probably doesn't mean much now.... I would think that Calleri has a
better chance against Davydenko, even though he is 0-4 lifetime!
Will Safin be in shape???
Will Tursunov step in to be a hero again???
Will Nalbandian manage to win 3 close matches???
Nalbandian, Acasuso, Calleri, Chela Named To Argentine Davis Cup Team
By Tennis Week
David Nalbandian will lead Argentina's quest to capture its first Davis
Cup championship in history. Argentine captain Alberto Mancini has
reconvened the same cast - Nalbandian, Jose Acasuso, Agustin Calleri
and Juan Ignacio Chela - that crushed visiting Australia, 5-0, in the
Davis Cup semifinals for the December 1-3 Davis Cup final against
The tie will be staged on a carpet court inside Moscow's Olympic
Russian captain Shamil Tarpischev has not yet announced his lineup, but
he is expected to name third-ranked Nikolay Davydenko, 22nd-ranked
Dmitry Tursunov and former World No. 1 Marat Safin as his primary
players along with Igor Andreev, who could join the team to replace the
injured Mikhail Youzhny.
Nalbandian, who will likely play No. 1 singles for Argentina, is 4-2
lifetime against Davydenko, including three straight wins over the U.S.
Open semifinalist. The 33rd-ranked Chela, a strong candidate for the
second singles spot, has dominated Davydenko in posting a 5-0 career
record against the Russian. Chela is 6-4 lifetime in Davis Cup
competition with his last loss coming to Safin in the 2002 Davis Cup
semifinals staged on carpet in Moscow. Russia beat Argentina 3-2 en
route to its first Davis Cup crown in history. Chela defeated Mikhail
Youzhny in the dead *** of that semifinal setback.
Davydenko is 2-0 against Acasuso, with both matches contested on clay.
The Paris Masters champion is 4-0 against Calleri, including a 6-4, 6-3
triumph in the New Haven final in August. Davydenko has not dropped a
set to Calleri in four meetings.
The 26th-ranked Safin is the key player in Russia's hopes of claiming
its second Davis Cup championship. Safin, who has won nine of his last
11 Davis Cup matches, has beaten Nalbandian in six of their eight
meetings and despite his lower ranking, he would be favored over the
Argentine in that match. Safin has won three of four meetings with
Chela though they have not met in two years; the two-time Grand Slam
champion is 1-2 against Acasuso, scoring a 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3 victory
in Madrid last month.
Guillermo Canas, who was sidelined for 15 months after doping charges
(Canas denied the charges and was ultimately reinstated), has been
selected as a reserve on the Argentine team.
This will be the third occasion that Olympic Stadium has staged the
Davis Cup final, following consecutive finals in 1994 and 1995. Russia
suffered defeat in both of those finals, before capturing its first
Davis Cup title with a 3-2 victory over France in Paris in 2002 as
Mikhail Youzhny rallied from a two-set deficit to clinch the Cup.