DUESSELDORF, Germany, Reuters
Russia’s Yevgeny Kafelnikov showed signs of a clear return to form when he beat Jan-Michael Gambill of the United States 6-4 5-7 6-2 in the World Team Cup men’s tennis tournament on Tuesday.
Kafelnikov, ranked seventh in the ATP Entry System rankings, played his best game in months, wrapping up the first set with a combination of strong serving and keen down-the line judgment.
Gambill, 15th in the rankings, fought hard and came back to take the second.
But Kafelnikov imposed himself in the third set, thrilling the crowd with a series of drop shots from the net where the Russian ruled supreme.
Kafelnikov maintained this dominance and wrapped up the third set on the Duesseldorf clay courts with an ace.
In the day’s other early game, France’s Sebastian Grosjean, ranked 10th, easily beat Argentina’s left-hander Franco Squillari 6-1 7-5.
The matches were played on the third day of the US$2.1 million tournament, which is traditionally viewed as a warm-up for next week’s French Open in Paris.