Play began at this year’s U.S. Open tennis tournament on Monday, August 29, 2011, with 21 Russians represented in the main draws. Only France and the USA had contingents of equal or larger size at the year’s final grand slam event, so Russia might have taken some pride in the achievement.
But within days, Russia probably wished it had skipped the tournament entirely.
Before play had begun on Wednesday, August 31, a mere two days in, 11 of those 21 Russians were gone. Only the USA saw more players eliminated from the draws in the first two days, but the USA had one-third more entries in the draw and as a result lost only one-third of its contingent. It had twice as many active players going into day three as Russia. Russia’s contingent had been cut by more than half and the tournament had hardly even begun.
And it wasn’t just Russia’s second-rate players who were cut down. Russia’s top-seeded male player, Mikhail Youzhny, lost his first-round match to an unseeded opponent in woefully noncompetitive fashion, showing the way to ten of his fellow Russians out the U.S. Open’s swinging door.
Russia’s next major humiliation was provided by Maria Sharapova, the country’s second-highest-seeded female player, in the third round.
Posted in neo-soviet failure, russia, sharapova, sports
Tagged Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Igor Kunitsyn, Maria Kirilenko, maria sharapova, Mikhail Youzhny, russia, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Zvonareva
Such a mysterious (and painful) orb!
The stadium court in Cincinnati, Ohio, stood humiliatingly half empty on August 21st as the women’s final of the WTA’s Western & Southern Open began.
The reason was simple: Russia’s second best player, the hapless and grating Maria Sharapova was playing. Had a second Russian stood on the court opposite, the place might well have been entirely vacant.
The third round of play at the All-England Club this year was utterly disastrous for Russian female tennis players .
It never ceases to amaze us how so many Russians will, when confronted by evidence of catastrophic failure like this, seek to rationalize it rather than to demand reform — the very thing they do in politics and all other aspects of their lives. Instead of calling for improvement by Russia, they invariably point to failures by other countries, as if that made it OK for Russia to fail.
It reminds us of the old Soviet-era joke: An American walks up to a hotel desk clerk in Moscow and complains loudly about the shockingly poor accommodations in his Russian hotel room. The clerk responds: “Yes, but you lynch blacks.” The result of this attitude was that the USSR never improved, collapsed and disappeared into the ashcan of history. And, or so it seems, Russians have learned absolutely nothing from that experience.
In the third round at Wimbledon 2011, both Russia’s top seed, world #3 Vera Zvonareva, and its third seed, world #12 Svetlana Kuznetsova, were cruelly slaughtered by lower-ranked opponents. Zvonareva, supposedly Russia’ s best player, suffered particularly intense humiliation, getting blasted off the court in easy straight sets by the tournaments’s lowest seed, a Bulgarian not ranked in the top 30 (and we report elsewhere in today’s issue on how the Bulgarians recently thumbed their noses at Russia over World War II — ouch!).
Declining Russia, which some idiots used to refer to as “dominant” in the sport, had a pathetic six seeds going into the tournament, and now two of the top three were gone before the fourth round could begin. What’s more, the #14 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova had already lost in the second round, as had the #28 seed Ekaterina Makarova. After Kuznetsova and Zvonareva went down, this left only two Russian seeds with a chance of getting as far as the fourth round.
Another one of those days for our gal Shamapova
So-called “Russian” female tennis player Maria Sharapova has described herself as “cow on ice” when it comes to playing on the red clay of Stade Roland Garros at the French Open grand slam event (“shrieking cow on ice” would be a little more accurate). And it did not take her long to prove it in her semifinals match against Chinese journeywoman Na Li.
Sharapova went down in straight sets and had her serve broken a shocking five times by the diminutive opponent, who is five years her senior and seven inches shorter and has never won a grand-slam title and had only beaten Sharapova twice in seven prior meetings. Our gal Shamapova struck a pathetic 12 winners compared to a whopping 28 unforced errors, served no aces and a ghastly ten double faults. It was another classic Shamapova implosion, occuring with Sharapova just two matches from a career grand slam. Likely she’ll never get that close again.
But say this for the “Russian” who lives in America and spends no time in her so-called country: She was by far the class of the Russian field.
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.
Dinara Safina makes history for her country. Ouch.
The year’s first grand slam proved yet another new low in the pain and humiliation being inflicted upon Russia of late by the women’s professional tennis game. Calling these women “dominant” is like calling Americans dominant in soccer.
Things started out at the Australian Open with an amazing bang of negativity when Dinara Safina, one of only two Russian women in tennis history to be ranked #1 in the world, was blown off the court like the fraudulent pretender she is in her very first match of the tournament by Kim Clisters. Safina became the very first player of either gender to be ranked number one and then ejected from a grand slam event without winning a single game, getting savagely crushed by Clijsters 0-6,0-6. In was one of the most disgraceful performances in tennis history. Safina’s doubles team was also booted out in its opening match in woeful fashion.
And then it got worse.
Russian Women’s Tennis in Decline
Not that it was ever that great to begin with, but Russian women’s tennis ended 2010 in marked decline. We continue to see it as a perfect metaphor for Putin’s Russia — all illusion, no substance when you look beneath the shoddy, dishonest propaganda.
Russia now has only one player ranked in the top ten in the world. Going into the year-end WTA Tour Championships in Doha, Qatar last week it had two, and they were Russia’s sole representatives at the eight-player event. But the first, Elena Dementieva, was blown off the court in round-robin play, failed to advance to the elimination rounds and promptly announced her retirement from the sport.
And then there was one.
Fully one-fourth of the 32 women in the draw at the final grand slam tennis tournament of 2010, the U.S. Open in New York City, were Russians. But if based on that you expected big things from the Land of Putin on the court, you were sadly mistaken.
It was nothing but slaughter, humiliation and woe once again for the Russians, who are ruining the very sport that gives them their living, making it an unwatchable charade.
Darn those pesky old tennis balls!
If we were to tell you that so-called “Russian” tennis player Maria Sharapova won a match against a top-ten opponent despite having her own serve broken six times while serving a shocking fifteen — yes, fifteen, nearly four full games’ worth of — double faults, we bet we know how you’d respond.
“She must have been playing a Russian,” you’d quip.
And you’d be right.
Shamapova continues her "dominating" ways in Birmingham
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.
Confronted by Nadia Petrova, who can dare say Russian women are not the most beautiful in the world? And how about their fashion sense?!
Well, it wasn’t pretty. No, it surely was not.
Last year’s French Open finalist Dinara Safina of Russia was ousted in her very first match at this year’s tournament, ousted by a player who became the second-oldest in the tournament’s modern history to win as much as a single match.
Then there was the woman who defeated Safina to take the title last year, Svetlana Kuznetsova. She was ousted in her third match of the French Open by a player not seeded in the top 25.
So, just for starters, neither of the two Russians who contested last year’s final, widely seen as one of the most pathetic and unwatchable in the history of grand slam finals, managed to get as far as the fourth round this year.
Ouch, ouch, ouch. But there was more, oh, so very much more carnage to report.
More stark humiliation and failure for Russia’s “dominant” female tennis players to report.
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.
The recent photo of Maria Sharapova, supposedly one of the most beautiful women in the world and definitely the hottest babe on the WTA Tour, is rather shocking. Look at it closely (click to enlarge): Her hair is mousey, her skin is ghastly, her eyes are puffy and she looks much, much older than her years. If we squint, we swear we can see signs of five o’clock shadow. Published on the WTA website, even the tournament itself knew how bad it was. As a result, when they wanted to publish a photo array to draw some publicity, it was followed by a large number of photos of our gal Shamapova taken years ago, even at the beginning of her career, as if we’d forget about this one.
Maria, of course, has good reason to be aging rapidly. And no, we’re not talking about her psycho father Yuri, either.
Let’s look back on the Russian women’s results at the year’s first grand slam tennis event, the Australian Open in Melbourne. But be warned, there’s lots of nasty carnage to behold as usual. Dominance? We think not.
- Russia’s most famous player, Maria Sharapova, seeded #14, lost her first match of the tournament in humiliating fashion. She struck 77 — yes, seventy-seven — unforced errors. Yikes.
- Russia’s #1 seed, Dinara Safina, quit in the first set of her fourth-round match, cheating fans out of their hard-earned cash.
- Russia’s #2 seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova, lost her fourth-round match to a player not seeded in the top 15.
But Safina and Kuznetsova did great compared to Russia’s #3 seed, Elena Dementieva, who lost her second-round match in straight sets to an unseeded opponent despite winning the prior week’s warm-up event in Oz over the number one player in the world, just as we predicted. All four of these players should in theory have reached the quarter finals. Not a single one actually did.
Russia’s #4 seed Vera Zvonareva also went down in flames before the quarter finals, but unlike the four Russians mentioned above she at least could say she lost to a higher seed, the #7 whom she pressed to a third set which she then surrendered meekly without taking a single game from her Bulgarian rival.
World #14 Maria “Shamapova” continued her humiliating losing ways in the opening round of the year’s first grand-slam tennis tournament, the Australian Open, getting thrashed in her very first match of the tournament by lowly World #58 Maria Kirilenko (who’s actually a threat to steal Sharapova’s “#1 Russian tennis babe” crown as well). You just got here, darling! Leaving so soon?
Maria, it must be admitted, is not the only Russian sham in town.
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.
If you’ve never heard of Shuai Peng, don’t feel too bad. She’s a Chinese journeywoman on the WTA circuit currently ranked #53 in the world. “Russian” world #15 Maria Sharapova probably hadn’t heard of her either when the two met on the court in Beijing at the China Open last week .
But Sharapova may now be keeping herself more up to date. In Sharapova’s second match of the tournament the two players contested 18 games and Sharapova won only six of them. Though tossing in roughly the same first-serve perecentage as her opponent, Sharapova was only able to win half her first serve points and was outplayed in every aspect of the game, getting blown off the court after, inexplicably, receiving one of only three first-round byes allocated among the 64 players in the draw, allowing her to avoid a first-round drainer.
World #1 Dinara Safina, for instance, didn’t receive one of those byes. And she probably wished she had, since she too was blown of the court by an unknown Chinese player in her second match of the tournament. Shuia Zhang, who destroyed Safina, came into the match ranked a shocking #226 in the world. Zhang is so obscure that the WTA website doesn’t even have her photograph. Ouch. Zhang was then promptly crushed in her next match by the #14 seed Marian Bartoli in easy straight sets.
And, believe it or not, the news got still worse for Safina.
Well, so-called “Russian” Maria Shamapova, who actually lives in the United States, learned her game there, and never spends any time in Russia, “won” another tennis tournament last week, the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Japan.
Once again, it was all smoke and mirrors for our gal Maria.
The mighty Oudin, slayer of Russians
If you learned that a 17-year-old American ranked well outside the world’s top 65 players went deep, deep into the draw at the year’s final grand slam event, the U.S. Open in New York, it probably wouldn’t surprise you a bit, would it, to learn that each and every one of her matches prior to the quarter finals came against Russian opponents, whom she cut down as if they were feeble shoots of wheat beneath her sharpened deadly scythe, regardless of their ranking?
More pain, humiliation and failure to report for the Russian women at last week’s WTA tour event in New Haven, Connecticut. Russia had two of the top four seeds, including the #1, at the last tune-up event before the final grand slam event of the year in New York City, but neither of them managed to get as far as the semi-finals. #4 seed Nadia Petrova lost her opening round match to an unseeded opponent, while #1 seed Svetlana Kuzntesova went down in the quarter finals to the #8 seed, who then promtly lost to an unseeded opponent in the semis, taking just three of 15 games played in the final two sets.
And at the U.S. Open, Maria Shamapova’s run of inhuman dumb luck contiunued apace.
Russia’s “#1” player Dinara Safina was booted out of the WTA tour event in Toronto last week in her first match in straight sets by an unseeded opponent. French Open winner and #6 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova met exactly the same fate. And that was only the beginning of the horror for Russia, even though Russian’s #4 seed took the Toronto title. Look carefully, and you saw truly sickening results.
Well, at least she's still got her looks . . . er . . . that's not a hint of mustache we spy, is it? Did anyone say Maria ShaROIDpova?
If we told you than none of the top 5 seeds made it as far as the semi-finals in last weeks WTA tour event in Los Angeles, California, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that three of those five, including the top two, were Russians. None of the players ranked #2-#6 in the world even showed up, so the going was hardly difficult.
But the Russians still couldn’t hang. Least of all Maria Sharoidpova.
Another ouchie for the lanky "Russian"
Last week we exposed the outrageous rigging of the Wimbledon ladies’ draw in favor of “Russian” Maria Sharapova, who was given a seed her ranking did not merit — the only player to receive such a gift. Tournament organizers freely admitted they were doing it to build interest in the tournament, which offered the propsect of repeating the all-Russian final seen at the French Open a month earlier — one of the worst grand slam finals in tennis history, unwatchable and indeed simply embarrassing from start to finish. Tournament bigwigs were right to worry, since a few more grand slam finals like that and the entire sport would be washed up. But rigging the draw for cheap theatrics is no answer.
In her second match at the All-England Club, Sharapova met journeywoman Gisela Dulko of Argentina. Ranked #45 in the world, well ahead of Sharapova at #59, Dulko should have been expected to win the match (even though she had only won three games in four previous sets against the “Russian”). But if we believed the Wimbledon organizers and their seeding, it was going to be Sharapova who easily prevailed against her unseeded rival.
The organizers fraud was exposed and Sharapova went down in flames.
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir? Me SO horny!
If you know that “Russian” Maria Sharapova (she lives and pays taxes in America, not Russia) is currently ranked #59 in the world, then it will probably surprise you to learn that she received the #24 seed in the ladies draw at Wimbledon this year. Not the bottom seed of #32, mind you, but #24.
Why did she receive this generous gift?
Well, the tournament organizers were quite shameless in explaining. They’re desperate to create some kind of interest in their event: “Her presence can do nothing other than provide a huge boost to the women’s field at The Championships.” That’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of women’s tennis, but it’s quite true.
Once again so-called “Russian” Maria Sharapova, who has lived most of her life in the USA and pays her taxes there, has gone down to humiliating, spectacular defeat. In her quarterfinals match at the French Open in Paris, she lost every single game in the first set against her lowly #20-seeded opponent, a virtual unknown, and then lost the first five games of the next set too, only managing to win two of 14 games played by the time the carnage was over, avoiding another infamous double-bagel by the skin of her perfect teeth.