The marquee women’s match on Monday night featured the Russian five time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova against Romanian Simona ‘Who Am I?’ Halep.
- Sharapova, ranked #1 on the WTA several times and a former U.S. Open Champion, is playing her first major tournament following a 15 month suspension for a failed drug test.
- Halep somehow became the tournament’s #2 seed while Serena became too pregnant, Venus wasn’t paying attention, and Sharapova took her 15 months to work with Russia’s finest on better ways to avoid doping protocols.
The Russia/Romania enmity runs deep, so to prepare myself for watching the match I put together a country comparison.
Tale of the tape:
GDP (Billion Dollars)
Population (million people)
Oil, gas, industrial products, mass killing of civilians (exclusive export to Syria market—for now) Beets, funny accents, general sense of dread
Other well known athletes
Alex Ovechkin, Anna Kournikova, Evgeni Plushenko, those guys who lost to the U.S. in hockey in 1980 Nadia Comaneci, that freakish looking 7’7” guy (Muresan?) who played basketball for the Bullets and Nets…ummm, Andre the Giant?
1 million people active, 2.5 million reserve, 400 vessel navy, 2000 aircraft, 1700 ICBM’s 3 operational diesel trucks, 2 Russian T32 tanks (no tracks), one castle full of vampires
Arts and culture
Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Bolshoi ballet, etc. Theater of the Absurd writer Eugene Ionesco, several depressing poets, painters only allowed to use different shades of black and gray
Number of U.S. Presidents currently controlled
So on paper this is a cake walk for Russia. The reality is that the match went three sets, with the Cossacks finally giving it to the Gypsies 6-3 in the third. Halep is really fast, but ultimately her wheels were no match for the sound of an exceptionally loud, slowly being suffocated squirrel that Sharapova emits every time she hits the ball. Earplugs recommended for anyone with second round tickets.
By RUFUS DAVIS: U.S. Dopen Match Summary; Sharapova vs. Halep