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    Tarpishchev wants Marat Safin to play in 2007 Davis Cup final

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    The president of the Russian Tennis Association said Friday he hopes Marat Safin will play for the national team in the 2007 Davis Cup final in the United States next month.

    MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - The president of the Russian Tennis Association said Friday he hopes Marat Safin will play for the national team in the 2007 Davis Cup final in the United States next month.

    The official Web site of the Russian tennis star, who won the 2007 Kremlin Cup doubles title, said that Safin had "ended his season and would not play any more tournaments this year."

    Shamil Tarpishchev, who is also the captain of the Russian national tennis team, called on fans and media not to speculate on the issue, saying: "I do not care what they say. There is no need to make a sensation out of it."

    Tarpishchev said that he had already made the team selection and, "We are all leaving for the United States together on November 23 and until then I do not want to hear anything about it."

    Safin's Web site said the Russian had made the decision because he believes the team has four players who are all better than him.

    The defending champions from Russia will play in the final of the prestigious tennis tournament running November 30 - December 2 against the United States team in Portland, Oregon.

    The Russians won their trip to the final after a tough match against the German team in late September in Moscow. After the first two days of play, Tarpishchev's team trailed 1-2 to the Germans, eventually triumphing 3-2.

    According to a poll conducted by the official Davis Cup Web site, the U.S. is the favorite to win the final, with 63% of some 13,000 respondents voting for the American squad.

    The 2006 Davis Cup 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 2-1 down after the first two days of play.

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