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The Russians have alot of nice, talented, likable and attractive tennis players on the WTA and ATP tours. But we now must consider the Russian juniors a part of the mix. In one of the best days in the history of Russian tennis, Russia won both the boys and girls junior team titles in Florida. The Russian boys defeated Argentina 2-0, to win the Sunshine Cup. And The Russian girls beat Croatia 2-0 to win the Connolly Continental Cup. I only hope that Russia surprising the tennis world, by winning both the boys and girls titles, is a portend of things to come in Russian tennis. I hope the Russian players do alot more winning in the future. I'm talking about the likes of Anna Kournikova, Elena Dementieva, Lina Krasnoroutskaya and Mikhail Youzhny. They better start winning soon. Because the best Russian junior boys and girls will be fast on their heels, ready to take their places, if they continue to struggle and dissapoint. Any way you slice it or topspin it. The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! Thank God!

P.S. - The Russian girls winning the Connolly Continental Cup was not a surprise. But the Russian boys winning the Sunshine Cup, was a surprise. A pleasant surprise!

P.P.S. - 2001 was a dissapointing year for Russian tennis. But it ends up on an upswing, with Russia winning both prestigious team titles. I hope this is a sign that Russian tennis will have an outstanding year in 2002. Udachi Russian tennis!

[ December 08, 2001: Message edited by: the cat in the hat ]</p>
 

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We've never had a problem in the juniors.....

The Girls have dominated the juniors since around 1997. Now hopefully the boys will join in too.

<font size=4> Russians take both titles </font>

<br />Saturday 8 December 2001<br />

Russia made a clean sweep of the ITF Sunshine Cup and Connolly Continental Cup titles today at Key Biscayne. Russian girls have an exception record in the Connolly Continental Cup, this is their 4th title since 1995. Russia Boys have not won this title since 1990 when Andrei Medvedev led the team to victory under the USSR flag.

In the Girls' Final Croatian Karolina Sprem was unable to find answers against Vera Zvonareva falling 75 62, Zvonareva was delighted to win "when I played Karolina before I lost, today was different I was playing for my team and country and it was important that we started 1-0. It was a tough first set but I won 7-5 and it gave me confidence and the second was easier". In a dramatic second singles Croatian Matea Mezak took the first set against Svetlana Kuznetsova 63 and served for the match at 54 in the second set but Kuznetsova raised her game, broke back and went on to take the set 75. In the third set Kuznetsova raced to a 5-2 lead but was unable to close out until her fourth match point at 6-5. Kuznetsova commented "I was very scared when I came to the court but when I lost the first set I understood that I cannot lose this match. I was nervous because I had lost 2 major finals before this tournament, Roland Garros and US Open, so it was important to me to win this final".

The Russian boys' took on Argentina, Luciano Vitullo started strongly taking the first set 63 but Igor Andreev managed to level the match at one set a piece and was ahead 4-0 when Vitullo was forced to retire with cramps, the final score 36 62 4-0 ret.. Andreev commented "At the beginning I was a little bit nervous, he could break my serve. The game changed in my favour at the beginning of the second set when I broke his serve, it gave me more confidence and power. In the third set, despite the score line the games were very difficult, the points were long but I won the most important points and then at 3-0 he started to cramp and retired at 4-0".

Brian Dabul did his best to fight off the tall Russian Pavel Ivanov but was overpowered from all corners of the court and went down fighting 61 76(4). "At the beginning of the match it was much easier to play knowing that the team were 1-0 up and in the beginning of the game I was pretty sure that our team would win, I feel very good now. This is very important for Russia and important for our tennis careers, it's cool."

Third places were captured by the Germany Boys' team who defeated Mexico 2-1 and in the girls, Czech Republic, who defeated Argentina also 2-1.




<br />Victorious Russian Boys' and Girls' Team<br /> <br />


Russian Girls' Team



Top 3 placed Girls' teams
 
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i should have known it would be us 3 to post here <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0"> <img src="cool.gif" border="0">
 

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Woo hoo! It's great that we won! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <br /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />
 

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Russia has great juniors for many years, but they don't seem to get to the real top in WTA. I don't have a real explanation for it.
 

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Congrats to the Russian Juniors... <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Let's hope they can have an equally successful journey into the professional tour level.

How many times have we seen them being successful in juniors but not on tour? ... Anna, Elena D... <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">

The boys' team was a real surprise though... <br /> <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

Go Russia in 2002!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
NejedlyKanepi, why did you think it would just be the three of us posting here?
 

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I like some of these Russian girls. I like Lina K and Maria Sharapova. and that other new lil player.. damn can't think of her name at the moment. She played at the Kremlin Cup as a wildcard.

I also think that gymnast Svetlana Korhkina is awsome! She has a unique presence about her. In fact I was cheering for her to win the all-around gold instead of the sorry USA gals. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dawn, are you talking about Galina Fokina or Vera Zvonareva? Galina beat Anna "high heels" Kournikova in the first round.

P.S. - Dawn, I like Russian Gymnasts, too. Svetlana is brilliant. But my favorite is Elena Zamolodchikova. Didn't think I could spell her name?
 
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cat: its just like, go figure we would be the first ones to post haha <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> woo go us!
 

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No Cat not that one .. Oh I know her name now. It is Dinara Safina. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Dawn, it was Dinara? The funny thing is you said a "lil player". Dinara is almost 6' tall!
 

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LOl sry Cat <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> I didn't realize how tall she is.. lol <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> So here's my top 3 Russian players.

Lina K<br />Dinara Safina<br />Maria Sharapova

Saw Maria practising at Nick's 3 years ago she was on the court for at least 2 hours .. sweating it out .. hitting.

She has a cute lil scream when she hits the ball. <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> The teaching pro's were marveling at her skillz back then. <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dawn, thanks for that reminder that you saw Maria Sharapova practicing at Bollettieri's. I think I remember you posting that a while back on the old WTA message board. Right? So Maria has a cute lil scream? I wonder if her scream is as lovely as the cute lil scream/squeal that Elena "darling" Dementieva has? Elena's delightful squeal is hard to beat!

P.S. - I am glad Maria had a day off today, after her grueling win over Barbora Strycova yesterday. That match with Strycova might have been the toughest of her young career. So, a day off can only help her.
 
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