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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it`s all just fresh :) impressions, but I try to report on the 3d day of the Russia - Switzerland Davis Cup tie. First of all I was too confident that Kafelnikov will overcome Federer or at least give him a long fight, that I was too late for the first match. When I entered, it was the middle of the 3d set already. I delayed at the press-corner half hoping that Kafelnikov will appear after his loss, but he didn`t come. Actually, him, Safin and Tarpischev came after the Safin`s match. So I didn`t have a chance to ask a quiestion I wanted to ask him: "On Friday you said you would never believe that Safin can lose to Federer that way. Would you ever beleive that yourself losing to Matador in the same way" :)

Safin`s match was a one actor play. When he plays his best nobody can withstand him. Kratochvil couldn`t. But I don`t feel very happy. Despite ys statement I believe that the strategy to choose clay as a surface was not a good idea. Both Kafelnikov and Safin defeated Kratochvil, but they should defeat a player of his level at any surface. What`s more, Evgeniy almost lost his tie against Michele. And Kafelnikov vs. Federer and Safin vs. Federer matches were complete disaster. I am positive that Safin could make a better job on faster surface. Kafelnikov presumably not. But here are the words of Evgeniy: "I was expected to win one tie, while Safin both his singles". If you consider Safin as a main force of the team why make the surface play against him? I don`t understand that.

And the last point I liked the most :). Ivo Heuberger, the captain of the Swiss team, was asked how did he feel in his new role and does he want to continue at that job. Ivo pleasantly smiling answered that he want to continue to play tennis :).
 

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Fresh, Safin is a claycourter, his best results are admittedly on hardcourts, but by his own opinion clay is his best surface. If Safin played at his strength, he'd be a big favourite to beat Federer on clay. I think that they both pretty much let their matches against Federer go. Yevgeny today - for sure. He knew that Marat should beat Kratochvil, so he decided that it is just not worth it. Should Russia choose carpet surface, I assure you, you would not see Kratochvil playing singles. You'd see Marc. And given his balance against Yevgeny, that would make all five matches of the tie tossups. The choice of clay presumably made our players clear favourites against any Swiss #2, and Marat should have been favourite against Federer. He is just a headcase, you know.
We could have lost that tie, easily, but perhaps some good person isolated Safin's blondes for last couple of days, and that was a crucial tirebreaker.

I predict that if Norman doesn't resurface on Tour in next couple of weeks, we'll play Sweden on clay too.
 

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I'm pretty sure we will continue playing on clay too.

Well, about today... I could not see what Kafelnikov could do against Federer, he was just too good and I would not say that Yevgeny was playing really bad tennis.
Marat played pretty well, well it would have been a major shock if he lost to Kratochvil even though he could have lost the third set as Michel was up a break . Btw,that blonde girl who was in Australia was watching him
A pleasant surprise- the stadium was completely full, it seemed that there wasn't an empty seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A pleasant surprise- the stadium was completely full, it seemed that there wasn't an empty seat.
In the VIP zone people were just sitting at the stairs :)

BTW, Nina, where were you sitting?
 

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I was suprised YK fell away that badly as well

Glad Marat pulled thru.

against Sweden ... it will be clay be it Norman or no Norman

They have indoor carpet specialists where as Norman is not good on carpet

Enqvist/Johansson = good on carpet and pretty much around 100 mark on clay

So Zhenya and Marat should win both matches against either of these two and one of them would have to win v Norman

doubles is gonna be edgy.

I don't think Bjorkman will play esp not on clay
 

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TBE,With Norman, I am not so sure. Remember, Yevgeny has never won a match in the first clay week of season ( Estoril ), Marat does not do really well on clay first weeks too. Remember tie against Spain? We were dead meat from the very start. I think Sweden is the case where we could indeed stick with our own guns and play it on fast carpet. AT the same time it is not clear what kind of confidence will Norman have now.

BTW, it is an interesting piece of mindgame. Suppose we choose clay. Replacement of Enqvist with Norman would not do much difference. Enqvist is pretty solid on clay too, and he is in good form, whereas 7 weeks before the tie no one knows what kind of player Magnus Norman is now. Practically, they should replace Johansson with Norman. But would they drop Johansson who just won a Slam, is top-seeded Swede and has a phenomenal record against Top Russians? If we gamble with surface and choose clay, would they gamble with selection? Interesting..

BTW, was it decided that it will be played in S-Petersburg or not?
 

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Moscow is better esp against the Swedes

maybe against GB, St Petersburg may have been chosen but thats a little close for the Swedish fans to get to.


Fresh ..... any news what surface is gonna be chosen ??

IMO .... even after this tie which nearly got messed up, its gonna be clay.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Maybe, but despite what Mr.Tarpischev said, the tie may be moved to St-Pete anyway if they fail to arrange it at the Olimpiyskiy stadium.
 

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Guys, where are you living now? It sounds like a pretty weird time for being online from both UK or Moscow..;)
 

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I'm in UK but work early and i mean early


Why don't we send the Swedes to some obscure place in middle of nowhere, why give them 5 star treatment in Moscow ???
US never play all thier matches in New York for instance.


Yekaterinburg or Novosibirsk would be nice or further afield. Make their players tired by time they get there.
 

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I see, Eggy. 5:30am sounds early enough for me. I won't even put smileys next to it, since for me it wouldn't sound any funny..

Interesting idea, about Yekaterinburg.. But we need big, noisy and understanding crowd. I doubt we could get it anywhere but in Moscow or St-Peter.. Or why don't send them to where Russian National Championships happen? What is it, Surgut or something like that, that would be cute..:)
 

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Freshy, excellent points again about the erroneous choice of a clay court.

Eggy, you are way overconfident when it comes to Safin and Kafelnikov beating the Swedes. They will be fortunate to escape with winning the tie. Whoever the Swedes play in singles, are very capable of beating Safin and Kafelnikov. Russia's win over Switzerland was very underwhelming in my opinion.

Russia should definately put a carpet down for Safin. And playing it St. Petersburg should bring out the best in Marat.

Eggy, to get a great home court advantage against the Swedes, you said you want to send the Swedes to some obsure place in Russia for the tie. The reason that won't happen is because Safin and Kafelnikov are more spoiled than the Swedes. They would never put up with it.
 

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Sending them there is one thing

the courts are there but wha is lacking is facilities for spectators.

they just aren't big enough to hold such a match.

Sochi would be perfect for Zhenya, right up his alley.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
... and on clay. It is decided and it will be. For good or not I don`t know. But I agree that it is not the worst surface again Swedes.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It still may be in the Olympiyskiy. But they have a busy schedule. And the Russian - Sweden tie yet is out of it :(.
 
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