Nice article from The Guardian calling out all the people who think the Russians and Serbs are "humourless" and "soulless":
There was a lovely moment at a tournament in the United States a few years ago when Vera Zvonareva of Russia was fretting over the thought that she might be overwhelmed by reporters who wanted to speak to her. In stepped the Australian Jelena Dokic, never one to mince her words. "I don't think you need to worry about that, Vera," she said.
The irony is that Zvonareva actually has plenty to say. Like many of the Russian women players and those fromall over Eastern Europe, there is a lot more to her than many other tennis players. She may describe her favourite food as "Russian soup" but she likes to read and is engaging on any number of subjects, while she is also combining her tennis with studying for a post-graduate diploma in international relations and economics.
The same goes for many of her compatriots. The French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova can be hard to stop when she gets going; another former Roland Garros winner Anastasia Myskina was famous for berating her coach and then boyfriend when anything went wrong – an entertaining, if slightly frightening sight – and the world No1 Dinara Safina, when she is in the mood, can be as amusing as her brother Marat Safin.
The Serbs Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, both of whom grew up in the shadow of the Nato bombings in 1999, have been world No1 at different times in the past year and are equally intelligent and entertaining.
For all that, the old accusations are still regularly made that the Eastern European players are soulless, humourless and, in short, automatons. Either that or they are cold-hearted in the best Cold War traditions. At best it is a crass generalisation, at worst it is laughable, inaccurate and frankly ignorant.