Annals of Russian “Tennis”
Last week in Melbourne the first grand slam tennis tournament of the year, the Australian Open, concluded. Only three of the 32 male seeds in the tournament were Russian, and not a single one of them made it out of the third round. By contrast, three out of the four spots in the semi-finals on the women’s side of the tournament were filled by Russians, who held fully one fourth of the 32 available seeds and half of the top ten seeds..
You sure wouldn’t dare refer to Russia’s male tennis players as girly men. They wish! What’s wrong with these “men”?
Then again, to say that Russia’s male players are not as good as its women is to damn with darn faint praise indeed, since the performance of the women down under was also an abject disaster.
Yet another of the great beauties for which Russia is justly famous, Vera Zvonareva struts her feminine mystique for all to see
Last week, the WTA Tour Championships tournament was played out in Doha, Qatar. Supposedly the marquee event of the entire women’s season, deciding the best player of the year in round-robin competition, the event was despoiled by the presence of far too many Russian frauds.
Four of the eight players in the draw were Russians, so Russia might have hoped to fill all four slots in the semi-finals after round robin play in which the group of eight highest-ranked players this season is divided in half and each player has a match against each other group member, with the best two results moving into a semi-finals contest.
But once again, the Russians went down to humiliating failure. At the end of the tournament, Russia was left to have its honor defended in the finals by its lowly and yawn-inducing #5 player, Vera Zvonareva, who’s never even reached a grand slam semi in her entire career, against America’s thrilling and charismatic #2, Venus Williams, the year’s Wimbledon champion, in the finals. The study in contrasts could not have been more unfavorable to Russia, nor the outcome more humiliating. The Russian had four set points in the first set on her serve but could not convert them, and was forced into a tiebreaker which she won on a freak net cord in her favor. She then failed to win a single game in the second set and took just two in the third, getting emphatically blown off the court by the American, who seemed to be playing an entirely different sport.
And that was just the tip of the iceberg where Russian failure was concerned.