How much luckier could so-called “Russian” tennis player Maria Sharapova possibly have hoped to be?
She made it to the finals of the gigantic WTA tour event in Miami, Florida, and looked across the net to see that Polish world #4 Agnieszka Radwanska was her opponent. Radwanska had only beaten Sharapova once in eight prior meetings, and that was four years ago. Since January 1, 2008, Sharapova is 6-0 against Radwanska, and in those six meetings Radwanska had taken a set off of Sharapova only twice.
Sharapova stands a full six inches taller than Radwanska, and outweighs her by at least ten pounds. Radwanska had never won a tournament of Miami’s magnitude in her entire career, while Sharapova has won multiple grand slam titles. Sharapova was ranked and seeded higher in the tournament.
Yet when the dust settled after the match, Sharapova had lost to her diminutive Polish opponent in straight sets. She had reached the finals in three of the four tournaments she had entered this year, and lost every single one of them. Not only did she not even manage to win a single set in any of her three finals appearances this year, collapsing spectacularly 0-6 then 3-6 and now 4-6 to Radwanska, but she was not even vaguely competitive in any of them. She had three break-point chances and did not convert a single one against Radwanska, while the the tiny Polish woman broke Sharapova twice with four chances.
Sharapova is supposedly the “best” female tennis player Russia has, yet she’s hardly Russian. She has lived most of her life in the United States and learned her game entirely there, and spends almost no time at all in Russia. But Russia has only two other players in the world’s top twenty, and they are woeful non-entities at best.
Those who said Russian women were taking over the women’s game have been proven absolutely wrong. Instead of taking over they have disappeared, leaving only a quasi-Russian to lose spectacularly over and over again in finals appearances in their wake.