Imago

Davydenko to lead Russia

Out-of-form Nik to lead Russia
By Eurosport

14/11/2007 at 19:50Updated

World number four Nikolay Davydenko will lead defending champions Russia in the Davis Cup final against the United States.

Davydenko, who is playing in this week's season-ending Masters Cup tournament in Shanghai, will be joined by world number 19 Mikhail Youzhny, Igor Andreev (33) and Dmitry Tursunov (34) for the three-day tie that starts on November 30 in Portland.

Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev decided against calling up the team's charismatic leader, former world number one Marat Safin, who has struggled to find his top form since coming back from a knee injury.

"There's no point in drafting Marat to play the Americans. He only began training again this week after an extended break," Tarpishchev said.

"But you can always change a player even just before the draw, so there's is still a small chance that he would be in the team if someone's injured or is not in top form. Marat might go to Portland anyway. He could be our secret weapon there."

Tarpishchev said Russia had a good chance of beating the U.S.

"It's true they have the best doubles team (twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan) but I don't think their singles players (Andy) Roddick and (James) Blake are any better than any of our guys," he said.