It's possible. According to Stephanie Myles, here are the WTA #1 scenarios:
I played around with the Jersey Shore Nickname Generator.
That was fun. I'm totally using Juice Springsteen from now on.
Posted by C Note on January 18, 2010 in Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Australian Open, Dinara Safina, Fernando Verdasco, Flavia Pennetta, Jelena Jankovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marat Safin, Maria Sharapova, Nikolai Davydenko, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Serena Williams, Svetlana Kuznetsova, The Mighty Fed | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
And so the Slam season begins under a cloud of showers, upsets, and...well, a third thing that would appropriately complete that sentence.
Also she looks great, so...sure, why not?
Aw, what a cute ball boy.
I'm not looking forward to watching Justine matches in HD.
The sores. My GOD the sores.
Oh, Chakky. Why do the tennis gods hate you so much?
Well that would explain why you look like idiots.*
No no no, Sveta. The exo is over. Please start playing actual matches.
Wait...which one is nicknamed "Elf"?
Heh. Never gets old.
Even seagulls like a good magic show.
Or whatever the Australian equivalent of the right against self-incrimination is. Y'all have that down there, right?
The Sydney player's party was today, or last night, or possibly three nights from now; I don't know, that time difference is starting to fuck with my mind.
It wouldn't be the end of the WTA season without one more chance to laugh at people for being completely incapable of dressing themselves. Some of them are getting distressingly (read: boringly) good at it, but you know there'll always be one WTFer in the group. Or two, or three.
I mean, at least she's now 3-12 for her career in YECs. So, yay!
But seriously, did she have to win today? Her win catapulted Venus into the semis, whereas a loss would have put countrywoman Lena D into the semis. Did Sveta take sides? Yeah, based on this quote, I'm thinking no:
“I asked Venus before the game, ‘Will you give me something if I win?”’ Kuznetsova said. “She was like, ‘If you win, it’s good for yourself.’ I say, ‘OK, whatever.”’
Come on, Venus. At least give her an Eleven sponsorship or something.
"You can tell how much we care about our sport and how passionate we are. We didn't care who was there, whether it was one person or two."
-- Sveta, on the empty stands in Doha
Serena scored a very solid 76 75 win over Sveta, saving numerous set points and generally playing from behind for most of the match. This match was a good barometer for where Serena's head is at, as she had a number of opportunities to just let up a little bit and lose the match. But she remained focused and intense and she really made Sveta work for it. And in the end, Sveta reminded us that she's Russian. So she did what Russians do.
And so Serena plays Venus tomorrow (er...today) in a must-win match for Venus. We'll see how Serena recovers. She's got tape for her left knee and she rolled her right ankle in the first set tiebreak today. Sveta gets a day off and will play Lena (I think) on Thursday.
That's a lie. It's the latter.
You know, or not.
Second, I will punch you in the face.
Third, wear a push up bra if you want to get some heft in your chest, not a crooked bow.
First look at the mirror today, ReRe?
Looks like the girls did a number on you in your sleep during WTA Sleepover 09.
Word of advice? Never go to sleep before Sveta. Never.
Only one of these, right? Thank God.
Nice to see you're so excited about making your second straight semifinal by beating Lena, Agi. Don't ever change. Kuz cruised over Pavs in straight sets, setting up a fantastically headcasey semifinal against...
The Serena Slayer. Big ups to Nads, who followed up her win over Serena with a three set win over Bollitieri Beater Shuai Peng. Peng took the first set in a tiebreaker and was playing really well until she hurt her left leg. From there is was just a matter of time before Nads ran away with it, though seriously, she was still Nadsy about it. Headcases forever!
And in the "Wha happen???" story of the day, Mono somehow rallied from 63 51 down to win over Bepa. What. The. Fuck. Vera. She only won 7 points in the second set after leading 5-1.
Other thank Peng's win over Pova, the Russians ruled the roost today with Lena, Sveta, and Pavs all coming through.
Singles - Third Round
(4) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. (16) Li Na (CHN) 62 60
(6) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Alona Bondarenko (UKR) 63 46 60
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 64 64
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. Maria Sharapova (RUS) 62 64
Doubles - Quarterfinals
Yan/Zheng (CHN/CHN) d. (6) Groenefeld/Schnyder (GER/SUI) 46 60 105
Doubles - Second Round
(4) Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez (ESP/ESP) d. Grandin/Kops-Jones (RSA/USA) 16 75 106
(5) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) d. Errani/Pennetta (ITA/ITA) 62 75
Kleybanova/Schiavone (RUS/ITA) d. Bondarenko/Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) 76(4) 62
Pavs' reward? Pizza:
Man, the WTA is really hell bent on keeping the chub on the kid.
Also, who knew Papa Johns was in China?
Here's the thing. For the longest time all the stories coming out about Ivo were about how fucking shy he was. Yet all that I can remember of him for the past year is booty slapping dances, explicit rapping, and pics like this. Shy people don't do that shit, yo.
In Mother Russia, pink wears you.
I was in D.C. all weekend without any internet access. And let's just say I'm not entirely sad about that. Glad to see I missed the carnage:
Also, Rybarakova just beat Nads and Maria's on her way to bagel and 'sticking Sam. And we know how Sam feels about 'sticking. Not a fan, methinks.
So it's absolute Bedlam in Tokyo as the top seeds are falling left and right in the first two rounds (as of this post, JJ, A-Rad, and Caro still have to play their 2R matches).
[UPDATE: Caro retires down 05 to CanWoz. So the top 6 seeds are out after their first matches.]
I don't have much to say quite yet. I need some time to process it all. But I have a feeling Billy Shakes was a WTA fan back in the day:
She should have died hereafter ;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time ;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Well holy shit.
Four matches, four Russians. And if Caro didn't go ahead and bounce Kuz, Mel would have had a chance to scalp fifth. The funny thing about this match is that even though Nads took the first 61, you just kind of knew this kid wasn't going out like that. And sure enough, once she regrouped and was able to pressure Nads and get the crowd into the match, Nads went all Nadsy and we had ourselves a match.
Poor Nads. There was no reason she should have lost this match. Then again, there's no reason she should have won it either. The Russian headcasiness continues. As much as these matches have been won with The Kid's tennis skills, even more so it's been her competitiveness that seal the deal. She's able to put just enough pressure on them to get those doubts flowing. Serious props to her.
So The Kid will play The Boots for a shot at the USO semis, and really, a REAAAAALLY good shot at the USO finals. Boots came back from dropping the first set to battle Kuz to a 46 76 76 win. More importantly she has torpedoed anymore Stella McCartney jokes. I can honestly say I'm sadder about the latter.
So with Wickmayer and K-Bond making up the other quarterfinal in this half (yes, you read that right), we have ZERO Russians or Serbs in the quarters of a Slam.
I guess Sunday was a day for reemergence. Nole popped up out of nowhere and so did Dejan. I so confused. But it seemed to put Team Pinky in a darn good mood.
Girl, give those bike shorts back to Lena. They do not work. Ever. Even Z looks confused.
Man. Sveta *really* likes those shorts from the company that no longer sponsors her, huh?
Sven is looking particularly adorable in New York. Hair cut? Weight loss? Ditching the uncomforably bright Adidas tops? Who knows. But as Sodapop wrote, "Sven and the camera are BFFs." Indeed.
And before I forget: SQUEE!!!! Sania!
And look who else is back! Richie Rich hit the courts for a hit, though it looks like he and Pamela had a rockin' wet t-shirt party right before. Some never learn.
And the rest of the French buffet.
Sveta had a 4-1 lead on Momo in the first set and somehow lost the set 76(9) in a 20 point tiebreak. From there the two buddies duked it out until Momo won the third set 63. So basically what we've learned from this match is that Sveta heads into the Open as headcasey as ever.
In the men's night quarterfinal, Chucho took out Serra, 75 64.
So tomorrow's OOP:
Apparently beating Yanina Wickmayer in three sets inspires these types of celebrations.
And with great sadness I am forced to report that Sammy Stones lost to Vezzie in three sets. But in happy news, ELENA VESNINA beat Sam Stosur in three sets! Oh, tennis. How you torture me.
For all you folks who do the bracket challenges for the Slams, take note that A-Rad and Mono both retired with injuries. Ruh roh.
Singles – Second Round
(1/WC) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. (Q) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 64 57 76(2)
(2) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 64
(3) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 76(1) 64
Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. (5) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 36 64 ret. (right hand injury)
(Q) Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. (6) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 16 76(5) 20 ret. (left adductor strain)
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. (9) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 36 63 64
Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez (ESP/ESP) d. Senoglu/Shvedova (TUR/KAZ) 62 61
(3) Craybas/Raymond (USA/USA) d. Borwell/Kops-Jones (GBR/USA) 63 62
(4) Bondarenko/Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) d. Cornet/Gallovits (FRA/ROU) 63 75
It's never easy drawing Jay Z in the first round of a tournament. But Kuz was able to hold her nerve (kinda) and win in three.
Singles - First Round
(1/WC) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Zheng Jie (CHN) 61 67(5) 64
(5) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 26 62 76(5)
(8) Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) d. Ai Sugiyama (JPN) 64 61
Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. Patty Schnyder (SUI) 63 36 63
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Gisela Dulko (ARG) 76(6) 62
Iveta Benesova (CZE) d. (LL) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 46 62 61
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 63 63
(Q) Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 64 64
(Q) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 36 61 64
Doubles - First Round
Dekmeijere/U.Radwanska (LAT/POL) d. (2) Chuang/Yan (TPE/CHN) 75 46 108
(4) Bondarenko/Bondarenko (UKR/UKR) d. Garbin/Medina Garrigues (ITA/ESP) 62 36 107
Borwell/Kops-Jones (GBR/USA) d. Niculescu/Olaru (ROU/ROU) 62 36 108
As for the boys, it was biz as yoosh. Sad to see Marco lose early, though.
Singles - Second Round
 S Querrey (USA) d M Gicquel (FRA) 64 67(3) 62
Singles - First Round
S Bolelli (ITA) d C Rochus (BEL) 63 64
P Starace (ITA) d M Zverev (GER) 63 26 63
[Q] P Cuevas (URU) d A Golubev (KAZ) 63 64
K Kim (USA) d T Gabashvili (RUS) 64 57 63
B Phau (GER) d B Becker (GER) 26 62 63
R Kendrick (USA) d [Q] F Nielsen (DEN) 63 75
[Q] F Gil (POR) d [WC] M Baghdatis (CYP) 64 63
Y Lu (TPE) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 62
J Acasuso (ARG) d M Gonzalez (ARG) 61 67(7) 62
[WC] R Ram (USA) d [Q] N Lapentti (ECU) 75 16 76(3)
Doubles - First Round
C Kas (GER) / P Petzschner (GER) d  M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 75 63
J Chardy (FRA) / F Santoro (FRA) d T Parrott (USA) / F Polasek (SVK) 64 36 10-7
Singles - Second Round
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: How far is the flight? You ask me questions, can I ask you questions? How far is the flight, two hours?
Q. Hour and a half.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Maybe I go after tomorrow. I was looking to this water park and this adventure, so maybe I go to check it out so I can have a little bit of a distraction.
A few of you have written inquiring as to when the next installment of the Forty Deuce podcast would be up. Here's the deal: It is SUPER awkward to do a podcast by yourself. And with my partner in crime (heh), Love All, off at an undisclosed location for much of this year, I've had to shelve the podcasts. Unfortunately my dog has very little to say about tennis.
But you can't say that I don't listen so here's the next installment, wherein I've roped in Forty Deuce regulars Sodapop, Carrie, and Victoria, to talk about everything from my general apathy towards Ana's losses, illegal immigration, and Stan's second fiddle, to how badly the WTA marketing department has failed, our love for tennis umpires, and the intimate details contained in Sodapop's diary. You'll have to excuse any technical issues. I'm still trying to master it all. But I'll get it all worked out and I can promise your tech savvy and topically focused p-casts in the future.
I'm warning you, it's a long one and very WTA heavy. Perfect for sitting in traffic while you're on your way to wherever you don't want to be.
Posted by C Note on August 07, 2009 in Agi Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, Ashley Harkleroad, ATP, Dinara Safina, Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova, Marion Bartoli, Michelle Larcher de Brito, Podcasts, Rafa Nadal, Sam Stosur, Serena Williams, Sorana Cirstea, Stanislas Wawrinka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Zvonereva, Victoria Azarenka, WTA | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)
That serve is going to get you far, kid. First stop, dumping out the French Open champ on her birthday in straight sets, 62 75. She'll face good buddy Ski Boots on Monday. The last time they met was Charleston, where Sabine took her out in straights. Should be a good one.
As for Kuz, the letdown was expected, though her inability to figure out Sabine's game was rather surprising. She just wasn't moving her feet to get around the ball, leaving it short or just missing altogether. This win shouldn't have been this easy.
Q. What have you been up to since Paris?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: You know, party every day until 6:00 in the morning and then sleep during the day, and now I play these two days (laughter).
Q. One thing that sort of surprised us was you had been out on some of the outer courts and you were the French Open champion. Was that a surprise to you? You haven’t really been out on the show courts even though you’re the French Open champion.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I’m fine to put me wherever they want to me put. They don’t have to put me Centre Court. But with the schedule, this is little bit weird thing. If you look the schedule, it’s not about only me. It’s about Dinara plays on court No. 2, Venus plays on court No. 1, and girls who’s not very high seeded they play Centre.
I respect them. They’re great players, for sure. But this is what’s weird for me what’s their strategy was of the plan of making the schedule. This is what surprised me a little bit.
But, you know, in Wimbledon you have to expect anything (laughter). So this is Wimbledon. That’s why it’s special for everybody. It’s special for me, as well. That’s why I like it, because it’s unpredictable.
Q. Besides partying until 6:00 a.m. in the morning, what have you been doing?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I haven’t been partying (laughter). Now I know you guys. You’re gonna put 6:00, and everybody thinks, and how she can play that well? I’m not that good.
Q. I’m just wondering what you do with your days off or your days when you’re not playing in London.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Like today I was very excited they put me first actually, because I wanted to try to finish quick and I want to go shopping. Because staying in the Village, it’s great. Close to the court, but there’s not much to do.
So I’m getting very bored in the afternoons after my matches and practices. I want to go shopping and see London. Not tourism though, because you get tired. I need just two, three hours to spend some cash.
Q. So you’re going to buy some clothes so you look better at those parties that go until 6:00 in the morning?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I’m not prepared for those parties. I’m always good for those. But I just like to buy clothes, to buy things. Also this year I was so terrible. I was maybe too focused on my tennis work then I didn’t buy any presents for nobody.
I mean, if I want to buy present, I buy present. It’s not problem for me. Like for my hitting partner I say, I won this, so you get the present.
But my mom had a birthday, I didn’t buy anything; my good friend had a birthday, I didn’t buy. I’m like, yeah, yeah, I’m giving you a present soon. I am working on it. I look embarrassed, so I need to go and get some presents.
Q. So Sharapova’s coach was upset years ago that he didn’t get a Mercedes. Is that the kind of gifts you get?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: No (laughter). I don’t earn as much as Maria to get Mercedes. I gave my first car to my coach, which I had. I just said, Okay, you have it. It’s not a problem, because I did not want to sell it anyway.
For me it’s not a problem if I have.
Q. Where do you go shopping? Where will you go, what kind of places?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, I went shopping once to Harrod’s already once, and they send me to another street here. I still need to get to know London better because I spend too much time probably on the courts. I have to sneak out of here.
Q. You were very satisfied obviously after winning Roland Garros. What do you want to do now?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Keep enjoying my game. I keep it simple. In the French Open they say, Oh, what’s your goal? I don’t want to set goals.
I just want to enjoy. When I enjoy it, I play at my best, and this is what I want to do.
Q. Do you think you can make it two Grand Slams in a row?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Why not? If I wouldn’t believe, why should I be here sitting in front of you? I definitely can be, but it’s going to be much more difficult for me to do it here than Paris. I realize that.
Q. Obviously the French Open win was great for you, but as you said yourself, pretty devastating for Dinara. Have you seen her around here, and how do you think she’s rebounded from that?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I just had a long chat with her in the locker room. That’s not why I was late, though. But straight after the match I had a chat with her. It was fine.
We talked about our private stuff, as well. We are good friends, you know, and she’s fine.
Q. She seems pretty happy.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Why shouldn’t be? You know, you should enjoy. It’s past and she’s No. 1 and she should enjoy.
Q. So it’s sort of obvious that Maria and Ivanovic and some of the others get a lot of the publicity and the contracts and so forth, and yet you’ve had tremendous results and not quite that kind of buzz and contracts. Do you have any thoughts about that, on that gap between you?
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: Well, you know, it’s not my problem to think about it. My problem is to get my best results I can, and this is it. I’m happy who I am and I’m happy the way I am.
I am enjoying myself on the court, and for me it’s most important thing. What they get, I never look at another basket, you know, I look at my basket. I don’t know what they get, so….
Q. You sound very comfortable with that.
SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA: I’m all right. Maybe I used to care more, but that’s when I was younger. But why should I? Why should I look at somebody’s house or somebody else’s garden? I’m happy with what I have. If I want to have more, I just have to play better. This is for me the key.
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.
Wow, you get really close to the action at the Eastbourne practice courts. I want to go to there. Here's Momo and Nads practicing.
Nads and Bethanie
AI practicing with Cahill.
Sveta and CSN.
Cones, Snot Rocket, and the Rads.
Rad, Stosur, and I can only assume Stubbsy there in the background.
JJ with, and I know I'm going out on a limb here, *not* Ricardo Sanchez.
"It took me a while to get the rhythm out there. And then for some reason from staying so low and getting those low balls my legs got so tight and so tired, and especially in the third set I didn't have the energy in my legs anymore to bend down."
"I played for two months on clay and I have it almost in my blood. I don't have to think about the tactics. I know how to defend, how to attack and what time; how to serve and this and that. And on this surface, everything is opposite. For me, it's too much to change in three days."The less shocking upset of the day was Momo over Bepa in three. Nice to see that while Bepa has added much needed strapping to her ankles, she has not gone away from her Casper routine. I'm just shocked her towel wasn't blue. Then she'd be *completely* invisible, just like she likes it.
Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) d. (2/WC) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 60 63
Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) d. (3) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 67(5) 63 62
Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) d. (4) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 63 16 63
(6) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 63 62
(8) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Urszula Radwanska (POL) 61 61
Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Gisela Dulko (ARG) 63 61
(Q) Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Ai Sugiyama (JPN) 67(6) 75 64
(Q) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (Q) Jarmila Groth (SVK) 76(7) 61
Singles - First Round
(1) Dinara Safina (RUS) d. Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 60 63
Nathalie Dechy (FRA) d. (2) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 63 36 63
Alona Bondarenko (UKR) d. Stéphanie Foretz (FRA) 64 67(1) 63
Doubles - First Round
Lefèvre/Védy (FRA/FRA) d. (WC) Flipkens/Kerkhove (BEL/NED) 62 64
Interesting stuff from Pete Bodo on Sveta's rising from the ashes with a little help of the Jekyll and Hydes of tennis: Roger and Marat.
One of the people she said that to was her friend and confidant, Marat Safin. "I said, 'Marat,' I don't know, maybe I should not play. He said, 'Okay, are you crazy or what? You have unbelievable opportunities. You just have to play.'"
Kuznetsova says that was the worst period for her, and it lasted for most of last year. She really felt the urge to move back to Russia, to Moscow, a longing that panicked some of her acquaintances and advisers. "I had so many people telling me, you won't be able to play here (Moscow), you won't be able to train here, because it's too much information; it's too much destruction, too much night life, or whatever."
Kuznetsova lost in the first round at the Olympic Games in Beijing; given her deeply-felt and oft-expressed patriotism, it was a devastating blow. She lingered at the Olympics, and one day took a gaggle of Russian female basketball players to see the tennis. At the facility, they saw Roger Federer and appealed to Sveta to get Federer to pose for a picture with them.
Sveta rolled her eyes, just remembering the incident. "You know how I love Roger," she said, "and I never came to him myself to ask for a picture. But it's easier to do something like that for other people so I did go to him. And I was looking at him and he was looking at me and he said, 'What do you want?' "
When Sveta told him, he said, 'Sure, no problem,' and posed with the girls. He also had a 10-minute talk with Kuznetsova - the first conversation she'd ever had with the icon. She told him about the terrible time she was having making a decision about where to live, and she says he told her: "Look, it's up to you. You can only depend on yourself. You can control it. If you can live in Moscow and concentrate, do this. If you cannot. . . only you can judge, you know."
Kuznetsova's friendship with Marat introduces a strange element in this saga, and one that may seem not entirely fair to Dinara. But Kuznetsova sees no reason for Safina to feel threatened or uncomfortable about her closeness with Marat. "There are many, many more tournaments, and she (Dinara) works very hard, she will win it one day. But it's true, me and Marat, we're similar - we hang out a lot, we talk about serious stuff. We go to places - I don't even want to get into what kind of places. . .
"So maybe I am more like him than is Dinara, yet she looks unbelievable like him. She walks like him, her backhand is like Marat's, her hands. . . I don't think she has pressure because of him. She is No. 1 now and anyway I always say pressure is something that just you can put on yourself. So Marat and I, we still friends. He help me a lot last year, with agents and stuff. And he texted me after the match, 'Congratulations.'"
Sigh. I wonder what he texted to Dina. If anything at all. Speculative Sad Face.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Pete article if it didn't veer towards the uncomfortable:
But it was about her own downside that the new Roland Garros champion was most articulate when she sat before the world press, wearing a white sports jacket with some sort of sparkles embedded in the fabric, her streaked blonde hair still pulled back in that pony tail that may be the perfect symbol of her makeover. And that's a transformation that may be deep-reaching.
We don't like to put too much stock in appearances, but sometimes they tell us a great deal. And for long periods in the interim since Sveta won that first major in New York, she seemed oblivious to how she looked, to the point that she sometimes seemed disheveled, unprepared, unprofessional. This mattered because the carelessness and the lack of self-respect that it implied showed in her patchy, undisciplined game - and her results. And while the implications of all this may be discomfiting, it's undeniable that tennis players, especially top players, are generally very fastidious about their appearance and, if anything, overly conscious of style, grooming, and fashion. Their workplace, after all, is in the public eye.
This isn't the most comfortable issue for anyone, including Kuznetsova. When she was asked if it was true that she had no contract with Fila (whose garment she wears), she just replied, "No comment." How can you blame her? Wouldn't you feel a little hurt if you were, like Kuznetsova, a perennial Top 5 player, and nobody thought enough of your overall talent and appeal to offer you a contract
So Sveta took a shower, bought herself an Armani suit, put a little rouge on, and she won a Slam. I had no idea it was *that* easy. I guess the reason Dina lost is because she's been wearing the same ugly pink t-shirt everyday for the past year. If only Z knew that. That thing would have been burned a long time ago.
Also, Sveta doesn't have a sponsor? How'd I miss that one?
Annnnnnd... it all ends here.
It says a lot about how much I like and respect The Kuz that seeing her not choke and eventually raise that trophy almost completely mitigates my absolute depression that Dina had to be the one to lose. Obviously the story will be about Dina and how crushing this loss was. More on that later.
But suffice it to say that Sveta deserved this. She put pressure on Dina from the first point and signaled that she was there to play. She yanked her all over the place and as the pressure of the moment mounted it was Sveta who remained calm and Dina who choked. God that hurts to write.
But I want to make sure that we all spend some time tipping our cap to the oft-forgotten Russian. She really has had to battle back from mental demons to get here. As much shit as I feel like Ana's had to endure over the past year for being a head casey one Slam wonder who has the talent but can't seem to get out of her own way, Kuz has been dealing with it for five years now, and her headcasey failures seem to have been even more high profile (at least to us tennis fans).
This one just felt sweet. It felt right. Even if it was at the expense of Dina.
So congrats to Sveta, 2009 Roland Garros Champion. May the sound of the hip hop you blare while nakedly running down the Champs Elysees be the rhythmic signal to all of your deserved return to the upper echelons of the WTA. I wonder if they'll let her drink a 2-Liter of Pepsi out of that thing.