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Araton on Maria Sharapova, and more

Harvey Araton makes an interesting observation in "TheTennis World Sees a New Champion:"

By all accounts, she was not a child of privilege in post-Communist Russia. Her family fled an area threatened by the nuclear-reactor disaster at Chernobyl.

Somehow, she made it to the beautiful tennis people in the American Sun Belt, just as the Williamses eventually did.

With talent, ingenuity and a little luck, hard roads from anywhere can lead to fame and fortune. Basketball players come to the N.B.A. from the most remote places, and most of them have more in common than people think with the black American stars who occasionally wonder what the foreign invasion is all about.

It's about hunger, and hope, and all those cliches born of truth...