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What has been the best ALL-RUSSIAN match in the WTA history?

  • 2006 Berlin QF – Petrova def. Safina 3-6 6-4 6-3

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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since the past decade, Russian players have made their way to the top of the sport, while it seemed unthinkable back then.

Even though we tend to criticise their chokes, double faults, and error-strewn matches they have (and used to have) sometimes, we forget all the other times when they've brought drama and high-quality ball-striking to the WTA in their matches. Many of the finals played between russians are nervy affairs for both players, but they play better in other stages of a tournament.

Like it or not, Russia:
· Has had 10 different top ten players (Morozova, Kournikova, Myskina, Dementieva, Sharapova, Kuznetsova, Zvonareva, Petrova, Chakvetadze & Safina)
· They've contested three All-Russian GS finals (the most GS finals contested between players of the same country in the Open Era after USA, Australia & Belgium)
· A russian has won at least once at 14 of the 18 existing Tier I tournaments in the WTA history (Even more impressive considering none of the top Russian women were playing at the time of the Philadelphia, Boca Raton and Chicago Tier I tournaments' existence, therefore the only Tier I tournament of the 00s-and on which has not had a Russian Champion is Dubai)
· There has been a Tier I final contested between Russian players at 8 of 18 tier I tournaments existent in the WTA history

Since it's about to be 4 years since Russia swept all the Medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I thought it would be interesting to find the most entertaining match we've had between Russian women. Yes, they haven't had many high-quality matches, but there have been some regardless.

The highlights of some of the matches I put for voting:

2004 San Diego SF: Myskina def. Zvonareva 6-2 6-7(4) 7-6(15)
(That TB :hearts:)

2004 US Open F: Kuznetsova def. Dementieva 6-3 7-5
(Not really that competitive, but still this was a match which put russians again on the spotlight of the tennis world, and Elena made it more of a match this time)

2004 WTA Championships SF: Sharapova def. Myskina 2-6 6-2 6-2
(Both GS champions that year, facing each other at the YEC)

2005 Australian Open QF – Sharapova def. Kuznetsova 4-6 6-2 6-2

(Nice stuff from both players, specially considering the heat)

2008 Roland Garros 4R – Safina def. Sharapova 6-7(6) 7-6(5) 6-2
(Safina again upsetting Masha at RG, this time it was better quality than 2006, both producing more than 60 winners each!)

2008 Wimbledon QF – Dementieva def. Petrova 6-1 6-7(6) 6-3
(Elena was 6-1 5-1 up in this match... almost lost it)

2008 Beijing Olympics F – Dementieva def. Safina 3-6 7-5 6-3
(The match where Elena wins her Gold Medal, and Russia wins all the singles medals in women's tennis :drool:)

2009 Roland Garros 2R: Sharapova def. Petrova 6-2 1-6 8-6
(Maria coming back after injury... and still fighting it out with Nadia)

2004 Roland Garros 4R – Myskina def. Kuznetsova 1-6 6-4 8-6
(No Youtube highlights :sad:)
2006 Berlin QF – Petrova def. Safina 3-6 6-4 6-3
(None either)


2004 Roland Garros F: Myskina def. Dementieva 6-1 6-2
(After all, in spite of the dreadful play, it was the historic, first all-russian final)

2006 Stuttgart SF – Petrova def. Kuznetsova 6-2 1-6 6-4

2007 WTA Championships RR – Sharapova def. Kuznetsova 5-7 6-2 6-2
(Amazing play by both, Maria just too match in the end)

2008 Doha F – Sharapova def. Zvonareva 6-1 2-6 6-0

2008 Dubai F – Dementieva def. Kuznetsova 4-6 6-3 6-2

2009 Roland Garros F - Kuznetsova def. Safina 6-4 6-2
(The last Russian final, and it didn't end pretty. Probably Dinara's best chance at a Slam...)

So, overall, which one was the best match and most entertaining one?
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· Diabolical
6,426 Posts
I almost forgot that Myskina-Zvonareva match :lol: The TB was crazy

Sharapova-Petrova 2005 USO QF
Sharapova-Safina 2008 RG 4R :sad:
Sharapova-Kuznetsova 2007 YEC RR :drool:

· Banned
17,667 Posts
Wimbledon R4 '05: Myskina def. Dementieva 1-6 7-6(9) 7-5.

Myskina has had the most HQ matches with other Russians.

· What did she say? - She said: "I will kill you" :o
9,689 Posts
Hard to pick the best but I can definitely say Kuznetsova-Chakvetadze 2007 USO SF was the worst.

· Registered
29,382 Posts
As far as the entertainment and the quality of play shown by both players in a match is concerned I would rate Sharapova-Safina French Open 2008 R4 and Sharapova-Kuznetsova WTA Madrid Championships round robin match as the best ones :yeah:.

· Registered
8,874 Posts
Krasnaroutskaya is missing.

we had a 13 week streak with russians winning titles at some point a few years back - they were everywhere.
it's pretty sad how they dissapeared (or moved to KAZ).

· Registered
3,694 Posts
Definitely Pova-Safina at the French. Just delicious watching Maria get pissed off and foul-mouthed with the crowd, then lose a match she really should have won. Scrumptious!
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· Registered
14,322 Posts
2008 RG Safina vs Maria is def one of the best. Less pissed off when thinking of it now after this year ;) :banana:

Plus we got a GIF for life out of it.

· Registered
14,954 Posts
Very interesting thread. Too bad I didn't watch many of these matches, and not just those played before 2005.

I must say though that few of these matches, particularly post 2005, can be considered classics.

So, overall, which one was the best match and most entertaining one?
Of those I did watch, my vote goes to the 2008 RG 4R between Safina and Martha. One of the very best and most consistent performances from the ground that Martha ever gave, but she was just spinning her serve in throughout (and only getting away with it because Safina wasn't an aggressive returner) whereas Safina was serving well, and that was ultimately too much.

Other good ones from the list I remember: Martha d. Kuznetsova YEC 2007; 2008 Dementieva d. Kuznetsova Dubai F (amazing run by Dementieva on that tournament).

Didn't see any of the matches played before 2006 as I said above. Also didn't watch 2009 RG Martha d. Petrova apart from a few games here and there. Can't remember the 2006 Petrova d. Safina Berlin QF, even though I probably watched it as I remember Petrova's run there very well.

2006 Stuttgart match between Petrova and Kuznetsova was decent quality, but no more (again a sign of how few true all-Russian classics we can list). Mostly a serving contest, even though Stuttgart's hardcourt at the time was no longer as fast as in the Filderstadt days.

2008 Olympic games final was meh. Never doubted that Dementieva would win it, even after she lost the first set.

The 2008 Dementieva d. Petrova Wimbledon QF was pathetic. Lena D. just flat out pushing and waiting for Petrova's error. Appalling quality for the most.

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Probably 1st 2. Both were crazy, especially that semi with Nastya & Vera. Then Nastya hung around to watch the doubles semi with Vera & Likhovtseva
Safina-Sharapova was great in how well Dinara played on Maria's match point. She also saved mp on Lena.
Both matches Dinara wore down her opponent
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