Defending champions Russia take on Germany in Davis Cup semis

MOSCOW, September 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's No.2 Igor Andreyev will open the Davis Cup semifinals match Friday against Germany in Moscow, as Russia continue to defend their title.

Andreyev will play the first semifinal rubber at the Olympiisky Stadium in central Moscow against world No.11 Tommy Haas.

The game will be followed by a match between world No.4 and 2007 U.S. Open semifinalist Nikolai Davydenko from Russia and Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The third rubber sees the Russian pair Dmitry Tursunov/Mikhail Yuzhny taking on Germany's Philipp Petzschner/Alexander Waske in the doubles Saturday.

On Sunday Davydenko and Andreyev swap single opponents to decide which team goes through to the final showdown between Sweden or the U.S., scheduled for November 30 through December 2.

This will be the ninth Davis Cup encounter between the two countries with the Russian team enjoying a psychological advantage over Germany with a 5-3 lead.

It is also Germany first semifinal appearance for the past 12 years and their No.1 player Haas said his team will do its best to win the three points, although beating Russia would not be easy.

"We came here with expectations of giving our best, trying to win three points over the weekend, which is obviously a tough task if you look at how tough the Russian team is and their success in the recent years. It's a very tough task, if not the toughest task right now in Davis Cup," Haas said in an interview with Davis Cup Radio and posted on ATP official Web site.

The 2006 Davis Cup Champion's title was Russia's second in five years, but it was its first on home soil. In 2002, the Russian team shocked French fans in Paris by winning the competition, coming back from 1-2 down after the first two days of competition.

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