Davydenko and Safin to lead Russia in Davis Cup final
November 24, 2006 7:43pm CST
Nikolay Davydenko and Marat Safin will lead Russia in next month's Davis Cup final against Argentina in Moscow. Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev has named world number three Davydenko and former world number one Safin along with Dmitry Tursunov and Mikhail Youzhny for the Dec. 1-3 tie at the Olympic Sports Complex, keeping faith with the line-up that beat the United States 3-2 in the semi-finals in September. Youzhny, the hero of Russia's 2002 Davis Cup winning team, was included in the squad even though he suffered a serious ankle injury at last month's St Petersburg Open. "Youzhny will start practising tomorrow," Tarpishchev told Reuters on Sunday. "If he regains his fitness level he'll play. I have to nominate players for the tie one hour before the draw. That's almost two weeks, so we have time to make a decision." Youzhny clinched Russia's first title four years ago when he came from two sets down to beat France's Paul-Henri Mathieu in the decisive fifth rubber in the Paris final. Newcomer Evgeny Korolev, an 18-year-old cousin of Anna Kournikova, will be the alternate.