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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Jets Out for Davis Cup Clash

Former President Boris Yeltsin was to arrive in Paris on Thursday to cheer on the Russian team in its Davis Cup final against France.

"Yes, they have left Moscow and should arrive in Paris this evening," a Kremlin spokesman said.

Russian players Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin both said Yeltsin had promised to visit Paris for the three-day final to cheer them on. The best-of-five clash begins Friday at Bercy sports hall.

Yeltsin, 71, has been at all of Russia's previous Davis Cup ties this year, all in Moscow. He has been a big fan of tennis since taking up the sport in 1992.

Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev has repeatedly said that Russian tennis owes much of its recent success to Yeltsin playing the game.

"Moscow hosting its first professional tournament in 1990, Yeltsin picking up his tennis racket in 1992, Kafelnikov becoming the first Russian to win a grand slam at the French Open in 1996 ... all have had a major impact on the sport in this country," Tarpishchev said.