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  • Even Putin worried about Russian tennis

    4/14/13 1:39 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Even Putin worried about Russian tennis It appears that even Russian president Vladimir Putin is concerned by the sad shape of men's tennis in the nation - at least that's the impression given by disappointed national tennis supremo Shamil Tarpishchev.

    "I met with Vladimir. He gave the order to make a tennis development program, and now we're going to carry it out," said the always-mysterious Tarpishchev.

    The head of the Davis and Fed Cup teams and a man with a finger in almost every pie concerning the spot in his country is still smarting after his side was defeated 3-2 by Britain at the weekend and knocked down a notch in Davis Cup zonal play.

    With the Brits celebrating a major win achieved without Andy Murray, the Russians are already considering their next move to regain tennis respectability.

    The current Russian situation is a far cry from just over a decade ago when Nikolay Davydenko and Marat Safin played consistent top tennis and had the rankings to prove it. And a decade before that, Yevgeny Kafelnikov stood world No. 1. The best of the current bunch is No. 26 Mikhail Youzhny.

    "I've been talking about this for a decade, but who's listening," Tarpishchev said told Russian media. "It's a shame that on the wave of the first decade (the 1990s) it would have been possible to create a miracle, but now just to return to that previous position we need to waste another decade, and only if everything goes well."

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