Among all the women on earth who grip tennis rackets, swing at yellow balls, glide across the rectangle court, serve, volley, smash lobs, and sprint for drop shots, three ladies I find most attractive…..
First, and no need to introduce her, is Ms. MS. You know who she is. She stands 6-foot-2, hails from Russia but calls Florida home now, and, at the 2008 Australian Open, she just defeated the world no.1 Justine Henin in a lopsided score, 6-4, 6-0.
Who else but Maria Sharapova! And who doesn’t find her attractive? Or sexy? My favorite dentist, Dr. Nonito Narvasa, long-married to his beautiful spouse Jency, has also long-nurtured a crush on Maria. Mike Limpag? My sports editor on these pages? Two weeks ago after I wrote about Roger Federer, Mike berated me with the text message, “When are you going to write about my ex-girlfriend, Maria?” Wow. It seems everybody loves Maria. And that, I have to admit, does not exclude me.
The second prettiest on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour?
Ana Ivanovic. Now, Ana is what I call a “stunner.” I remember, in my blog site a few months ago, publishing photos of her in seductive, non-tennis wear and hearing a horde of comments from friends. In fact, between Maria and Ana, I find the 20-year-old Serbian more radiant and tantalizing. Because while Sharapova possesses that blonde, Cameron Diaz-like beauty (I know, I know… Maria’s much prettier, but how about the irony: Remember Diaz’s movie “There’s Something About Mary?”), Ivanovic has dark hair and brown skin.
Ana’s long, flowing black-haired beauty isn’t just reserved for our eyes, but she’s also excellent on the tennis court. Just yesterday, to a player she had never beaten before in four tries, Ana downed Venus Williams, 7-6 (3), 6-4. And now she’s in the Australian Open semi-finals. Her opponent?
The third woman whom I consider most captivating: Daniela Hantuchova. The oldest among the trio of ladies (she’s 24 while both Maria and Ana are 20), she’s also the shortest. How short? Well, she’s 5’ 11 1/2. That’s short!? Well, considering that Maria is 6-foot-2 and Ana is 6-foot-1, so, yes, among the three long-legged ladies, she’s smallest. But beauty-wise? Oh yes, she can compete. In fact, prior to the arrival of Maria and Ana a few years back, it was Daniela I stared at the most when fronting that TV set.
And so the Australian Open women’s semi-finals are set: Ana vs. Daniela and Maria vs…. who?
That fourth player is Jelena Jankovic. Is she, uhm, pretty? She’s world no.3. Is she pretty? She owns a good backhand. Pretty? She runs fast. Now you get the point. In simple, plain English: She’s not. At least to me. Especially when you ask her to stand in between her fellow semi-finalists.
So, who’s my pick to win? I hope it’s Maria vs. Ana in the finals. And the winner of that? Talking of experience, Maria is highly-favored: Ana has reached just one Grand Slam singles final while Maria has already won two majors: the 2004 Wimbledon crown and the 2006 U.S. Open trophy. So while my head says to pick Maria, my heart goes to the lady whom I find “the fairest one of them all”…. Ana Ivanovic.