January 30 - February 05, 2017
The Russians take tennis seriously—even Leo Tolstoy was a player in his later years. But they also know how to have fun with the game. In St. Petersburg, which hosts an ATP and WTA event each year, cheerleaders are part of the spectacle. They are called Tennis Dolls, and "each girl has to be perfect: tall enough, well-built, with good dancing skills, and, of course, a broad winning smile," according to tournament show director Eva Gabulova. As for the players they'll cheer on, Russians Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Elena Vesnina, Ekaterina Makarova and Daria Kasatkina have committed to this year's WTA tournament, along with St. Petersburg native Svetlana Kuznetsova.