Russia had five of the 16 seeds at last week’s Tier I WTA Tour tennis event in Indian Wells, California.
Two of its top three seeds, including the tournament’s #1 seed, were blown off the court by much lower-ranked players before the even getting to the tournament’s fourth round. In a disgraceful humilation top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova lost her opening round match to an unseeded Spaniard, while #10 seed Maria Sharapova (Russia’s third-highest seed) was whipped by the #18 seed, from China in her third-round match.
That wasn’t the end of the carnage. Two of the other five seeds, Nadia Petrova (#16) and Vera Zvonareva (#12) were defeated in the fourth round, though at least they could say they lost to higher seeds.
This left only one Russian seed, #4 Elena Dementieva, with a chance to get as far as the semi-finals. Needless to say, she didn’t. She lost her quarter-finals match in easy straight sets to a lower seed.
So in the end, despite having five seeds, not a single so-called “dominant” Russian woman got as far as the semi-finals, much less had a chance to win the prestigious tournament. And all this occurred despite the fact that neither dominant American, Venus or Serena Williams, had to be faced by any of the Russians because neither entered the draw. Had either much less both done so, Russia’s fortunes could have been even more disastrous.