Maria Sharapova, Russian to the Rotten Core
“We are going to go out and fight. We never give up and that’s not what our country is known for, and we are going to go out there and battle for what is ours.”
That was Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova talking, shortly after losing her Fed Cup match in Moscow in easy, non-competitive straight sets 3-6, 4-6 to France’s Virginie Razzano, the lowly world number 83. Sharapova may well have found it hard to get inspired by patriotism paying in and a for a country in which she spends hardly any time. She lives in the USA, owns lots of property there, and is engaged to a non-Russian who does likewise.
And what did Shamapova do after making this bold statement? She promptly quit. She was replaced in the second-round singles match by countrywoman Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the desperate hope of eking out a win against the unheralded and hopelessly out-gunned French squad. What’s more, the fourth member of Russia’s Fed Cup team, Dinara Safina, did not even set foot on the court. Sharapova then promptly also quit her next scheduled tournament, claiming she had a cold. Russians fighting on? As if.
Sharapova was, of course, simply lying (in classic Russian fashion) when she said Russia is “not known for giving up.” In fact, that’s exactly what Russia is known for, in every walk of life, all throughout history. When the going gets tough the Russians get going, right out the “Exit” door. When democracy is too tough, they opt for dictatorship. When a tennis match is too tough, they quit. As such, Shamapova proves herself 100% Russian to the core with her behavior in Moscow.
Not one of the four members of the French Fed Cup team that Russia faced off against on its home court in Moscow was ranked in the top 50 in the world. Only one of Russia’s team members was ranked outside the top 25 and that player, Safina, is a former world #1. Yet, Russia lost its first two matches against the French side, and then it panicked. It replaced Sharapova with Pavlyuchenkova in Sharapova’s scheduled match against France’s top player, desperately hoping to avoid a lop-sided ejection from the tournament in the first round.
We thought we had seen it all from our gal Maria. Our blog is full of documentation of her pathetic failure as well as that of her countrywomen on the tennis court.
The craven behavior of Safina and Sharapova left Russia’s two remaining players, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Pavlyuchenkova, to carry the load of all three of Russia’s Day 2 matches. They needed to win all three for Russia to advance, and their rankings indicated they should have had an easy time dispatching their lowly French opponents. Both players won their singles matches with relative ease, and then had to go right back out on the court to face the French doubles squad in the deciding rubber; one of the two French players was required to do the same, and both were extreme underdogs against their far higher-ranked Russian opponents: The Russians were ranked #14 and #23 in the world, the French #67 and #262. Still, the Frenchies managed to draw the Russians into a first-set tiebreaker before finally collapsing and handing the Russians the victory. Had Sharapova (or Safina for that matter, who disgraced herself in epic fashion at the year’s first grand slam) remained involved, the Russia side would no doubt have gone down in flames.
Once again, Shamapova proved herself a perfect metaphor for modern Russia. All illusion and no substance, all luck and no real effort, Sharapova and Russia both exist on misperceptions and misrepresentations. When put to a real test, both Sharapova and Russia inevitably disappoint and collapse. Russia, after all, gave the world the term “Potemkin Village,” an official state policy of lies and deception in lieu of actual analysis and reform, and its reliance upon such a mockery of government has caused the state to collapse over and over, and Russia to degenerate closer and closer to third world status.
I am no fan of Sharapova,but this is a very poor article. At the end of the day Russia won. Tennis as so many other sports is up to current form and ranking especially early on in the year does not represent the actual form of the players. According to the article she says WE and Fed Cup is a team competition and THEY did come back. Safina is in very poor form therefore she did not play. And so on and so on. I wish my Fed Cup team was running away like this.
You’ve chosen to totally ignore the thesis of our article, and therefore are a very poor reader. Sharapova said she would fight on, she didn’t. Russians were totally humiliated on their home court by vastly inferior players, and there is no pride of achievement in beating such players. Winning means nothing under such circumstances. Sharapova, by far Russia’s most famous country, disgraced herself and “her country” by playing a non-competitive match against a third-rate opponent and then disappearing. Her divided loyalties are clear.
hehe you are funny, objective :P and have no idea about tennis. Good luck with your blog!
one last thing – it is the Team Captains decision who plays and in this case he opted to rest Sharapova as she clear is off her best- good choice by a Russian- weird no :)
Looks like some people have taken USA’s loss to Belgium in the Fed Cup too close to their hearts. But it’s understandable: USA hasn’t won the Fed Cup since 2000, while Russia has won 4 out of the last 7 Fed Cups.
LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:
Are you changing the topic of this post because you can’t handle it? Why do you want to talk about PAST Fed Cups when the topic of this post is THIS YEAR’S Fed Cup and Maria Sharapova’s performance in it?
Are you sure you want to compare the tennis history of the United States to that of Russia? Either one of America’s two top female players hold more grand slam titles than ALL RUSSIAN WOMEN WHO HAVE EVER PLAYED THE GAME IN TENNIS HISTORY COMBINED. America’s tennis history is BY FAR the most glorious in the world, and Russia shows no signs of being able to do anything remotely like it. Regardless of outcomes, Americans are FAR more famous as players because they are FAR more exciting and compelling to watch on the court.
Russian tennis is a sad joke, just like you.
All through the Soviet era, Russians justified their failure by saying Americans were even worse. It wasn’t true, of course, because the world watched the USSR collapse while the USA is still going strong. But even if it were, only an idiotic child is happy to know he is about to be destroyed just because somebody else is also going to be destroyed. A nation with such an idiotic, childish worldview deserves destruction.
I was talking about the current Fed Cup, but my text got deleted twice. Here is what was deelted:
Hearty congratulations to Russia on winning its Fed Cup against France 3-2, and to USA for losing its Fed Cup against Belgium 1-4. Russia and Belgium are in the semifinals. Well-deserved results!
In other words, Russia has won; it’s in the semi-finals; and it has a good chance of winning the Fed Cup this year again.
I am a supporter of Larussophobe and for the most part enjoy your articles but I think articles like these reduce your credibility greatly and undermine your entire cause.
I am a former athlete and played tennis competitive in college. Firstly, what she said is an absolute standard saying by any professional athlete. Pick a sport, pick an embarrassing loss and then go back to review that the members of that team said in a press conference before. It’ll be more or less what she said.
Further, if a professional tennis player is caught on a bad day and they sense they can not overcome their opponent, there is no point of pushing yourself, you accept the loss and simply put up your ‘next to best’ performance. There is nothing about it that makes one ‘rotten to the core’. It is done in all sports, by all players. Such examples can be found for players of any country, including US. Look at Tiger Woods, he is one of the best golf players in the world, yet he can routinely lose to players ranked 100+ in the world.
I honestly would recommend staying away from topics like these because they truly undermine your great cause and reveal some strange bios against russian sports women.
You call yourself a “supporter,” but what have you ever done to support us? Open our site on your browser? Not enough.
For your information, our articles about Russian tennis are highly trafficked and widely linked to by the blogosphere. The fact that you personally don’t agree with them is utterly irrelevant since this blog is not here for you to agree with. To the exact contrary, it’s here to be controversial and to provoke, which it has successfully done in your case.
Unless you are a more successful blogger or somebody who actively generates support for our blog in some way (for instance, by campaigning in our support on a site like DIGG or linking widely to us in comments on other blogs), please don’t lecture to us as to how this blog should be run. It’s one of the most powerful and influential Russia blogs on this planet for many good reasons, not least of them being our devastating exposure of the illusion that Russian tennis is successful.
Bad day? Are you JOKING, idiot? Did you see how Sharapova performed at the Australian open? Did you open the “Sharapova” category in our sidebar and read the LITANY of examples of her disastrous, embarrassing failure? Are you even vaguely aware of the fact that this was one of the few occasions IN HER LIFE where she will play for her so-called country?
Talk about losing credibility!
Eric, as an athletic supporter, you are not large enough for LR.
Once again a juvenile response from an otherwise seemingly normal women. It is unfortunate that you have to resort to name calling to people that support you on the whole but disagree with some specific aspects.
It is utterly clear at this point that men’s lack of interest in your have impacted every aspect of your life and your jealousy for women that are semi attractive is boiling over.
Once again, I suggest sticking to points where you can score points and if someone disagrees with you, you’d probably get more respect with normal, well thought out response vs. juvenile name calling, resembling a worked up, fat and ugly 5th grader girl whom no one is friends with.
Thanks, Alyson! Great reminder of what we need to be doing and when!