President of the All-Russia Tennis Association (VTA) Shamil Tarpishchev believes that the Russian players did their best at the French Open. He said this in the exclusive interview given to a RIA Novosti correspondent by telephone on Tuesday.
"Mikhail Yuzhny performed befittingly at Roland Garros, taking into consideration the fact that he had no time to fully recover after a cold," Tarpishchev said. "It would have been foolish to expect more from him." Assessing the performance of another representative of Russia, Nikolai Davidenko, the VTA president noted that he had played at his level, demonstrated not bad tennis but, "naturally, could not beat Hewitt." The Roland Garros performance by Yevgeny Kafelnikov gratified Tarpishchev most of all. "Yevgeny did not play like this for a long time," Tarpishchev shared his opinion. "I liked his play very much. I do not remember when Kafelnikov showed such fine tennis on a clay court last time".
It is noteworthy that all the three representatives of Russia failed to surmount the barrier of the second round: Yuzhny lost to Hungarian Attila Savolt in five sets, Kafelnikov was beaten by Brazilian Flavio Saretta also in five sets, and Davidenko failed to resist the pressure of Australian Lleyton Hewitt.
As for Marat Safin, who did not participate in the French Open, he is now staying in Moscow and is recovering from an injury - a slight tear of a tendon of the left arm.
"Safin is concentrated on his medical treatment", the VTA president said. "But already on Monday he will start training lightly, and is now doing physical exercises." According to Tarpishchev, Safin will be able to play in his first post-injury tournament only after the British Open, Wimbledon. "And if he goes to play in Wimbledon, I simply will not understand it," Tarpishchev concluded.