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View Full Version : NYTimes today: "Polish Diaspora Fills Women’s Top Ranks "


aguy9797
Jun 19th, 2009, 03:47 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/20/sports/tennis/20iht-srpoles.html?_r=1&ref=tennis

Special Report: Wimbledon
Polish Diaspora Fills Women’s Top Ranks
CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
Published: June 19, 2009

The primary languages of the women’s tennis tour — English, Spanish and French — have been joined in recent years by Russian and Chinese.

But there is a new language making inroads on the practice courts and in player restaurants and even in the later rounds of important tournaments: Polish.

“It’s good to not all the time have to speak in English on the tour,” said the Polish star Agnieszka Radwanska, 20. “It’s good to get the chance to speak your own language; it makes you more comfortable.”

The 11th-ranked Radwanska, Poland’s biggest tennis star since Wojtek Fibak in the 1970s and ’80s, has plenty of opportunity these days. And not just because her younger sister, Urszula, 18, who was also a Wimbledon junior champion, has been making progress and is now 71st in the world.

There is also an expanding group of players of Polish origin who are making a significant impact, led by Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada and Sabine Lisicki of Germany.

All three are the Polish-speaking daughters of first-generation Polish immigrants. “We all hang out,” Wozniak said. “It’s a good connection.”

All three are in the top 50 in the world, with Wozniacki, 18, leading the way at No. 9 and Wozniak, 21, at a career-high ranking of 23 after her surprise run to the fourth round of the French Open.

No wonder fan sites tracking the Polish tennis diaspora have begun to emerge on the Web. There have been others worth tracking of late, too, including Olivia Rogowska, an Australian teenager who is the daughter of Polish immigrants, who reached the second round in Paris this year after receiving a wild card.

“I think the immigrant mentality is a powerful thing,” Wozniak said by telephone from Eastbourne, England, this week. “They are people who will do anything to achieve their dreams. They have this very strong desire to accomplish goals. They are perfectionist and work hard, because of this mentality. I know, because I have it, and I know how much I never want to give up.”

Though she looked overwhelmed by the occasion in Paris when she lost to Serena Williams on center court in the fourth round, Wozniak has quickly recovered her cool and rhythm. In Eastbourne, she upset Svetlana Kuznetsova, the new French Open champion, in two lopsided sets and had a semifinal date with Wozniacki on Friday.

Wozniacki and Wozniak, whose similar surnames have long been a source of confusion in the junior and now senior ranks, are both the children of former Polish soccer players. Wozniacki’s father played professionally in Poland and Denmark, which explains how his daughter happened to become Denmark’s first truly world-class women’s tennis player. Her mother played volleyball for the Polish national team.

Wozniak’s father also played soccer professionally in Poland before immigrating to Montreal in 1983 with his wife and their first daughter, Dorota, who would become a top junior in Canada and later played tennis for San Diego State University.

Aleksandra was born in Montreal but has made several visits to Poland.

“We live in a different world,” she said. “I was born in Montreal, but definitely I was growing up Polish. So I feel pretty much I have a strong connection to my Polish heritage. But I feel Canadian and definitely am proud of being a Canadian and representing the country all over the world in a sport where there are not many Canadians anymore.”

Lisicki, a 19-year-old born in Germany, has followed a more established path to her world ranking of 43. For the last several years she has trained regularly with her father as her coach at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida.

Fibak, an entrepreneur and art collector, now does occasional tennis commentary for Polish television. For him, Agnieszka Radwanska is the new Martina Hingis. She is “a natural mover who understands the geometry of the court,” he said. Wozniacki is in the same vein as Maria Sharapova, he said, not because of her recent shoulder problems but because “she’s hitting so hard off both wings.” Lisicki, for Fibak, “moves and hits like Kim Clijsters,” the former world No. 1 from Belgium.

aguy9797
Jun 19th, 2009, 03:51 PM
I heard Caroline and Aleksandra speak Polish, did not know Sabine Lisicki speaks Polish as well, this is a nice bunch of cool girls and good tennis players, good luck at Wimbledon

hellas719
Jun 19th, 2009, 04:48 PM
I knew Caroline spoke Polish. Had no idea Wozniak and Lisicki did too.
They're similat to the Hungarians. There's the naturalized Hungarians like Szavay and Czink and then there's the Hungarians from abroad like Gallovits, Bacsinszky, and Seles.

olivero
Jun 19th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Kerber also speaks Polish from what I've heard.

It's funny that all of them became successful moreless in the same time.

Dexter
Jun 19th, 2009, 05:04 PM
Alicia speaks Polish as well. Too bad she's not playing tennis anymore. :(

hablo
Jun 19th, 2009, 05:08 PM
“We live in a different world,” she said. “I was born in Montreal, but definitely I was growing up Polish. So I feel pretty much I have a strong connection to my Polish heritage. But I feel Canadian and definitely am proud of being a Canadian and representing the country all over the world in a sport where there are not many Canadians anymore.”

Awww. :awww::hearts:

Mahon_Lorcan
Jun 19th, 2009, 05:16 PM
Bondarenko sisters can speak Polish too:)

olivero
Jun 19th, 2009, 05:41 PM
Bondarenko sisters can speak Polish too:)

but they're not Polish ;)

Freakan
Jun 19th, 2009, 08:53 PM
Kerber, Wozniak and Wozniacki are fluent in Polish, not sure about Sabine..

Piotr'ek
Jun 19th, 2009, 09:39 PM
Bondarenko sisters can speak Polish too:)

Not true. Alicia aint speak polish either.

pumokel
Jun 19th, 2009, 10:51 PM
Not true.

What language is this then?
http://www.interia.tv/rozne,,0,1,1311658

Vaidisova Ruled
Jun 19th, 2009, 10:53 PM
Fibak, an entrepreneur and art collector, now does occasional tennis commentary for Polish television. FWozniacki is in the same vein as Maria Sharapova, he said, not because of her recent shoulder problems but because “she’s hitting so hard off both wings.” Lisicki, for Fibak, “moves and hits like Kim Clijsters,” the former world No. 1 from Belgium.
Are you sure ?

Anyway, Poland has really some good players, too bad only Radwanska's sisters represent them officially. I Didn't know Rogowska has polish roots.

Is there any good polish junior (who represents Poland) now? I know Kasia Piter but she is not really playing good lately

Vaidisova Ruled
Jun 19th, 2009, 10:56 PM
Kerber, Wozniak and Wozniacki are fluent in Polish, not sure about Sabine..
I remember reading here, at the end of last season, that there was a girl who speaks polish, who was playing at Krakow (itf) and she was saying that she considers that maybe someday she will get polish nationality. Who was that?

frenchie
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:02 PM
Are russian and polish similar because it sounds very similar to me
That could explain the Bondarenko sisters' fluent polish

Why did someone say that Szavay is a naturalized hungarian BTW?
where is she from?

aguy9797
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:03 PM
I remember reading here, at the end of last season, that there was a girl who speaks polish, who was playing at Krakow (itf) and she was saying that she considers that maybe someday she will get polish nationality. Who was that?

one of the german girls, her mother is Polish, but not sure which one

frenchie
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:04 PM
I think it's Kerber

aguy9797
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:06 PM
Are russian and polish similar because it sounds very similar to me
That could explain the Bondarenko sisters' fluent polish

Why did someone say that Szavay is a naturalized hungarian BTW?
where is she from?

Bondarenkos speak Ukrainian not Russian.

Bondarenko used to live in Poland, I remeber her interview after AO 09, she said something about going to high school at Kedzierzyn.

I think also Petrova speaks Polish, she used to live in Krakow for a few years

frenchie
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:08 PM
Russian, belarussian and ukrainian are the same (except few words and pronounciation)

like slovak and czech

aguy9797
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:09 PM
Russian, belarussian and ukrainian are the same (except few words and pronounciation)

like slovak and czech

sorry, but Ukrainian and Russian are separate leanguages, so is Czech and Slovak :)

frenchie
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:14 PM
sorry, but Ukrainian and Russian are separate leanguages, so is Czech and Slovak :)

Yeah just like english and american english;)

aguy9797
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:16 PM
Yeah just like english and american english;)


I would say .....:help:, unless you have a Ph.D in linguistics and are creating a new thoery :)

Freakan
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:20 PM
Not true. Alicia aint speak polish either.

:rolleyes:

Kerber considers playing for Poland, her grandfather has a tennis centre in Poland.

-Sonic-
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:26 PM
Are russian and polish similar because it sounds very similar to me
That could explain the Bondarenko sisters' fluent polish

Why did someone say that Szavay is a naturalized hungarian BTW?
where is she from?

Now, I know nothing concrete so I may be corrected - but I used to work with a Polish girl and she just started selling to people in Russian and she said that that they were similar

hablo
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:57 PM
Yeah just like english and american english;)

And what makes you the expert on this topic? :p:tape:

Dexter
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:57 PM
Are russian and polish similar because it sounds very similar to me
That could explain the Bondarenko sisters' fluent polishBondarenkos used to train in Poland, in the junior years if I'm not mistaken. They've spent a lot of time in Poland.
Btw I haven't heard Bondarenko speaking Ukrainian. She probably can, but her on court tantrums are usually in Russian. I've heard her talking to Katya in Russian too.

Russian, belarussian and ukrainian are the same (except few words and pronounciation)

like slovak and czechI'm guessing you speak them all fluently, so you can tell us, right? :lol:
It's like saying Spanish and Portugues are the same.

hablo
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:58 PM
Bondarenkos used to train in Poland, in the junior years if I'm not mistaken. They've spent a lot of time in Poland.
Btw I haven't heard Bondarenko speaking Ukrainian. She probably can, but her on court tantrums are usually in Russian. I've heard her talking to Katya in Russian too.

I'm guessing you speak all them fluently, so you can tell us, right? :lol:
It's like saying Spanish and Portugues are the same.

;)

frenchie
Jun 19th, 2009, 11:59 PM
grrr you know what I mean

Ukrainian people can easily understand russian
Czech people can understand slovak
Luxembourgish people can understand german...

Dexter
Jun 20th, 2009, 12:05 AM
grrr you know what I mean

Ukrainian people can easily understand russian
Czech people can understand slovak
Luxembourgish people can understand german...And Chinese can understand English... :shrug:

gumoll
Jun 20th, 2009, 12:06 AM
Lisicki speaks polish but not so good ;)

and Nadia understands polish :p

Kerber speaks very well polish :)

fouc
Jun 20th, 2009, 01:01 AM
BTW, anyone knows what about Kerber playing for Poland? She was pretty confident about it in Kraków, she just needed to wait till her contract expires :confused:
And she was playing such a wonderful tennis there! Def. (1) Alisa Kleybanova in 1st round and then Barbora Zahlavova- Strycova in QF 6-0 6-1

The Kaz
Jun 20th, 2009, 01:14 AM
And Chinese can understand English... :shrug:

Errr...No, i don't think so ;)

Not without extensive study can a chinese person understand ANY english and vice versa

LeonHart
Jun 20th, 2009, 01:21 AM
I think that's very cool that some European languages are the same, so even if you're from a different nationality you can understand each other. In Asia it's quite different...Mandarin speakers won't be able to understand Cantonese, and vice versa. Same with Taiwanese. All three dialects use the same writing characters but when spoken it's alot different. Japanese also borrows some Chinese characters but sounds different when spoken.

Even sometimes speaking the same dialect is very difficult to understand. To Taiwanese, people in China sound like they have a very thick accent (kind of like British people to America though I'm sure for them it's the same other way around).

Szczecin
Jun 20th, 2009, 01:28 AM
I think that's very cool that some European languages are the same, so even if you're from a different nationality you can understand each other. In Asia it's quite different...Mandarin speakers won't be able to understand Cantonese, and vice versa. Same with Taiwanese. All three dialects use the same writing characters but when spoken it's alot different. Japanese also borrows some Chinese characters but sounds different when spoken.

Even sometimes speaking the same dialect is very difficult to understand. To Taiwanese, people in China sound like they have a very thick accent (kind of like British people to America though I'm sure for them it's the same other way around).


Thats funny actually...


As a non-native Mandarin speaker I actually find that Taiwanese Mandarine is less accented and more standard than A lot of the mainland dialects... (Beijing, Shanghainese)

Joana
Jun 20th, 2009, 01:42 AM
grrr you know what I mean

Ukrainian people can easily understand russian
Czech people can understand slovak
Luxembourgish people can understand german...

That's absolutely doesn't equate to "exactly the same except for a few words". The Ukrainians can understand Russian because they are totally surrounded by it, Russian is in fact the dominant language in Ukrainian urban areas. Most Russians I spoke to claim they have difficulties understanding Ukrainian as they rarely have a chance to hear it.

Every time I've heard the Bondarenkos talk (not that often, though) they've spoke Russian.

hellas719
Jun 20th, 2009, 10:38 PM
Are russian and polish similar because it sounds very similar to me
That could explain the Bondarenko sisters' fluent polish

Why did someone say that Szavay is a naturalized hungarian BTW?
where is she from?

I made a typo, sorry:o
I meant national Hungarians, I was a little tired yesterday morning:p

Caipirinha Guy
Jun 20th, 2009, 11:46 PM
Is there any good polish junior (who represents Poland) now? I know Kasia Piter but she is not really playing good lately

Of course:

Klaudia Gawlik #599 (1992 year)
1 win of 10k
2 semifinals of 10k
biggest win on tour: Darija Jurak

Paula Kania #757 (1992 year)
1 semifinal of 10k
2RQ of Warsaw WTA
biggest wins on tour: Sarah Gronert, Olga Savchuk, Verdiana Verardi

Sandra Zaniewska #829 (1992 year)
1 quarterfinal of 25k
biggest win on tour: Soledad Esperon, Laura Robson

Katarzyna Kawa #869 (1992 year)
1 final of 10k
biggest wins on tour: Karolina Kosińska, Romana Tabakova, Vivienne Vierin

Magda Linette #9999 [31 in juniors] (1992 year)
no success on ITF Women's tour yet
biggest wins on tour: Karen Barbat, Martina Trevisan, Beatrice Capra, Chanel Simmonds

to be contined