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.
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.
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.
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.
With an all-Russian ladies’ final taking place last week at the venerable Roland Garros stadium last week for the French Open, Russia should have been steeped in glory. Unfortunately, such was — as is so often the case for Russia — far from the case. Russian women suffered an amazing, unprecedented humiliation, and then there was their performance on the actual tennis courts of Roland Garros, which was even worse.
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.
Sharapova as Russia
There's always Playboy, dear
Maria Sharapova is no longer ranked in the top 25 players in the world. Her new ranking as of last week was #30, below that of obscure journeywoman Ai Sugiyama of Japan.
Is Sharapova, who will turn 22 on April 19th and doesn’t have a college degree, all washed up?
She has won a grand total of $2,000 playing tennis so far in 2009, and it’s been a whole year since she won a tennis tournament (the Tier II event at Amelia Island in April 2008). And the only reason she managed to scrape up that title was dumb luck: in the finals she drew an unseeded Slovakian not ranked in the world’s top 30, and at no time during the tournament did she have to face an opponent ranked in the top 20. Her Amelia Island luck was no fluke: In her most recent victory prior to it, she had taken the Tier I title at Doha Qatar the month before, again meeting an unseeded opponent in the finals and not having to face a top-20 opponent at any point in the draw. The last time Sharapova won a tennis tournament by beating a top-10 opponent in the finals was well over a year ago, in January 2008.
Only $10K and yours for the asking!
Ouch. A new low, in a very literal sense. Maybe she forgot to mention that she’d bring her banana. Yahoo! Sports reports:
This is one of those stories that makes you shake your head in disbelief — first, that it happened, and second, that you didn’t get in on it in time. Seems the lovely Wimbledon champ Maria Sharapova put herself — well, a date with herself, anyway — up for auction at a charity tennis tournament. The winning bid was $10,000, which seems a bit below market value. Lobbing up the awkwardness quotient is the fact that Ms. Sharapova’s boyfriend apparently got outbid for the date. Think that was a comfortable ride home?
Oh, and one other thing — Ms. Sharapova took in $26 million last year, making her the world’s best-paid female athlete. That means that for her, a $10,000 bid is the equivalent of getting taken out for a McDonald’s Extra Value Meal. She’s lovin’ it!
Now, in auctioning off the mealtime services of a beautiful athlete, some may see crass, thinly-veiled sexism. Me, I see opportunity. We’ve got ourselves a bit of a financial crisis in America these days, right? Well, if Ms. Sharapova is willing to let herself go for a mere ten large, how much do you think Tom Brady could fetch? Natalie Gulbis? Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Derek Jeter?
Time to think outside the box here, people. We’ve given our athletes so much — is it so wrong to ask them to start giving back in return?