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An open letter to Elena Dementieva

Dear Cheap generic viagra Elena,

Hi, you don’t know me, I’m just a fan. My name is Bárbara and I’m 20 years old. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but today you retired from professional tennis. (I make Buy Viagra Online. No Prescrition Needed stupid jokes when I’m upset, I apologise.) Yesterday, I was cheering for you to make the semis in Doha and gain some extra points, today, I find out I’ll probably never watch you play again. It’s all a bit sudden, if you know what I mean. I’m not criticising you, I know you have your reasons to announce or not announce your retirement. Either way, before you get all defensive on me, let me tell you a bit about myself.

I come from Brazil. When I was 6, Gustavo Kuerten won Roland Garros and created a huge tennis frenzy in the country. I liked him. I believe, up until this day, he was one of the greatest role models and athletes my nation has ever had. But, at the time, I didn’t care all that much. I only seriously got into tennis at 10 — as seriously as you can possibly feel about something when you’re that age. And, when you’re 10, everything feels serious and eternal. I was watching the Sydney Olympics and I ended up catching the women’s singles final. After two not-all-that-great sets, I was in love. No — get off your high horse — not in love with you, in love with the sport. You can probably say there were better matches between 1997 and 2000 to get me into tennis, but love hits you in weird ways, doesn’t it? The Sydney final made me feel a level of excitement, empathy and, in the end, pure sadness that I didn’t know was capable of being felt through sport. After the match, you, Lena, had gained an Olympic silver medal. Tennis, on the other hand, had gained a die-hard fan.

Ever since that final, every year that passed, I loved tennis more and more. Ten years of my life were marked by you and other players hitting yellow fuzzy balls. As cliché as it may sound, I grew up watching you play. I don’t even have to think hard to recall some of your losses that hurt the most. Big ones, like that morning you lost to Myskina in Paris or that night that you lost to Kuznetsova in New York. And even smaller ones, like all the weekends I woke up at 6 AM to watch you play either semifinals or finals in Moscow and saw you lose. But, to be honest, the victories are just as easy to relive. I don’t even have to put any effort to remember the score against cialis online Serena when you finally clinched that Kremlin Cup title (5-7 6-1 6-1). Or reminisce how awesome it was when you, single-handedly, won the Fed Cup for Russia against the French in a full Phillipe Chatrier. And, believe me, Elena, I’m terrible with numbers. I can’t, for my life, recall my friends or family member’s birthdays. Turns out my brain believes tennis scores are more important than when my loved ones were born. (No, I was never clinically diagnosed crazy, why do you ask?) And, Elena, if I’m being completely honest with you, even some of your losses bring me good memories. That 2009 Wimbledon semifinal will forever go in history as one of the greatest women’s matches played on the holy grass. You have to feel nothing but pride about that.

Elena, you were the player that made me understand the meaning of the word ‘fan’. You were my football team, my role model, my superhero.  I cared if you won or lost. Eventually, when you grow up, you start thinking ‘What difference does it make in my life if a leggy blonde Russian tennis player wins a match or not?’ But then it’s already too late. You’re already hooked. It’s safe to say I spent quite a few years of life trying to get that hook out of my mouth. As you can see, I failed.

You had a great career. Even if we ignore all the awards, the 16 titles, career high of number three, two Slam finals, Olympic gold medal and consistency  –  you’d still have had a great career. You created fans everywhere you went. You were always the classiest, in victory and defeat. Forget Roger Federer, you were the perfect definition of what a true champion was. If you’re 1% as good as you were an athlete on what you plan to do, then I’m sure you’ll do an amazing job. Feel free to keep in touch. Maybe we can go out for coffee — or vodka, I don’t know what you Russians drink when you’re unemployed.

All the best of luck in your future,

Bárbara

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12 Responses (Add Your Comment)

  1. This made me cry almost as much as Elena’s announcement.

  2. a wonderful letter…….. i’m a fan of Elena’s (forever i was wishin she’d get a slam – now it seems like its goin to remain forever a wish only) but b4 that i was a die hard fan of Jennifer Capriati.sure she went down (& is still going down) so many wrong (& uninspiring) roads, but i felt the way that u did when i saw her match at Wimbledon against Serena when she came back from a set n 5-3 down….i fell for tennis.and i used to cry after matches that she lost – at 21 now i used to think abt those times n wonder if i was mad.readin ur letter, i can tell u i’ve gone thro the same emotions as u.it seems like i was jus the ‘fanatic’ in the word ‘fan’ n there r others in this world affected by this sport jus as me…..but theres somethin else i can say-it was a waste of time alright but not always-there were times when i felt down n i’d remind myself of some of the happy-ending matches n my mood wud get lifted…readin this i dont feel so crazy anymore.thank u.

  3. in another time n another planet Dementieva wud ve probably won atlst as many majors as Henin n had as manu sponsorships as Sharapova…..but thats ok.she’s done good enough.n she now retires with a lot more fans than most other players…..

  4. I have gone through the same emotions and i felt like i was the only one going thrugh this. The problem is when yu are such a big fan of a player, when that player loses when u want him/her to win the most, u feel like its the end of the world. you cry alot. She has no doubt been one of the best players in wta history, the most gracious one i would say and a real fighter i must say. it was always so nice to see her win. i was keeping my fingers crossed for her to win the roland garros this year, she was really doing great but…. and then at u.s open she lost again… it was really so sad… the problem is that u cant even share your emotions with your near ones. people see u as mad and crazy and laugh at you. and thats the worst thing that happens. I wish she could continue for a year or two.
    Her news of retirement really shocked me yesterday when she made the announcement. I wish she had played for a few more years.
    I am surely going to miss her matches alot.
    i am really not good at words and in expressing my emotions…..
    best of luck in what ever u do in life. bundles of prayers for a bright future full of happiness and joys.

  5. Wow…amazing!

  6. Bárbara,

    I have to say, I’m not nearly as fond of tennis as you are, but you are a hell of a writer. Seriously. What you just wrote is astonishing, breathtaking.

    Please write more on the blog, you do your best when do it long.

  7. Great tribute to Elena, a true class act with a capital C.

    Great write up, keep it up.

  8. Just lovely. That is all.

  9. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker
    who had been doing a little homework on this.

    And he actually ordered me dinner due to the
    fact that I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword
    this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk
    about this subject here on your site.

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