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World number 11 Mikhail Youzhny has announced he is to reitre from Russia’s Davis Cup squad with immediate effect.

The 28-year-old helped his country overcome France in the final of the competition in dramatic fashion back in 2002, but now feels it is time to step aside in order to help a new generation of players gain experience if they are to maintain their position as big free bet favourites over the coming years.

"I think the time has come for me step aside and give younger players a chance," Youzhny said.

"I must say it was a tough decision to make as Davis Cup has given me a lot of great memories but also it was more and more difficult to maintain the level of performance with each year."

"Now, I want to devote more time to my family and concentrate on individual tournaments." He added.

The Russian made history by becoming the first man to win a Davis Cup rubber after going two sets down, and also helped his country to a second cup success in 2006. Big free bet would have likely installed Russia as one of the favourites to win the tournament if they had managed to retain his services.

Russia’s Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev praised Youzhny’s contribution to the team, and believes he will be a massive loss ahead of their tie against Sweden next month. He said: “He was always a true team player, giving his all each and every time for the team, we will really miss him."

With Nikolas Davydenko also unavailable for the tie, Russia face the prospect of going into this year’s tournament without their top two players. Their first round match gets underway in Boras on March 4th.
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