• Kiefer believes in miracles; accepts Shanghai stand-in role

    11/8/08 10:48 AM | Johan Lindahl
     - Nicolas Kiefer was quick to accept the call as more than two dozen ATP players declined invitations to stand in as alternates for the Masters Cup.

    But Kiefer, 35th on the season points race list, was happy to make the trip, even interrupting his time off after long season. "I had just begun adjusting to my holidays," he said on his website. "Then I received the call and I jumped at the chance. Anyone invited to the Masters Cup should go.

    "Maybe I'll even profit from any further withdrawals of my colleagues," he said of the eight-man event headed by Roger Federer.

    Kiefer remains an optimist after 25 of his contemporaries turned down the well-paying post-season offer in Shanghai.

    The German said that luck could easily turn and recalled the fairytale story of Denmark at the 1992 European football championships. The team only got into the event where Yugoslavia erupted into war, with the Danes ending up holding the trophy at the end.

    "I regard the invitation also as confirmation of my hard work of the last months," he added. "Work is rewarded!"

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