First of all, to say Stosur is more popular than Maria in the US is just crazy talk. Second of all, I guess we've had different experiences because most people I talk to know who Maria is. They usually also know who Serena and Venus are(though not always by name) but I've rarely seen someone knowing who Serena and Venus are but not Masha.
When I went to the US Open two years ago people went CRAZY when Maria was practicing. They would hide in bushes just to see her. Lots of people also went to an outer court and stood on the highest row that looks over the practice courts to see her practice. We actually got kicked out of the court because so many people came just to see Maria practice.
I never said that Stosur was popular in the U.S. What I said was,
"some of them know who Stosur is. Apparently you have to either have a baby or beat Serena to be known amongst the masses here."
How in the world is that saying she is popular? You know after she beat Serena, the media beat that to death. Most people I know who don't follow tennis told me that they were shocked that some girl that no one ever heard of beat Serena. They had no clue that she was ranked 7 or 8 or whatever she was before that match. After that match, they knew who she was, even if they only knew her as the girl that beat Serena. I know I said later in that post or another post that the people who knew who Stosur was after that match will probably forget who she is in short time, which is, once again, not implying in any way that I think she is popular here.
As far as people hiding behind bushes to see Sharapova, I guess you missed the thousand times that I said that I'm not talking about tennis fans. If you've read the threads proclaiming Sharapova the biggest tennis icon ever, you would have seen that the argument is that she is extremely popular among non-tennis fans all over the world. I am guessing that the vast majority of people who actually buy tickets to the U.S. Open are tennis fans, and not just celebrity groupies who decided to spend a thousand dollars or more to see Maria from behind a bush. Also, I think there are lots of players who fans awarm around. When I went in 2010, they were stalking Clijsters, but I would never argue that that means that she is the greatest tennis icon in the world and that even non-tennis fans all over the world know who she is.
I think you are right that we have had different experiences, because the people that I know that do not follow tennis have no clue who Sharapova is. My tennis friends of course know who she is, and a few of them are big fans of hers. This might also be affected by the areas of the country we live in, but I'm just guessing on that. I'm in Chicago. Maybe if you're somewhere that has warmer weather year round, more people might play tennis and follow tennis, but again, I'm just guessing. Seriously the only non-tennis person I know who knows who she is only knows her because of a commercial, and when he saw that commercial, he didn't even know she was a tennis player.
Can we just finally end this conversation? I am not ever going to proclaim Sharapova the biggest tennis icon ever, known the world over by non-tennis fans. And I can't help that I think the fact that the FO final ratings were low is some indication that she is not as beloved in the U.S. as many think she is. You are free to disagree with that, and I couldn't care less. But you don't have to twist everything I say - like acting like I said Stosur is so popular in the U.S. - to try to prove a point. We just need to agree to disagree on this.