Parents of Russian tennis players attack their children because of fame and money

Russian tennis player Evgenia Linetskaya was reportedly assaulted by her father

Tennis fans are already used to Russian girls winning one tennis tournament after another. However, fame is often accompanied with quite unpleasant situations, which newly-made stars have to deal with from time to time. One of the rising stars of the Russian tennis, Evgenia Linetskaya, had to withdraw from last week's tournament in Toronto after she had been allegedly attacked and beaten by her own father.

Australia's Sydney Morning Herald wrote about the incident, which the teenage tennis player had to experience because of her father, who also works as her manager. According to the newspaper, the incident occurred in the beginning of August in California, where Linetskaya, 18, was participating in one of the WTA tournaments. Evgenia had to ask for medical help one day on account of cuts and bruises on her head.

Linetskaya's father, Semyon Linetsky, 49, was soon arrested on the suspicion of causing bodily damages to the tennis player. The man told the police that he had a fight with his daughter because of Evgenia's wish to drive his car, although she did not own a driver's license. Most likely, however, the father and the daughter fought because of Evgenia Linetskaya's money – about $250,000 according to the official WTA website – which she earned on tennis courts.

The girl's father was moved to one of the jails of San Diego, from where he was subsequently released on bail. Evgenia did not wish to press charges against her own father, but the man was prohibited from accompanying his daughter at her tournaments and from visiting any tennis tournaments in California at all. The tennis player herself was provided with a bodyguard.
Evgenia was supposed to take part in the New Haven tournament this week, although she eventually had to withdraw from the game. For the time being, it is not known if she is going to appear in New York next week, for the US Open tournament. The WTA declined any comments in connection with Evgenia Linetskaya's incident. An official WTA spokesman said that the WTA does not interfere into tennis players' personal matters.

It is noteworthy that Russian tennis players' parents have managed to obtain rather ambiguous reputations. Russia's tennis star No.1 of the end of the 1990s, Anna Kournikova, has virtually stopped her tennis career and preferred to be a model. As long as Anna agreed to go out on the tennis court, she refused to play for Russia's squad supposedly on account of her mother's persistent requests.

A major scandal rocked Russian tennis last year, when Anastasia Myskina, Elena Dementieva and Svetlana Kuznetsova joined their efforts to protest against Maria Sharapova's membership in the team. It was Maria's father and manager, Yury Sharapov, who caused the scandal. The man said that Maria was growing too fast, gaining 15 centimeters in only two years (Sharapova's current height is 188 cm), that is why she had no energy to play in the Federation Cup tournaments. The team captain said that he had managed to settle all problems down, although Maria Sharapova did not play for the Russian tennis team anyway.

Similar incidents occur in foreign states as well. The father of world-famous sisters, Venus and Serena Williams, Richard Williams, is known for his tough character. The man became known for his racist statements and views about vital preferences for his daughters. Serena and Venus suddenly disappeared from tennis courts in 2003, after a series of triumphant victories. It was rumored that Richard Williams was behind the decision. It is noteworthy that Serena Williams started suffering inexplicable nervous breakdowns during tennis matches afterwards.

The story with Evgenia Linetskaya has proved it again that criminality may stand next to fame and money. Parents may not always pass the test of handling thousands and even millions of dollars, which their star-children earn in sports. It is common for both Russian and foreign athletes.

Ivan Shmelev

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Author`s name Olga Savka