Russian Tennis Chief Insults Williams Sisters

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Dementieva Urgant show

[Update: WTA fines, suspends Shamil Tarpischev for comments about the Williams sisters, that we reported earlier this week.]

Russian tennis star Elena Dementieva and Shamil Tarpischev, the head of the Russian Tennis Federation, were the guests of the Evening Urgant show– something similar to the Late-Night Show.

During the interview, the host asked, “How it feels to play against one of the…hmmm…? “Williams brothers,” helped Tarpischev. Urgant continued: “Look at our athletes–elegant and beautiful. I have tremendous respect for them [Williams sisters], but once one of the sisters passed next to me, and I found myself in her shadow for about forty seconds. They are so physically powerful. Weren’t you afraid to play against them?” Dementieva didn’t seem particularly amused by the conservation. The full video in Russian is here.

(photo: livesport.ru)

23 thoughts on “Russian Tennis Chief Insults Williams Sisters

  1. Pingback: WTA’s Silence Disappointing After Russian Tennis Head Slurs the Williams Sisters | Sports Wonks

  2. Pingback: WTA's Silence Disappointing After Russian Tennis Head Slurs the Williams Sisters – TennisNewsLine

  3. Drop Lob

    I’m wondering, what is the translation of Dementieva’s response? Not sure if she’s answering a question about playing Venus and Serena or if the topic had already changed… Would really appreciate it!

  4. Vikki R

    This is reflective of the Russian coach’s character, which should speak volumes to any decent human being. First off, his opinion should be of little value, because a valid opinion would come from someone more important that this coach. Dementieva’s inability to respond to the rude comment shouldn’t be surprising given the leash commonly placed on Russian civilians. I believe the Williams Sisters should return the silence as a demonstration of how the little importance placed on the Russian team.

  5. Eglo Olem

    I don’t know where you guys live. They are (the Williams sisters) as powerful as men and will skip the comments on the looks. This is not a Russian joke, this is inside tennis world joke, has been for years. I live in USA and have head it many times from US tennis players. Besides the success, after the US Open incident with Sarena many people were turn off, including me. I don’t care for either of them much, but Sarena is just someone many people will not care to defend and it is what she deserves.

  6. Pingback: Video: Shamil Tarpischev refers to Serena and Venus as Williams "brothers" on Russian Television, Fined $25K by WTA — PureTennisPureTennis — Your source for everything about tennis! — News and tweets about everything tennis &md

  7. Pingback: Shamil Tarpischev refers to Serena and Venus as "Williams Brothers" on Russian Television, Fined $25K by WTA — PureTennisPureTennis — Your source for everything about tennis! — News and tweets about everything tennis — Te

  8. Pingback: WTA Fines, Suspends Shamil Tarpischev for Comments About Williams Sisters | NanSports

  9. Pingback: WTA Fines, Suspends Shamil Tarpischev for Comments About Williams Sisters | Sporty

  10. Pingback: WTA Fines, Suspends Shamil Tarpischev for Comments About Williams Sisters | Sports Wonks

  11. Pingback: WTA Fines, Suspends Shamil Tarpischev for Comments About Williams Sisters – TennisNewsLine

  12. Pingback: WTA Fines, Suspends Shamil Tarpischev for Comments About Williams Sisters | Tennis Hound

  13. Pingback: Shamil Tarpischev fined, banned year - Inlanddaily.com

  14. Pingback: Shamil Tarpischev fined, banned year – ABC News | NEWS HEADLINES

  15. GreySkull

    Just Comes With The Territory Especially When Serena’s Embarrassing The Lily White Tennis World!!!!

  16. Hope

    One good thing about the passage of time is that in the future it will be remembered that the U.S. was lucky enough to have not one but two of the greatest players tennis has ever seen.

    What will be remembered is the legacy of excellence and what they have accomplished. The slurs, racism and inability to accept that excellence will either be forgotten or looked back on in. Puzzlement

  17. Pingback: Russian tennis official slammed for ‘Williams brothers’ crack - The Washington Post

  18. Emeka Onalu

    27 grand slams titles between two black women whose Father had the determination and foresight with no Tennis playing experience or coaching all self taught to one day dominate tennis. I always laugh when white dominated sports suddenly get very nervous when one of more athlete of different race start doing well. The fine from the WTA was a joke and only encourages more offensive remarks. On a positive note the Williams sisters must just see this as water of a ducks back.

  19. Nara

    Tarpischev was trying to make a joke, but, of course, it came off wrong. It should be noted that it was first implied by the host. Here is where we need to understand the grammatical gender in the Russian language. The Russian language has three genders–masculine, feminine, and neuter (neutral). The host said: “I was at the Olympic games, the one where Sharapova was playing against one of the…..” And he paused here. He initially used the word “one” in a grammatical feminine form, then changed it, and used it in a masculine form. Thus, it was the talk show host who implied it first, and Tarpischev just finished his sentence, by chiming in and saying: “Williams brothers.” I hope this clarifies it a little bit better.

  20. Smith

    That is so funny that American fans are so upset about something that can’t even understand and asking for translation and blindly believe the info that is simply given to them.

  21. nana

    @eglo olem: It’s not even an inside tennis joke. We read those comments on tennis blogs all the time. It’s probably where Tarpishev got the bright idea from.

    If you think the WS are as strong as men then the men you know must be a bunch of flaming wusses. And if you think anybody deserves this kind of treatment and disrespect for whatever sins you think they committed which have been committed by hundreds of players right up to this day, then there’s something desperately wrong with you.

    Clearly you and your little club friends are covering up feelings that don’t have anything to do with how strong the WS appear. You’re not fooling anybody.

  22. Pingback: Dementieva stays classy as Tarpischev refers to Serena and Venus as Williams "brothers" - Women's Tennis Blog

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