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Old 06-10-2005, 01:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Yvegeny Kafelnikov: Poker King

Life outside tennis suits Kafelnikov to a tee


Thursday, 02 June , 2005, 15:11

Moscow: While the tennis elite battle on the red clay of Roland Garros, former world number one and 1996 French Open winner Yevgeny Kafelnikov has been busy honing his skills in his new passion - golf.


The 31-year-old Russian, who retired from professional tennis last year, will play at the national amateur golf championship to be held later this month at the Moscow Country Club.

Kafelnikov is hoping to qualify for the $1 million Russian Open, which will be played at the same picturesque course in suburban Nakhabino and is part of the European PGA Tour.

"I'm serious about golf," Kafelnikov told Reuters after taking part in an annual President's Cup invitational golf tournament, where his team finished third.

"I know it takes countless hours of practice before you learn all the intricate parts of this game but I'm prepared to give it a try," he said.

"I was told the winner of the amateur championship will qualify for the Russian Open, so we'll see how it goes."

A mellowed Kafelnikov, who has gained considerable weight since his retirement, said he was happy with his new life.

"I have no regrets whatsoever," the 1999 Australian Open and 2000 Olympic champion said.

"I've achieved what I wanted in tennis and I'm at peace with myself. That chapter of my life is now closed and I'm enjoying a new life. I can play golf, do other things and have fun."


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