Male tennis players say the voice of Sharapova helps them perform better
The most popular tennis tournament starts in London soon. Before the very beginning of the event it has been already marked with a sensation: Maria Sharapova has clinched the title of the sexiest tennis player from Anna Kournikova.
Guess who is a slender, long-legged, blond and blue-eyed Russian tennis player? This is not Anna Kournikova, but Maria Sharapova. The girl has been already called "another Kournikova". Maria's pictures can be obtained everywhere on the Internet. The girl has recently turned 16 but she has already appeared on the covers of popular magazines such as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Sports Illustrated; a famous sports corporation concluded a contract with the talented tennis player to the sum of several millions. Tennis experts insist that Sharapova is extremely talented which has been proved with Maria's victories at several junior tournaments and with the wonderful performance when the girl reached the WTA quarterfinals a week ago (Sharapova defeated Yelena Dementyeva then).
Robert Landsdorp, the coach of Tracey Austin, Lindsay Devenport and Pete Sampras is now coaching Maria Sharapova. He says: "I always knew that Sampras would win the Wimbledon tournament. I though that Austin would be a success as well; but she reached the semi-final and felt scared. Nothing of this kind will ever occur with Maria Sharapova. It may sound trivial but she is a phenomenon, a talented player. She is a heaven-born tennis player. She has been gifted enough to be the best among female tennis players. And she will be the best if she wants to."
Maria Sharapova was born in the Siberian city of Nyagan; in two years the family moved to Sochi, the city from where Yeugeny Kafelnikov came. Yeugeny's father is a friend of the Sharapovs. When Maria was four he presented her with a tennis racket. Soon the family left Sochi for Moscow and then moved to the USA. So, the girl has been training in America for six years already, although she retains the Russian citizenship.
It was already last year that Sharapova managed to gather crows of teenagers at stadiums. The most jealous rivals of hers complained that Maria was screaming too loud while playing, they said the sound distracted them from tennis games. As for male tennis players, they say the voice of Sharapova helps them perform better.
In other words, Maria Sharapova has practically clinched the title of the tennis sex symbol from Kournikova. Will Maria repeat Anna's way? She must remember that tennis requires critical attitude to the performance first of all, not beauty. So, let's wish the young beauty Maria Sharapova more success in tennis.
As for Anna Kournikova, having abdicated the sex-star title she will rest from music video, advertising and interviews. Probably she will have enough time to indulge in tennis. Probably this time she will perform wonderfully; it was just some time ago that critics called Anna Kournikova awfully talented.
However, Kournikova is reluctant to quit the popularity Olympus. Recently, the Forbes weekly mentioned her among the top 100 show-business stars. The edition published the rating as based upon the amount of fees, publications in the press, appearance on TV and visits on personal web pages. This time the weekly called Jennifer Aniston the most popular show-business star. Rap singer Eminem follows her in the rating. It is astonishing but this time the last-year's winner Britney Spears wasn't mentioned on the rating at all. Although Anna Kournikova managed to win just one match within a year, she all the same managed to earn $9 million; she is still the most favorite one on the Internet. Forbes rated the Russian tennis player the 70th.
This year 4 Russian male and 13 female tennis players will enter the London tennis-courts. There are many Russian players playing at Wimbledon tournament this time. Already in the second round Mikhail Yuzhny may play with Nikolay Davydenko, Anastasia Myskina with Lina Krasnorutskaya, Dinara Safina with Yelena Likhovtseva, Maria Sharapova with Yelena Bovina and Nadezhda Petrova with Yeugenia Kulikovskaya. It is a pity that Russian players have to play against each other, not foreign rivals. 17 Russian players will participate in the tournament this time (there were 14 last year). But for Anna Kournikova and Tatyana Panova who refused to play at the tournament because of injuries, there would have been even more Russian players there.
Nadezhda Shulga, Andrey Kabannikov
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea