To have watched the French Open ladies' finals live in California, you'd have needed to wake up at 6 am.
To see it live, you'd have needed to pay more than $100 to sit in the uppermost tier of the stadium, where the players would barely be distinguishable. To see them up close, you'd need to pay well over $1,000.
Would it have been worth it?
Well, you wouldn't even have seen a match between top-ten players, much less any of the three really compelling superstars of the game (Henin and the two Williams sisters). You'd have seen world #2 Ana Ivanovic go up against lowly world #14 Dinara Safina. You'd then have seen five breaks of serve in the opening set (which consisted of just ten games), with one-third of its points ending in unforced errors. You'd then have seen Safina go down in easy straight sets, just as the seeding would have predicted.
The last time a French Open women's match went three sets was 2001, when an American and Belgian were playing. We dare you to name the last time two Russians delivered a world-class match late in a Grand Slam event.
At least when Sharapova loses, though, Russians get to talk about how pretty she is. With Safina . . . well, you be the judge.
You can tell all you need to about Safina's style of play from her photographs. She stands there and bashes the ball in an apelike manner. Not exactly compelling for a spectator. And unfortunately not much of a "well, she's a nice little piece of ass" fallback position, either. As we've said before, the Russian contingent is destroying the women's game.
In Russia's defense, though, it should be noted that few Russians would recognize a person with a name like "Safina" as actually being Russian (certainly not Slavic), and Safina spends most of her time in Spain, where she perfected her game. She lives in Monaco, preferring tax convenience to patriotism, it seems.
So by all means let's not forget to discuss the Queen of Russian beauty, the mother of all tennis babes, Sharapova. Here she is in all her regal splendor discussing her humiliating loss to Safina (the only way one superhuman Russian can lose, of course, is by being beaten by another):
Well, she air-brushes really well, anyway.
Non-top-ten Safina also humiliated Russia's #2 player, Svetlana Kuznetsova, who was able to win only four games in their semi-finals match. If you payed big bucks to watch that, you were also rather disappointed, to say the least (the other semi-finals match, between two Serbians, went three sets). Kuznetsova, of course, being another one of Russia's "dominating" beauties:
Sharapova, meanwhile, lost her "#1" ranking for the second time almost as soon as she received it, being replaced by Ivanovic. Sharapova has never won a tournament while ranked #1 in the world -- no Russian ever has.
Russians bootstrapping themselves deep into grand slam events by playing each other. If it's the future of women's tennis, time to see what's on the golf channel.