All through the television coverage of US Open tennis tournament this year, the names of many of the Russian women tennis players were pronounced incorrectly. I recently hunted around on the Internet for anything I could find about it, and found this article by Neil Schmidt in the Cincinnati Enquirer (August 18). The article includes a pronunciation guide, which is taken directly from the WTA’s own pronunciation guide.
Amazingly, more than half the names are listed with the stress on the wrong syllable…
The kicker is that “the WTA stands by its pronunciation guide” and suggests that “many players might adopt Americanized pronunciations when they speak with foreign reporters.” A shame if true; it’s not really any harder to say sha-RAH-pava than “Sha-ra-POH-vuh,” and why wouldn’t you want your name said correctly?
Let me take this occasion to once more recommend Say How? A Pronunciation Guide to Names of Public Figures, even though none of the mistakes I mentioned have been fixed. Foreign stuff they’re iffy on, but the English-language names seem accurate.