My rant against Russian Tennis Fed. & Shamil Tarpischev
First, I would like to congratulate the Czech fed cup team on their well deserved victory. Petra has had a fantastic year befitting world #1. Kveta and Lucie Hradecka were grand slam doubles winners. And while Lucie Safarova struggled this past weekend, her crucial wins in singles against Belgium and Slovakia made all this possible. Congratulations!
That being said, I have a major issue with the Russian tennis federation and its coach Shamil Tarpischev. My problem is their treatment of Maria Kirilenko. Or more accurately, their shabby treatment of Maria Kirilenko while protecting their other players.
Mother Russia doesn’t like to lose and but when it does, someone has to be blamed. Of course, the clueless media will blame Maria because she lost twice. But that is so unfair because she was set up to fail!
Maria’s season was over after Luxembourg. She had shut down. Even wrote a personal message on her website indicating as much. There was even a candid photo of Maria and Elena Vesnina eating ice cream at some shopping mall photo booth. Then all of sudden, she is named to the Fed Cup team. Just days before the finals. Russia had already named Makarova as their 4th player. Makarova was not hurt. She was already in Moscow doing press. So why did all of sudden Russia pick Maria when she was obviously physically and mentally finished for the season?
Some people have said that the reason Maria hasn’t been picked by Tarpischev the last 5 years is because she didn’t really want to commit to fed cup. I guess now, we know that is not the truth. Even with severe lack of time for preparation and needing to refocus again mentally, Maria accepted the challenge. Little did Maria know that she was picked because they needed a scapegoat in case they lost to Czech Republic.
It is perverse to me how Tarpischev protects other Russian players at the expense of Maria. He plucked Maria away from the ice cream photo booth after 5 years absence in fed cup only to place her against the hottest player on the planet in Petra Kvitova. Maria was a sacrificial lamb!
Contrast that with their kid treatment of other players. Vera has a little “owie?” Ok, you can withdraw (so that Petra can’t spank you again!). Sveta lacks confidence? Ok, we’ll let you play against the weaker player first (Safarova) even though you were supposedly the team captain after Vera chickened out. We wouldn’t want Nastia’s young psyche to be damaged by Petra’s relentless onslaught….so you only face Safarova. We’ll let Kirilenko get slaughtered by Petra. Btw, isn’t the other “Maria” suppose to be Russian? WTF is her excuse for not being at the final? Please don’t even try to tell me that she is injured. We all know that was a fake injury so that she didn’t have to face the humiliation of going 0-3 at the YEC against Vika.
So Maria lost 2 and 2. WTF did you expect?
But what bothers me more than that loss is that she was thrown into the deciding rubber and expected to the savior. Kiri was the only player that had to prepare both singles and doubles. While the Czech team had weeks of preparation time, Maria & Elena were thrown together at the last minute, last second, last nanosecond to become a winning fed cup finals doubles team. They had 1 match together this year which was a R1 loss at Rome. What made Tarpischev think that all of sudden Kiri and Ves will gel in an instant and defeat doubles slam winners in Hradecka and Peschke??? What little preparation time Kiri had, she had to split it between her singles and doubles. This is what I mean by being set up to fail.
Russian Fed and Tarpischev made sure that had Russia lost, their reputation would not be tarnished. Their players would still be considered top fed cup players and Tarpischev would still be considered genius coach. It was all because of Kirilenko that they lost. Kirilenko lost twice. She is the blame.
If I was Maria Kirilenko, I would never play for Tarpischev again. Fucking backstabber!