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Old Oct 12th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #211
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i'm not sure if this has been posted, but i thought everyone would like it (im at work so i can't post the picture):

Maria Sharapova pink Motorola RAZR
Sep 15 2005 - 03:42 PM ET | Motorola
We got up close and personal with the upcoming Maria Sharapova RAZR this week at a media event in New York. The all pink phone should be ready for the holiday season according to Motorola. It was first shown off at an analyst meeting in Chicago earlier this year. Pricing or availability hasn't been announced, but we expect this to be a hit with the diva crowd.

Features are the same as a normal RAZR, but the color is an extremely bright pink (the pictures can't really capture how bright the color is). Sharapova's signature is on the back.

Motorola previously said other colors will become available, but exactly what colors and the time frame is still unknown. The pink model will become the third color (after the original silver and more recent black).
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Old Oct 12th, 2005, 08:05 PM   #212
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thanks for all the articles!
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 12:39 AM   #213
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Thursday, October 13, 2005. Issue 3273. Page 1.
Moscow Times

Sharapova Escapes Defeat at Debut

By David Nowak
Staff Writer

Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

The roar from the Kremlin Cup crowd that accompanied Maria Sharapova when she stepped onto a Russian court for the first time in her professional career Wednesday was the welcome that she might have hoped for, crushing any lingering doubts about her place in the hearts of her compatriots.

But the victory that was expected over an unseeded German player began to look all but impossible after Anna-Lena Groenefeld thrashed her 6-1 in the first set and took a 4-1 lead in the second before twisting her left ankle and crumpling to the court.

Groenefeld took time out to have her ankle taped and then gamely tried to continue the match. With tears in her eyes and unable to put much weight on her left leg, she lost three straight points before retiring with the score 6-1, 4-2.

"I knew I didn't win this match fairly. I don't like such victories," Sharapova, the world No. 1, told reporters. "But strange things happen in tennis, and today's match was one of them."

Center court at the Olimpiisky Sports Complex was as packed for Wednesday's second-round match as for many a Kremlin Cup final. Russian tennis fans had come to get their first look at Sharapova, who was born in Siberia but has lived more than half of her 20 years in Florida.

Sergei Savushkin, 40, made the trip from Samara to welcome her home.

"Most people don't understand her, but I do. It's not true what some people say and what they write in the press sometimes, that she is somehow un-Russian," Savushkin said. "What do people expect? She was born in a communist state and realized that her best chance to make it in tennis was to go to America. This doesn't make her un-Russian, it makes her a champion -- our champion."

Another fan chimed in: "She's a real Russian. I am proud we have a world No. 1."

If she could take little pride in how she won the match, Sharapova said she was thrilled by the crowd support.

"All the shouting -- Masha, Masha, Masha -- and all in Russian. It was great," she said after the match.

As Sharapova fought back in the sixth game of the second set, trailing 1-4, the familiar booming cry of "Rossia!" rang out from the press stands for the first time during the match. Dmitry Grantsev, or at least his voice, is familiar to anyone who has attended a major tennis match in Russia because of his rallying cry.

He said he had waited until deep into the second set because "for the first time it felt like she had a chance."

"I usually feel when they need my support," said Grantsev, who has covered the Kremlin Cup for the Argumenty i Fakty weekly since the tournament began in 1990. He said he had asked most of the leading players whether they liked his cheering and "they say it helps, especially the men."

After the injury, though, it was Groenefeld who had much of the crowd's sympathy, with chants of "Anna, Anna" springing up in sections of the stands
From the beginning of the match, the 19th-ranked Groenefeld outplayed her more illustrious opponent at almost every turn. Her motif was a stinging crosscourt backhand for which Sharapova had no answer.

Sharapova's game as a power baseliner seemed to desert her, and she missed repeatedly with her forehand.

"I would be lying if I said that I was not nervous before the match," she told reporters.

The bigger problem, she said, was that she had been unable to find her rhythm, though that was normal after an injury. She had not played in two weeks, since pulling out of her semi-final with a chest injury at the China Open, where Groenefeld reached the final before losing to Maria Kirilenko.

Sharapova had beaten Groenefeld 6-2, 6-2 in their only previous encounter, at the German Open this year. And she said she had not given up during Wednesday's match.

"I don't think that I had totally lost the match. Sometimes you look at the score and you think it's all lost, but anything can happen in tennis, and sometimes people even come back from matchpoint down," she said.

Sharapova will face either Dinara Safina, younger sister of Marat Safin, or Australia's Samantha Stosur, who play Thursday, for a place in the semifinals.

To progress, she admitted she would have to play better than she did Wednesday.

"I need to feel like I am able to really play. I need to work on my footwork and the forehand especially," she said.
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 01:10 AM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xan
The roar from the Kremlin Cup crowd that accompanied Maria Sharapova when she stepped onto a Russian court for the first time in her professional career Wednesday was the welcome that she might have hoped for, crushing any lingering doubts about her place in the hearts of her compatriots.

So great to hear...
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 08:05 AM   #215
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Nice articles, thanks.
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 09:02 AM   #216
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hi guys,
how are ya doing?
it's rather an accident that i'm here, but that's whati found in today's edition of the new york times
so enjoy

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/13/in...cow.html?8hpib

Moscow Journal

Masha, Behold Your City! Now Don't Keep Us Guessing

By C. J. CHIVERS
Published: October 13, 2005

MOSCOW, Oct. 12 - When the world's top-ranked women's tennis player tossed a ball high overhead Wednesday evening, stretching her almost impossibly long frame backward before smashing the descending ball with such force that it briefly became a blurred yellow line, more than a tennis match had begun.

Associated Press

Maria Sharapova was welcomed back to Moscow at a hotel reception Monday night.

Sergei Kivrin for The New York Times

Maria Sharapova was warmly cheered in her Kremlin Cup match Wednesday, despite poor play, until her opponent, who was drubbing her, was injured.

This was a homecoming, or at least what passed for one in a nation that has seen so many of its citizens wander away in search of better lives.

After a jealously watched ascent in the United States, Maria Sharapova was making her professional domestic debut. A star had returned home.

Home is a malleable and contentious notion when the subject is Ms. Sharapova, who is a Russian citizen, having lived in Siberia from her birth in 1987 until she was 7. Her family had resettled there after escaping the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

But Ms. Sharapova long ago departed Siberia for Florida, and after 11 years as an expatriate in the United States has come to resemble nothing so much as a glamorous young American blonde. Her English is flawless. Her perfume line is with Macy's. Her Russian, which is natural, still manages to be sprinkled with English nouns.

And so her arrival this week for the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, a city she had passed through only once since she packed out, has marked more than just her first tournament on a Russian court. It has fueled a flirtation.

Russia has nervously, and giddily, been courting one of its own.

Or is she? Even as Ms. Sharapova has been treated this week to the warmest of public embraces, from fawning news coverage to a surprise state award, her intentions have been the subject of endless inquiry and speculation.

It is a courtship in which subtext almost always lurks. Yes, she was dotingly cheered throughout an unsettling 63 minutes on Wednesday, even as she played poorly, escaping what seemed certain defeat when lower ranked Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who was drubbing her, sprained her left ankle and had to quit.

But the unflagging encouragement - "Masha! Masha!" they chanted, using the Russian diminutive for her first name - could barely mask the questions.

Masha. Masha. Will she play on the Russian national team? Will she represent Russia in the Olympics? Or, dare mention it, will she become an American citizen, defecting with her talent and her fame to a land that has no shortage of stars? "If I could meet her I would say, 'Masha, ty nasha,' " said Valentina Tochilina, 42, who had taken her 15-year-old son out of school to see Ms. Sharapova's long-legged game.

Masha, ty nasha. It means, "Masha, you are ours."

More than just tennis has been at work in these twin bursts of adoration and worry. There is something deeper.

One key to understanding Russia is to be finely attuned to the workings of wounded pride. Talent and families have streamed over its borders since the Bolsheviks rose to power. This is the country that lost the cold war and the likes of Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The Moscow that Ms. Sharapova has arrived in is a place where the remains of Communism still sag. But it also glows in neon and thrums with ostentatious wealth.

And as a fresh face in the pantheon of the new Russian rich, Ms. Sharapova occupies a special and affecting place: she actually earned her spot, unlike so many of the others with the big black cars, about whom it is a popular article of faith that they scaled society's heights and piled up their fortunes through graft, swindles or theft.

This is not the nation Ms. Sharapova left behind 11 years back. Its contrasts test the eyes.

Behind one door, bar girls pour $25 cocktails while babushkas in dreary shops nearby sell half-liter bottles of vodka for the change in your pants. Moscow has more billionaires than Manhattan, and a populace that is largely still crowded into Soviet-era public housing.

The wealthy are noticed here, but often not much liked.

It is also a city where no matter what you ride, be it in a whining Zhiguli or a bulletproof Mercedes, you cannot help but notice Maria Sharapova, whose face gazes down from everywhere on billboards for the products she hypes.

And unlike so many of the other millionaires, she is authentically popular. It is not only because she has a composed presence that seems ahead of her years, or because she is an athletic perfectionist, or even because she wins. Her story appeals.

"Her situation was not easy in her family, and she rose all the way to the top," said Natalya Boldina, 14, who cut class to see her idol play. "That is why we respect her."

As for the questions that chase her, Ms. Sharapova has handled them all this week with ease. If she has misgivings about Russia, in all its disarray and disrepair, she has been smart enough to keep them to herself.

Yes, she told the packs of journalists, she wants a spot on the Russian national team. Yes, she hopes to play for Russia in the Olympics.

No, she said, she has never thought of becoming an American citizen. After advancing on Wednesday after the dominating Ms. Groenefeld hobbled off the court, she endeared herself further when she said she was considering starting a tennis school in Sochi, on the coast of the Black Sea.

The answers lined up with what her Russian fans wanted. But always there was that stubborn sense of trepidation.

Never mind how she plays in the next match.

The city is hers for the taking. And it wonders: will she accept?
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 01:33 PM   #217
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Fnny article, funny photos here.
http://www.kp.ru/daily/23595/45558/
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 11:21 PM   #218
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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 11:51 PM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily.
hi guys,
how are ya doing?
it's rather an accident that i'm here, but that's whati found in today's edition of the new york times
so enjoy

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/13/in...cow.html?8hpib

Moscow Journal

Masha, Behold Your City! Now Don't Keep Us Guessing

By C. J. CHIVERS
Published: October 13, 2005

MOSCOW, Oct. 12 - When the world's top-ranked women's tennis player tossed a ball high overhead Wednesday evening, stretching her almost impossibly long frame backward before smashing the descending ball with such force that it briefly became a blurred yellow line, more than a tennis match had begun.

Associated Press

Maria Sharapova was welcomed back to Moscow at a hotel reception Monday night.

Sergei Kivrin for The New York Times

Maria Sharapova was warmly cheered in her Kremlin Cup match Wednesday, despite poor play, until her opponent, who was drubbing her, was injured.

This was a homecoming, or at least what passed for one in a nation that has seen so many of its citizens wander away in search of better lives.

After a jealously watched ascent in the United States, Maria Sharapova was making her professional domestic debut. A star had returned home.

Home is a malleable and contentious notion when the subject is Ms. Sharapova, who is a Russian citizen, having lived in Siberia from her birth in 1987 until she was 7. Her family had resettled there after escaping the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

But Ms. Sharapova long ago departed Siberia for Florida, and after 11 years as an expatriate in the United States has come to resemble nothing so much as a glamorous young American blonde. Her English is flawless. Her perfume line is with Macy's. Her Russian, which is natural, still manages to be sprinkled with English nouns.

And so her arrival this week for the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, a city she had passed through only once since she packed out, has marked more than just her first tournament on a Russian court. It has fueled a flirtation.

Russia has nervously, and giddily, been courting one of its own.

Or is she? Even as Ms. Sharapova has been treated this week to the warmest of public embraces, from fawning news coverage to a surprise state award, her intentions have been the subject of endless inquiry and speculation.

It is a courtship in which subtext almost always lurks. Yes, she was dotingly cheered throughout an unsettling 63 minutes on Wednesday, even as she played poorly, escaping what seemed certain defeat when lower ranked Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who was drubbing her, sprained her left ankle and had to quit.

But the unflagging encouragement - "Masha! Masha!" they chanted, using the Russian diminutive for her first name - could barely mask the questions.

Masha. Masha. Will she play on the Russian national team? Will she represent Russia in the Olympics? Or, dare mention it, will she become an American citizen, defecting with her talent and her fame to a land that has no shortage of stars? "If I could meet her I would say, 'Masha, ty nasha,' " said Valentina Tochilina, 42, who had taken her 15-year-old son out of school to see Ms. Sharapova's long-legged game.

Masha, ty nasha. It means, "Masha, you are ours."

More than just tennis has been at work in these twin bursts of adoration and worry. There is something deeper.

One key to understanding Russia is to be finely attuned to the workings of wounded pride. Talent and families have streamed over its borders since the Bolsheviks rose to power. This is the country that lost the cold war and the likes of Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The Moscow that Ms. Sharapova has arrived in is a place where the remains of Communism still sag. But it also glows in neon and thrums with ostentatious wealth.

And as a fresh face in the pantheon of the new Russian rich, Ms. Sharapova occupies a special and affecting place: she actually earned her spot, unlike so many of the others with the big black cars, about whom it is a popular article of faith that they scaled society's heights and piled up their fortunes through graft, swindles or theft.

This is not the nation Ms. Sharapova left behind 11 years back. Its contrasts test the eyes.

Behind one door, bar girls pour $25 cocktails while babushkas in dreary shops nearby sell half-liter bottles of vodka for the change in your pants. Moscow has more billionaires than Manhattan, and a populace that is largely still crowded into Soviet-era public housing.

The wealthy are noticed here, but often not much liked.

It is also a city where no matter what you ride, be it in a whining Zhiguli or a bulletproof Mercedes, you cannot help but notice Maria Sharapova, whose face gazes down from everywhere on billboards for the products she hypes.

And unlike so many of the other millionaires, she is authentically popular. It is not only because she has a composed presence that seems ahead of her years, or because she is an athletic perfectionist, or even because she wins. Her story appeals.

"Her situation was not easy in her family, and she rose all the way to the top," said Natalya Boldina, 14, who cut class to see her idol play. "That is why we respect her."

As for the questions that chase her, Ms. Sharapova has handled them all this week with ease. If she has misgivings about Russia, in all its disarray and disrepair, she has been smart enough to keep them to herself.

Yes, she told the packs of journalists, she wants a spot on the Russian national team. Yes, she hopes to play for Russia in the Olympics.

No, she said, she has never thought of becoming an American citizen. After advancing on Wednesday after the dominating Ms. Groenefeld hobbled off the court, she endeared herself further when she said she was considering starting a tennis school in Sochi, on the coast of the Black Sea.

The answers lined up with what her Russian fans wanted. But always there was that stubborn sense of trepidation.

Never mind how she plays in the next match.

The city is hers for the taking. And it wonders: will she accept?
The Russians LOVE her awww....
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Old Oct 14th, 2005, 04:33 AM   #220
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Thx for the articles
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Old Oct 17th, 2005, 12:19 PM   #221
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http://www.mosnews.com/feature/2005/10/17/mariash.shtml

Quite an interesting article...superbly written
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Old Oct 17th, 2005, 12:22 PM   #222
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...also http://www.mosnews.com/news/2005/10/...rapleave.shtml
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Old Oct 17th, 2005, 02:13 PM   #223
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Maria Sharapova holds her award from the Russian Tennis Federation for Russia’s best player in 2004-2005 / Photo: AP

No Sweet Home for Maria Sharapova in Russia

Created: 17.10.2005

Lisa Vronskaya

MosNews

Maria Sharapova is young, beautiful, rich and successful. To crown it all, she is Russian, even if she has spent most of her life in the U.S. So what is wrong with us here in Russia? Why, instead of feeling proud of her, are we gloating with joy to see her ousted from her first homeland tournament?

I am not sure if it is typical of Russians only, but we seem to be completely incapable of feeling pride for our successful compatriots. Instead, we turn green with envy and rejoice at their failures.

Maria Sharapova, the first-ever Russian tennis player to top the WTA ratings, recently awarded a top sports title in Russia, was ousted from Russia’s pro tournament Friday as she lost in the Kremlin Cup quarter-finals to Dinara Safina, the sister of another Russian tennis star, Marat Safin.

Sharapova had been forced to struggle even to make it to the quarters. Earlier, she was awarded victory in the game with Anna-Lena Groenefeld only because the German player withdrew with an ankle injury.

What beats me is the gloating delight with which Sharapova’s failure was reported on the Russian television and in the local press. Her Russian rivals must be happy too. One only needs to recall how just a year ago, at last year’s Fed Cup finals in Moscow, Anastasia Myskina said she would stop playing for Russia if Sharapova was invited to join the team. U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and the rest of Russia’s Fed Cup team sided with Myskina.

“I think this year’s team has a great spirit and all the girls are very supportive of each other,” the then world number five said. “I don’t know if we’re going to have the same camaraderie in the future.”

Kuznetsova also added spice to the long-running saga of “us against them” by publicly acknowledging her dislike of Sharapova. When asked who was the most popular Russian player worldwide, she said with a wry grin: “Sharapova of course —- but I don’t know if you would call her Russian though. She is more American than Russian. She speaks Russian with a coarse accent.”

True, Sharapova speaks Russian with an accent but what would you expect from someone who was taken out of Russia as a small child and spent most of her life in an English-speaking country. Nevertheless, she says she feels like a true Russian. “Even in the U.S. I feel like a Russian,” she said upon her arrival in Moscow this month.

What makes her even more worthy of respect is that despite her U.S. upbringing and the seeming distance between herself and her homeland she is still willing to play in and for Russia. Considering the attitude of other players and the belligerence she is met with the young lady might as well play for the United States, where she has been trained to become what she is now.

Remarkably, before the opening of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Sharapova said: “I want to play for Russia, I definitely want to play for Russia in Fed Cup competition.” Unlike international news agencies who reported Sharapova’s willingness in principle to play for the Russian team, local media focused on her statement where she said: “I just don’t know when I’ll be ready to make my Fed Cup debut…I’m not yet physically ready to play for the team. Even without it I play too much tennis for my age. I don’t know how I am going to feel next year and cannot promise anything, although we have got an agreement with Shamil Tarpishchev.”

But if she does join the team it could spell trouble for her, her potential teammates have hinted.

Maria Sharapova will never become another Anna Kournikova, and here I cannot but agree with Shamil Tarpishchev, the president of the Russian Tennis Federation who told reporters on Friday that Sharapova will not follow in the footsteps of Anna Kournikova and exchange sport for advertising contracts and show business.

“Never. She is bent on results,” Tarpishchev said answering a reporter’s question about Sharapova’s future. He added that Sharapova had a very stable psychology. “Sharapova has a phenomenal nervous system. She is within herself, such people are rare. That is why she has not been ’star-struck’,” the Russian tennis boss said.

Sharapova, with her top-model looks and first place in the WTA rating, got over $18 million in advertising contracts after winning Wimbledon in 2004. By many accounts she has become the biggest earner in women’s sport.

But Russian people detest winners and big earners. Someone who is rich in this country is seen by many as more of a fraud than a hard worker. Over the years of Soviet rule people learned that working hard brought no results, while theft did. Few are willing to work hard, it has always been that way.

People are envious of others’ success and are happy to see them lose. I am sure that Maria Sharapova does not need my sympathy and support, she is a strong person and, I hope, is able to ignore those who wish her ill. I have never been infatuated with her, for, all in all, tennis is not something I really care about.

But I have grown to respect her lately. After winning so many tournaments, here in Moscow she has proved that she knows — unlike some other Russian players — how to lose with dignity.

“I knew I didn’t win this match fairly. I don’t like such victories,” Sharapova said after being awarded victory in the match with Groenefeld. “But strange things do happen in tennis and today’s match was one of them.”

And still, I would wish her all the best of luck and hope she retains her ratings for years ahead, and that she plays for the Fed Cup team one day.
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Old Oct 17th, 2005, 02:14 PM   #224
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Her passion was real as Maria Sharapova (center) sang the refrain to the popular song by group Umaturman "I've so been waiting for you,Vova," right to guitaist Vladimir Kristovsky (left).
Photo: Valery Levitin


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Oct. 17, 2005


Maria Sharapova Sings at Reception in Her Honor

Honors

Tennis player Maria Sharapova was in Moscow for Kremlin Cup only came out into society after a week. Finally, there was a reception in her honor at the Ararat Park Hyatt last Monday attended by professionals such as Shamil Tarpishchev and fans such as Alexander Gafin alike. But Sharapova like the musicians, the Russian pop group Umaturman, best.

The world's top tennis player arrived in Moscow from Germany on October 1 in her private plane. She nursed her injured shoulder all last week, only to appear at the Kremlin Cup without particular success. Between training sessions, she went shopping.

Sharapova arrived at the evening in her honor on the second floor of the hotel accompanied by her father Yury and Dmitry Goryachkin, personal manager from the American IMG agency. Both of them stayed close by her side the whole time.

She stopped and posed with pleasure for the crowd of photographers at the entrance to the hotel. “Russian paparazzi are very nice,” she said with a smile. “They're not intrusive like the ones in America.”

“Masha is in Moscow for the first time in 11 years. She likes everything so much that she even asked used to find an apartment for her here,” Goryachkin said. Sharapova arrived after the buffet had already been open for an hour and immediately took the stage. “I am very happy to be here,” she told, “and I'm glad to be the top racket in the world.” The audience burst into applause and began to discuss her distinct American accent.

Near the oyster bar, president of the Russian Tennis Federation Shamil Tarpishchev told his friends why Sharapova came to play in the Kremlin Cup. “You understand, Masha is Russian in spirit and wants to be considered a Russian tennis player. She did not become an American citizen, even though she could earn seven times as much in advertising.” Having sized up her finances, Tarpishchev evaluated her chances on the court. “I think she will at least make the semifinals. I have hopes for Lena Dementyeva too, of course.” Chief editor of Russian Newsweek Leonid Parfenov noted that “Sharapova is an excellent advertisement for the Russian tournament, and the Cup's rating is growing.” “You should know about the rating,” banker Alexander Reznikov chipped in. “You are always making them in your Newsweek.” “Should we try the blini with caviar?” Parfenov replied. The company proceeded to the table with buckwheat crepes and black Astrakhan caviar. They didn't say a word about Sharapova as a woman or as a person.

Vice president of Alfa Bank Alexander Gafin was standing off to one side. “I'm not just standing here,” he explained. “I talked to Maria. She's a good girl. We will work together.” He would not disclose the nature of their collaboration.

Umaturman, whose members are known to be fans of Sharapova's, had barely come on when Kremlin Cup executive director Alexander Katsnelson and former director Alexander Volkov rushed out. Volkov has had serious health problems for the last few years, and it was pleasant to see him looking fit and happy.

The stage was small and it turned out that there was no place for the group's soloists, Vladimir and Sergey Kristovsky. Sharapova was standing literally at arm's length from them. She and her bodyguards made up the front row of spectators, as no one else could fit in next to them. Vladimir Kristovsky and Sharapova made immediate eye contact.

The tall, broad-shouldered blonde in high heels and a Louis Vuitton dress stood facing the little man with the messy hair and guitar. She smiled and sang along. She tried to dance, but she was uncomfortable in her isolation. Parfenov smiled as he watched the scene.

“How does she know them? She grew up in America.” actress Lyubov Tolkalina asked her husband. “Journalists sent her their disks and she likes the Kristovskys,” producer Egor Konchalovksy answered, maneuvering her closer to the stage. The band had performed all five of their songs by then.

“Masha, what is your favorite song,” Vladimir Kristovsky asked. Observers noted that he could have asked her anything at all after their eyes-making. “The song about Uma Thurman,” Sharapova answered. “Then come up and sing it,” Kristovksy replied. The rest of the show was for her alone. It was karaoke time. “But I don't know all the words,” she confessed. The crowd urged her on. She sang the refrain with great enthusiasm, to everyone's delight.

“Did you see how she reacted to them [the Kristovksys]?” a lady said. “Her father doesn't let her see boys who play guitars.” His strictness is legendary. “That's nothing. Some big hockey player will come along, and it'll be bye bye papa,” Rexnikov prophesied. Miroslav Melnik, secretary of the Journalists' Union of Russia, agreed with him. “A weak man will never get close to her,” he said. “Here you need a player like Pasha Bure.” At that very moment, hockey player Pavel Bure and his constant companion Anzori Kikalishvili, of the 21st Century Anzori Fund. He led the girl to a table, and her father Yury quickly joined them and they were photographed. “Golden shots,” Goryachkin commented to her. “We have opened an IMG branch in Moscow. Now we will represent all the sports stars.” Bure and Sharapova promised to cheer for each other. With that, the show ended.

Bure's support didn't help Sharapova. She didn't even make it into the semifinals. “I don't understand,” Tarpishchev said in a private conversation. “Our girl really was the strongest, but she lost to God knows who.” Therefore, the women's final of the cup was not a full-fledged society event. In the first row of the half-empty VIP stand, head of the World Class Fitness Club chain Olga Slutsker, restaurateur Arkady Novikov and his wife Marina watched Frenchwoman Mary Pierce win. Boris Yeltsin's daughter Tatyana Dyachenko joined them later. The stand filled up after the break before the men's final. Among those rooting for Igor Andreev as he played against Nicholas Kiefer were head of the Federal Sports Agency Vyacheslav Fetisov, composer Igor Krutoi chairman of the board of AFK Sistema Vladimir Evtushenkov, former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov, Alfa bank president Petr Aven, president of the Russian Association of managers Alexander Braverman and trainer Igor Shalimov. For the first time since its founding, the cup was not attended by first Russian president Boris Yeltsin, who recently underwent ophthalmologic surgery.
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Old Oct 17th, 2005, 02:16 PM   #225
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Maria Sharapova / Photo: AP

Sharapova Still Set to Play in Russia, Despite Defeat

Created: 17.10.2005

MosNews

The world number one arrived in Moscow confident of winning Russia’s biggest tennis tournament but was upstaged by fellow Russian teenager Dinara Safina in the quarter-finals, the Reuters news agency reports.

“I would have loved to win here in Moscow playing for the first time in front of so many Russian fans and of course I’m disappointed by losing,” said Sharapova after being ousted by the younger sister of Australian Open champion Marat Safin. “But, despite all that, I have a lot more good memories than bad of being here and I would love to come back next year.”

The Florida-based Russian returned home on Monday to rest and prepare for the end-of-season WTA Championships in Los Angeles, where she will defend her title. “This is my first real visit to Moscow because the last time I was here five or six years ago I was very young and didn’t remember much,” explained the 18-year-old, who left her homeland 11 years ago to pursue her career in the United States. “So this time I’ve enjoyed my experience very much.”

Sharapova visited Moscow’s tourist spots, including the Kremlin and Red Square, had a trip to the circus and went shopping at some of the city’s expensive boutiques. She also found time for a party at the start of the $2.3 million tournament where she met some of Russia’s pop stars and fellow high-profile athletes such as NHL All-Star Pavel Bure.

During her first news conference in Moscow, one reporter asked Sharapova if she was dating any hockey players, alluding to another well-known U.S.-based Russian, Anna Kournikova, who was married to Sergei Fedorov and also dated Bure. Sharapova said she only knew Russian goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, whose daughter plays tennis.

After saying she would love to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sharapova was invited to Putin’s suburban residence last Thursday.

Although the meeting was called off at the last minute because of an emergency situation in Russia’s Caucasus region, Sharapova said she was hoping to meet him next time. Sharapova received a warm welcome from a near capacity home crowd in her Kremlin Cup debut against German Anna-Lena Groenefeld with fans chanting “Masha, Masha”.

“It was nice to hear them yell my name. The atmosphere was very much Russian,” she said.

Although the crowd began cheering for Safina in her second match in Moscow, she still enjoyed the experience.

“Well, fans always root for the underdog,” Sharapova said after being asked if she was offended.

It seems the only thing the 2004 Wimbledon champion did not like about her Moscow experience, aside from notorious traffic jams, was the surface at the Olympic sports complex.

“The surface here is very dangerous as you can see from today’s match,” Sharapova said after Groenefeld slipped on the court and badly injured her ankle in their match. The German was forced to retire while leading 6-1 4-2. Sharapova also confirmed her plans to play for Russia in the Fed Cup. “I would love to represent my country in Fed Cup in the near future,” she said.
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