Any reason why Maria plays for Russia?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Head-Strong, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. Head-Strong

    Head-Strong Rookie

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    I was born and raised in Russia (well until 10) and then moved to US and A (my name Borat!, lol)
    anyways.........

    Here is her background......

    Sharapova's father, Yuri Sharapov, brought Maria to the United States to attend the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida when she was 7 years old. Her mother, Yelena, who could not come with them because of visa restrictions, followed a few years later. Sharapova has lived in the United States since then but retains her Russian citizenship.

    In 2002, Sharapova bought a beach home in Manhattan Beach, California,[4] a suburb of Los Angeles, but lives most of the year near the IMG training facility in Bradenton.


    So anyways........
    All i am saying is that to me at least, someone who has moved from the Soviet Union at the age of 9, if i was to play tennis, i would chose to represent USA, and as Dominating as Russian Female tennis is being that of the top 100 girls about 25 are from some form of Russia does she realy need to be just another russian poster perfect tennis girl?

    For this reason alone i would pick US (Seles did it right?)
     
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  2. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    She's Russian.
    Case closed :p
     
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  3. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Bold line.
    Ergo, she's russian :p
    She feels russian and wants to keep being russian ;)
     
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  4. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    Its her decision.

    She has the right to exploit anything she can out of America and isn't required to give anything back like play Davis cup for America.

    She wants to give back to Russia instead.

    I don't see any problem.
     
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  5. MasterTS

    MasterTS Professional

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    Even Tommy Haas said he isn't a citizen because he wants to play Davis Cup for germany.. and after he retires from tennis, he will get his US Citizenship.. lol funny logic but thats the way things work.
     
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  6. onkystomper

    onkystomper Hall of Fame

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    Her parents are Russian, she was born in Russia she is Russian er need we say more?
     
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  7. forzainter

    forzainter Semi-Pro

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    she probably doesnt want to be american, or maybe she was repaying her cousins who funded her trip to america by playing for russia
     
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  8. shinta

    shinta Rookie

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    you're probably not allowed to represent USA uless you're a citizen of the USA. if she changed her citizenship to USA, then all of Russia would probably start calling her a sellout, and she doesn't want that. i dunno, that's my guess. anyway, i don't think it's a big deal. i mean, you see all the international nba, mls, nhl, etc. players who play professionally in the USA, but then represent their own countries in the olympics. i don't see anything wrong with maria representing russia.
     
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  9. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Professional

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    If you had heard her speak Russian and English, you would guess she's American. Her English and Russian are about the same in terms of fluency and word usage, but she has a strange accent when speaking Russian (it basically sounds like a foreigner who has been taught very well but never lived in the place and, thus, learned to pronounce things the same as others).

    To me, it is more about what place most influences who you currently are. So, even though my niece was born in Germany, I wouldn't consider her to be German. I grew up with plenty of kids who were the children of Vietnamese refugees, but most of them considered themselves to be American (even though they all spoke Vietnamese and were surrounded by Vietnamese family members).

    Even some of the other members of the Russian Fed Cup team (and a lot of people in Russia) consider her to be an outsider. You could feel the relief in Russia when Myskina became the first Russian woman to win a major singles title. They were afraid Sharapova would beat her to it.

    Lastly, she doesn't even pronounce her own name correctly when speaking English. In Russian, it's pronounced "shaRApova," but she mispronounces it the same way most English speakers do: "sharaPOva." I know this sounds unimportant, but if you really think about it, it is a big sign.

    I've lived in a few foreign countries for a while, but I've never mispronounced my own name while speaking another language just to sound more like those around me, though I don't mind when others pronounce it the way they would if I was from their country. In fact don't know many people who would say their own names "incorrectly" in that same fashion.

    To me, she's an American of Russian origin.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
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  10. lauras-serve

    lauras-serve New User

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    Maria is telling a little white lie (pun intended) by claiming to be Russian. Her parents are from Belarus, aka White Russia. Even though she certainly was born in Russia, she might be able to claim Belorussian citizenship because of her ancestry**. She's Russian simply because she and her parents were on the Russian side of the border when the Soviet Union broke up into Russia and Belarus (and other nations).

    ** The United States is rather unique in granting birth citizenship to anyone born in its territory. Most countries (probably including Russia) don't grant citizenship to the offspring of non-citizens.

    (Hmmm, I wonder if Maria made Prince name her racquet "White" to acknowledge her heritage.)
     
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  11. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Most countries in latin america do it too.
     
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  12. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i would say its her fathers decision. he probably feels strongly about his russian roots, so he urged Maria to do the same. my guess is shes indifferent.
     
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  13. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    It doesn't matter what she feels, or the fact that she speaks English better than Russian. It's a simple matter of citizenship, regardless of where she is geographically or culturally.

    Some of the other Russian players already don't like her because she is so Americanized, but that doesn't change the fact of her citizenship.

    I believe that for Fed Cup and Davis Cup, you have to be a citizen of the country you represent. I think Mary Pierce held dual citizenship when she played for France.

    This situation is not true in all sports. Many countries, especially smaller ones, allow athletes whose parents were/are citizens, or even born in that country to represent the country. The best example I can think of is Felix Sanchez an American track athlete who won the gold in Athens while representing the Dominican Republic, who allowed him to compete because his parents were/are citizens of the DR.
     
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  14. J-man

    J-man Hall of Fame

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    The reason she plays for Russia is because for the plain and simple fact is that she feels Russian, her parents are Russian ect. It's her background. But I can see why you would question her citizenship

    Not only that but we have enough baseline bashers playing for America we don't need anymore
     
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  15. carrwash13

    carrwash13 Rookie

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    I think if you train in america then america should get the credit. All the broadcasters talk about how america isn't producing any up and coming talent yet alot of the juniors from other countries are being trained in the U.S. Doesn't make sense. It's like we're baking the cake but the person who sold the raw ingredients is getting all the credit.....(sorry it's lunch time and I'm hungry).
     
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  16. Swingin Richard

    Swingin Richard Rookie

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    It's definitely Yuri's call. I don't think she does anything on her own, including eat bananas.
     
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  17. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    well, what's wrong with her being Russian? she has that citizenship and was born there, although she didn't grow up there. Well, unless you were born in one country and grow up in another, you probably will never understand.
    And even if she takes up the US citizenship, she probably will also regard herself as a Russian and American. The place where you were born is one part of you. It won't change wherever you go.
     
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  18. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    I'm sick of this stupidity. Believe it or not, she doesn't want to be a US citizen. She want's to remain a Russian citizen. Get over it!
     
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  19. dubsplayer

    dubsplayer Semi-Pro

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    That's about the dumbest thing I've ever read.
     
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  20. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    No, if you're born in a specific country, and want to remain a citizen of that country, then you play for your home country. Where you happen to train doesn't make a bit of difference. Safin trained in Spain, but it would be ridiculous to expect him to play for Spain. The Morroccan players (sorry, can't spell their names) and Baghdatis trained in France...does that mean they should play for France?

    Get off your high horse. The US has the training facilities that most other countries can't even dream of...the US doesn't expect these players to play for it (though if they chose to do so, I'm sure they would be welcomed), so why should YOU? We should be able to produce our OWN championship-caliber players, and, for the most part, we do.
     
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  21. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    hahahahaha. you said itbetter than i did.
     
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  22. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Professional

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    My comments were in response to those who were simply saying she is Russian. That's a bit of a tricky argument to make because it depends on how you define what a person is.

    My niece is a perfect example. Her mom is from the Phillipines but raised in California. Her dad (my brother) is a typical American mutt (our ancestors were immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, England, and probably some other places we don't even know about). My niece was born in Germany and lived there for a couple of years, then the family lived in Texas and Virginia, and now she's back in California with her mom's family (all from the Phillipines) while my brother is in Iraq.

    So, what would you call a girl who's ethnically mixed like that, was born in Germany, and spends a lot of time with the Phillipino side of her family? I say she's American, because that is the environment that is most affecting her personality and behavior, but some people here seem like they would argue she's German or Phillipino (even though she's never been to the Phillipines).

    The point is, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's probably a duck. Sharapova is just a duck with Russian citizenship.

    As for the question about the Fed Cup team, she's got the passport so she has every right to play for Russia. She could play for the Japanese team for all I care, as long as she has the citizenship.

    Still, to me, since I've lived in Russia and was able to get to know many people there, I don't really consider her to be all that Russian. She's only a bit more Russian than the white English guy who plays football for Trinidad & Tobago is Trinidadian (he was born there (during his parents' vacation) and speaks English, though not with a Carribean accent; does that make him a Tinidadian?).
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2007
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  23. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    She was born in Siberia and then her family moved to Sochi. She is definitely NOT Belorussian. Neither Siberia or Sochi are anywhere near Belorussia, which is between Russia and Poland. And Belorussians speak Belorussian (see Max mirnyi)

    Here's an article from an exptremely reliable British paper (Herald Tribune) titled The Siren from Siberia ...

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2003/06/27/wimbledon_ed3__2.php
     
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  24. RedKat

    RedKat Rookie

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    It is really a question of formal citizenship. She has a Russian passport. That is it. Now, I do not know whether she wants or not to be an American but it is also not that easy to get American nationality. It is not that one can apply and just get it. Even Sharapova, I am afraid. Ivan Lendl got US passport only after 15 or 20 years (don't remember exactly) of US residency
     
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  25. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    i totally agree.

    let her be russian ! ;)
     
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  26. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    No it is actually money issue only. she has ton of endorsements in russia that she would lose if she completely became american. and she had said in the past that she would rather be an american and does not really feel like russian at all.
     
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  27. fridrix

    fridrix Rookie

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    In Russia, they say, "Masha nye nasha"---"Maria's not ours."
     
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  28. lauras-serve

    lauras-serve New User

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    Maria's parents moved from Gomel (aka Homel) Belarus to Siberia after the nearby Chernobyl disaster. Maria was born about twelve months after the disaster. She supposedly still has family (a grandmother?) in the Gomel area.

    Belarus has two official languages: Belarusian and Russian. The Belarusian language itself is a cross between Russian and Polish.
     
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  29. RedKat

    RedKat Rookie

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    LMAO. It isn't a cross. It is an independent language. It has a lot of similarities with Russian, Ukrainian and, yes, Polish but much less then with the former two
     
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  30. carrwash13

    carrwash13 Rookie

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    Exactly...which is why...WE the United States are producing alot of the talent. But after they are done training in the US they go back and play for a country that didn't even have the slightest impact in making them a good player.
     
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  31. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    There's nothing that obligates a player to play for the country where he/she trains. It's like going to school abroad. The student has no obligation to work in/for the country where he went to school.

    Since US tennis is arguably "down," I can understand your frustation, but your argument is simply nonsense.
     
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  32. jhhachamp

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    I've read much dumber, but that is pretty dumb.
     
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  33. jhhachamp

    jhhachamp Hall of Fame

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    Your niece is a perfect example of someone who it is difficult to describe with a specific nationality. It is a more complicated situation. Sharapova's situation is pretty simple and several posters have pointed that out to you. It is not really much like the situation with your niece that you are trying to compare it to.
     
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  34. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Your niece's situation is completely different than Sharapova's.;) She is
    100 % Russian, she is BORN in Russia, her family is all Russian, she understand the Russian heritage, etc.....Sharapova plays for Russia because she is RUSSIAN.

    I don't really understand why some people don't get it. She is Americanized for sure, but her heart, blood and family is RUSSIAN. Your niece's parents (brother) are American's. Your niece is German born (holding German citizenship). Because her parents are American in turn she gets US citizenship. My brother was born in Germany. His father (my step-dad) is an American, our mother is Italian (born and raised until 22 years of age). My brother is allowed to attain Italian cittizenship if he wants. He automatically gets it (citizenship) in the States.

    Hope this clears a few things up.:)
     
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  35. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Correct...his niece is a different story. He may not understand how citizenship works. His niece is a German/American. She can carry both passports (dual citizenship). As for her mother being Phillipino...not sure. Does the Phillipines allow the child to become a citizen based on the mother....the USA does.

    I don't think anyone will argue that Shriekapova is Americanized.
     
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