The Telegraph reports that Russia has already started to devour Maria Sharapova over her refusal to play Fed Cup tennis for the Russian side, accusing her of being a liar and a traitor. Maybe now Maria can clearly see the true nature of "her" country. Note how they bash Sharapova, because she lives in the US, whilst ignoring Kuznetsova, who lives in Russia and who did exactly the same thing for the same cowardly, dishonest reasons as we previously reported (Venus and Serena Williams are both playing Fed Cup, and both are playing with significant injuries, both having been treated on court during Wimbledon).
Russian tennis officials have accused Maria Sharapova of putting her own interests ahead of her country after she pulled out of the team for this weekend's Fed Cup semi-final against the US.
The Florida-based world No 2 agreed to make her Fed Cup debut in Vermont before saying she was not match-fit because of a persistent shoulder injury.
"Just forget about all these promises," Russia's chief tennis coach Vladimir Kamelzon said, "her closest advisers are Americans and they would never allow her to play for Russia."
Former national champion Anna Dmitrieva, now a prominent TV commentator in Russia, also questioned Sharapova's commitment, saying: "Well, she never intended to play in the first place. All she wanted was to be included in the Fed Cup team so she would be eligible to play at the 2008 Olympics."
Meanwhile, Russia's Fed Cup captain and national federation president, Shamil Tarpishchev, has asked the International Tennis Federation to move the match to a neutral country after accusing the US authorities of refusing him a visa. The US embassy in Moscow said that Tarpishchev's application was being processed in Washington. But Tarpishchev said: "The Americans always like to talk about human rights and democracy but they are the first ones to deny others the same rights." LR: So let us see if we understand. Any country that dares to deny a visa to an applicant is a non-democracy? It's "undemocratic" to screen and reject visa applicants? If so, then we have sure and certain proof that Russia is a dictatorship. Is this maniac really suggesting that Venus and Serena Williams need the conspiratorial help of the U.S. government to defeat Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova? Does he recall what Serena did to Maria at the Aussie Open, or what Venus did to both Maria and Svetlana at Wimbledon? How neo-Soviet and paranoid can you get?