Responsible for around 50 of the female tennis players listed by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Russia is well known for producing some gorgeous ones; and basically if you haven’t heard of them it’s because they aren’t hot enough. We have decided that it’s time to rank the Top 5. Their position in the list was determined by a combination of factors: most importantly Prize Money Earnings, Highest Ranking, WTA Titles, Hotness and last but not least, Loudness of Grunting & Squealing.
Based on these determinations I am sad to say that Nadia Petrova (US$8,447,236), Svetlana Kuznetsova (US$13,961,519) and Dinara Safina (US$9,858,126), despite doing very well in the other 4 categories, were let down by their looks, but still deserve a mention. (Dinara, it doesn’t bode well when your brother is better looking than you)
1. Elena Dementieva – $13,729,105
Affectionately nicknamed “Lena” and with the ability to boast that she’s the only one on this list to have won an Olympic Gold Medal, Elena is currently the highest ranked Russian female tennis player at number 5 in the world. She has been as high as 3 in April 2009 and has earned a fraction more than Sharapova with US$13,729,105 in prize money. With 16 WTA singles titles and 6 WTA doubles titles she clearly ticks all the boxes to get her the top spot on the list.
2. Maria Sharapova – $13,270,000
Surprisingly not in the number 1 spot. Maria first became the number one ranked female player on August 22, 2005, has won 22 WTA titles, and has earned US$13,270,000 in prize money and grunts and squeals like a champion. Measured at 101 decibels, the Russian beauty employs the tactic because it masks the sound of the ball coming off the racquet and basically annoys the other player. She is repeatedly named the hottest athlete in the world and through sponsorship earns around US$26m annually.
3. Anastasia Myskina – $5,606,725
She may not be as stunning as the rest, but as the first Russian female tennis player to win a Grand Slam (French Open in 2004), and subsequently the first to reach the top 3 in the history of rankings (number 2 in the world – Sept 2004) and with career earnings of US$5,606,725; Anastasia is our deserved 3rd place getter. Plagued by injuries Anastasia doesn’t think she will make a return to the professional tour and has decided to live her life preserving the memory of Boris Yeltsin.
4. Anna Kournikova – $3,584,662
The original Russian glamour girl. Anna’s highest rank was 8th in singles but 1st in doubles; and though she never won any singles titles, she won 16 WTA doubles titles and has earned US$3,584,662 in prize money. Anna was never very good at tennis and her career suffered after she made some poor life choices…like dating Enrique Iglesias. Anna’s initials (A.K) have even become a part of Poker culture as it is commonly said that when you hold an Ace and a King in your hand “it looks good, but never wins”. This is exactly what Anna thought of herself, when in a press conference after a loss to Martina Hingis she said “You won, but I’m prettier and more marketable than you.” And even Martina can’t argue with that.
5. Maria Kirilenko – $2,707,539
This Maria may very well be the best looking of the bunch but a highest ranking of 18 in July 2008, 5 WTA titles and US$2,707,539 in career prize money only has her in the 5th spot. Because of Maria’s talent for tennis at an early age, she had to give up school and look elsewhere for an education. This led to her affair with Mikhail Baryshnikov when he became her private tutor. The pair split when Maria became constantly jealous that the famous ballet dancer “looked better in tights than she did”.
Some other famous Russian tennis players that didn’t make the list were: Marina Canyoumoveova, Sasha Doyuwannastayova, Daniela Ilikeitwhenyoubendova, Alina Imsohungova, Viktoria Throwalegova and Alexandra Hardtogetova. Better luck next time girls. And remember, you read it on the Internet, so it must be true.
Justin writes about personal finance. He provides useful advice on how to choose the best savings accounts
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