the draw in order to preserve her rank and win a spot in the year-end tournament of champions.  Her loss allowed Jelena Jancovic, who won her Moscow second-round match, to seize Zvonareva’s spot in the prestigious Doha finale.

Russia’s next-highest seed in Moscow, Nadia Petrova, also went down to humiliating defeat, losing in straight sets to a Ukrainian before the quarter finals, which were reached by not a single top-20 Russian player. Ouch.

Ultimately, three unseeded Russian players made it as far as the quarter finals. Two of the three were destroyed there in easy, humiliating straight sets by unseeded foreign rivals, leaving world #27 Alisa Kleybanova as the sole Russian player to get as far as the semis.  Kleybanova met a Bulgarian player not ranked in the top 60 in the world in her semi-finals contest, a player who had never won a WTA tour title in seven years on the circuit.  Care to guess the result?   Yes, you’re right:  14 games were played between the two and the Russian managed to take just 3 of them, winning less than half her first-serve points and getting broken a shocking six times by her unknown opponent.

This was carnage of a truly epic scale, the type only Russia it seems can generate. It’s the kind of carnage that will ruin women’s tennis as a spectator sport.

51 responses to “Kubok Kremlya Koshmar Kakoi-to!

  1. Excuse me, Kim, but isn’t the real reason why no top players attended the Kremlin Cup – because they are all preparing for the Big Finale: the SONY ERICSSON CHAMPIONSHIPS next week?

    • Well, Maria didn’t qualify for Doha, so she’s not going and not preparing for anything.

      As for the rest, if you’re saying that preparing for Doha was more important to all these Russians than playing in their own country’s tournament WE AGREE WITH YOU YOU GIANT APE and that is the point of this post. Vera played Moscow and was planning to play Doha after, AS WE CLEARLY REPORTED. The others could have done the same, but Russia obviously wasn’t that important to them.

      The result is that in Russia’s own tournament the Russian players did not come. In our book that’s humiliating failure. If you think otherwise, you’re welcome to your idiotic, lame-brained opinion.

      Finally, you’re totally ignoring the main point of this post, emphasized by a gigantic photo, namely that Russia’s top seed was blown of the court before even reaching the semifinals. But that type of games-playing seems typical for you and the only way you can possibly try to defend Russia from the facts.

      If you can’t read our posts with more care and fairness, and stop having imaginary, delusional conversations with our founder (who has no idea who you are, couldn’t care less, and had nothing to do with the preparation of this post) then we’ll ban you. Comprendo?

    • > We’ll accept your apology any time you care to be man enough to make it.

      If I wrote something false – I will definitely apologise. Just tell me which part of my post is false:

      “Excuse me, Kim, but isn’t the real reason why no top players attended the Kremlin Cup – because they are all preparing for the Big Finale: the SONY ERICSSON CHAMPIONSHIPS next week?”

  2. We’ve added a new paragraph just for you Michael, to help you look like even more of an idiot that you already do. Here it is again:

    Ultimately, three unseeded Russian players made it as far as the quarter finals. Two of the three were destroyed there in easy, humiliating straight sets by unseeded foreign rivals, leaving world #27 Alisa Kleybanova as the sole Russian player to get as far as the semis. Kleybanova met a Bulgarian player not ranked in the top 60 in the world in her semi-finals contest, a player who had never won a WTA tour title in seven years on the circuit. Care to guess the result? Yes, you’re right: 14 games were played between the two and the Russian managed to take just 3 of them, winning less than half her first-serve points and getting broken a shocking six times by her unknown opponent.

    Ouch. It’s like the Russians actually want to make a fool out of you!

    We’ll accept your apology any time you care to be man enough to make it.

  3. Fighting Putin You should rather discuss judo, i belive. Not tennis.

    • It’s hard to do that because there’s very little reporting on the fortunes of Russian judo athletes. And the main point is that nobody cares about them, nobody says Russian judo athletes are “dominant” they way they foolishly do about Russian female tennis players.

      • While I promised myself not to enter these conversations about tennis anymore, I’ll still comment for the last time. LR, I see your point in posting these stories in the larger context of Russian super aggressive nationalism and jingoism.

        Michael Tal, having proved many times over that he is a doddering fool, therefore, characterizes these players as “our Russian girls” and “beauties” etc. Although, since he is now an American and a Jew, it escapes me what makes these players “our” to him. And of course looking at the pictures of these players, no man in his right mind can call them anything but extremely ugly, with exception of Sharapova.

        I think the reason almost none showed up for the Kremlin championship must be money. The fee or whatever they call it was probably too low for them to bother. They pay solely for money, and not to advance glory of Russia, however disappointing that may be to our resident Kremlin propagandist Michael. I am sure, some of them live outside Russia having found a convenient pretext for doing so

  4. I don’t understand: You are fascists or simply criticize the policy of Russian authorities?

    I think the Nazis. Here’s why: what is the relationship between sports and politics? answer: there is no relationship!
    So, you resent all the Russian, and everything connected with Russia. Likewise, Hitler resented all Jewish.

    • Ideally, there should be no relationship between sports and politics. However, such a relationship undoubtedly exist and manifests itself in a myriad of ways. Of all the people commenting on this blog and who are supportive of LR, I probably was most critical for even posting these tennis related items.

      But now, I see LR is right. Tennis is indeed used to glorify Russia and to distract everyone’s attention from her dismal failures. To most of us in the U.S., if a player X wins, fine, good for him. We may gossip a bit about how much he made and who he slept with, and that’s all. If a Russian woman wins a tournament, then of course to many in Russia it’s a matter of their ridiculous national pride. That’s how different this is

  5. There has always been a clear connection between sports and politics. All totalitarian regimes use sport for propaganda purposes. Football is a better example than tennis, as it’s a mass sport. Fascist Italy, Fascist Hungary and Fascist Spain, as well as Communist regimes like the Soviet Union and North Korea exploited football success for political purposes.

    Putinist Russia has actually been more successful in using football as propaganda than even the Soviet Union. The Soviets were never able to con their way into winning two UEFA Cups like the Russians did in recent years (thanks to corrupt referees and highly suspicious matches) or manage to rig a match against a football superpower like Holland, as the Russians did during the European Championship last year. There must have been some pretty serious, high-level political pressure for the Dutch to throw in the match like that, especially since they were favorites to win the championship.

    • When you say “football,” you mean soccer, right? I am a bit confused. The Brits use the term “football” but we mean something else under “football,” I don’t think they have that game in Europe

      • > When you say “football,” you mean soccer, right? I am a bit confused.

        What’s the difference? His main point is that there is a Europe-wide evil conspiracy among all countries to purposefully lose to Rusisa just to spite him and make him feel inferior.

        • We take this for an admission you were utterly wrong about your first ridiculous claims in this thread, so now you are changing to a different set of crazy claims. We also take it for an apolgoy, because it’s the best a crazy little rat like you can do. Thanks, we accept.

    • A. wrote:
      > … manage to rig a match against a football superpower like Holland, as the Russians did during the European Championship last year. There must have been some pretty serious, high-level political pressure for the Dutch to throw in the match like that, especially since they were favorites to win the championship.

      Sour grapes, eh? Given that LR bans undocumented fabrications, I am sure you have documentation for this. Let’s see it.

      BTW, which loser team do **you** root for?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_European_Football_Championship

      Winners and finalists
      In all, 27 nations have appeared at least once in the final tournament.[9] Of these, only twelve have made it to the final match, and nine of them have won it at least once.

      Team – Titles – Runners-up

      Germany^ 3 Titles (1972, 1980, 1996) , 3 Runners-up (1976, 1992, 2008)
      Russia‡ 1 Title (1960) 3 Runners-up (1964, 1972, 1988)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960_UEFA_European_Football_Championship

      The 1960 UEFA European Nations Cup was the first European Football Championship, held every four years and endorsed by UEFA. The final tournament was held in France. It was won by the Soviet Union, who beat Yugoslavia 2–1 in Paris after extra time.

      > The Soviets were never able to con their way into winning two UEFA Cups like the Russians did in recent years

      So, the entire European continent has conspired to let Russians win? Do you have documentation? Or is your paranoia and conspiracy theory insanity not curable with conventional drugs?

    • So, you admit that you have no documentation at all? This is all your insane drivel?

      Why would you invent this theory that the proud athletes of Holland, who always give their best, purposefully brought disappointment and frustrations onto their own Dutch people and fans just to spite you? FYI, European Championships happen only once every 4 years. That means that a typical player gets only 2 chances in his entire life to win it. Why would any sane athlete give up this chance of a lifetime? Do you have any evidence against Dutch players or are you a vicious hater of the Dutch people too?

      Isn’t this the worst form of paranoia and xenophobia?

      • Michael Tal, do you know anything about football? There is no “Europe-wide conspiracy” but in football there have unfortunately been many cases of match-rigging, corrupt refereeing etc. Even in powerful leagues such as the Italian Serie A. UEFA is currently undergoing an investigation into a long series of suspicious matches in the European cups, mostly involving Eastern European clubs (read: Russia and Ukraine).

        CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg won the UEFA cup after a series of suspicious matches and bad refereeing, including for example a match where the opposing team (Aston Villa) fielded their reserve team against CSKA.

        As for the national team, only a fool wouldn’t have noticed there was something suspicious about Holland (who were in excellent form) losing to a team that had put a pathetic performance in the qualifiers (which included being beaten by Israel) and had been humiliated in the friendlies and in the match against Spain.

        • > As for the national team, only a fool wouldn’t have noticed there was something suspicious about Holland (who were in excellent form) losing to a team that had put a pathetic performance in the qualifiers (which included being beaten by Israel) and had been humiliated in the friendlies and in the match against Spain.

          Of course they lost to Spain. Spain is the best team in the World.

          As far as qualifying goes, it is no big deal to lose to Israel. Israel is a very good team. Still, in that qualifying group, Russia finished ahead of powerful England. And Israel finished tied with England:

          Team Pts
          Croatia 29
          Russia 24
          England 23
          Israel 23

          Upsets happen all the time. Just in that group, England tied Macedonia at home 0-0, lost to twice Croatia 0-2 and 2-3, and lost to Russia 1-2.

          Certainly if England could lose to Russia, why couldn’t Holland? Any team can lose to any other team on any given day.

          In the Final, Russia beat not only Holland but also Greece (the previous European Champion) and Sweden. The only team that Russia lost to was Spain: the best team in the World and the European Champion.

          Now, if you claim that England, Holland, Greece and Sweden all threw their games against Russia – provide documentation or even any newspaper articles putting Russian victories into doubt. If you cannot – that means that no normal person in the World has any doubts that these victories were fair and square. This all nothing but your frustrations with Russian success and sour grapes.

          In the current World Cup eliminations Russia again did excellently, losing out only to the European silver medallists Germany.

          And as far as bad refereeing goes – well, the entire history of Russia is full of such mistakes that lead to Russia’s unfair losses.

          Which country do YOU root for, and why are you so frustrated?

  6. I enjoy reading about the tennis sections, maybe people who run this blog have a particular interest in Russian tennis sport, after all it is their blog and they can write about what they like. IT also rightfuly points out how almost all so called RUssian tennis players who play under RUssia have grown up and received training in foreign countries example: Sharapova. I dont even get why she plays under Russian nation and not USA.

    • Reading about Russian politics can be a real downer, this blog overall is always discussing very serious topics so it is nice to have occasional posts about tennis – its adds an “entertainement” factor to the blog.

  7. Actually, Russians do quite well in judo. For example, in the last men’s World Chapionships in August 2009, Out of 7 golds, 1 went to a Russian, 1 went to an ethnic Russian from Kazakhstan and one went to a Ukranian. Russians and other ex-Soviets also won tons of other medals. No US athlete got into the first 7 in any of the disciplines:

    http://217.79.182.227/www.judo-world.net/world/wc/wc2009/tta_menue.php?sprache=english&modus=1024

  8. > I dont even get why she plays under Russian nation and not USA.

    Evidently, she is more proud of Russia than of USA.

  9. > I dont even get why she plays under Russian nation and not USA.

    Don’t worry. Other Russian girls do bring glory to USA:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nastia_Liukin

    Nastia Liukin

    Anastasia Valeryevna “Nastia” Liukin (Russian: Анастасия “Настя” Валерьевна Люкина (Anastasiya “Nastya” Valeryevna Lyukina); born October 30, 1989) is an American artistic gymnast. She is the 2008 Olympic individual all-around gold medalist, the 2005 and 2007 World Champion on the balance beam, and the 2005 World Champion on the uneven bars. With nine World Championships medals, seven of them individual, Liukin is tied with Shannon Miller as the American gymnast having won the most World Championship medals.[1][2] Liukin has also tied Miller’s record as the American gymnast having won the most medals in a single non-boycotted Olympic Games.[3]

    The daughter of two former Soviet champion gymnasts, Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin – the first man to do a triple backflip – and World Champion rhythmic gymnast Anna Kotchneva, Nastia Liukin was born in Moscow and moved to the United States as a young child. She began gymnastics after spending time in the gym while her parents coached. Liukin is coached by her father at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, her family’s gymnastics club in Plano, Texas.

    Liukin and her family are members of the Russian Orthodox church.[6] Her nickname Nastia is a Russian diminutive for Anastasia. Liukin is fluent in English and Russian.

    Valeri Liukin
    He was the International Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2004. He was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2005.[2]

    • What makes you put her in category of “other Russian girls?” Your own message states clearly that she is an American gymnast from Plano, TX. Is that because she is a member of a Russian Church? Religion has nothing to do with nationality

      • Anastasia Valeryevna “Nastia” Liukin (Russian: Анастасия “Настя” Валерьевна Люкина)

        Her nickname Nastia is a Russian diminutive for Anastasia. Liukin is fluent in English and Russian.

        The daughter of two former Soviet champion gymnasts, Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin – the first man to do a triple backflip – and World Champion rhythmic gymnast Anna Kotchneva, Nastia Liukin was born in Moscow.

        Liukin is coached by her father at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy. In 1994, Valeri Liukin teamed with another former Soviet champion athlete, Evgeny Marchenko, to open the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA) in Plano.[9][4]

        • Thanks for admitting how many Russians flock to the United States, because life in Russia is so wretched (Sharapova is another great example). Now show us an American who won a gold medal playing for Russia!

          • brilliant! :)

          • Russia doesn’t need much help. It is a poor country, so many more great Russian athletes compete for Western countries than vice versa. Didn’t you yourself make fun of Russia for having a foreign coach – Guus Hiddinck – in football? Then why not make fun of Americans for having Russian coaches in figure skating and gymnastics?

            > Now show us an American who won a gold medal playing for Russia!

            Gladly:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Robert_Holden

            Jon Robert “J.R.” Holden (born August 10, 1976) (in Russian: Джон Ро́берт Хо́лден) is an American-born, naturalized Russian professional basketball player.

            Holden’s biggest achievement came in the 2007 FIBA European Championship (EuroBasket) final game against Spain, where he scored the winning shot that gave Russia the championship. He scored the final winning basket with 2 seconds left in the game. He was also named to the Russian squad for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Basketball Tournament.

        • All you prove by this is that she is of a Russian descent. But everybody in this country, except Indians, native Hawaiians and Eskimos, is of some kind of foreign descent. But she is an American now, is she not? So, what makes her “one of other Russian girls.”

          • She is Russian-born, speaks perfect Russian, and is coached by Russian coaches. She is every bit of a Russian as myself. No more, no less.

  10. Michael Tal ,
    You are either a misinforming moscovite , or
    you don’t know what you are talking about .
    When did ” russia ” ever win a UEFA champion-
    ship , or for that matter was runner up ? You
    mention 1960 , 1964 , 1972 and 1988 . I don’t
    remember any ” russia ” during those years .
    What I remember is the ill fated Soviet Union .
    I also remember that the teams representing the
    CCCP , were comprised of all the best players
    from all the different ” republics ” , with ” russian
    players a definite minority . However , as with
    everything else , lying and cheating Moscov ,
    stole the credit and made it appear as though
    it was a purely moscovite achievement . I can
    see by your comment that nothing has changed ,
    lying , cheating and misinformation is alive and well and still a way of life from where you come from .

    • Of course, Oleksander, haven’t you noticed the trend. If something arguably good happened during the Soviet time (like winning that soccer championship, as if that really mattered) — it’s Russia’s achievement. But if something bad happened (like 99.9 % of things) — that’s not Russia’s fault, that the U.S.S.R.’s fault.

      Accordingly, every good or notable person who ever lived in what used to be the U.S.S.R. becomes Russian, and every killer and dictator becomes Soviet.

      As we say in English, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, but not so according to Russian apologists and propagandists

    • Oleksandr,

      When it comes to reciting Soviet political crimes, you guys have no trouble blaming all of them on “Russians” like Stalin and Beria, and call Soviet Union “Russia”. But when it comes to Soviet athletic victories – suddenly Russia has nothing to do with them?

      Russia is the official successor to the USSR and get all the blame forbad things and thus all the credit for good things.

  11. Relax, RV, if you are so upset about the Soviet Union football team being referred as “Russia”, you shoudl write an indignant official complaint ot FIFA and UEFA:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Football_Championships

    Russia is designated by FIFA and UEFA as the inheritor of the record of USSR until 1990.[10]

  12. Michael Tal ,
    Official succesor of the Soviet Union ??? Indeed
    if you mean grabbing all the asstets , such as
    the embassies and their properties , the gold
    reserves and every other thing of value that
    supposedly belonged to the ” republics of the
    Soviet Union ” jointly , than yes , russia is the
    official successor , if however taking responsibility for the untold millions of innocent
    peaceful human beings that were murdered ,
    starved and exiled to a cold and hungry death in
    Siberia , russia takes no responsibility . Much like their current friends and partners the germans , who put all the blame for their war
    crimes on Hitler and the Nazi Party .
    I have no intention of discussing this with an
    obvious product of the ” glorious ” Soviet Union,
    since you have no mind of your own and operate
    on the poisonous fumes you were exposed to
    since practically birth . This to a large extent ,
    is not your fault . What is your fault , however ,
    ist to try and perpetuate this slimy garbage now
    when you are not forced to do it . This is commonly known as lying , something you
    moscovites have an extraordinary talent for .

  13. La Russophobe wrote:
    > Thanks for admitting how many Russians flock to the United States, because life in Russia is so wretched

    Nastya Liukin’s family moved to USA not because “life in Russia is so wretched” but for professional and financial reasons:

    1. American parents can afford to pay higher hourly rates for gymnastics coaching

    2. Russia is full of great gymnastics and figure skating coaches, so there is an oversupply of them. In USA there is/was an undersupply. Law of supply and demand comes into play.

    Highly skilled professionals constantly move from highly skilled countries to countries with lower skills. Even from very wealthy countries. For example, the vast majority of best New York and Moscow restaurants are operated by French and Italian head chefs.

  14. Michael Tal ,
    My name is OleksandeEr , not OleksanDRRR …
    you myopic moscovite . Do not confuse me
    with one of your miserable compatriots , as I
    am from the country whose slogan is : “Thank
    you God , for NOT making me a moskal “.

    • > I am from the country whose slogan is : “Thank you God , for NOT making me a moskal “.

      Which country are you from? Canada? USA? Australia? Certainly not form Ukraine. You were not born there, чи неправда?

  15. A ,
    You don’t seem to know that much about football yourself , since you name Ukraine as
    one of the countries under UEFA scrutiny . It is actually Russia and Poland , not Ukraine that
    are under invesatigation . Please get your facts
    straight before you post .

  16. Another “fine” one flocks to the USA:

    Russian skater gets charged in New York for stealing a car

    http://www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/53012/

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