When Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova barely managed to squeak past American Alison Riske in the semifinals of the WTA tour event in Birmingham England, it was breathlessly reported that she was “on course” to take the title for a third time. Our gal Shamapova stated: “I suppose I knew in my mind I would be back.”
Never mind that Riske was not ranked in the top 180 players in the world, yet pushed Sharapova to three sets. Never mind that before reaching the finals Shamapova was not called upon to defeat a single seeded player. In other words, never mind pesky little things like reality and facts. Sharapova was in full swagger. “I’m back, I’m back!” she chirped.
But then she had to deal with the nasty inconvenience of actually playing the finals match, this time against world #11 Li Na. Our gal Shamapova lost the first set and then was blown away in the second, managing to win only a pathetic single game.
We continue to see our gal Shamapova as a perfect living metaphor for neo-Soviet Russia. In the land of Putin, it is illusion and not substance that matters. You don’t need democracy as long as you have “democracy.” You don’t need a president as long as you have “president.” And you don’t need an economy as long as you have an “economy” or an army as long as you have an “army.” In the same way, Shamapova continues to base her record on “winning” tournaments where she has no serious competition (and often, as in Birmingham, she can’t win even then). Only when Russia realizes that lies like these are the very things that destroyed the USSR will they have any hope of a future.