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?