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Kremlin Cup Director Criticizes Venus, Lindsay

526 Views 22 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  TheBoiledEgg

By Richard Pagliaro - Shaken by the terrorist attacks on America and citing safety concerns over air travel, U.S. Open champion Venus Williams and third-ranked Lindsay Davenport both withdrew from next week's Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Tournament director Alexei Selivanenko, who was initially supportive of the players' decision, today criticized their concerns as "absurd."

"Moscow is the safest place in the world and any reference to a security reason not to play is absurd," Selivanenko said in an interview with Reuters. "Of course, we are all troubled by the events, but it is not our fault."

The tournament director was more sympathetic yesterday, saying: "We fully respect their concerns about traveling." But Selivanenko slammed both players for pulling out today.

Twelve of the top 20 women in the world are expected to play including top-ranked Martina Hingis, French Open finalist Kim Clijsters, Amelie Mauresmo, Nathalie Tauziat and Wimbledon runner-up Justine Henin, who has accepted a wild card into the main draw. Russian Internet icon Anna Kournikova, who has been sidelined for most of the year after sustaining a stress fracture in her left foot, is also expected to join the field. Kournikova, whose last match came at the Acura Classic in the summer, is scheduled to return to tournament tennis tomorrow in Leipzig, Germany.

For the second straight year, the men's and women's tournaments will be played simultaneously at the Kremlin Cup. In the past, the events were held two weeks apart.
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Stevenson is playing, Shaugnessy did not withdraw, neither did Raymond. It is just that those rich players are happy to use any excuse not to play. Davenport and Williams sisters played total of 2 Tier I events outside of North America , while they played much more North Americans Tier Is. They just ignore the rest of the world, and here they were even given a valid excuse to do so. Ah, forget about them, I am fed up with those big hitters anyway, saw enough of them at US Open..
TBE, Rollo has no idea what (s)he is talking about. Besides, all that ESPN picture catches is those "blue" seats of VIP stands just around the courts, that account for like 3% of total capacity and for which tickets are very expensive. When they showed upper parts, it was clear that there were no empty seats up there..
Rollo, "struggling" event is going to build a National Tennis Center as a new venue for itself. And now they are going to "struggle" financially for securing two times greater prizemoney to become a combined Masters Event. There are even talks that in that new Center tehre will be enough courts to hold combined 96-draw two-week event as a kind of an indoor Grand Slam. Moscow mayor is a tennis fanatic, so you never know..

Wel, well, Davenport said that she didn't go to Moscow because she wouldn't want to be abroad when America starts a military campaign. Guess what, she got abroad at exactly that time. So, I think, after all she just didn't want to play specifically in Moscow. Not "abroad".
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