Jankovic Headlines Moscow; Dementieva in Luxembourg: WTA Previews
by Staff | October 17th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Kremlin Cup
Moscow, Russia
Surface: indoor hard

Seeds: Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Flavia Pennetta, Maria Kirilenko, Alisa Kleybanova, Maria Jose Martinez Ssnchez

Floaters: Shuai Peng, Patty Schnyder
Notes: (1) Dementieva opens against Peng, and (3) Wickmayer against the Osaka finalist Schnyder; wildcards went to Dementieva, Russian Yulia Putintseva, Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella, and France’s Virginie Razzano; in last year’s final Francesca Schiavone defeated Olga Govortsova.

BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open
Surface: hard

Seeds: Elena Dementieva, Aravane Rezai, Yanina Wickmayer, Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova, Timea Bacsinszky, Jarmila Groth, Julia Goerges

Floaters: Anna Chakvetadze, Elena Vesnina, Alla Kudryavtseva, Dominika Cibulkova, Lucie Safarova

Notes: Openers of note are (3) Li vs. Chakvetadze, (5) Pennetta vs. the hot-handed Vesnina, (8) Martinez Sanchez vs. Kudryavtseva, (4) Pavlyuchenkova vs. Cibulkova, and (7) Kleybanova vs. Safarova; in last year’s final Swiss Timea Bacsinszky defeated Sabine Lisicki for the title.

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8 Comments for Jankovic Headlines Moscow; Dementieva in Luxembourg: WTA Previews

margot Says:

BTW folks, Russia has atrocious human rights record re Chechnya, not too good a record, even now, regarding free press, treatment of its own dissidents should anyone be playing there?
It’s really difficult to take the moral high ground.

grendel Says:

margot:” It’s really difficult to take the moral high ground.” True, and disagreeable to watch, too. Were you by any chance alluding to my post on China? If you weren’t, forgive my egotism and ignore what follows, otherwise: tennis is organic in Russia, though it wasnt always. Tolstoy used to mock those urbane Russians who aped Europeans (British, French ..)and tennis was among the “superior” western imports. Funny thing is, though, there is a very early film (1890’s?) of Tosltoy playing tennis, or a genteel version of it. And it took root. Tennis, I mean.
The tournaments in Russia reflect interest in tennis, not a regime anxious to show off. The same cannot be said for China. Even so, I hope they go on playing tennis in China – I think the opening out to the West is a double edged sword, which could one day come back and bite the tyrants in the neck.

mmm Says:

Schnyder wasn’t a finalist in Osaka. She was a finalist in Linz. Do you actually follow tennis!?!?!

margot Says:

grendel: Hmm, you’ve now changed the argument somewhat. Are you saying that as long as the tennis has developed “organically” it really doesn’t matter what the regime is like? I’m sure someone who has been vilely tortured and killed in Chechnya, probably couldn’t care less. I also feel, as Puckbandit mentioned, once China got the supreme gift of the Olympics, all that follows is irrelevant.
Our own feeble attempt at Democracy developed slowly over about 200 years, almost hand in hand with the Industrial revolution. The problem with China is they’ve gone from a simple Agrarian society to a highly complex industrial one, in about twenty minutes. They’re still stuck with a totalitarian regime which is highly ambivalent about its nature and which is highly unsuited to the free passage of ideas.
Yes, while being pessimistic in the short term, I am optimistic in the long term. Pandora, in the shape of the www, is out of the box and “the centre cannot hold.”

grendel Says:

“Are you saying that as long as the tennis has developed “organically” it really doesn’t matter what the regime is like? ”

No, of course not. Actually, in my self-centred way – and I was obviously wrong – I thought, given that I have been making a song and dance about China, you were implying what about Chechnya, isn’t it inconsistent not to highlight the terror there? But in fact you just wanted to draw attention to it for its own sake, and fair enough.
The business about a natural growth of tennis is not a trivial one. It is true that to the regime occasions like the Shanghai tennis tournament are small beer compared to the Olympics, but they deserve highlighting, I think, as an example of the grotesque nature of this regime, which just “manufactures” events to suit its purposes. And of course when all the tennis players say how wonderful it all is, how well looked after they have been and so on, there will be much gleeful rubbing of hands. It would take a George Orwell to do justice to this grim but somehow risible scenario.

“The problem with China is they’ve gone from a simple Agrarian society to a highly complex industrial one, in about twenty minutes”. It didn’t have to be that way, though. Look at India which started to industrialise much later than China and is already at a comparable level. The suffering has been huge, certainly, but it’s not remotely comparable to China’s. The fact is, the communist party did irreperable damage to China – in the so-called “great leap forward” and “Cultural Revolution”, so eagerly supported by naive western leftists at the time, maybe over a 100 million people were murdered. The scale of the crime scarcely bares thinking of. And that horrible regime is still there. I agree it is ambivalent about its nature, becaue the only thing they have to cling onto now is power itself, in all its nakedness. This will make them very, very dangerous indeed to their neighbours, and you can bet the neighbours understand this absolutely.

The Russian terror campaign in Chechnya, terrible though it is, is one of the last flings of a fairly decreptit empire. Compared to China, the threat is miniscule.
Since we’re on a sporting site, one last thing. In the World Cup recently, North Korea did very well in its first match. Emboldened by this, the rulers decided to broadcast the next match live (the first match had only been shown as a recording, just in case the team – and therefore the regime – was embarrassed). Unfortunately, Nrth Korea was beaten,I think, 7-0, a huge defeat anyway. Of course, no more live television showings. Meanwhile, it is reported that the football team, upon its return, was incarcerated as a punishment for disgracing their country. Now China isn’t North Korea. But North Korea wouldn’t last 5 minutes without China’s economic support.

As for boycotts, I don’t know. I really don’t. I don’t share your optimism about the long term future, but then you wouldn’t expect that. I’m a sour old puss, and that will colour anything I think generally. I would expect the human species to go the way of all other species in time(except perhaps bacteria, which will outlive everyone and everything, although eventually, it too…).

As for boycotting, I’ll leave that to others to decide.

I don’t think we should boycott China, as it happens, and I have given my reasons – although it is also true that tennis is such small beer there that it hardly matters to the regime. But I don’t think you should mock the distinction I drew between a natural growth of tennis and an imposed one. The latter is yet another instance of how far a totalitarian regime is prepared to go. So when Federer and Murray shake hand with all these officials, there is something singularly grotesque going on there which could do with an Orwell to properly describe.

grendel Says:

sorry, computer glitch – the last 7 lines shldn’t be there.

laslo Says:

Russia has atrocious human rights record re Chechnya, not too good a record, even now, regarding free press, treatment of its own dissidents should anyone be playing there?

In 1980 the US boycotted the Moscow Olympics to protest Russian involvement in Afghanistan. Twenty years later the US is doing the same thing in Afghanistan/Iraq. The US kills its own citizens in the electric chair. Should anyone be playing in NY? You are so funny.

margot Says:

Iaslo: That’s exactly my point. Meanwhile here in marvellous UK we were busily deporting a man back to a horrible regime in Zimbabwe, only we managed to kill him in transit.
Very few countries, Switzerland, Sweden possibly, can take any moral high ground at all.
My final point, I suspect China got the Olympics anyway, because all us lovely, democratic, Western countries have no conscience (second time this a.m. I’ve used that word, oh dear) whatsoever about borrowing their money.

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