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Russia captain eyeing Fed and Davis Cup double

MOSCOW, Sep 16 (Reuters) Shamil Tarpishchev will have little time to savour victory after leading Russia to their third Fed Cup title in four years with a 4-0 thrashing of last year's winners Italy today.

Tarpishchev, who doubles as Russia's Davis Cup captain, will soon be busy preparing the defending men's champions for this week's semi-final against Germany at the other side of Moscow from the Luzhniki arena, the site of the Fed Cup final.

''I'll enjoy this victory a bit more tonight, but from tomorrow I will start working with the boys,'' the 59-year-old, who is bidding for the unique double by trying to win both the Fed and Davis Cups in the same year, told Reuters.

''I must get them ready for a tough weekend.'' Tarpishchev, who has led Russia to three Fed Cup and two Davis Cup titles in the last five years, was asked to reveal the secrets of his success.

''Well, this was my 101st match as Russia captain if you count both the Fed and Davis Cups,'' said the coach, who keeps a log of all his matches on the bench. ''I was losing quite often early in my career, so it's just right if I win a few now.'' Tarpishchev has chalked up 44 victories in 65 Davis Cup ties and has also won 27 of 36 Fed Cup matches.

He dedicated his latest victory to former Russian president Boris Yeltin, died in April from heart failure, aged 76.

''When Boris Yeltsin picked up a tennis racket in the early 1990s, the game just took off in our country,'' Tarpishchev said.

''And today you see the results of that work. Without him, we just wouldn't be where we are now.'' Reuters SR VP0006

Story first published: Monday, September 17, 2007, 0:32 [IST]
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