Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just Wear, Yes "Wear," is Maria's Motivation?

Watching the last game of Ana Ivanovic's implosion today against Jie Zheng was rather painful. Ivanovic ended the match with four mis-hit forehands, much like Maria Sharapova opened up her dismal performance yesterday with three double faults.

Women's tennis is have a miniature identity crisis currently, with two of its foremost stars plummeting out of the tournament in incredibly bad form. There has been an abundance of swirling talk surrounding Sharapova and her motivation following her loss yesterday, especially because there had been so much talk about her outfit during the first four days of the fortnight.

But I found this most interesting: Maria Sharapova had no idea who or what Alla Kudryavtseva was. This clip (especially 0:57 to 1:23) is rather telling:



Maria says "Did she?" when the reporter tells her of Kudryavtseva's close call with Venus last year here and then proceeds to mindlessly say she "Practiced with her" and played her on clay "a couple of years ago." No, no, Maria. Not a couple of years ago, honey, last year, at the French, a grand slam, in a match that Maria was down 1-4 in the second set.

To me, it's inexcusable and rather disrespectful for a top player to give more thought to how to change up her outfit from round one to two instead of her game. Yes, I understand that thousands of matches have been played in which a higher-ranked player gave little to no thought or effort into what their opponent would do on the court, but this is Wimbledon, and this is Maria Sharapova.

Kamakshi Tandon wrote a great piece over at TENNIS.com about how the tour, the media, the public and the players love to hate Sharapova. Yes, it's true that she is not the most loved individual on tour, but Sharapova helps the process along when she refuses to say hello to others in the lockerroom, doesn't mingle at social events on tour and dismisses reporters like they are ridiculous for asking if the Biggest Sharapova Story of the tournament (um, her outfit!) has been distracting.

Wear is your motivation, Maria? Because the tuxedo outfit is history, and there's no trophy to go along with it this year.

Continued discussion on Maria and day five wrap below:

1 comment:

truthseeker357 said...

When people talk about Serena and Venus Williams cheating they are referring to back a few years when they faced each other in the same draw and five minutes before Serena and Venus were suppose to play each other Venus forfeited the match for no reason. This means Serena was fresh to play her opponent. This is why they lost their endorsements. Nobody is suggesting they don't play hard in the finals because that makes no difference. But if one isn't playing so well and they figure why wear the other one out for no reason. When they play each other prior to the finals one will lay down and not try hard. You can see it everytime. Everyone can comment on the other players. There is a tournament in California where the Williams sisters won't play because the people knew thye cheated and they don't get a good reception there. Not only that but they don't play in enough tournaments. The WTA wants the women to play in at least 18. The Williams play in about 12.