Heavy Metal Tennis – soundtrack to the coming season of fashion and music

27 Jan

There are already two big-hitting Russians in the semi-finals at the Australian Open. Depending on the next few hours, there could be four!!

Vera Zvonareva

Vera Zvonareva

Yes, the world of commerce is often dominated by Russian oligarchs and their multi-national interests, the catwalks are often graced by Russian and east-European models, and the modern wealthy art buyers are often Russians. Further, some of the best music clubs, boutiques and restaurants in the world are in Moscow.

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Meanwhile, back at the tennis, Vera Zvonareva (photo 1, left) defeated Marion Bartoli of France in one quarter-final (in an easy 6-3, 6-0), and Dinara Safina overpowered comeback kid Jelena Dokic of Australia in a 3-set slugfest (6-4, 4-6, 6-4) to set up her semi-final with Zvonareva. So that’s Russia v Russia.

We then have No. 4 seed Elena Dementieva (Russia) looking likely to win over unexpected opponent Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain. So perhaps the only non-Russian hope is if Serena Williams (USA) can win against Svetlana Kuznetsova (photo 2, right). With results of 6-2, 6-2 and 7-6, 6-4 coming into the match, Kuznetsova’s form is similar to the Williams wins of 6-3, 7-5 and 6-1, 6-4. Curiously, both players won their fourth round matches when their opponents retired.

Dinara Safina muscle tone

Dinara Safina muscle tone

One important feature of the modern Russian game is the addition of finesse and style to their traditional power and grit. It might not always be pretty, but it is attractive in its own Amazonian way as these modern players combine purity of skill with rugged counter-punches.

Elena Dementieva catwalk queen

Elena Dementieva catwalk queen

Athleticism is also a key as we have seen this last fortnight, with wonderful shoulders and lean but powerful muscle (Safina, Dementieva, Sharapova) alongside the stocky power-hitters (Kuznetsova, Kleybanova).

Talking of style and tone, which we sort of were, just look at the muscle tone of Safina (photo 3, left). Yet these modern Amazons are also perfectly happy on the dance floor or even the catwalk, as you can see with Dementieve (photo 4, right) from a fashion shoot.

The soundtrack of the future is fit. All praise.

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