Kafelnikov may delay retirement to chase Davis Cup dream

11-16-2002, 02:02 PM
Kafelnikov may delay retirement to chase Davis Cup dream
By Gennady Fyodorov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Yevgeny Kafelnikov will put his retirement from tennis on hold if Russia fail to win the Davis Cup final in Paris this year.

"I have said several times that I want retire at the end of the year," the 28-year-old Russian told a news conference on Friday.

"But in all honesty nobody knows what is going to happened, not even myself.

"All I can at the moment that I will retire only if we win the Davis Cup, but if we lose the show must go on."

Kafelnikov desperately wants to bring Russia their first ever Davis Cup trophy after losing back-to-back finals in 1994 and 1995.

Russia face defending champions France in the final which starts on November 29.

"So far, it has been my worst season ever," said the former world number one. "But if we win the Cup it will definitely make up for all the disappointments this year."

Kafelnikov said that although Russia have a stronger side on paper, he nevertheless expects a tough tie.

"If you look at the titles, the grand slams, that we, myself and Marat (Safin), have won, the French don't even come close to what we have achieved over the years," said the former French and Australian Open champion.

"But they have a very strong team, they're playing at home, so it will be a very, very difficult match for us to win."


Kafelnikov also predicted that Safin would bounce back from a disappointing showing in this week's season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, where the Russian number failed to win any of his three group matches.

"Please, don't make a tragedy out of Marat's three defeats there," said Kafelnikov.

"I want to look at it from a positive side -- he should be extra motivated to do well in Paris."

Russia's Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev added: "It's the end of the season and everyone is mentally and physically tired.

"So whichever team is fitter and fresher that team will have the edge.

"The only problem is that the French have five players to choose from while we can basically rely on just two.

"The French are known for their great team spirit. We all remember how they beat Australia, playing away from home in the final last year."

France won their ninth Davis Cup title by edging Australia 3-2 in the Melbourne final.

"Nevertheless, we have a good chance against the French in any of the five rubbers, so I like our chances," the Russian captain said.

In preparation for the final, which will be played on clay in Paris Bercy sports hall, the Russians will depart for a week-long training camp in Monte Carlo on Sunday.

"We'll train there for a week and on November 24 we plan to leave for Paris," Tarpishchev said.

"We also expect Marat back in Moscow from Shanghai later today and hopefully he will be able to fly with us to Monte Carlo on Sunday."

Chloe le Bopper
11-16-2002, 02:24 PM
Com on Marat - pull through and do it for Kafel :D I'm not sure I can watch Kafelnikov playing another season, when he doesn't relaly want to be there :(

One has to admire how much he wants to do something for this country though.

11-16-2002, 04:02 PM
go Zhenya !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope he can do it too :)

he didn't wanna play all this year either but did so in order to try and win the DC.

I couldn't take much more of Zhenya losing to non-entities either.
If he did carry on, its gonna be like Wilander was :sad:

11-16-2002, 04:08 PM
pls Kafel let win France,so u'll play an other year and u'll win DC an other time (when there isnt France in the final!) ;)

11-16-2002, 05:49 PM
I agree with Eggy & Becca, I'm not sure I want to see Zhenya playing when it's pretty clear he doesn't want to be.

Doubles, different story, but it looks pretty obvious he's finished with singles.

C'mon, Marat, get your head together and help salvage Zhenya's year!!

Ma. Estefania
11-18-2002, 09:24 PM
I wanna see Russia as the DC champion. Period.

11-18-2002, 10:12 PM
Now, after reading this, I suspect that Kafelnikov might not completely retire if Russia wins. He does not sound so sure. He, however sounds very sure about non-retirement in case Russia loses.

What I think, will happen, if Russia wins, is that he might go into a very limited schedule ( Becker-like semiretirement ). A lot of his glory is linked to Australia, so I think he might play Australian Open. Then he would help to start Russian defence of DC. And then.. Well, anything can happen.. He might play French Open and retire then. Or he might eventually play thru all year and retire at Kremlin Cup..

When I was flying from Moscow to Paris this Sunday, I saw several guys with tennis rackets on the plane. But noone I could have recognised..

11-19-2002, 06:27 AM
I hope Marat and Zhenya will play at their best and Russia will win Davis Cup this season . It will be great end for Kafelnikov if he win DC .

11-19-2002, 03:01 PM
Go Zhenya , go Russia...

No matter what, Russia has to win this year...
It's their best chance...

11-20-2002, 12:50 AM
They should be made to play the tie on a potato field. :p

Sorry, I just couldn't resist

11-20-2002, 01:55 AM
Kafelnikov hides from the media
Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov began his preparation for the Davis Cup final with his partner Andrei Cherkasov at the Monte-Carlo Country Club on Monday. Kafelnikov is fully concentrated and wants to stay away from the media. Marat Safin and Mikhail Youzhny will join them on Wednesday.

The Russian squad has stated that they want to concentrate on the task at hand and they are not going to waist their time with the media.

In a rare interview, Kafelnikov told France's daily l'Equipe that he was very satisfied with his first day of training. He explained that the team had chosen Monaco for their preparation because "it's a direct flight from Moscow and the weather is nice".

He also said that from now on he just wants to train and that it's going to be hard for journalists as they "are going to say no" to any interview.

For the moment Marat Safin is taking a well-deserved rest after last week's Masters Cup in Shanghai while Mikhail Youzhny, who has had back problems, is undergoing therapy to overcome them. Both players will fly in from Moscow in the middle of the week.

At 28 and 26 titles under his belt, the Russian told the French Tennis Federation that the Davis Cup has become " a goal after I won the gold medal at the Olympics".

Kafelnikov reached the finals in 1994 and 1995 but the team failed to pull through and he has announced that a victory over France will complete his trophy cabinet and therefore he will retire, "It's the best thing that can happen to me at the end of my career".

But if Russia fails to grasp the title, Kafelnikov said he might come back on his decision but "to be honest I'm starting to lack energy". For the moment he is focused on his preparation and he will give everything he's got. After that "I will like to take a long break and think things over".

Eurosport : AS

11-20-2002, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by TennisHack
Kafelnikov hides from the media

But if Russia fails to grasp the title, Kafelnikov said he might come back on his decision but "to be honest I'm starting to lack energy". For the moment he is focused on his preparation and he will give everything he's got. After that "I will like to take a long break and think things over".

Eurosport : AS

mm... It sure looks like Yevgeny is having doubts about retirement even if they win the cup.... ;) :D ;)

11-20-2002, 03:09 PM
For sure, there are quite a lot of things he could have accomplished. Masters tournament, Masters Cup, Wimbledon, US Open.