Cause they don't seem to be taking the Davis Cup loss very well.
And to express their bitterness, they have revived the age-old 'why do we let foreign athletes train in the US and represent their country' issue:
Should we be mad at Tursunov for ousting the U.S.?
Posted: Wednesday September 27, 2006 9:22AM; Updated: Wednesday September 27, 2006 1:18PM
Am I the only one a little upset that Dmitry Tursunov socked it to the U.S. in Davis Cup when he's basically from California? I am all for "The Land of Opportunity," but it would be nice to see one of these players give back -- like Monica Seles or Martina Navratilova. Yes, I'm talking about Maria Sharapova, too. Good God, neither of them even have an accent.
-- Mike, San Diego
I wrote a piece in this week's Sports Illustrated on this very topic. Tursunov is a fascinating case study. The guy is the Russian hero who conquers the U.S. in Davis Cup. He celebrates with his "countrymen" and then he returns to the place he's called home for the last half of his life: suburban Sacramento. Sharapova, Nicole Vaidisova, Tatiana Golovin ... legion are the players who compete under a different country code but are essentially naturalized Americans.
As I see it, citizenship is intensely personal. If Sharapova or Tursunov or whoever wants to emulate Seles and Navratilova and try to become an "American," great. It would end the Chicken Littles' lament that American tennis is on life support. If they want only to be residents and sustain their ties to Russia, that's fine, too.
I do think that in this age of the-world-is-flat globalization, international competitions have lost a lot of their relevance. The whole concept of a "foreign athlete" -- whether it's Romanian gymnasts in Houston, the Brazilian soccer star in Madrid, a Chinese basketball star in Houston (or a German in Dallas or a Frenchman in San Antonio) or the bevy of tennis players in Monaco -- has never been murkier.
I would think it would be hard to get too excited about the Russians' triumph when two of the stars haven't lived in the country since they were boys. (Marat Safin, who left to train in Spain as a junior, now resides in Monte Carlo.) Likewise, why get so worked up about the dearth of Americans in tennis' upper reaches when half the top players are -- officially or not -- based here?
First of All
at that headline. BENEDICT Dmitry?? That's WAAAYYY too overdramatic. Then there's the link on the main SI page that asks, "Is Tursunov a Turncoat"
(btw, For those who don't know, during the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold was a somewhat important American colonist who gave important colonial military information to the British. I don't remember precisely who he was or what he did, but in the US, if you call someone a Benedict so-and-so or refer to someone as a "Benedict Arnold", you're calling that person a traitor.)
Getting back to the point- they posted this article in the GM as well, and I posted in my response there, which is this:
The only reason that those who claim to be upset that he lives in the US, yet represents Russia is because he won that one match. END OF STORY.
I have to add that this is the ONLY negativity I've seen. The other websites I read, (yahoo, msn and espn) seem to be giving the Russian team its due credit and saying that the US needs to improve on clay, etc.