In Brussels, the two Russians in the Main Draw, Zvonareva & Pervak, were both put in the same quarter. Ksenia went out early to Klara Zakopalova but of course the officials rushed to fill the breach by assigning qualifier Russian Kazakhstani Galina Voskoboeva to play Szavay & perhaps Vera. UPDATE: Szavay retires in Brussels down 25. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) will then be Zvonareva's first opponent -- tomorrow, I think.
They may or may not have gotten the memo from WTA that naturalized American (as of this year, congrats) Varvara Lepchenko is to be treated as Slavic trash when they designed for her to face local upcomer An-Sophie Mestach and now Princess Wozniacki on Wednesday.
Varvara is not your typical former-Soviet émigrée. Previously playing under the Uzbek flag, she lives in Allentown PA, practices on public courts and admires Elena Dementieva. NOT a country-club pet, she is more MY kinda girl!
Confidence is high we will get a Eurosport stream.
In Brussels, the two Russians in the Main Draw, Zvonareva & Pervak, were both put in the same quarter. Ksenia went out early to Klara Zakopalova but of course the officials rushed to fill the breach by assigning qualifier Russian Kazakhstani Galina Voskoboeva to play Szavay & perhaps Vera. UPDATE: Szavay retired in Brussels down 25. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) will then be Zvonareva's first opponent tomorrow, Wednesday.
They screw us outta seeing the Russians. But we CAN see LEPCHENKO play Princess. Varvara gets little camera time, so take the opportunity.
Brussels Ladies Open -- (Times CEST)
Varvara did not win, of course. (Caro 64 76(5) ) But she played a good enough match, considering injuries. Eurosport's McCree & Smith had some interesting intel on her background and why she has had to come on the Tour at a delayed pace. More later.
US player Varvara Lepchenko returns the ball towards Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, at the Brussels Open tennis tournament in Brussels, Wednesday, May 18, 2011.
Varvara played pretty good, considering her visble injuries. 64 76(5) ain't bad against a number one, even not at the top of her game. She has a kinda quirky lefty forehand that sometimes blows opponents away & other times not so much. But that's not why she's been below the radar. McCree & Smith told me something I had not known:
Her family came to America under political asylum. Without making too much of that, know that Uzbeks were never what you would call the pride of the Soviet Union. Things haven't gotten much better and many ethnic Russians & Ukranians want to leave Uzbekistan. (Denis Istomin has moved to Moscow & he had been inTashkent since childhood.)
Seems that asylum-seekers in the US may not, as a rule, travel abroad for like four and a half years. While there is sufficient opportunity here for her to develop as a tournament player--she is only now getting used to life on the Tour. Lotsa stuff others took for granted served as obstacles she had to get past, see?
PS: She had started out in the States, typically enough, in Florida. Way too much culture-shock. She deicded she was more cut out for Allentown PA. Damn. Do I understand that! lol
Oh. My. Gawd. In a near-empty Bull Ring, on Monday at 8.55 pm: Varvara Lepchenko defeats Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
I SAW IT!!! MY DAY IS MADE!!!
But hear the ESPN2 commentariat bleed about their "stars" fallen by the wayside--and they don't give a damn about her achievement. Does that tell you how it all stands in the Yankeeland?
Confusion--nice if someone could get their facts straight. Previously, WTA had saidLepchenko received full American citizenship this year.
"Mattek-Sands meets Varvara Lepchenko, who was born in Uzbekistan but lives in Allentown, Pa., and as a longtime resident of the United States is allowed to represent it on tour.
"The 85th-ranked Lepchenko authored the biggest upset of a windy, sunny day short on big names at the only Grand Slam tournament that begins on a Sunday, eliminating 18th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
"Either Mattek-Sands or Lepchenko - who arrived in Paris with a 7-11 record this season - will be the first woman from the United States other than a Williams to reach the third round at Roland Garros since 2006."By HOWARD FENDRICH AP Tennis Writer
NOW, WTA has back-paddled:
"World No.77 Lepchenko wrapped up the day's action with a 63 26 63 grinder over No.18 seed Flavia Pennetta. Her win over the No.19-ranked Pennetta was her second career Top 20 win, after a 62 60 rout of then-No.18 Patty Schnyder at a much smaller clay court event in 2009, over in Ponte Vedra Beach.
"I just kept fighting and trying not to think about anything, but the thoughts were creeping in my mind," Lepchenko, who turned 25 on Saturday, said about the tight ending to the match. "A lot of it is mental. It's not only about your fitness. It's 50-50 - you have to be ready both mentally and physically."
"Although Lepchenko isn't a citizen of the US yet, she is a resident and has been playing under the American flag for a while. "I wish with all my heart to play for the US as a citizen. At the moment I'm not a citizen, I'm just a resident who has been living in the States for 10 years and growing up there and being supported by all the people who help me out. I consider myself an American."
Mattek-Sands leads Lepchenko in their head-to-head series, 3-1.
On Tuesday June 26 2012 at Wimbledon, Varvara was advised she had made the US Olympic squad. That afternoon, she played her first match versus Patricia Mayr-Archleitner.
Commentary by a team of the Fed-Cup Russia-hater Chris Bowers & Yankee baseball-jock Doug Adler (in mothballs since Bejing, where NBC had him talking tennis -trash there too). This rather festive pair seemed to agree there were not many worse players than Varvara & Mayr was all messed up for not beating her.
Odd talk from Adler about our newest Olympian, hunh? Varvara left her victory with NO SECURITY and NO WTA or tournament personnel, typically accompanying any player. Only her dad, who Bowers & Adler refuse to identify, insisting there is "no one there for her".
On Thursday versus Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the same story, same court (17)--SAME MOUTHPIECES (this getting strange or what?) Even that awful, chubby Russian lacking in self confidence should be able to do the job, right? Wrong. Varvara wins again.
This time Adler held forth at length with some bullsh!t, sexist "anthropological" theory on the inadequacies of women players. He and Bowers worked overtime to explain away visible evidence of the increasing wind--insisting on how disappointed the fans must be by these wastes of skin.
The Yankee Fed Cup & Olympic captain, Miami gusana Mary Jo Fernandez, won't come to support her newest charge.
What to make of this? Sadly, I must report that anti-immigrant hated in the States is now worse than the 1930s, probably worse than anytime since the Civil War. It ain't just Hispanics targeted--our "patriots" have always hated the Irish in Boston & now spit their venom at former Soviets--even one whose family came here per "political asylum". You gotta wonder why Brits trot along wagging their tails after such drivel. Can't that lot figure out the Amerikaans despise them too?
To the sick, 1%er country-club mentality, Varvara could win Gold & she'd still never be good enough. Probably why she shuns Florida & lives in Allentown PA with REAL people.
Hey, Varvara, ДАВАЙ!!! :D
UPDATE: Of course, the next match against Kvitova on Court 1 couldn't be left in the hands of lightweights. Tracy Austin was brought in to enforce decorum & someone trotted out Taylor Townsend & another young American player to sullenly watch their "friend" lose to Petra. See, see, we like her.
Still no MJ Fernandez. Mary Jo has to commentate (suck Serena's ass) doncha know? Every time? Gomme a break.
As an American (actually Texan), I find this charade despicable. I would like to see Varvara win a medal & jam it up their country-club butts. lol!