Over at the Women's Tennis Blog I found this feature that describes 17 all-Russian women tennis finals. The most recent of these match-ups was this past January, in Aukland where these two players met:
That's Elena Dementieva on the left and Elena Versina on the right. In the finals. Both were born...in Russia.
This Can Only Be Genetic Meddling
So who are these next two? Want to take a crack at it? Two more female Russian players in the top 100. Blond. Same ground stroke game. Right now, eleven women born in Moscow -- a city of 6 million -- are in the top 100 of the WTA tennis tour; and, twenty of the top 100 women come from a small geographic area including Moscow, all of which are former members of the USSR... And they are almost all blond, skinny, around the same age, and have identical ground strokes. Does that bother you? Why not? Is it a statistical possibility or probability?
What if there were 11 women born in New York City in the top 100? What if most of them looked alike? Would anyone say: "Whoa--that's not statistically possible?" Because it's not.
Approximately 1 in 13 million tennis players can expect to make the top 100 in professional tennis. So if there are 6 million people in Moscow and one out of fifty play tennis, you might expect less than 1/2 of one tennis player to make the top hundred in a generation. So are 11 possible? 11 blonds with the same game? No way.
Put it in Perspective
There has been no time in history when so many people from so constricted a geographic area have numbered so heavily in the top of their sport.
In all of women's professional sporting history, can you name two or three women from the same country who have achieved the top of their sport who look alike, have the same "game" and are around the same age? No. It is simply unprecedented.
Tennis is an international sport whose competitors come from everywhere; competition is year-round, and the chances of "making" it on the professional tour are infinitesimal. The Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Europeans, Australians, and Americans produce tens of thousands of tennis pros every year all of whom receive the top training, instruction and support, yet only a very small percentage of whom make it to the top 100. So could 11 girls born in Moscow between 1981 and 1992 be in the top 11 just by good luck or even with superior training (most Russian girls train overseas anyway)? NO.
And don't forget who we are talking about--the former USSR. These are the same people who championed the secretive use of professionals when the Olympics were an amateur event; and the same people who created hoarse-voiced female champion weightlifters by pumping them full of steroids. Now they have messed with the genetics of these girls, because mathematically there is no explanation. It can't be nurture so it has to be nature.
Messing With the Eggs
These women are genetically similar. Either they've been cloned or are related to the same sperm donor or egg recipient...or whatever the explanation; it is not up to me to explain how they did it but there is no doubt that we are looking at DNA evidence of a deception...or a crime.
And just like in court, if the DNA evidence is positive (= overwhelming statistical evidence) then you are GUILTY AS CHARGED....unless you can tell us why not, convincingly.
So let's ask Russia for their rationale. Let's ask them a whattssup wit dat!
Because now that the Russians know the game, who knows where they will use the knowledge next; I assure you it will be something less benign than in professional tennis.