Mikhail Youzhny. Marat Safin. Kolya Davydenko. Dmitry Tursunov.
plus Nole Djokovic. and Janko Tipsarevic. all under one roof. That’s a heart attack waiting to happen.
Match-up: 2007 Davis Cup finalist Russia faces Serbia in the World Group first round tie at the Luzhniki indoor arena in Moscow. Russia has the experience (they’ve won this before) but Serbia has the momentum (with Nole taking the 2008 Australian Open singles title, Nenad Zemonjic the mixed doubles title, and Janko taking Federer to five sets).
More photos: See a few more pictures from the pre-tie press conference after the cut…
Marat’s all smiles now after a restful off-season. He skipped the Davis Cup final as he continued to clear his head, and coach Shamil Tarpishchev called on him for this tie, clearly deeming the former World No. 1 ready to overcome the Serbs.
And while he’s not going to be in the main draw at this year’s SAP Open in San Jose, Calif., he’s committed to play an exhibition match against Pete Sampras to coincide with the tournament.
Kolya’s had his share of troubles, too. He was shaky in the DC finals (especially that doubles match with Igor Andreev). An early-ish exit at the Australian Open took the spotlight away from him somewhat, so this is his chance to prove that he can move on.
Look at that — Nole has a goatee again. Lovely coat of arms on those warm-ups. Here’s hoping he repeats his Davis Cup antics from last year. (And yes, the antics involve showing some skin.)
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