Kafelnikov may bow out with Davis Cup glory

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

The retirement of Russian tennis icon Yevgeny Kafelnikov, which may come this weekend should his side defeat France in the Davis Cup final, would lower the curt

Kafelnikov may bow out with Davis Cup glory

Moscow:

The retirement of Russian tennis icon Yevgeny Kafelnikov, which may come this weekend should his side defeat France in the Davis Cup final, would lower the curtain on a brilliant career that helped put Russian tennis on the map.A native of the Black Sea resort town of Sochi who turned professional in 1992, Kafelnikov spearheaded the game's post-Soviet revival, the first Russian player to top the ATP rankings in May 1999.The 28-year-old was also the first Russian to win a Grand Slam title, claiming the French Open in 1996 and the 1999 Australian Open.And he almost single-handedly led Russia to two Davis Cup finals, which to Kafelnikov's bitter disappointment his side lost 4-1 at home to Sweden in 1994, and 3-2 to the United States in 1995.But the winner of 26 ATP singles titles and more than $ 23 million in prize money has pointed to the 2000 Olympic gold medal, which he won for Russia at the Sydney Games as his most significant achievement so far.His career will be complete if Russia goes top of the pile in international tennis by winning the Davis Cup in Paris, Kafelnikov said.Tennis was never a big sport in the Soviet Union, the ruling Communist Party viewing the game as a vulgar amusement of wealthy capitalists that would only tarnish the moral code of the Soviet people. (PTI)



Topics : Tennis
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