Over the course of an hour, Russia’s top players Daria Kasatkina and Andrey Rublev lifted the lid on several topics that would be considered ‘taboo’ back home in a revealing documentary that is dominating social media discussion far beyond the tennis world.
And the ensuing backlash has already started to reverberate across the country’s sports and media landscape.
One of the country’s top sports presenters, Sofya Tartakova of Match TV—a national Russian sports channel owned by the state’s Gazprom-Media—was removed from her position on Wednesday, after speaking out against criticism of the players that aired on the network’s “There Is A Theme” show.
“For a whole hour on the air of a TV channel that I have been working with since its launch, they poured s**t on my players, Daria Kasatkina and Andrey Rublev,” said Tartakova, who also acts as their public relations officer. “I congratulate my home network. In one hour, the channel lost exclusive access and interviews with some of the world’s top players.
“None of the current top players will be able to communicate with Match TV anymore. Well, was it worth it?”