Russian Digest: Marat Davis Cup, Masha in demand, Zvonareva blogs, Tarpischev predicts

Marat Safin is planning to play for Russia in the opening Davis Cup tie against Serbia. It will be held from February 8 to 10 in Moscow. Hopefully New Year’s partying and vodka drinking sessions in Moscow will give a good jump start to his 2008 season :-) The New Year celebrations are huge in Russia. Partying and eating for about two weeks! Russia celebrates Christmas on January 7 which usually gets lost in the New Year’s partying frenzy.

–“Creepy” news! Officials have drawn the line at auctioning the hotel toilet seat to be used by Maria Sharapova when the Tennis “Really Golden” Girl plays an exhibition against Anna Chakvetadze next weekend in Singapore. Since the raised money will go to charities, I’d say if there are crazies out there willing to pay thousands of dollars for it, let’s do it for charitable causes!

–World No 22 Vera Zvonareva has started her own blog at championat.ru (in Russian). Zvonareva, who has been out much of 2007 with injuries, has managed to enroll in the Russian Diplomatic Academy majoring in World Economics. Vera currently trains in Florida and is going to start her 2008 season in Auckland.

–Mother Russia loses tennis players! World No 78 Russian Anastassia Rodionova has been granted Australian residency. 21-year-old Russian Yevgeniy Linetskaya, who hasn’t played professional tennis for two years, is ready for her comeback…but… as an Israeli player. In 2005 she was ranked at 35th and has managed to win 7 ITF titles.

–Wishful thinking. Russia’s Davis Cup and Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpischev predicts that Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova will be fighting for world No 1 rank in 2008 season.

To all my dear readers who celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa–Merry Christmas and Merry Kwanzaa!

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