Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: sailing my ship
To a degree, she has a point. That is not to say that Anna wasn't a good tennis player or didn't win matches without a fight. But I do think that Anna, especially at the beginning of her career, had a certain aura of invicibility. I mean, what player wants to play against someone they know the entire crowd is cheering for? A player who could still lose, but make more money than her? I think Elena is referring to the psychological factor there, and in that respect, she is right. I remember that her match against Anna was very close, like 7-5, 7-6. I think Elena led in both sets, but lost.
As for Sharapova, she still needs to develop a game that works on other surfaces besides grass. Anna's game, at 17, was better developed than Maria's. However, Maria does have time on her side, but if she doesn't develop quickly, the game will leave her behind.
Personally, I think Elena has a problem with any Russian player who trains outside Russia. There is a real issue with patriotism with her, and she views Kournikova and Sharapova as US sellouts. I really think that is the issue.