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Monday, November 12, 2007

Once Again, Shamapova Goes Down in Flames

Well, Maria Shamapova reached the finals of the year-end WTA Championships in Madrid, Spain. But she may have wished she hadn't.

How did she get there? Well, first she needed one American, Venus Williams, to drop out of the draw entirely, just to get a place in it. Based on her record, she didn't deserve to be there. Then, she needed to have both the world #1 and another American, Serena Williams, placed in the opposite half of the draw from her, so that she only needed to win matches against her woeful, pathetic countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetsova (who lost every single one of the three matches she played in the round-robin format) and Daniela Hantuchova (the weakest player in the draw) in order to advance to the semi-finals. Then, upon reaching the semi-finals, she needed to draw her ridiculously inept countrywoman Anna Chakvetadze, who would hand her the match like a patsy (2-6, 2-6).

In other words, business as usual for Shamapova, the luckiest human being on the face of the earth. It's really a double humiliation for Russia, as its top-ranked player disgraced herself and the "Russian" who did (relatively) well is the one who lives and trains in the United States.

But, as usual, no amount of luck could help her once she got to the finals against world #1 Justine Henin. Shamapova needed eight -- count them, eight -- set points to win the first set, lost the second and was non-competitive in the third. In other words, it easily could have been a straight-set loss.

With typically mind-boggling detachment from reality (in this way at least, she's a classic Russian through and through), Shamapova declared: "After a match of nearly three and a half hours, it is always disappointing to be the loser; but at the end of the week there can only be one winner and that was Justine. She really came through and played good tennis in the end. But I'm in a much better place than I was two weeks ago. Right now I'm not asking myself any more questions."

And undoubtedly she isn't. More's the pity.


Anonymous said...

You're nuts.
Maria played a great game, and she fought Justine every inch of the way.
I'm Belgian, and of course it was wonderfull to see Justine take the Masters, but Maria has all my respect. She showed class, resilience, and fighting spirit.
That's what tennis is about.


La Russophobe said...

Actually, we think tennis is about winning, first and foremost. But you're entitled to your opinion.

We also think that Maria has a boring one-dimensional game, no conditioning and no court sense. Most knowledgeable tennis fans agree. We think that if all the players were like Maria, women's tennis would have no fans except a few horny teenagers.

You don't dispute that she didn't deserve to be in the tournament or that she had a ridiculously easy access to the finals.

Her record this year speaks for itself: Total failure and humiliation. Losing again doesn't help that, no matter what you may imagine.

Perhaps your attitude is only because you don't want to diminish the strength of Justine's win by admitting she prevailed over a patsy. You needn't worry, her record this year speaks for itself, too.