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Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Russian female tennis players, who achieved remarkable success last year, are not willing to surrender their positions during the new season. Russian tennis players Maria Sharapova, Vera Zvonareva, Elena Dementyeva and Svetlana Kuznetsova, who arrived in Hong Kong to participate in the Watsons Water Champions Challenge exhibition tournament, were unanimous in this opinion.

Maria Sharapova

"We hope that next year will be as successful for us as the previous year. We are making significant progress with each passing year and we hope to impress the world in 2005 even more," Svetlana Kuznetsova told a RIA Novosti correspondent. According to Maria Sharapova, the year 2004 was amazingly successful for Russian female tennis. "It will be very hard to repeat last year's success, but we hope will manage to do it," she said. Russian tennis players believe that the major reason for such an incredible success was severe competition. "We compete against each other; therefore we develop faster," Svetlana Kuznetsova emphasized.
"It would be impossible to find a general explanation of our achievements," Elena Dementyeva underlined. "Each of us has personal motives for success."
Russian tennis players also revealed their plans for 2005. "My favorite tournament of the Grand Slam is the French Open, and I would really want to win this tournament," Elena Dementyeva confessed. "I would definitely want to repeat last year's success and win the American Open," Svetlana Kuznetsova shared her dreams with journalists. Watsons Water Champions Challenge exhibition tournament starts in Hong Kong on Wednesday, January 5. Aside from the Russian tennis players, Americans Serena and Venus Williams, Spaniard Aranta Sanchez Vicario and the rising star of the Czech tennis Nicole Vaidisova will participate in the tournament. The organizers had to introduce some changes in the program of the tournament in connection with the tragic events in South East Asia. The opening ceremony will commence with a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the natural disaster. During the tournament, the organizers plan to conduct a series of special charity events in order to collect funds to provide assistance to countries affected by the disaster.


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