Google Down the Line!: THE LOW DOWN: Matt Cronin rebuffs Djambuli quote on Shrieka - so who can we trust?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

THE LOW DOWN: Matt Cronin rebuffs Djambuli quote on Shrieka - so who can we trust?

Matt Cronin over at is reporting the quote from the Russian Express about Maria Sharapova supposedly attributed to Anna Chakvetadze's father, Djambuli, is most likely false:

For those of you whop read the Russian Express story that alleged that Anna Chakvedatze’s father Djambuli told Yuri Sharapov that he has lost all control of Maria, that story is said to have no basis in reality. Mr. Chakvetadze and Sharapova are not friends and would never have such a conversation.

Due to the massive cutbacks in the publishing industry, reporting, or lack there of, has grown increasingly sketchy, while the editing, or the lack there of, has also hit the skids. How is it, for example, that two separate wire stories on Sharapova’s withdrawals from Paris and Dubai hit the news rolls a week apart and that the second one is being treated as a new story with real news value? How is it that it was reported that Sania Mirza pulled out of Fed Cup last week with a torn abdominal muscle and is back on court this week at the Pattaya Open. It must have been no more of a muscle strain.

Due to the lousy world economy, there are fewer on site reporters these days, which increases the size of the black hole of tennis reporting. Outside of the Slams, there are not enough common threads running through the sport, and fans are forced to guess as to the playing level and the lifestyles of the competitors. There are tons of fans blogs, and some of them are very good, but because they aren’t out there reporting, they are forced to rely on the same small information flow coming out of most tournaments and are forced to guess as to what’s really going on. Moreover, the tours are once again not doing a good enough job promoting their players and are frequently waiting for journalists to come to them rather than pitching interesting stories. They need to help the sport come alive, rather than watching it sleep post the Aussie Open.
Great work Matt. And, the point about the Tours not doing enough to promote the ballers is spot on. But I would go one step further and say some mainstream tennis media are also lacking in real, in-depth reporting and not vetting the information they're receiving either.

Exhibit A: I got the quote from's "The Ticker" which I believed had information that was verified as "true" by the editors at the site. Clearly, it was not and now seems to have been taken down from their site.

If we, as bloggers who don't have "access", can't trust the information coming from mainstream tennis sources, who can we trust?

PS - Thanks to an anonymous DtL reader for the tip off on Matt's story!

(image via


  1. I used to follow the ticker faithfully, but then it got.. wooly. I can't find another word.

    It's a sad state for a great sport.

  2. Good point about the Sharapova pull-out news - I was confused to have it "break" two weeks in a row.

    The Sharapova/Chakvedatze story was obviously ridiculous. I blogged about it, too, just because it was sooo silly and good for a laugh. These kinds of stories happen often, not just in tennis, because sports = entertainment and entertainment media is not exactly Pulitzer level stuff.

    Also, while the media could definitely do a better job, I do think that we have some great reporters and reporting out there - Matt Cronin, Neil Harman, Bonnie de Ford, John Wertheim, Peter Bodo, and the Independent, Times, BBC, serious U.K. papers in general do a great job writing and reporting on our sport! Oh, and DtL, of course ;)

  3. The tennis industry is a sleeping giant -- with all the public courts all over the country, tennis has the ability to reach many more who could be out playing for FREE (except gear). I'd like to see the sport test its marketing boundaries and reach out in a more mainstream way.

  4. babz: wooly - does the mean "screwy"?

    FF: It's interesting that for you it was "obviously ridiculous" while found it to be accurate and, therefore, newsworthy.

    It's unfortunate that we have to verify the news coming from what should be a solid source of information about our sport, particularly since most bloggers (just my guess) most likely don't have access to direct sources like a, ESPN, SI.

    I saw the quote earlier in the day (maybe through your blog from that story or on TennisForum), held off, then saw it on The Ticker and thought there may be something to it. Clearly, I was wrong. I'll be more wary of "news" coming from there from now on.

  5. I also reported about the Chakvetadze's father's quote on my site, which I got from the Russian Daily Express. The argument that Maria's father and Anna's father are not friends might not be entirely accurate. When Maria was in Moscow for Fed Cup trainings, the Russian media reported back then that feuding fathers Yuri Sharapov and Djamal had made up. Russia's team captain himself confirmed in a quote that that fact that Anna and Maria are training together speaks about the improved relationship between their fathers. Having said that, I am also not sure if the quote was accurate. When it comes to Russian media, the line between tabloid press and reliable news reporting is really blurred. It is common to see a typical "National Inquirer" type article appearing next to a "60 minute"-style investigative report:-)

  6. Yes - it was a little screwy.


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