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November 30, 2006

Nikolay Davydenko

Marat Safin

Shamil Tarpischev

Dmitry Tursunov


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. For the team captain. What is the reason for you to nominate Marat Safin and Nikolay Davydenko as singles players?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: He who is the best of shape plays the Davis Cup tie. This is my principle. So I believe that Davydenko and Safin are exactly the players who can show the best result today.

Q. Was it unexpected for you to play the doubles? Maybe you wanted to play singles?
DIMITRY TURSUNOV: I think after the last doubles results we showed together with Mikhail, it came as a surprise for everyone. It is our tactics to win by surprise and take the opponent by surprise. I think that's why we made that decision.

Q. Did you expect that the Argentinians would nominate Nalbandian and Chela as singles players?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: Nothing special happened. We're not surprised. We even considered Acasuso and Chela as singles players. Nothing is surprising to us.

Q. Team captain, how important is it for you to know now that Davydenko will start the match with Chela?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: I think it's quite normal.

Q. Nikolay, can we consider the wedding party that you celebrated on Saturday as kind of a psychological doping?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Why do you keep asking me about the wedding party (laughter)? Well, actually I wanted to play tomorrow. I was ready to play. I wanted to play. Marat said he wanted to play second. Great, I wanted to play first.

Q. Nikolay, in your head-to-heads you are losing 0-5 to Chela. Will it have any importance?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Well, that's exactly why they nominated me to play against Chela, because they know there's no way Acasuso or Calleri could beat me on any surface. That's why they nominated me to play against Chela.

Q. Marat, couple of days ago you said you had a bad feeling about this Davis Cup outcome. Have you changed your mind?
MARAT SAFIN: I just meant we won in Paris 2002. We were lucky. Misha won that decisive match. Of course, we were supporting Misha in that decisive final.
I just don't want the Russian team to pay back here in Moscow. I hope it won't happen.

Q. Dimitry, what are the kind of surprises you have in store for the Argentinian team, other than the composition of the doubles team?
DIMITRY TURSUNOV: Well, I can't really tell you about all the surprises. First of all, if I tell you about the surprises, it will not be a surprise any more (laughter).
One of the surprises, we hired Alexander Volkov as our coach. We don't know what kind of surprise this will be, what result it will yield, but this is what we did.

Q. Marat, could you elaborate why you feel more comfortable to play second after Nikolay Davydenko? Why?
MARAT SAFIN: The thing is, I feel Nikolay Davydenko has better chances to beat Chela. I didn't want to play too early. I want Nalbandian to feel some pressure. If Nikolay beats Chela, Nalbandian will be feeling the pressure, plus he'll also be playing doubles.
It will be good for me. He will realize the stakes in this tie will be higher. It will be easier for me. Hopefully we can finish it off in two days.

Q. Marat, hasn't been the best year for you individually this year. Talk about what it would mean for you to win the Davis Cup and how much this is important to you.
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it was really a really bad year for me. I missed straightaway the Australian Open. Unfortunately, I couldn't recover straightaway with my injury. It took me a little bit longer than I thought. It took me around six months to be able to run around the court without any pain the next day. I dropped a lot of the ranking, lost the confidence. A lot of things went the wrong way. I had very bad luck in a lot of matches.
So the only thing that really can make this year to be worth I think is the Davis Cup. We have everything. It's in our sight. We don't want to lose it 'cause I don't know when is going to be the next time. For us it means a lot. For half of our team, it's the first time they going to try to win this thing. For me and Misha, it's the second one. But, still, it's worth a lot. It's probably the most incredible thing for the past two years for me.
I'm looking forward, pretty positive about this. I don't want to lose it.

Q. Captain Tarpischev, a big group of supporters is coming from Argentina. They say Maradona himself will be coming to support the team. Do you think it will make a difference?
CAPTAIN TARPISCHEV: I think I'm not sure about Maradona. I just heard he will be coming at the invitation of the TV sports channel.
But I would say the more famous people we have in the stands, the better motivated the Russian team will be.

Q. Nikolay, as we know, it's very important to be in good physical shape by the end of the year. How motivated are you to win this competition for your team? How important is the mental, moral factor for you, to win this trophy for the team?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I think in those kind of matches, it's a huge difference between team competition and individual competition. We'll be getting the support of the crowd and also the support of the doctors.
I rely a lot on the doctors. I hope if something were to happen, they would help me to get through a five-setter. If not, it's their problem.
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