Olympic Tennis: Russian can turn season around.
Very little has gone to form this week, largely because most of the pampered prima donnas on the tennis circuit could not care two hoots about winning gold if there is not a big cheque to go with it.
Neither Kafelnikov nor Haas have won a single tournament this year, the latter slipping from 11th to 48th in the rankings.
But the draw opened up kindly for them - six US Open quarter-finalists made the trip to Sydney and five lost in the first round - and they are probably going to be a bit more keyed up for it now.
It has been a case of who cares wins throughout the men's tournament, so go with favourite Kafelnikov, who says he is deadly serious.
"Let's put it this way, the
results that I had this year will all be forgotten for me if I win this tournament.
"If I win the gold medal, this year has been perhaps the best of my career. That's how important it is for me and my country."
The two-time Grand Slam champion has enjoyed a lot of success on Australia's hardcourts. He won the Australian Open last year and was runner-up in January, losing in the final to Andre Agassi. He leads Haas 3-1 in head-to-heads so gets the vote at 8-15.
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Sep 27, 2000|
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