Yevgeny Kafelnikov


Born: 18/2/1974

Australian Open 1999

French Open 1996

Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the Russian from the Black Sea town of Sochi, became known as a surly, difficult person to deal with. The French tennis journalists even voted him the most uncooperative player on the tour. Kafelnikov was a baseliner with a slightly awkward looking forehand. Kafelnikov’s breakthrough year was 1994. At the Australian Open he brought Pete Sampras all the way to 11-9 in the fifth set in the second round and Sampras proclaimed in the press conference ‘the guy’s gonna be good’! Kafelnikov continued to improve in 1995. At the French Open he beat world number one Andre Agassi in the quarters before being trounced by Thomas Muster in the semis. Kafelnikov began 1996 well with a quarter final appearance at the Australian Open but it was at Rolland Garros that he achieved the major breakthrough. He beat Richard Krajicek in the quarters and thrashed a fatigued Sampras in the semis before a straight set win over Michael Stich in the final. 1997 was a disappointing year. He lost his French title at the quarter final stage to Gustavo Kuerten. 1998 continued in the same vein as he dropped out of the top 10. Then he breezed into the final of the 1999 Australian Open where he beat Thomas Enqvist in four sets to claim his second Grand Slam title. At the U.S. Open Kafelnikov was involved in a quarter final tussle with Richard Krajicek, finally coming through 7 points to 5 in the fifth set tie break. In the semis he faced a red hot Agassi and lost in four sets. Defending his Australian Open title in 2000, Kafelnikov took advantage of an easy draw to make it through to the final, where he again found Agassi too hot to handle, losing in four sets. At the 2001 US Open Kafelnikov beat World number one Kuerten in the quarters but was humiliated in the semis by Lleyton Hewitt. 2002 was a bad year for Kafelnikov as he failed to make an impression at any of the Grand Slams. 2003 was just as bad. His friend Marat Safin announced Kafelnikov's retirement in January 2004. Kafelnikov then became active on the poker circuit.


HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Agassi 1-4, B.Becker 0-1, M.Chang 1-0, J.Courier 1-0, R.Federer 1-0, L.Hewitt 0-1, G.Ivanisevic 0-1, T.Johansson 1-2, R.Krajicek 2-0, G.Kuerten 1-3, T.Muster 0-1, P.Sampras 1-1, M.Stich 1-1

Yevgeny Kafelnikov's Grand Slam record