March 7, 2011 1 Comment
…Masha plays for the USA?
It’s exactly what it sounds – an absurd. But before you leave this page and start swearing at me, I dare you to take a glance on what I will say and, at least don’t lightly nod or even think “it kinda makes sense”
This crazy idea first came to me before Davis Cup, but after Courier’s nominations. After another pessimistic “I miss him and he will never be back” thought over Haas, I realized he will probably never play a tie for the USA. That led me to think Sharapova could play for the United States, and I will now present you some facts to validate my argumentation.
Fact #1 – DO ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE DAMN BREAKS ARE? US tennis is like a freight train going downhill. Capriati, Davenport, Rubin – gone; Serena and Venus suffering with countless injuries (Who am I to judge, but I won’t rule “Lackus interestium” off the list) feature more in the IR list than in the “tour entrants”. This leaves America in the hands of a bunch of young girls – Oudin, Vandeweghe, McHale, Lepchenko (R U LOL’ing already?) – and doubles specialists, like BMS and Vania King, who can’t really play at the demanded and expected level. I perfectly know the youngsters can develop, since not every player is a new Martina (the Swiss one), or a Seles, even Masha herself or the Sis’, but really? I’m not American, but I know Uncle Sam don’t like to wait.
Fact #2 – Sharapova only plays for Mother Russia when she has to – not overreacting when saying she wouldn’t be eligible for Fed if it didn’t mean Olympic eligibility. And even when she does… well, RAZZANO. Let’s also not forget her record when playing in her home country.
Fact #3 – It’s a while now since Cold War is gone. Hence, she doesn’t have the same reasons Martina (the kickass one), Ivan (the “Robot” one, right, Johnny Mac?) and Nadja (the Comanecci one) had to head East, she left the Navratilova-run tennis academy in Moscow for the warm Florida. By itself, that’s not even close to be a big deal, since other players, like Tommy Haas and Kei Nishikori also took the same plane looking for the famous Bolletieri Academy. But the fact is, she established herself in the USA. (Also) this leads to the…
Fact #4 – Maria Sharapova has become more than a player. Biggest proof is, you like it or not, she hasn’t done anything productive since returning from the shoulder injury in 2009, but she’s still making millions, and everybody knows how (like posing with granny’s undies). Not overreacting (again) when stating she makes more money with her lovely face than with a racquet and winners – just realize what she wears at a Slam is just as important as her performance itself, the ultimate proof the young woman has a powerfuld and very rentable image.
This being said, let’s talk about sponsoring, a huge part of the sport, like it or not (I don’t, TBH). Nowadays, who are the tennis’ faces for the made-in-China American co. Nike, the biggest USA brand when it comes to sports clothing? Rafa and his Bull, check; the RF, check; Serena, check. Who else? Yes, Sharapova (Vika and Li Na still have a looooo(…)oooong way to go before even getting close). Only one American. Without Serena, the best American sponsored by Nike is… John Isner (weren’t you LOL’ing yet?). After all, not so sure Nike is 100% happy is. It’s profitable, but the fact is, USA is running out of idols, with no new faces to replace them.
Conclusion: More than once, a foreigner player defended – and won for – the Stars and Stripes. Back when Lendl and Navratilova turned American, Uncle Sam had plenty of talent – and even more to come. But nowadays, things are different, and the USA desperatly wants an idol, an young face to lift trophies and be feared at a worldwide level. Nowadays, nearly 100% of all American goods are manufactured in Asia. Sharapova is a Russian-made player, but as it seems, they don’t get along very well. AND she’s also a well-known and loved face from the American crowd.
So, why not? And what if? Could you picture Maria and Serena leading the US FedCup team?
Peter Stephann Liguori, the CEO of Daily Scores Inc., is such a trashtalker
He also would love to be “Americanized”