Lisbon is the home to the world’s most prestigious tennis event, the Masters Cup. The Atlantic Pavilion, the centrepiece of the Expo 98 World Exposition, will host the Masters Cup, which sees two Russians in the world’s best eight male tennis players. Marat Safin, ATP ranking 1 and Yevgueni Kafelnikov, ATP ranking 5, will play against the other six players in the world top eight: Sampras, Agassi, Kuerten, Norman, Hewitt and Corretja. This event will have two groups of four players each: Marat Safin and Gustavo Kuerten will each be placed in a different group and the remaining three players in each group will be chosen tomorrow. All the games until the final will have three sets and a tie break and only the final will have five sets. This is the first time that Russia has two players in the top eight men’s tennis classification, proving that the victories gained by Russia’s women are part of a wider presence of Russia in the world tennis scene, as a major player.

The top eight players line up as follows:

Marat Safin ATP ranking 1 Born 1980.01.27 Russia 88kg. 1.93 metres

Pete Sampras ATP ranking 2 Born 1971.12.08 USA 79kg. 1.85 m

Gustavo Kuerten ATP ranking 3 Born 1976.09.10 Brazil 75kg. 1.90m

Magnus Norman ATP ranking 4 Born 1976.05.30 Sweden 89 kg. 1.87m

Yevgeni Kafelnikov ATP ranking 5 Born 1974.02.18 Russia 84kg. 1.90m

Andre Agassi ATP ranking 6 Born 1970.04.29 USA 77kg. 1.80m

Lleyton Hewitt ATP ranking 7 Born 1981.02.24 Australia 65kg. 1.80m

Alex Corretja ATP ranking 8 Born 1974.04.11 Spain 70kg. 1.80m

The world’s press concentrates on Lisbon this week as the top eight tennis players decide who will start the third millennium as world number one. Whatever the result, this is the first time that Russia has had two players challenging for the top place, proof of Russia’s arrival at the top of the world tennis scene.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, Pravda.Ru, Lisbon

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Author`s name: Editorial Team