This Day in the History of Hoaxes: September 2

September 2, 2002: Simonya Popova
Sports Illustrated ran an article about Simonya Popova, a 17-year-old rising tennis star from Uzbekistan. The magazine said that the Women's Tennis Association was eagerly anticipating her rise to stardom because she was "strikingly attractive" and could bring some ratings-boosting sex appeal into the league. However, Simonya Popova didn't exist. She was the fictional creation of writer Jon Wertheim. The WTA denounced the article, saying it was shocked by the suggestion that the physical attractiveness of female players had anything to do with the popularity of women's tennis. [BBC Sport]

This Day in History

Posted on Tue Sep 02, 2014


Indeed she couldn't have existed. The surname Popova implies Russian ethnicity, but there is no proper Russian name 'Simonya'. Nor there is such Uzbek name - Uzbeks bear Muslim names.
Posted by Russian Skeptic  on  Sun Sep 14, 2014  at  02:44 AM
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