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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Russian Olympic team

After the latest Fed Cup matches I think Sharapova has established herself as the leader of the Russian Olympic team for Beijing. This is quite a turn around, considering that she was on the fringe not long ago. Shamil Tarpischev is a genius in his persistent courting of Sharapova since last year. He knows Maria is a true contender who can bring home the medal, regardless of her motivation to play for Russia.

Anna Chakvetadze has also established herself as a strong member of the team who can step up to extraordinary circumstances when needed. As a plus, she gets along with Sharapova so team harmony is not a problem.

With the two singles spots filled by Maria and Anna, the situation becomes interesting. Kuznetsova definitely has to be included because of her high ranking and previous achievement. After that, there's not a clear 4th wheel.

Dementieva - Not in good condition and not sure she would want to be the 4th wheel with Sharapova as the leader. Has a cold relation with Maria in the past.

Safina - Has proven unreliable and mentally weak, and has not contributed much to Fed Cup.

Petrova - Not in good condition and known to be mentally weak at critical moments.

Kudryatseva, Vesnina, Dushevina, etc. - Not medal contender whatsoever.

I think this leaves Maria Kirilenko as the 4th wheel. This is a good choice because Maria K gets along with all other 3 members on the team. Moreover, Kirilenko has actually won a tournament in Beijing so she will feel home there. She can also pair up with Sharapova to play doubles, although I guess Tarpischev's plan is to have Chakvetadze+Vesnina.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 08:16 AM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

it goes by ranking? not by choice doesnt it???

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

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Originally Posted by ...[Harvs]... View Post
it goes by ranking? not by choice doesnt it???
Exactly. By post-RG rankings. Sharapova, Kuznetsova and Chakvetadze are safe picks even now. Dementieva most probably will be the 4th player.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

It will be Dementieva or Petrova, for sure. Too bad it's gotta be one or the other. Their potential Paris QF will speak volumes if it happens.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 08:28 AM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

It won't matter. It's Serena's turn to win it.

Only the greats have won the Gold medal recently: Graf, Capriati, Davenport, V.Williams and Henin.

Sharapova will have a better chance in London '12.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

Capriati greater than Sharapova ??
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 11:19 AM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

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Capriati greater than Sharapova ??
Of course not. You're responding to a lunatic.
On the mens side, all kinds of nonslam winners win gold medals.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

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Originally Posted by LudwigDvorak View Post
It will be Dementieva or Petrova, for sure. Too bad it's gotta be one or the other. Their potential Paris QF will speak volumes if it happens.
Maybe Kvitova will change nationality and play for Russia.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
It won't matter. It's Serena's turn to win it.

Only the greats have won the Gold medal recently: Graf, Capriati, Davenport, V.Williams and Henin.

Sharapova will have a better chance in London '12.
Serena's turn to win it? I didn't know the WTA were polite enough to take it in turns. I hope you put a lot of money on this. A lot of money. Your money.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 01:41 PM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

Serena is gonna withdraw anyway. She'll hurt her nails.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 01:42 PM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

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Serena is gonna withdraw anyway. She'll hurt her nails.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 01:44 PM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

It's amazing that Russia can have almost a supersquad - like those American basketball teams in the 1990s.

Doesn't mean they will the golds of course, but they are serious contenders.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

Will Sharapova be able to play doubles?? Her doubles ranking is abysmal right??

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 03:17 PM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

They have plenty of doubles players. I hope Vera gets in for doubles. She won the USO and Wimbledon mixed.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2008, 03:21 PM
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Re: Russian Olympic team

Sharapova-Kuzzy-Chakve and Elena V especially for doubles probably. Maybe Elena D. could sneak in depending on form.
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