Kafelnikov fed up with criticism from Russian media
2003-02-18 12:41:32 GMT (Reuters)
By Pritha Sarkar
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who stormed into the second round of the World Indoor Tournament on Tuesday, says he is fed up with criticism from the Russian media.
Newspapers in Russia were extremely critical of Kafelnikov's below-par performance during the team's nailbiting 3-2 Davis Cup victory over the Czech Republic earlier this month.
Former Soviet great Alex Metreveli accused the double grand slam champion of being unprepared for the first round tie.
"No matter what I have done for the country, they are never thankful for what I do," Kafelnikov told Reuters after his first-round triumph over Spain's Feliciano Lopez.
"I don't pay much attention to Russian papers because they always find a way of criticising me even after all these years."
Kafelnikov became the first Russian to lift a grand slam crown at Roland Garros in 1996 and added a second with victory at the 1999 Australian Open.
Having achieved his goal of guiding his country to their first Davis Cup title in December, Kafelnikov feels that he has been unfairly treated when things do not go according to plan.
He denied that he had been omitted from the original Russian singles line-up by Russian captain Shamil Tarpishchev for the tie against the Czechs due to his recent poor form.
"I volunteered not to play because I felt I was physically not fit enough to play best of five set matches," he said. "Whatever decision was made, it was mine."
Despite not playing on the opening day of the tie, Kafelnikov had to step in for an ailing Mikhail Youzhny on the third day and ended up losing in straight sets.
"If I feel I cannot give 100 percent, then I'll take that responsibility and step down and let someone else play," said the former world number one, who was replaced by Youzhny for the deciding clash in the final against France last December.
"Even in the final, I took that responsibility on myself not to play (the fifth rubber).
"It is a team competition and we are all in it together trying to accomplish one goal hence we will all do what is best for the team."
Kafelnikov, 29 on Tuesday, said he had also gone back on his promise to retire at the end of 2002 if Russia won the Cup because he felt rejuvenated following surgery to remove a varicose vein in his left leg last December.
"I was ready to retire but after surgery I was feeling physically strong again and reconsidered," he said. "I believe I can still win tournaments so I decided to play on."
Yeah,the press is so horriable.
It's wierd, how fast everybody forget about everything positive some people do and write only the negative words.I am so angry fro that.When I buy a newspaper with the article about Kafelnikov I usually expect to read something new and positive.
Instead of that I read that "he doesn't play as usuall" or"to lost is so often fro him ...." and evrything like that...I hate that!
But I do not think that people in Russia don't proud of him and everything he did for the sport and country.
But the thing is in the Media-they didn't even showed the Davis Cup 2002 !!!!What I else I can say!???
We are the best!
Jenia Kafelnikov is the best man in the world!
As I was browsing around on Webshots last night, I found this guy, who attended the Davis Cup final last year in France! He has lots of pictures from the final, including some adorable ones of Zhenya with his daughter