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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Another New Low for Maria Sharapova

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Russia is that singular nation where no matter how low it sinks today, tomorrow it will do something so wretched you will unable to believe you thought it was low before.

And Maria Sharapova is the poster child for Russia in this regard.

In the space of one week, the world saw Sharapova file papers in court seeking to change her name to Sugarpova for the two weeks of the U.S. Open in a shameless effort to promote her failing line of artificially flavored and colored sweets, then realize how totally outrageous her scheme was and withdraw it, and then saw her withdraw from the Open itself, claiming a shoulder injury.

Maybe the real reason Sharapova withdrew from the U.S. Open is that she was too ashamed to show her face there after her humiliating PR gambit in the hopes of achieving even greater personal wealth which she does not need, already being one of the highest-paid female athletes in the world.  Or maybe she does have an injury; if so, maybe it’s because she spends far too little time training and far too much seeking to build her candy empire. Either way, clearly, the last thing on her mind these days is tennis.

The Decline and Fall of Russian Women’s Tennis

At the U.S. Open this year, Russia started out with ten women in the singles draw and just a puny four of them seeded.    The draw sheet symbolized the virtual disappearance of Russian players, who some not long ago were claiming would “dominate” the sport, from the top ranks of the women’s game; Russia has only one player, Maria Sharapova, ranked in the top 10 in the world, and Sharapova lives and learned to play tennis in the USA.

By the time play had concluded, Russia’s decimated ranks had done nothing to salvage Russian honor.

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