Russian Davis Cup captain to rely on youth against Brazil
Seasoned players Nikolay Davydenko and Mikhail Youzhny won’t be joining Russia in their Davis Cup campaign as they battle to secure a place in the tournament's World Group.
Instead, Alex Bogomolov and Igor Andreev, as well as the younger players Evgeny Donskoy (22) and Andrey Kuznetsov (21), were recruited to the country’s team.
Russia will travel to Brazil for the playoff round, scheduled to take place between September 14-16.
"Donskoy and Kuznetsov have recently improved their rankings,” Shamil Tarpischev, Russia’s Davis Cup captain, told R-Sport. “Those players just have to get their chance regardless of the result, which we’ll show in Brazil. Our main problem is financing because when some guys are training in Spain – the others just sit and kill their talent. So, capping Donskoy and Kuznetsova to the Davis Cup squad was a vital necessity for us."
Russian men’s tennis has been in crisis since the retirement of Evgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin, who both reached the ranking of World No.1.
The country’s Davis Cup team are on the brink of the World Group elimination for the second year in a row. In 2011, they managed to keep their position in the tennis elite by topping none other than Brazil in a playoff, 3-2.
With a lack of funds stalling the development of the game in the country, Tarpischev was asked to comment on the a recent purchase by Russia’s football champions Zenit, who just spent €80 million on Brazilian international ;Hulk’ and Belgium’s Axel Witsel.
"The Russian Tennis Federation could successfully operate for ten years with this money and achieve the same great victories we had in the previous decade, relying only on home-grown players," he said. "But is there a way to attract such huge money into tennis? Only the authorities can do it – if they’ll begin loving tennis.”