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Anastasia Myskina became the real heroine of the Fed Cup final
Russia's women's Number One tennis player Anastasia Myskina stated that the joy of the fans who saw the victory of Russia's national team in the final of the tennis Federation Cup was the most prized award for her. She said this after the end of the final in which the Russian players beat the French team 3-2. "I do not need anything. The most important is that my friends and my kith and kin are near me, and that the fans were content while leaving the stadium," Miss Myskina noted. Analysing the last doubles match, Miss Myskina said that it had taken her much psychological energy. "Great emotional fatigue has accumulated in me plus the fact that I did not win a single game on my serve in that match. That is why I would like to specially thank my superfriend, my superpartner Vera Zvonareva whose performance was simply brilliant." Miss Myskina became the real heroine of the Fed Cup final, having won two singles matches (against Natalie Dechy and Tatiana Golovin) and, playing in doubles with Vera Zvonareva, took the decisive third point. For his part, captain of Russia's national team Shamil Tarpishchev confessed that he had got tired from this match more than from the Davis Cup-2002 final when the Russian men's squad had also beaten France 3-2. "First, the talk of our clear edge over the others put great pressure on us," Mr. Tarpishchev said. "Second, the girls were not in the best condition after the WTA final tournament in Los Angeles." The captain of Russia's women' team, reasoning about the Federation Cup competition next year, stressed that the principle of selecting the players will remain unchanged. "The team will include the strongest - this accord has long existed in our national team. I stand for its results being high and reliable, and we are heading for it." Russia became the tenth country to have won the Fed Cup trophy. The beginning of the final meet with France was not successful for the Russians. No.2 of the Russian team Svetlana Kuznetsova and Number One of France Natalie Dechy played in the match that opened the final on Saturday, November 27. The Russian player served on a match point, the score being 6-3, 5-4 in her favour but failed to control her emotions and lost not only the game but also the second set. That match lasted more than two hours and ended in Dechy's victory 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 8-6 (according to the rules, a tie break is not played in the decisive set). Anastasia Myskina and 16-year-old French girl of Russian origin Tatiana Golovin were the next to play. The host player won in two sets but they were very tightly fought - 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). So, there was a 1-1 draw after the first day. Sunday began with a match of the teams' leaders Anastasia Myskina and Natalie Dechy. The Russian took a rather easy win 6-3, 6-4 and gave the 2-1 lead to her squad. Svetlana Kuznetsova could have won the final point if she had beaten Miss Golovin. But the French girl took command from the very beginning and gave, in effect, no chance to her opponent to break the course of the match. Miss Golovin won 6-4, 6-1 and gave her fans hope for overall victory by having made the score 2-2. Before the last match of the Fed Cup final in which doubles had to play Mr. Tarpishchev replaced Yelena Likhovtseva by Miss Myskina to play together with Vera Zvonareva. The beginning of the doubles match was captivating. The fate of the first set was decided in a tie break. At first the French took the lead 3-0 but then the Russians not only levelled but also won the set 7-6 (7-5). The second set was not less intensely-fought. The entrants made many break points, and the culmination came when the score was 6-5 in favour of the Russians. Vera Zvonareva served and played very confidently in that game, bringing the overall victory to Russia. The Russian national team took the Fed Cup only in its fifth attempt. The Russian women players earlier qualified for the final but lost each time. In 2001 Mr. Tarpishchev's charges lost to Belgium 1-2, two years before that - to the USA 1-4, in 1990 also to the Americans 1-2, and in 1988 - to Czechoslovakia 1-2
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