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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

AUSTRALIA will be the battleground next month for the civil war of Russian tennis :)))

The temperature will be as chilly as a Moscow winter in the corridors of Melbourne Park when Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova and her entourage, including her controversial father Yuri, come across the other players responsible for the Russian revolution in women's tennis. It will be Maria's first tournament since Grand Slam winners Anastasia Myskina and Svetlana Kuznetsova lent a clear voice in the past month to murmurings of discontent about their distant relationship with the game's marketable new superstar, the 17-year-old Sharapova.

Sexy Maria Sharapova Tennis OOPS!

After a few years in which women had to be either a Williams or a Belgian to win a major title, the effect of three different Russians winning the last three majors of 2004 was like three belts of vodka on a cold night. French Open winner Myskina, surprisingly chosen last week as the ITF female world champion for 2004, said she would not play for Russia's Fed Cup team next year if Sharapova plays. This is because Sharapova's father Yuri Sharapov, an abrasive figure in his daughter's rise to celebrity and a world No. 4 ranking, is "simply rude", according to Myskina.
Kuznetsova, a bolter US Open winner, told an interviewer Sharapova was the most popular Russian player. "But I don't know if you would call her Russian though," she said earlier this month. Russian Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev has said he will advocate Sharapova's inclusion next year, leaving Myskina, who won two singles matches in her country's Fed Cup final victory, in a dilemma on whether to back down. "I don't know if we are going to have the same camaraderie in this team in future," Kuznetsova said. But Sharapova's budding celebrity, driven by corporate desire to link their business to her good looks and her remarkable Siberia-to-Wimbledon success story, means there will be very few in tennis willing to say no to her.

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