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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 06:58 PM   #1
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Post Russian female tennis has a bright future because...

there are an amazing 17 Russian girls currently ranked in the ITF top 200. I imagine that a couple of them (Maria Sharapova and Dinara Safina) will become WTA top ten players. I didn't realize there were so many Russian girls in the ITF top 200. That's the good news. The bad news is that none of the WTA Russian women know how to win. Let's hope the Russian junior girls, or at least some of them, learn how to win. Russia also currently has 10 players ranked in the WTA top 200. Things are looking up! Now, if only a couple of them could learn how to win! Then Russian tennis would really take off! Udachi RF (Russian Federation)!

P.S. - I started this thread because I want to be more positive in my writings about Russian female tennis. Sometimes I get the feeling that people think I'm too negative towards Russian female tennis. I'm always positive about their good looks! Now, I'm trying to be more positive about their tennis. I hope I can do it!

[ October 12, 2001: Message edited by: the cat in the hat ]

[ October 17, 2001: Message edited by: the cat in the hat ]
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 07:28 PM   #2
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A theory, unsupported by fact, oin why the Russian girls are NOT top tenners.

Stardom comes from success vs. Stardom IS success.

Anna Kournikova is the perfect example of a 'Stardom is success' player. She's a star, she has lots of money and fame as aresult of being a star. Therefore she's successful, whether she wins or not. This idea may make you wealthy, but it isn't a formula for athletic success. The few articles I've found about the Russian women indicate a certain Anna-ishness about their attitudes towards tennis. It's a vehicle to fame and wealth. Success as tennis ppayers sounds secondary.

THAT may be why they don't excel. They are more interested inbeing stars than tennis players.

Or, I'm over-extrapolating based on Anna.
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 07:41 PM   #3
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Volcanic, please let me know which Russian girls are "Anna-ish" about their attitudes towards tennis. Dementieva? No. Myskina? No. Petrova? No. Krasnoroutskaya? No. Sharapova? No. Sharapova is beautiful and she loves fashion. But that doesn't mean she is "Anna-ish" when it comes to tennis. Please remember that Kournikova is one of the hardest workers in tennis. I don't even think Kournikova is "Anna-ish" towards tennis. Anna likes being famous. But it's the injuries that have held her back. I'll check back in tomorrow.

[ October 12, 2001: Message edited by: the cat in the hat ]
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 07:57 PM   #4
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I'm not sure that Anna has had her poor results just because of injuries.

Even a healthy Anna has not stuck in there and won matches she should have won. I believe that she likes winning tennis matches. Who doesn't? But I'm not sure she's prepared to put in the consistent work to win.

I do agree with the Cat that few of the other Russian Girls share Anna's apparent attitude. If they don't win consistently, I think it has more to do with lack of confidence.

In ice-skating I remember watching Katerina Witt psycheing-out the entire Russian women's squad at one European championship. She just gave them that confident look and stood back as they all fell on their backsides one after the other. Normally they performed well, but they were no match for her psychologically.
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 08:09 PM   #5
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Everyone who's actaully given it a look has commented that Anna has good work ethic in practice. But you do not have to excel at tennis to achieve fame and fortune. None of the current crop of russian girls looks like a GS singles winner to me.
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 08:09 PM   #6
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Everyone who's actaully given it a look has commented that Anna has good work ethic in practice. But you do not have to excel at tennis to achieve fame and fortune. None of the current crop of russian girls looks like a GS singles winner to me.
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 09:12 PM   #7
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Personally, from watching several of the young Russians play, I believe mental toughness is their biggest problem.

As for Anna, there is no doubt that Anna works hard on the court, but xan is right. Even a healthy Anna, who played an entire season last year, couldn't pull out a tournament win. I have no doubt of Anna's talent, but her real will to become a championship singles player is another issue.
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 09:27 PM   #8
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First, before her first serious injury, in 1998, Kournikova played like Top 5, possibly Top 3 player ( if you'd extrapolate her results for that up to thumb injury for the rest of year, she'd be Top 5 or even Top 3 ).
Second, in times of Katarina Witt, there was no Soviet skaters of similar class. Vodorezova, Kondrashova and Ivanova were second-stringers at best. Unlike Slootskaya or Butyrskaya, who are world class.

Third, it is not mental toughness that is a problem for girls. I think it is rather injuries. Kournikova was incredibly tough mentally up to thumb injury. Dementieva of last year was a symbol of mental toughness. Sometimes it was so convincing, that I would refuse to believe that she would lose at all. USO match vs Davenport was an amazing. As well as her match at Chase. Clijsters, Dokic, Huber, all had very tough matches against her, still no matter how close it was getting, I was always feeling that her confidence would pull her thru. The problem is that the first serious injury combined with grown expectations robs them of their confidence,and that confidence seems to go for good. She is playing better than she played last year. But
without that confidence they can't win. I think that it can be fixed. I thought that Seles who had similar thing, lack of confidence against major competitors, wouldn't be able to fix it. But after three years of agony, Seles seemed to finally overcome it.
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 09:38 PM   #9
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To a certain degree, I agree with you ys. Injuries can certainly rob a player of confidence. However, every player, at one point or another, has to deal with injuries. Venus, Serena, Lindsay, Justine, Kim have all dealt with injuries this year and they have still managed to win tournaments and post good results. So injuries apparently are not causing a setback for these players.

That is where mental toughness comes in. Everyone who has followed Kournikova's career always points to that thumb injury as her downfall, but if a minor thumb injury can cause such a setback then that is an issue of mental toughness. If Kournikova and the other Russian girls do not have confidence in themselves as players, there is nothing that anyone else can do for them. No coach, boyfriend, parent, partner nor fan can give you that.
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 10:34 PM   #10
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ys

I can't speak to the figure skaters, but Anna was a choker from day one. Her lose to Venus in(I believe) the Erricson was the begining of the end. She was winning, quite handily I might add, then just folded. Afterwards she said that Venus hadn't beaten her she'd beaten herself: She's been beating herself ever since.
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 11:00 PM   #11
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well, i do think that dinara has a winning attitude, but her temper it's the thing that makes her loose her matches, also she strugles with back injuries, & maria will have 2 strugle with press, so will dinara but dinara will ahve 2 strugle with a different kind of press, b/c i believe the press will keep comparing dinara & marat
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Old Oct 12th, 2001, 11:08 PM   #12
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You probably don't remember it well. At that tournament ( Lipton-1998 ), several days in the very beginning were rained out. And Anna's part of the draw was hit the hardest. Because of that she had to play 4 days in a row ( which, in a way, allowed her to set basically an unbreakable record of beating 4 Top 10 players in 4 calendar days ), but at the end she just ran out of gaz vs Venus, whose schedule was not as much affected by rains and whose draw was much easier. It was not a choke.
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Old Oct 13th, 2001, 12:09 AM   #13
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You are right...I didn't remember the specifics that well, but I do remember her choking. I should know my favorite player choked against Martina at australia, then choked to Jennifer like at least 3 times before choking to one of my other favs...Monica. She did finally admit it and hopefully has now learned that it's just a game. Please don't forget Venus' feat at New Haven...I think she could have played the tired card...Anna's career I think would have been very different if she'd won that tournament.

Keep in mind this is just my opinion...your and hers may be different, but I think she could gain alot by working on her perpensity to fold we the going gets tough. I love Lindsay but I also think that she has a bit of the choke artist in her. It's nothing to be ashamed of.
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Old Oct 13th, 2001, 12:18 AM   #14
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SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA!!!!!!!!! she will surely be atleast a top 50 i am sure. this girl dominates the juniors when kaia kanepi isnt playing. a girl in my environmental science class looks just like her and i have PICTURES OF BOTH!!! everyone should see how similar they look.


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Old Oct 13th, 2001, 01:19 AM   #15
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I completely agree, should Anna have won that final, the only her final so far in which she looked like winning (A set and a break up ), her career could go very differnt way.

I rewatched that final recently, and if I'd put some quotes of Mary Carillo from that match, you would never believe it was about Anna. Like "Venus has very strong serve, but this girl has an excellent serve too". Those were the times.. <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0">
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