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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Annals of Russian Tennis Failure: They Just Can't Win the Big One

Well, another week, another humiliating loss for a top-ranked and "dominant" female Russian tennis player. In Rome, world #4 Serbian Jelena Jankovic easily crushed world #3 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the finals of the Italian event that prestages the French Open over the weekend. Kuznetsova was able to win only six of nineteen games played, including only one game in the second set. Jankovic moved to #1 on the calendar-year rankings, while Russia's much-ballyhooed Maria Sharapova dropped to #9 on that list -- nearly vanquished from the top 10 in 2007. Highly-ranked Russians are routinely blown of the court by lower-ranked non-Russians, but Russians almost never beat higher-ranked non-Russian competition.

So much for "dominance." In fact, in the big matches against foreign rivals, Russians can't even manage to be seriously competitive.

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