The Russians have arrived ...
And are taking the World of Professional Tennis to a new level. It seemed only a few short years ago, none in their right mind would bet against anyone other than Venus & Serena Williams to win whatever Major they were entered in.
Then the wave began with onslaught of bright & promising Stars beginning with Anastasia Myskina, who has the honor of being the 1st Russian Female to win a Grand Slam Title (French Open - 2004) Her road to Victory was stellar defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) -4th Rd Venus Williams (USA)(Qtrs) Jennifer Capriati (USA) (Semis) & Elena Dementieva (RUS) in the Finals.
On the WTA side, of the Top 100 Pro Female Players.  hail from Russia. Highest Current Ranking is Svetlana Kuznetsova (3). In the Top 50 there are (9) from Russia. In the Top 10 we have (5) from Russia. And that's just on the Women's side not counting all of the Pro Players that are from fractured States outside of Russia.
Although it would be easy to say the Russian Tennis Federation must have an awesome program but the first sign of any Player possessing above average abilities on the Tennis Court, they are immediately shuttled off to the USA to hone their talents. So it makes you wonder if we should really consider these Players from the USA instead since their games are patterned by US Coaches?
Oh well, that's an argument for another day .. but all in all, I find watching these Russian Ladies a pure joy. Almost everyone approaches the game with a determination to succeed. Maria Sharapova is one of my favorites whether she wins or loses merely because, at this point in her life, Maria has more money than she can ever spend and yet she still goes out to win. You can easily tell that losing a tennis match is not on her agenda. Aside from Monica Seles, I've never seen such steely eyed focus. Her technique is not great, her backhand is her best shot by far but her determination is her weapon. Oh yeah that screeching she does is more annoying than even Monica's but her game face more than makes up for it.
Svetlana Kuznetsova is one I can't put my finger on. She never seems to be in the match as though her ability to concentrate is a constant struggle for her. For someone with her ability, the un-forced errors that wield from her racquet makes you wonder how she's not below 100 in the World. But when she's on, her game is powerful much like Elena Dementieva.
It's easy to tell that none of the Russian Players fear the Williams Sister in any form or fashion these days and are convinced they have game & power to match anything Venus or Serena can throw at them and actually they're right about that.
Truly From Russia with Love ///