davis cup: don’t let kolya’s pink scarf fool you — the russians play dirty

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The Russian doubles pair of Dmitry Tursunov and Igor Kunitsyn hacked their way into a 6-2, 6-1, 6-7(9), 3-6, 8-6 win over Guillermo Canas and David Nalbandian using some unusual tactics:

For the first two sets, Tursunov and Kunitsyn bamboozled their opponents with very little pace. In fact at times it was almost as if they were playing pat ball. With Kunitsyn staying back after most of his serves, and eschewing the chance to come to the net even when it presented itself, the visitors were playing almost a badminton formation of front-court back-court, Tursunov looking for the interceptions, Kunitsyn rallying from the baseline and covering when Cañas and Nalbandián tried to wrongfoot Tursunov. It was fascinating, if unusual.

And Tursunov said that it was Shamil Tarpischev‘s plan all along to make David stay on the court as long as possible, thus making fatigue a factor during tomorrow’s reverse singles. (audio)

Nikolay Davydenko next to wife, Irina, snug as a bug in a pink scarf.

Sunday: The Argentines are up 2-1 going into Sunday, and the sched posted on the DC website lists Kolya playing David (though Dmitry might sub…) and del Potro against Andreev.

(photos by Getty Images)

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