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Rediff.com  » Sports » Next match could be my last: Kafelnikov

Next match could be my last: Kafelnikov

October 23, 2003 08:20 IST
Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov once again hinted at his imminent retirement on Wednesday after coming from behind to beat Germany's Nicolas Kiefer 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in first round action at the St Petersburg Open.

Asked to look ahead to his second round encounter against compatriot and Davis Cup team mate Mikhail Youzhny, the 29-year-old said: "It could very well be my last match."

Kafelnikov said on numerous occasions last year that he would quit tennis if he could lead Russia to their first Davis Cup title only to change his mind a couple of months later.

But the former French and Australian Open champion said he has been only a pale shadow of his former self this season and does not want to stay in the game just to make up the numbers.

"You have seen for yourselves that at present Kafelnikov is not the same player everyone was used to seeing in the past," he told reporters. "It is clearly evident from my current form and I know it very well myself."

The former world number one had a largely disappointing season this year by his own standards, winning 29 matches and losing 25.

"Right now, I don't set any goals for myself," he said.

PLAYING FOR FUN

"I'm just playing for fun. I have already made my decision (to retire) and will announce it in the very near future."

Kafelnikov also hit out once again against allegations of him being involved in match-rigging.

Source:
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