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Yevgeny Kafelnikov

Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Kafelnikov (born 18 February 1974) is a former World No. 1 tennis player from Russia. During his career, he won two Grand Slam singles titles (one French Open and one Australian Open), four Grand Slam doubles titles, and the men's singles Gold Medal at the Olympic Games
Kafelnikov was born in Sochi then part of the RSFSR of Soviet Union. He turned professional in 1992 and won his first top-level singles title in Adelaide in 1994. In 1995, Kafelnikov defeated World No. 1 Andre Agassi in the quarter-finals of the French Open before losing to eventual champion Thomas Muster in the semi-finals.
A year later, in 1996, Kafelnikov captured both the men's singles and the men's doubles titles at the French Open. In the semis, Kafelnikov eliminated Pete Sampras, and then in the final beat former Wimbledon champion Michael Stich in straight sets 7-6, 7-5, 7-6. In 1997, Kafelnikov won the men's doubles titles at both the French Open and the US Open. In 1999, Kafelnikov won his second Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open. He defeated Thomas Enqvist in four sets in the final. In May that year, he reached the World No. 1 men's singles ranking. However, he lost seven straight matches thereafter, and relinquished the No. 1 ranking after six weeks.
Kafelnikov was in the Australian Open final again in 2000, but was defeated in four sets by Andre Agassi. That summer, he won the men's singles Gold Medal for Russia at the Sydney Olympic Games. In the final, he defeated Tommy Haas of Germany in an exciting five-set match 7-6, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. In 2002, Kafelnikov was part of the Russian team that won the Davis Cup for the first time. In Russia's semi-final win over Argentina, Kafelnikov saved two match points in a singles rubber against Gastón Gaudio; he won the five-set, four-hour and ten-minute match 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 2-6, 8-6. The following day, he partnered Marat Safin in the longest doubles match in Davis Cup history. The pair eventually lost the six-hour and 20-minute match 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 17-19. Russia eventually overcame Argentina 3-2, and went on to defeat France 3-2 in the final. Kafelnikov won his third French Open men's doubles title in 2002. He reached the French Open men's doubles final for the fourth time in 2003, when he finished runner-up.
Kafelnikov retired from the professional tour in 2004, having won 26 singles and 27 doubles titles. Since retiring, Kafelnikov has tried his hand at becoming a professional poker player, with a few impressive finishes at the 2005 World Series of Poker.

Grand Slam singles finals

Year Championship Position Opponent Score
1996 French Open Champion Michael Stich 7-6, 7-5, 7-6
1999 Australian Open Champion Thomas Enqvist 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-6
2000 Australian Open Runner-Up Andre Agassi 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 4-6

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