Yeah, I won`t miss a single game of this event! Go, team Russia! Bring the Cup in Moscow.
Kafelnilkov Chooses Surface
One phone call between the Russian Tennis Federation and Yevgeny Kafelnikov was enough. When it comes to choosing a venue and a surface for a home Davis Cup tie, Russian officials are quite content to turn to one man and let him call the shots. Kafelnikov, having led Russia to two Davis Cup finals since he burst onto the scene in the mid-1990s, has earned that right and he does not flinch from the responsibility.
"We will play on clay at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow," said Kafelnikov, referring to the first round World Group Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie against Switzerland in the second week of February 2002. "I think that surface will give us the best chance of success against the top Swiss player Roger Federer. I did not have a chance to talk to Marat (Safin) about it but I am sure the federation called him and I know that he would be happy with this surface, too."
Kafelnikov dismissed the opportunity of playing the tie in his home town of Sochi, a Black Sea resort often visited by one of Russia's biggest tennis enthusiasts, ex-president Boris Yeltsin, on the grounds that there was no suitable stadium. "We do not have a facility in Sochi to host an indoor tie of this importance just yet," said Kafelnikov. "But don't bet against there being one in the future."
The Russian No 1 is so keen for his country to do well in the Davis Cup next year that he is changing his playing schedule to give himself the maximum amount of time to prepare on the clay. "Normally I would play an indoor European event like Milan straight after the Australian Open," said the tour's workhorse who, once again, finished the year just ending as the player who played the most matches throughout 2001.
"Knowing how long I take to adapt to clay, I need to get back to Moscow as soon as possible after Melbourne and start practising. Normally it takes me two weeks to feel absolutely right on clay so I just hope I have enough time, because I am paying Davis Cup a great deal of attention next year. I think Marat and I have a great chance of doing really well but every match will be tough and we have to be prepared."
Ironically, Kafelnikov has just bought a house near Basel and is qualifying for Swiss residence. He hopes that ruining Switzerland's chances of enjoying a good Davis Cup run will not delay the process!
Well, well, and I wondered, why does his name sound so familiar .there were a few articles in tennis+ by him last year..