Can Russia defend the title?
Of course, they CAN. The question is, will they?
There are a lot of variables that cannot be foreseen at the moment, namely player injuries, physical conditions and other things that may reverse the situation.
If Marat is OK, the team is guaranteed at least 2 points for both his singles match in every rubber because then he is simply unbeatable. Doubles - well, that's a real problem. Zhenia is very important for the team not only for doubles and fastcourts, but also as a support or core of the team.
Misha can learn to play well on fast surfaces or, maybe, can raise his game for accasion... but just two youngsters
leading the team is too scary a thought for me. (And I believe that Zhenia stays
I'm not very good with numbers but the team has chances to defend and show this victory was not accidental.