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Like waves onthe beach, the Russians roll up the rankings, the Russians rol down ...

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The Russians have a recent history of rising high and falling off quickly.

Sometimes it's top ten (Kournikova, Dementieva, Myskina) sometimes only top 20, Likhovtseva, Bovina), but recently,there's been no rising into the top. The most accomplished female Russian probably remians Olga Morozova, who made the finals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 1974.


Has it really been that long since a Russian woman made a GS final?

So who stops the wave? WHich Russian will make her way into the top five and STAY there for three or four years. That's what seperates the truly elite player from the rest. Think about it.

Chanda and Jenn both extended trips stays outside the elite for off-court reasons.

Serena, Kim, Justine, Venus, Lindsay and Amelie have been parked near the top since they got there.

That's the elite of the tour. The drop-off to hatuchova and Myskina is very apparent on court.

So which of the up-and-coming Russians will break with recent tradition, and rise near the top and STAY there?
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Zvonereva: If she learns to adapt her game to other surfaces and plays more aggressive tennis, she can really break into the top. She moves really well.

Sharapova: She hits everything hard. What i noticed was that her movement at times was great, but sometimes it reminded me of a slightly better version of Hantuchova. And we all know what level of movement is required to be in the Top 10.

My personal pick is Elena D (not because of bias). Since AI, she has had a few injuries (and has got some more again!!!!), but its really her serve that needs to be improved. She is the best mover and striker of the ball of the Russians, and she has had the better wins against the top players IMO.

Good luck Elena! :)
no matter what russian tennis should be proud, they have pretty good players and they are always a threat
Originally posted by Volcana
The Russians have a recent history of rising high and falling off quickly.
Which Russian will finally breakthrough? This is an interesting question, Volcana. Thanks for starting this thread. The trend of Russians making a splash and falling off is a curious one. What are they missing - mental toughness? At this point, top five or a grand slam may not really be the goal. Maybe the goal is the green. If you can make an income far superior to your other countrywomen by playing a sport that's fun, traveling, etc., why get worked up about top five or a grand slam?

Another theory: This is still relatively new to the Russian ladies. Once one of them finds the key to maintaining superiority, the flood gates will open.

Is there a Russian in the field today who can reach the semifinals or win a major? Maybe.

I like Bovina and Dementieva for their athletic ability. I haven't seen enough of Bovina to get a read on the details of her game. Dementieva's weaknesses are her serve and inconsistency. I think she may still have a chance.

Petrova's game looks powerful and she looks hungry for success. If she can stay injury free and learn court smarts, she could be a factor.

The most promising ladies are the teenagers - Kuznetsova, Sharapova, and Safina. This may be the generation that starts the wave. I need to see a lot more of them before I can say for sure. At this point, I would put a small bit of change on Kuznetsova. Martina N. pointed out Hantuchova about three Wimbledons ago before she beat Hingis. She knows talent. She said Kuznetsova would be in the quarters of Wimbledon this year and there she was. The media don't seem to want any part of Kuznetsova right now. But, I think her performance will make people sit up and take notice.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the first Russian female win a major. I want to see what it takes to break the glass ceiling.
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I'v noticed this too.

Are they really as young as they claim ?!
sharapova and safina have the talent to be at the very top. zvonareva has top 10 talent and i've heard that douchevina is meant to be more talented than both zvonareva and kuznetsova so imo that puts her up with sharapova and safina but since i haven't seen her play i'm not willing to say or predict how far she can go.

imo safina and sharapova will do it.
Gowza said:
sharapova and safina have the talent to be at the very top. zvonareva has top 10 talent and i've heard that douchevina is meant to be more talented than both zvonareva and kuznetsova so imo that puts her up with sharapova and safina but since i haven't seen her play i'm not willing to say or predict how far she can go.

imo safina and sharapova will do it.
Douchevina won the junior Wimbledon title last year. She has talent, but it's not certain that she will make it.

This year a Belgian, Kirsten Flipkens, won the Wimbledon title.

No Belgian believes she will have a great career (she is too old - 17 year already - Kim was 15 when she played the junior Wimbledon final). Everybody will be glad if she has the same (decent) career as Appelmans and Monami-Van Roost (top 10-top 20).

The age at which you have the results as a junior is an important indicator for future success. If those Russians cheat with their age (because at that moment they can player longer at junior level), then it is not really surprising that they don't really make it as a top player.

I don't believe that there are going to be a lot of Russian top five players the next years
i agree there won't be many top 5 players. there aren't really any junior russians with that talent. the only junior who MAY have the talent is kleybanova otherwise it is safina and sharapova and possibly douchevina (who i haven't seen play so i can't really make a judgement on it but from what i've heard she has the talent to be a good player).

there are players like lina k, petrova and bovina also. lina k is still only 18 even though she's been out for around about 6 or 7 months with an injury last year. she made the 4th round of wimbledon when she was 16 that is what kim did at wimbledon at 16. so i guess we can't count her out. petrova was on track before her injury to be a top 5 player imo but i don't think she can go that far anymore. but i am confident she can reach the top 10. and bovina has shown us that she can play top level tennis.

it's kind of hard to tell with the russians because most of them have the talent to reach the top 10 but not many of them follow through and fullfill it let alone stay in the top 10 for a good amount of time.
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i think that if anyone will do it it will be someone who is currently on the wta tour as well as douchevina but other than them kleybanova is the only russian in juniors that COULD have that potential and she is only 14.
Sounds to me the russians are being judged against Anna K's unfulfilled potential. They are all still individual players and will curve out their own destinies. Tennis is an individual sport and one of them will shove the others aside.
At the moment the top players don't seem to want to budge for anyone.
I rather fancy petrova's chances. In the recent matches she has only lost to the very best players: Kim, Justine and venus!
there are a number of cases where players have not fullfilled their potential: kournikova, dementieva and bovina. they are all quite young and still have a chance to fulfill it but i'm not just judging them on 1 player it is more like 3 players.
All of the girls mentioned as the top 6 had at least reached a slam final while they were still teenagers, if not actually won something important. (Chanda and Amelie both reached slam finals at 19). THere are exceptions, like Capriati, but that's pretty unusual, and anyway Jen had won at least one substantial prize (the Olympics).
So I would say while Im very impressed by Dementieva, Bovina, Petrova, I think it's probably unrealistic to expect that they'll ever be in a position to consistently make the semis of majors, hang out for years and years in the top 5, etc..

Vera Z. has a good game, maybe will make it into the top 10, but I don't see any indication that she will be an elite player; anyway, she will be 20 next year.

We'll see about Kusnetsova, Safina, Sharapova.

I'd put my money on Maria S. at this point, but who knows?
The jury is still out on all of the Russian girls. They show promise and that's it. Until they start proving themselves by beating Top 5 players regularly, talking up their Grand Slam chances is jumping the gun.

Vera Zvonareva has a win over Venus Williams and Nadia Petrova has a win over Jennifer Capriati this year. If they can do that again, then we'll start talking about their chances again. Right now, it's too early to predict anything without basing our choices on "favourites".
BTW, chanda has never reached a slam final

Good topic, but its tough to say

like Davenport pointed out all of the Russians are very talented but they lack something whether a good serve or mental toughness or movement

but I think that Dementieva, Myskina, Bovina, Kournikova and Petrova are Russia's best chances for top 10ers in the next year or two

Zvonareva is too defensive

anyway as for top 5 i think we'll have to wait for that
Bovina and Petrova have the best chance imo. They have good aggressive games and have shown that they can compete with the top players recently. If they can just stay injury free and gain some consistency i think they can get there.
I don't see any of them except Sharapova winning a Slam against the current opposition (natch) but I will mention Safina and Kuznetsova in small letters just in case. The others are good players but not GS winners imho.
responding to the topic.............look there goes a russian going down now....I think they all have gift and can really hit the ball, but fail in the mental dept. I imagine if Elena learned to just go for it, she will be a force to reckon with. She has been holding back since God knows when. I don't think Zvonareva should be taken into consideration since she has yet to really prove herself on the hardcourts. Nadia is a messed up player who I feel have to gain some consistency then she will gain confidence to challenge others cos her letdown against Clijsters in Paris was just too disappointing for me.

Anna -well Anna is just Anna.
Myskina - a challenge but like Nadia she needs to gain some confidence and a strategy.....she has none that is why she is so defeated before she takes the courts.

I think we will see a grand slam russian female but the only one right now is Zvonareva who acts like she has the nerves and balls to even dream of something like that..........but she needs to prove herself on the hardcourts first.
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Petrova is the only one of those I've seen.

Maybe Zvonereva but what I saw in that French open 4th round didn't really tell me that she'd do well on all surfaces.

Sharapova it's too early to tell.

Demetieva lacks consistency and Myskina lacks ability to hit the top five IMHO.

As for Anna K, well it would be nice.
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