Russian men cannot match women, Safin says
Updated: 2004-09-17 09:35
Russia cannot not hope to produce top male players in the near future, despite the success their women have had in 2004, Marat Safin said on Thursday.
While Russian women have won the last three grand slam singles titles, Safin lamented that it would be a long time before the men emulated them.
"There is no-one coming through," the former world number one said after reaching the quarter-finals of the China Open.
"There is not one person who we can say is the potential for the future."
Svetlana Kuznetsova beat compatriot Elena Dementieva in the U.S. Open final this month to match the achievements of Anastasia Myskina in Paris and Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon.
Safin, who has not won a title for two years, paid tribute to all four women.
"You can't compare (the men and women)," said Safin, who was the last Russian man to win a grand slam, at the U.S. Open in 2000.
"The girls are much better than the guys. I'm really happy for the girls. The guys don't have the same ambition as the women have so it will be very difficult."
The now-retired Yevgeny Kafelnikov won the 1996 French Open, the 1999 Australian Open and the 2000 Olympic gold medal.