Kafelnikov wins Tashkent title!! [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Kafelnikov wins Tashkent title!!

tennischick
09-16-2002, 12:00 AM
Kafelnikov Overcomes Voltchkov, Pain to Win Tashkent Title

Russian star wins second title of 2002, 26th of career.

http://a145.g.akamai.net/f/145/3220/1d/www.atptennis.com/ATPblobs/img01/img0129/img012963.jpeg
Finalists Kafelnikov and Voltchkov don traditional Uzbek garb for the Tashkent trophy ceremony.

Third-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov claimed his second singles title of 2002, and 26th tournament win in his impressive career, by defeating qualifier Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus, 7-6(6), 7-5, in the President's Cup finals in Tashkent on Saturday. The win will likely help turn around what has been a disappointing year for the Russian, who has slumped to No. 30 in the ATP Champions Race.

The 28-year-old Kafelnikov was appearing in the finals at Tashkent for the third time, but earned his first win at the event (l. 1998 to Henman, l. 2001 to Safin). His 26 career tournament titles place him fourth all-time among active players (behind Sampras, Agassi and Chang), and this week's win was his ninth hardcourt title, including the 1999 Australian Open and 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Kafelnikov said he felt a great deal of pain during the match from an injury to his finger suffered during his semifinal against Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan. In that match, Kafelnikov had dislocated the fourth finger of his left hand when trying to block a body serve of Srichaphan. The pain hampered Kafelnikov's ability to hit his two-handed backhand.

Voltchkov, 24, had never before reached the finals of an ATP event. His strong showing in Tashkent - where he lost an average of only four games per match en route to the finals - improves his 2002 record to 8-4 on the circuit. He won the Manchester Challenger event on grass earlier this year.

What the Players Said:

Kafelnikov: "I still had a lot of pain and I didn't think I would finish the match if it was not a final, playing in front of so many people, including the president of Uzbekistan."

"I think Vladimir deserved to win this final and if it wasn't played in Tashkent, he probably would have won, but I made a promise to the president and all the fans." (Kafelnikov promised last year to win the title in his finalist speech)

"This title is very special for me. I wouldn't trade it for any other in the world, even a grand slam."

On Voltchkov's tactic of playing to his injury-hampered backhand: "That was perfectly fine with me. There are no gentlemen on the courts. I would have done the same thing probably."

On next week's Davis Cup semifinal vs. Argentina: "I am not sure whether I will be able to play in the Davis Cup tie. There is no time to rest now. I have already booked a practice session for 10:00 am tomorrow morning."

Voltchkov: "It was my first final and I think I was just too nervous to tell you the truth. On the other hand, Yevgeny has a lot of experience playing important finals and I think it showed in the end."

"My game plan was to play to his backhand. To be honest with you, I knew of his injury and I wanted to use it to my advantage. If he was seriously injured, he would have defaulted and if he didn't, then it was ok for me to play like that."

atp tennis

Andy
09-16-2002, 12:40 AM
That is such a funny picture! LMAO Congrats to them both

the cat
09-16-2002, 03:18 AM
Great fashions and great trophies! :) And a good win for Kafelnikov. Especially since he has an injured finger.

I hope he carries this form into the Davis Cup semifinal against Argentina in Moscow.

Udachi Yevgeny! :bounce:

tazban1
09-16-2002, 06:41 AM
Unbelievable! Yevgeny's actually smiling. I swear, I think he only smiles in maybe 1 of 1,000 pictures, if that even.

Chloe le Bopper
09-16-2002, 07:08 AM
"I think Vladimir deserved to win this final and if it wasn't played in Tashkent, he probably would have won, but I made a promise to the president and all the fans." (Kafelnikov promised last year to win the title in his finalist speech)

"This title is very special for me. I wouldn't trade it for any other in the world, even a grand slam."

:D

Don't go Kafelnikov! :sad:

Lily
09-16-2002, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by tazban1
Unbelievable! Yevgeny's actually smiling. I swear, I think he only smiles in maybe 1 of 1,000 pictures, if that even.

lol so true. The only time i really saw him smile was last year during the Guga-Max match at USO. He was in the booth with JMac and Ted and he seemed so nice and personable. Very different then how he is on court.

Daniel
09-16-2002, 01:23 PM
Congrats Kafelnikov

TheBoiledEgg
09-16-2002, 02:54 PM
from tennisone.com

Tashkent: What a Tangled Web We Weave...
Yevgeny Kafelnikov has always had good days and bad. This year has just been unusually full of bad days.

But there have been good ones -- surprising ones, in fact. After several years of being mostly an indoor player, Kafelnikov has been branching out. He did win Halle on grass, after all. And now, with Marat Safin out, he's shown that he can still take advantage on hardcourts.

On Saturday, Kafelnikov faced perhaps the hottest hardcourt player of the summer. It never even threatened to be close. Kafelnikov, who hadn't won a hardcourt title since the 2000 Olympics, and hadn't won an actual professional tennis event on hardcourts since the Australian Open 1999, and who hadn't won a hardcourt event outside Australia since New Haven 1997 (we aren't making this up), reached the final with a 6-2 6-4 win over Srichaphan.

That would have seemed stunning had it not been for Vladimir Voltchkov. Considering what the qualifier had done lately, we expected every round to be his last. But he just kept serving up successes. In the semifinal, he beat #8 seed Davide Sanguinetti 6-3 6-2. He'll be moving up some 40 places, from #153 to close to #110. And reached his first-ever ATP final.

Kafelnikov, to this point, hadn't been moving up; he had points to defend. But in the final, he did it again -- this despite a left hand injury he had suffered in the match against Srichaphan, dislocating a finger returning serve. He said he probably wouldn't have played on Saturday had it not been a final. But it was a final, and he won it, beating Voltchkov 7-6 7-5. For a guy who plays so much, you wouldn't think autumn would be his season. But it seems to be this time; for the first time in months, Kafelnikov will be moving up the rankings -- from #8 to #7. And while his Race score is far from impressive, he's at least back in the Top 25. At this rate, he just might go out on a high note.

Bubble
09-16-2002, 03:48 PM
I'm really gonna miss him next year if he retires.... :sad: :sad:

echoing rebecca... don't go Zhenya..... :(

Go Nalby
09-16-2002, 08:35 PM
Nice job, Yevgeny!
It's too bad he might retire...he has such a quirky personality, and that is needed in men's tennis.