“It's unpleasant to find out about this before entering.” Sharapova starred, but the fans are angry - not to hand over tickets
Maria Sharapova refused the match against Daria Kasatkina in the second round of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy a little less than three hours before the start of the meeting. It seems to be a standard story, if not for its consequences - a flurry of angry comments fell upon the organizers demanding a refund of the tickets.
Indeed, the report of Sharapova’s injury came quite late. In the official group of the Vkontakte tournament, he was posted at 15:59 - 2.5 hours before the start of the game. The one who went specifically to Sharapova (and this is the majority of the audience), came across shocking news either on the road or before going out. A little more fortunate to those who did not buy tickets and put off the question until the last moment.
The specifics of penetration for a tennis tournament in St. Petersburg (and indeed a lot where else) - they are sold for the entire game day, and not for specific matches. Therefore, return tickets and refund is impossible. This is how the tennis business works, and the audience is not safe from sudden injuries of athletes.
"Now he was leaving the stadium, and so many guys bought tickets at the box office, they talked in the crowd that they came because of Sharapova. Oh, it’s insulting to them."
“I think it’s nonsense that she’s injured. They don’t find out about such things two hours before the game. It’s very vile on the part of Sharapova. It seems that she just didn’t want to work, play with Kasatkina, let alone lose. She "She took her money for the visit. The Hermitage also visited goodbye."
“It’s very unpleasant, having arrived just at the Sharapova’s match, to find out, already standing at the entrance to the hall, that she was shot, very many came to this match. The disappointment of the day.”
The resonant refusal could not have been without an official response, and the general director of the St. Petersburg tournament Alexander Medvedev quickly chewed on the health situation of Sharapova.
“Maria really wanted to come to St. Petersburg, so she did not have an operation. She could put an end to the whole season. But yesterday at the training, it became clear that she could withdraw from the competition. Finally, fears were confirmed this morning. Very sorry. But health is more important, "quoted the Medvedev" SDZD ".
It’s hard to believe that Maria participated in a conspiracy with the organizers and calculated the right moment, while the box office will sell more tickets for a frustrated match. The only question is why the fears were confirmed in the morning, and the official statement appeared closer to 16:00. The interval between Sharapova’s signal and the reaction of the organizers is suspiciously large, therefore it provokes a massive negative: the expectation of a trick and a hoax is genetically embedded in the Russian mentality. This effect had to be foreseen, as well as some kind of system that would compensate for the cost of tickets for at least those spectators who did not use the tunnel and didn’t go to the arena in the evening of January 30 due to the cancellation of the match of Mary.
Two hours after the unfortunate news, Sharapova went into an open conversation with the fans and already personally explained her decision. In the background, shouts of “Shame and shame.” It would be better if at least three games came out. We waited so much! ”And“ Where is this scum ?! ”
“Unfortunately, my shoulder has been bothering me for several months now. December seemed to be better. I played normally in Australia. I thought that I would hold a tournament here, and then I would start working on my shoulder again, but, unfortunately, after the first match yesterday I had a 20-minute training session. Today I would not be able to go out and play 100%. And against Kasatkina - not 100% - this is not what was needed. Of course, I was upset. I know that the whole audience came to watch this match, the evening session. But, unfortunately, I was not able to play at the level that this tournament requires, ”Sharapova quotes SE.
It is unlikely that the crowd unanimously supported Maria. Rather, she listened to her excuse and remained with her. The offense of the audience touched the tennis player on the tangent - people were nervous about the situation itself, the time and money spent. Indeed, interest in Sharapova and interest in tennis are two different and almost overlapping stories. At least here in Russia. And the contrast in the occupancy of the stands in the first (with Mary) and second (without Mary) game day proved this.
The Ladies Trophy problem echoes the general problem of women's tennis - there are too few turbostars in it. And here, in St. Petersburg, the problem is squared against the background of a bad location on the WTA calendar. Serena, Halep, Wozniacki, Stevens, Osaka, Kerber, Plishkova and Svitolina - eight athletes from the top 11 are resting after the exhausting Australian Open. It would be naive to expect that the hall will start Kvitov - only Williams Jr. could become comparable to the Sharapova magnet for Russian viewers.
“I don’t think that Sharapova’s non-participation will greatly affect the marketing side, the audience’s interest. Whatever star plays in St. Petersburg, we have a strong roster of participants. This year is no exception, ”Alexander Medvedev confidently issued. Although in some ways even self-confident - the match of Sharapova and Gavrilova in the first round was visited by as many spectators as it does not always reach the finals of the St. Petersburg ATP and WTA tournaments.
Tennis in Russia is still oppressed by the stereotype of elitism, although the cost of tickets for a tournament in St. Petersburg is very much located for the viewer. But there is no mass culture of tennis in the country - because if it had formed, then the fans would not report Sharapova for a shoulder injury, as the governor of the city for poor snow removal, but they empathized with her and watched the game Vekich-Kudermetova with the same interest. And Maria herself would have come to the tournament not only because she was very asked and stimulated by an invitation with something more tangible than tickets to the Hermitage and the Mariinsky.