Russia Crashes and Burns in Flushing Meadows

Luckily, Maria Kirilenko has a backup plan in case tennis does not work out.

Luckily, Maria Kirilenko has a backup plan in case tennis does not work out.

How tennis times have changed.

Remember the  bold talk among the Russophile jackasses of how Russian women were going to “dominate” the game?  As the U.S. Open got underway last week in Flushing Meadows, New York, Russia did not have one player seeded in the top ten and had only one player in the top 19.

By Friday evening at the end of the first week, it was clear that at most two of Russia’s six seeded players could get as far as the quarterfinals.  Russia’s second-highest seed, Nadia Petrova (#20), lost in the first round to an unseeded opponent.  Its third-highest seed Elena Vesnina (#22) lost in the second round to an unseeded opponent, and its lowest seed Anastasia Pavalyuchenkova (#32) lost to the #3 seed in the third round.

This left the country’s top seed, #14 Maria Kirilenko as well as the #24 seed Ekaterina Makarova, and the #27 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova as Russia’s last hopes of denting the upper echelons of the tournament.  But Kirilenko and Kuznetsova were drawn against each other in the fourth round, so only two of the three could have made the quarters.

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Roland Garros Recap: Russian Ruin and Starstruck Sharapova

In a shocking confirmation of how quickly and how low Russian women’s tennis has fallen, there was only one Russian woman in the top 20 seeds at this year’s French Open tournament at Roland Garros, and only four Russian women were among the grand slam event’s 32 seeds.   A country that just a few years ago routinely accounted for a quarter of seeds and multiple top-ten entries has fallen from grace in a jaw-dropping manner.

Two of the four seeds, Pavlyuchenkova and Petrova, lost in the third round of the tournament, leaving only #2 Maria Sharapova and #26 Svetlana Kuznetsova to hold up the national flag in the fourth round.

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