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tenn_ace
Oct 14th, 2003, 05:01 PM
they are not just losing, they are losing every match they are playing.

it's becoming pathetic. :mad: :fiery:

ys
Oct 14th, 2003, 05:22 PM
It's OK, who cares, the season is wasted anyway..

ally baker
Oct 14th, 2003, 05:23 PM
Too much sex with the Russian girls... :o

ys
Oct 14th, 2003, 05:27 PM
Too much sex with the Russian girls... :o

or Russian men..

vaiva
Oct 14th, 2003, 05:54 PM
Too much sex with the Russian girls... :o

or too little

tenn_ace
Oct 14th, 2003, 06:10 PM
or too little

or who cares... the season is wasted anyway... :p

vaiva
Oct 14th, 2003, 06:15 PM
didn't you care? :p

tenn_ace
Oct 14th, 2003, 06:36 PM
only if I'm involved and some of them (should I say who?)... since I'm not, all I care is tournament wins ;)

vaiva
Oct 14th, 2003, 06:43 PM
I think we should borrow some of the cat's valerian roots and just let it go ;)

the cat
Oct 14th, 2003, 07:40 PM
Mrs TBE, valerian roots are good for the soul! :) And you can borrow my valerian roots anytime. :angel:

The Russina's are good girls and concentrating on their careers. They don't have time for such extracarricular activities! ;)

I've said it for months now. Russian men's tennis is in a terrible state. :( I'm surprised Mikhail Youzhny has had such a terrible year. And it all started when he lost that 2 set lead to Andy Roddick at the 2003 Australian Open. That match had a devastating effect on Misha. :sad: But it did wonders for Roddick.

I gather Marat Safin is using Lina Krasnoroutskaya's doctor. :eek:

I think late in the year is a time for someone like Youzhny to play better. The top players are tired and vulnerable to being upset. Misha just got to the semi's last week so maybe he will find some good form before the end of the year.

If Safin and Youzhny are healthy next year Russia will be tough to beat in the Davis Cup. But with Yevgenvy Kafelnikov retiring, Russia will need to develope a good doubles team for Davis Cup play.

Losing Dmitry Tursunov is a blow for Russian men's tennis. :( That cannot be denied. But he will not be playing on the American davis Cup team of Olympic team anytime soon, so I don't understand the need to change his citizenship at such a young age. Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova have lived in America longer than Tursunov has. And they haven't become American citizens. Why is Tursuno in such a rush to be an American? That is the question.

Hurley
Oct 14th, 2003, 09:06 PM
or Russian men..

Care to name names so I know who to hit on?

the cat
Oct 15th, 2003, 02:23 AM
Nyet! ;)

ally baker
Oct 15th, 2003, 02:26 AM
The Russina's are good girls and concentrating on their careers. They don't have time for such extracarricular activities!

You must not see Bovina much around the grounds... :p

saab95
Oct 15th, 2003, 08:16 AM
Igor Andreev is not so bad now and I think he'll bemore interesting next season as a player.
And he's very pleasant person too.

the cat
Oct 15th, 2003, 02:34 PM
Oh Ally, tell me you didn't say that about your Lena. ;)

I agree Saab, Igor Andreev will be a player to follow next year.

bubble
Oct 15th, 2003, 04:27 PM
It's really sad after the woo-ha of their DC win last year.

And with the scandal facing Yevgeny at the moment really seems like a low point for the men ... :mad:

goldenlox
Dec 22nd, 2003, 12:18 AM
An interesting article -

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Yevgeny Kafelnikov has already rewritten the script several times for the finale of his tennis career.

Leading Russia to Davis Cup victory against France last December would be a perfect final act, he decided. When young compatriot Mikhail Youzhny stole the limelight by winning the deciding rubber in Kafelnikov's place, the older man had to think again.

Perhaps a sixth Kremlin Cup title in June would make a suitable farewell point for Russia's most celebrated and successful tennis player of all time?

But Kafelnikov failed to stick to the script again, losing in the second round.

Now the 2000 Olympic champion and the first Russian to win a Grand Slam event may have to draft a closing scene in which he just slips quietly off into the sunset.

Kafelnikov himself is still keeping everyone guessing about his future but Russian tennis officials do not expect him to play again.

``We've been urging him to continue but it looks as if he just doesn't have the desire to play any more,'' Russia's Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev was quoted as saying by local media. ``He has also gained weight, some eight kilos.''

A senior Russian tennis official also told Reuters that Kafelnikov would not return next year.

``I think Yevgeny has made up his mind already but he just likes to keep everybody guessing, he likes playing games with people,'' the source said.

LOYAL FAN

Kafelnikov, looking out of shape, was last seen in public during last month's Fed Cup Final Four at Moscow's Olympiiski sports complex, sitting in the stands next to his most loyal fan, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

After a largely disappointing season in which he won only 29 matches, lost 26 and had to fend off allegations of match-rigging, Kafelnikov refused to say whether he would continue playing next year.

``You'll get the answer just by looking at entry sheets at various tournaments next year,'' he told reporters after bowing out to Youzhny in a lacklustre second-round effort at the St Petersburg Open -- his last match this year in October.

``If my name is absent then you'll know I'm done as a player.''

Kafelnikov, who turns 30 in February, had hoped for a more glorious farewell.

The Sochi native, who won the French Open in 1996 and the Australian Open in 1999, had dreamed of hitting the winning point in the decisive fifth rubber against Davis Cup holders France in the Paris final last December.

``That would really be a fitting finale for me,'' he said at the time.

In the event, it was newcomer Youzhny who replaced the out-of-form Kafelnikov for the deciding rubber and came from two sets down in an epic five-set battle against Paul-Henri Mathieu to clinch Russia's first Davis Cup.

Later, Russian insiders said that Kafelnikov had been upset about the last-minute switch and would not forgive Youzhny for taking his spot and the limelight.

BAD YEAR

Kafelnikov changed his mind about retiring until June, when he announced he would go for good if he won his sixth Kremlin Cup title.

``I badly want to win in Moscow one more time and if I could add another title here, I would retire for sure,'' said the former world number one, who enjoyed five straight Kremlin Cup wins from 1997 to 2001.

But Kafelnikov promptly lost in the second round to unheralded Armenian Sargis Sargsian.

The year 2003 got no better for the player whose victory on the red clay of Roland Garros in 1996 brought a tennis boom to his country.

Unable to capture his old form, a disheartened Kafelnikov struggled for most of the season to finish the year at number 40 in the world -- his lowest ranking in more than a decade.

To make matter worse, several media outlets accused Kafelnikov in October of being involved in match-rigging after a huge worldwide gamble was made on his low-key first-round match against Fernando Vicente in Lyon.

Betting was suspended after a large sum of money was put on the Spaniard, who had lost his 11 previous matches, to beat the Russian. Vicente won 6-2 6-3.

Though Kafelnikov vehemently denied any involvement in the scheme, his reputation was damaged.

``It (the allegation) completely tears me apart,'' Kafelnikov said.

``When I walked into the locker room all the players looked at me like I'm the worst enemy of all time,'' said the former French and Australian Open champion, adding that he might consider legal action.

The incident forced the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) -- the governing body of the men's tour -- to introduce heavy penalties for anyone implicated in match-fixing.

KV
Dec 23rd, 2003, 07:57 PM
Doesn't sound he'll play not year. You had a great career, best Russian player ever. The women still have to do, you did. Winning a GS.

goldenlox
Jan 6th, 2004, 03:19 PM
An article about Marat-
PERTH, Australia (Reuters) - For larger-than-life Marat Safin, it's crunch time.

The Russian's love of the high life is matched only by his love for tennis -- but now he knows something must give.

The tortured Tartar has realized it is time to calm down and move on if he is to fight his way back from an unflattering world number 77 to the number one spot his talent deserves.

A frustrating year spent on the sidelines nursing injuries gave the 23-year-old plenty of time to reflect on a short career during which he has scaled the heights and scraped the barrel.

``I've had a lot of time to think about my life,'' he said in Perth, revealing a new year's resolution centered on shunning the spotlight and hitting the courts.

``I have a lot of people around me and I talked about everything,'' he said of those dark months where a series of injuries kept him out of the game in 2003.

``I had a lot of questions about my life, about my professional life and how I should do everything possible to get wherever I want to be.

``I had people direct me and give me some great advice.''

That sound advice has been a long time coming.

One of the most exciting players in the world, the Russian has often suffered from less-than-sound advice as he has lurched round the circuit.

His sublime demolition of Pete Sampras to win the U.S. Open in 2001 was in stark contrast to the 2002 Australian Open final when Safin spent more time smiling at the group of ``blondies'' cheering him from his private box.

``GETTING OLDER''

That he lost to Thomas Johansson was no great shock, such were the distractions surrounding his camp for the fortnight. It was a disappointing way to mark his birthday.

Not for the first time were questions asked about his commitment and level of effort in the match.

In 2000, the youngster was fined by Australian Open officials for ``tanking'' -- deliberately throwing a match or not trying his best against South African Grant Stafford in the first round.

It was a shameful episode and one for which he apologized 12 months later.

Concentration and keeping his head up has always been a problem -- something he is coming to terms with.

``I'm growing ... getting older,'' he said.

``Basically something has to change because it has been for many years a problem. I couldn't concentrate, I was getting frustrated during matches and was giving up many times in many matches.

``I have finally understood, at the age of 23, becoming 24, that is not the way I should treat myself on court.

``Because the match is still going I should at least try. Try and try and if it's not working it's no big deal. That's one of my goals for the year.''

Certainly the Russian has set heady goals for himself.

``I decided to come back strong -- I really want to be number one in the world at the end of the year.

``I really hope that I will be lucky in Australia

``I'm really looking forward to doing well. I'm not talking about quarterfinals, semifinals ... I am talking about finals.''

goldenlox
Jan 7th, 2004, 11:50 PM
Another Marat article-
Safin sound on comeback trail
By Linda Pearce
Perth
January 7, 2004
Marat Safin had the passport containing his Australian entry visa stolen two days before he left Moscow, but he still winged it via Frankfurt and Singapore, aware that his journey was at risk of being terminated at any moment. Flying, as ever, by the seat of his pants.

The same Safin whose radical new plan is to try his hardest even when matches are going against him.

The same undisciplined racquet-smashing Russian who has acknowledged his poor attitude but claims to have decided upon the path of dedication and professionalism under Denis Golovanov, his sixth coach in four years.

The same, ridiculously talented Safin, now ranked 77th and soon to turn 24, who has set himself not just for a return to the top 10, but, within 12 months, to the No. 1 ranking that was his after a phenomenal United States Open victory over Pete Sampras in 2000.

The same Safin who lost the 2002 Australian Open to Thomas Johansson, then joked with the media about his busty blonde entourage and beamed when presented with a cake to mark his 22nd birthday.

There is only one Marat Safin, and the game's collective personality has been poorer for his long absence with a wrist injury. He won his most recent tournament match in April, rushed back too early from the ligament tear and effectively missed the second half of the year as a consequence.

After a miserable comeback late in the European indoor season, Safin chose to cut his losses and prepare for 2004.

So here he is, in Perth, and in promising early form, dispatching France's Fabrice Santoro - his long-time nemesis - in straight sets on Monday night to open a new year he vows will be far more positive and successful than the last. Safin conceded that "always you have this fear that you'll not be able to come back".

Yet there was also, apparently, a silver lining. "I had enough time to think about my professional life, and I make some goals to myself - try to be more focused and I'm working on that, and I'm getting much better," he said.

"I decide to come in to play, to come back strong and prepare myself, and I really want to be the No. 1 in the world at the end of this year.

"I made a proper schedule for myself, so basically it has to work - it has to go the way I planned. I really hope that I will be lucky in Australia and I'm really looking forward to doing well. I'm not talking about quarter-finals, semi-finals - I'm talking about finals."

He is also talking about maturity. "I'm growing, I'm getting really older, I'm going to be 24 years old, so basically something has to change because it's been for many years my problem I had. I couldn't really concentrate and I was getting frustrated at some point during the match and I was giving up many times in many matches.

"So I understood, finally understood . . . that it's not the way I should treat myself and suffer on the court getting pissed (off). Because the match is still going and I should at least try. Try and try and if it's not working, it's not a big deal. There's going to be another chance, but at least try."

Injury also has sentenced Lindsay Davenport, another grand slam winner from 2000, to long stretches on the sidelines in recent years. She, too, made a successful return to the court in Perth, the late replacement for Serena Williams leading the US to a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic yesterday.

Having missed more than half of 2002 in knee rehabilitation, Davenport resorted to surgery in mid-October to correct a chronic nerve condition between the toes on her left foot.

Such was her physical frustration, coupled with the appeal of starting a family with husband Jon Leach, that the 27-year-old had even hinted that her most recent Wimbledon visit may be her last.

"Two surgeries in 19 months isn't easy, but I feel like it's something you have to go through sometimes, just trying to hang in there with it," Davenport said after yesterday's 6-4, 6-3 defeat of teenager Barbora Strycova, less than a month after she returned to the practice court.

"I don't know. There's a lot of disappointment and regret that it kind of happened to me - especially my knee when I'd just hit No. 1 again. I'm still out here for a reason. I don't know if it's quite hunger or I just don't want to go out being hurt all the time. I would like to have one really good solid year of being healthy.

"This is my 13th year, so it's closer to the end than the beginning, but certainly when you're not playing for months at a time, your mind starts to wander. But I have no time-frame for anything like that. It could be next month, it could be in two years - I have no idea. (I'm) just focused right now on Australia and getting better. I still feel like I'm many matches away from feeling great, or in the rhythm of playing matches, but it was a great way to start the year."

tenn_ace
Jan 8th, 2004, 01:48 AM
btw, do people know that YK will be one of the coaches of the Davis Cup team in Russia's tie against Belarus?

the cat
Jan 8th, 2004, 02:01 AM
Thanks for the articles, GL. :kiss:

Where is the friendly and informative Nina_Rus? I miss her. :(

KV
Jan 9th, 2004, 12:20 PM
This week the Russian men haven't underachieved. Youzhny/Davydenko were defeated by higherranked players. Safin's back, though he lost to J. Blake. And Igor has just lost to 2nd seed P. Srichaphan. The results were o.k.

tenn_ace
Jan 16th, 2004, 01:25 PM
Finally, a good news.... Dmitry Tursunov was inluded into Russian Davis Cup team to play against Belarus... :bounce:

goldenlox
Jan 16th, 2004, 04:41 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/3403823.stm

Veteran Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov will not play in his country's Davis Cup first-round match against Belarus on 6-8 February.


The former French and Australian Open champion is reportedly considering retirement and has been appointed assistant coach for the match.

Russian captain Shamil Tarpishchev has turned to former US Open champion Marat Safin and Mikhail Youzhny. The team is completed by youngsters Nikolai Davydenko and Igor Andreev.

tenn_ace
Jan 16th, 2004, 05:07 PM
gl, the news is not full... Russian press says Dmitry will be on the team too.

goldenlox
Jan 17th, 2004, 07:57 PM
Some tough first round matches-

3. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Sebastien Grosjean (FRA)[9] vs. Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)
4. Men's Singles - 1st Rnd.
Marat Safin (RUS) vs. Brian Vahaly (USA)

goldenlox
Jan 17th, 2004, 08:36 PM
More first rounders-
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) vs. Ivan Ljubicic (CRO)
Arnaud Clement (FRA)[30] vs. Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)
Olivier Patience (FRA) vs. Igor Andreev (RUS)

TartarVicario
Jan 17th, 2004, 09:33 PM
Mikhail :(

Marat :mad:

goldenlox
Jan 18th, 2004, 11:56 PM
Nikolay Davydenko is down two sets.
Igor Andreev is up two sets.

goldenlox
Jan 19th, 2004, 01:20 AM
Igor Andreev is out. Dmitry Tursunov is out.
Nikolay Davydenko won the third and forth sets from Clement.

goldenlox
Jan 19th, 2004, 01:45 AM
Nikolay Davydenko now serving 4-1 in the fifth.
Great comeback against a good player.

goldenlox
Jan 19th, 2004, 01:53 AM
A great comeback win for Nikolay Davydenko.
Mikhail Youzhny down a set.

bubble
Jan 19th, 2004, 02:10 AM
Misha... :mad: fight...!

goldenlox
Jan 19th, 2004, 10:17 PM
Marat Safin is serious about returning to the top echelon of tennis.

"I didn't come here to just make a couple of rounds," he said Monday after beating Brian Vahaly 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at the Australian Open.

"I had a lot of time off the court, but I still want to play well, and I have the motivation," Safin said.

Safin was beset by injuries last year. He was ranked No. 77 after finishing at No. 3 in 2002, when he was an Australian Open runner-up.

Safin, who next plays Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, aims to be No. 1 by the end of 2004.

"There is an opportunity for everybody. I'm one of them," he said. "Why not? I have to give it a try."

Sammm
Jan 20th, 2004, 10:04 AM
I have a lot of hope for Igor andreev; he was so close in his first match!

goldenlox
Jan 20th, 2004, 08:02 PM
Men's Singles - 2nd Rnd.
Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) vs. Marat Safin (RUS)
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) vs. Olivier Patience (FRA)

KV
Jan 21st, 2004, 09:36 AM
Marat Qualified for the 3rd round. Good, though he's still not at his upperbest;

bubble
Jan 21st, 2004, 02:50 PM
Marat's loya l group of supporters at AO 2004 :devil:

http://delivery.****************/comp/2886450.jpg?x=x&dasite=MS_GINS&ef=2&ev=1&dareq=06A8427D802D9EDE873ED4083218FC70

tenn_ace
Jan 21st, 2004, 02:59 PM
cool ;)

tenn_ace
Jan 21st, 2004, 03:03 PM
is this true that Misha has a drinking problem?

does any1 have any information? heard any rumours?... according to someone, he still can't get over his father passing away.

ys
Jan 21st, 2004, 03:39 PM
Never heard about that.. After all, he is with his brother..

the cat
Jan 21st, 2004, 06:48 PM
tenn_ace, I want Mikhail Youzhny to have a good comeback year this year. :) I don't doubt that his father's tragic passing has hurt Mikhail's heart and thus his tennis. But he did play well after his father's death including his heroic tennis to help Russia win it's first ever Davis Cup title. Then he was playing well at the 2003 Australan Open and lost a 2 set lead and the fourth round match to Andy Roddick. That match did alot of damage to Misha and he hasn't been the same player since then. :( I haven't seen Misha play much but from what I've seen of his game he should atleast be a top 20 player and make the top ten at some point of his career. And he has one of the best one handed backhands I've ever seen! :D

As for Marat Safin, his third round battle with the venerable American veteran Todd Martin will be an interesting match. Only Martin isn't tired yet because it's only the third round. I see this match as a 50/50 match. I expect a 5 set extravaganza and I hope ESPN/ESPN2 shows part of this match. I can't take ESPN/ESPN2 taking up most of their airtime featuring Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick. :mad:

KV
Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:17 AM
Safin in the 4th round of the AUS-Open. As long as he stays fit, better things to come from him.

goldenlox
Jan 25th, 2004, 12:20 AM
It was an evening when the champagne and vodka flowed with joyous abandon and Marat Safin's smile was as wide as the Volga. This was 2000 and the young Russian had just won his first grand slam title as a 20-year-old, demolishing Pete Sampras in the American's own backyard. His prospects appeared as dazzling as the Manhattan skyline and a championship pedigree assured.



Yet three years later he was missing at Flushing Meadows, as he had been for the 2003 French Open and Wimbledon. A wrist injury had reduced this towering bear of a man to a frustrated bit player and he entered this year's Australian Open almost forgotten, troubled and more than a little insecure.

Last year he had been forced to watch the rise of Andy Roddick, Roger Federer and Juan Carlos Ferrero as a spectator while wondering, when he next stepped out on court, what would happen. "I was a little bit scared to come back on the tour," he said. "When you do not play for a long time you lose confidence. I was afraid I would not be able to read the game, that all the players would have improved and that everything would be that little bit faster than it was before."

Now it is his opponents who are beginning to worry, with Safin one match away from a possible quarter-final against Roddick next week. After four-set wins over Brian Vahaly of the United States and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, Safin announced his re-arrival yesterday with a victory over Todd Martin, the American possessed of a game to test the patience of Job.

Martin's career is littered with more five-set set matches than most - "Well, I guess I'm very evenly matched with everybody" - and this was another DeMille epic, lasting three hours 25 minutes. It ended when Safin thundered a backhand service return beyond Martin's groping lunge for a 7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 win.

Safin's concentration has rarely been his strong suit and, when he lost the third set, the exit door was on its hinges. He smashed a ball into the crowd and received a warning; he made as if to eat his racket handle; and he slumped in his chair with his head between his knees as if despair had thumped him in the back and was refusing to let him rise.

"What really impressed me was that he hung in there after having the tide turn on him. Geez, he's not short on talent and he out-fired me in those last two sets," said Martin, a pro for 14 years who, with his grizzled hair, looks every day of his 33 years, going on 60. But he remains a fierce competitor.

Safin should have won the title here two years ago, losing the final to Sweden's Thomas Johansson after a performance that was as wide and wayward as his homeland. The year he won the US Open he claimed seven titles; since then he has won only three more, the last being the Paris Indoor Open in 2002. For a player of such obvious talent it is dismal.

Aside from any injuries, his temperament has been his Achilles heel. His serve is huge, and his ground strokes, particularly the two-handed backhand, are awesome. And all are matched with massive physique - 6ft 4in and 88kg (13st 12lb). If this was not enough, Safin is now beginning to learn to love the net.

"He's such a good athlete and athleticism is most effective forward in the court," said Martin, a serve-and-volleyer himself. "Having an all-court game, like Roger Federer, is the most important step towards becoming the best player you can be. For Roger it's pretty natural but Marat is moving in that direction."

There is no doubt that Safin should be in the world's top five - he was briefly No1 in 2000 - and not be left stranded as a one-slam wonder. Such are his power and talent that he can crush anybody. If he were American, and the possessor of an implacable self-belief such as Andre Agassi or Roddick, he might have swept everything before him. But there is a huge chunk of self-doubt, coupled with an almost wilful self-destruct button. The old Marat Safin might have imploded yesterday; against Martin there were encouraging signs of development. He next plays James Blake, one of four Americans left in the top half of the draw, including Agassi, Roddick and Robby Ginepri. Agassi, the title holder for three of the last four years, flicked aside Sweden's Thomas Enqvist in straight sets and Roddick's 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 third-round win over his fellow American Taylor Dent bordered on the cruel.

bubble
Jan 25th, 2004, 07:26 AM
Marat made a great comeback from injury at the AO so far.

In his win over James Blake , he hit the shot of the tournament...
At the 4th set, on James's serve, Marat leading 4-3 on serve, facing his 5th breakpoint, Marat tried to chase down a shot in mid-court and can't get there in time and he dived and threw his racket at the ball and the ball lobs over Blake for a winner to get the breakpoint to serve out the match! :eek:
Blake could not believe it and was in a daze for a few seconds at the net... :)


Good luck over Dickhead in the QF!
:bounce:

KV
Jan 25th, 2004, 12:26 PM
What a fairytale Marat into the quarters. Against the odds. He's a few matches under his belt. Would say anything is possible. Great Marat, he kept his promise, I don't come here to play a couple of rounds. Never expected Marat in the quarters.

tenn_ace
Jan 25th, 2004, 03:54 PM
not sure I like those dives... the last dive last year took him out for a year... no more of those, please, Marat....

TheBoiledEgg
Jan 25th, 2004, 06:11 PM
Marat is looking good , but he doesnt get enough on his 1st serve's in which might prove telling.
but its great to see him back and looking good :)

Should be well worth watching :)
go Marat :D :)

goldenlox
Jan 25th, 2004, 06:12 PM
I saw that break point. That was very lucky.
Marat's draw is insane. If he beats Roddick, he has to play Agassi.
But it's great to have Marat back, and playing so well.

the cat
Jan 25th, 2004, 07:58 PM
It's nice to see Safin back and playing good tennis. :) And if he can get an in devastating form Roddick in a close match he could cause the upset. Roddick has been destroying his opponents with power tennis never seen before in tennis! :eek: But he's not match tough and could struggle and lose confidence in a close match. It's imperative for Marat to win 1 of the first 2 sets which could put some doubt in Roddick's head.

Udachi Marat! :bounce:

goldenlox
Jan 25th, 2004, 08:10 PM
MELBOURNE: Former world tennis No 1 Marat Safin overpowered American James Blake 7-6 6-3 6-7 6-3 to earn a spot in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open tonight.

The fierce-hitting Russian, who has slipped to 86th in the rankings after an injury-plagued 2003, played a clinical first-set tiebreak to win it 7-3 and rolled through the second set after taking a time-out to treat his blistered left foot.

A determined Blake hit back to take the third-set tiebreak 8-6 with a scorching backhand down the line.

But Safin gained the crucial break in the eighth game of the fourth set with an athletic backhand volley, losing his racket as he lunged while the ball dipped over Blake's head and dropped just inside the baseline.

Safin, the 2000 US Open champion and Melbourne runner-up two years ago, closed out the match after three hours eight minutes to set up a quarter-final showdown with top seed Andy Roddick on Tuesday, Safin's 24th birthday.

goldenlox
Jan 26th, 2004, 01:33 AM
Sergei Bubka Jr. won a juniors match today.

goldenlox
Jan 26th, 2004, 02:39 PM
Everyone was calling it a freak shot, and James Blake questioned whether it was within the rules, calling the odds of pulling it off about "1%."

The talk was all about Safin's desperate lunge in the fourth set on break point against Blake in the fourth round Sunday. Safin said the racket was out of his hand when he went to his left but, incredibly, it connected with the ball and there was still enough power to send the shot over Blake's head, landing just inside the baseline.

"I'd love to see a replay. I'm not sure if it was actually even a legal shot," said Blake, who lost in four sets after Safin held serve in the next game.

"I've never seen an umpire make that call. It's probably way too tough to make. It's disappointing, but I told him after the match now we're even, because I got him on a set point in the Hopman Cup on a shot that I had no business making when I dove for one…. He got me back." The ever-candid Safin gave it up about the racket toss.

"I just throw it. I thought that I will not get the ball … maybe at the moment when I just throw the racket, just touch [the ball]," Safin said. "But doesn't matter. But normally it doesn't work this way."

AnDyDog621
Jan 26th, 2004, 03:35 PM
I reallie always put my bet for Andy Roddick, but i want Safin to beat him, cause Andy i don't think can win AUS anyway, cause Andre would beat him so i want Safin to have that SF's just so he can comeback faster in the rankings, cmon he can't even play Masters Series yet, and Indian Wells is only 7 weeks away

tenn_ace
Jan 26th, 2004, 04:58 PM
it is an illegal shot if it happens it was describe...

KV
Jan 26th, 2004, 05:11 PM
Sergei Bubka Jr. won a juniors match today.Well done, I've heard of Sergei Bubka Jr. playing tennis. Don't know how talented he is. But he's certainly not a player.

goldenlox
Jan 26th, 2004, 11:19 PM
http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,1658,316418,00.jpgControversy: Marat Safin.
Picture: Michael Klein
Safin stretches the point
Paul Malone
26jan04

RUSSIAN Marat Safin admitted last night he should not have been awarded one of the most remarkable winners seen in a grand slam tournament.

After reaching a quarter-final against world No. 1 Andy Roddick, Safin was unapologetic for choosing not to give away the point that gained him a decisive break of serve in the fourth set, when his racquet slipped from his grasp a split-second before contact with the ball.



A lob volley winner looped over the head of a disbelieving James Blake for a 5-3 Safin lead and was given a standing ovation by hundreds of fans at Melbourne Park.

A couple of minutes later, the rivals were swapping post-match points of view over the crucial moment of Safin's 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 victory.

Safin didn't volunteer his knowledge of the incident to the chair umpire, who could have invoked rule 20H, which dictates that a player loses a point if "he throws the racquet at and hits the ball".

"I think no. I just threw it and I don't know how it happened," Safin said.

"It was really important for me, in the right moment. It was pure luck."

Blake said: "I'm not sure it was an illegal shot. I think it (the racquet) may have been out of his hand. I've never seen an umpire call it.

"It's too tough to call. I'm not going to blame that one shot. Unfortunately it came on a huge point when I should have put it away earlier."

Safin is now nestled in the company of three of the top four seeds from the top half of the draw as if he had never gone away: Andy Roddick, fourth seed Andre Agassi and ninth seed Sebastien Grosjean.

"It's good for your ego to come back to where you want to be," said Safin, ranked 86 because of a long layoff with a wrist injury last year.

"I had been resting for six months and I really enjoyed my life. I was fishing, camping, travelling and it all happened at the right moment. You see how you want your life to be in the future and I could find motivation to come back."

Safin, who butchered his best chance to win a second major title when underdog Thomas Johansson beat him in the Australian Open final two years ago and quit after two rounds of the 2003 Open with torn wrist ligaments, had been two points from victory in the third set tiebreak won by Blake. A mental collapse in the fourth set would not have surprised observers of the Russian's turbulent career.

KV
Jan 27th, 2004, 11:47 AM
The filmscript is written. Marat into SEMIS. Great stuff

goldenlox
Jan 27th, 2004, 01:42 PM
I watched Nastya and Marat in Hopman Cup, and I didn't see this coming. They didn't play that well.
I really thought Marat and Nastya were struggling. I'm so glad I was wrong.

Safin stuns top seed Roddick to reach semis
Tue 27 January, 2004 12:28


MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Russian Marat Safin has sent top seed Andy Roddick tumbling out of the Australian Open, celebrating his 24th birthday with a 2-6 6-3 7-5 6-7 6-4 victory in an explosive quarter-final.

Roddick burst out of the blocks, the U.S. Open champion speeding through the first set in 26 minutes as a nervous-looking Safin committed a string of unforced errors.

But former world number one Safin hit back with a vengeance to take the second and third sets from a bewildered Roddick, who had previously not dropped a set all tournament.

Safin, Melbourne runner-up in 2002, inexplicably suffered a meltdown in the fourth-set tiebreak, allowing the American to run away with it 7-0.

However, the 2000 U.S. Open champion broke Roddick in the ninth game of the final set and, after saving two break points, wrapped up the biggest shock of the men's tournament with a forehand volley after three hours 23 minutes.

Safin will play defending champion Andre Agassi in the semi-finals.

Keith17
Jan 27th, 2004, 01:46 PM
I cannot wait to watch this match today!

It didn't surprise me that Marat won. When he's not being a total idiot, he's the most talented player on tour.

Unfortunately, Andre is next... and unless Marat plays absolutely perfect tennis, you're not beating Andre on this surface.

goldenlox
Jan 27th, 2004, 01:49 PM
Andre and then Roger. Marat's draw could not be tougher. But he's certainly all the way back.

goldenlox
Jan 27th, 2004, 06:47 PM
ESPN is showing Marat's match. Down 2-6, 0-1, Marat called for a trainer, and swallowed some pills.
It's amazing that he won this match.

goldenlox
Jan 27th, 2004, 08:11 PM
The Marat match replay is starting the fifth set. Marat is playing a high level of tennis.
Marat and Nastya should play a mixed doubles exhibition before every major.

the cat
Jan 27th, 2004, 09:57 PM
I'm glad I remembered to tape the Safin/Roddick match today. That will be a pleasure to watch tonight. :D


But I fear Safin won't have much energy left to beat Agassi. Marat's only hope is to make it a close match and win it just as he did against Roddick who was playing great and dominating his opponents. Agassi hasn't played a close match yet and that could hurt him in a tight match.

It's so nice to see Safin back and playing well and competing well. :) I think Marat is now back in the mix where winning a grand slam singles title in 2004 is concerned.

goldenlox
Jan 27th, 2004, 10:05 PM
This match was to me, just as well played as Roger-Andy at Wimbledon.
If Marat can stay at this level for two more matches, he will hold the trophy.

ys
Jan 27th, 2004, 10:31 PM
Energy draine by fivesetter should not be a problem for Marat. he looks very fit and he is 10 years younger for Chrissake..

bubble
Jan 28th, 2004, 04:12 AM
Marat indeed looks very fit and hopefully that hiccup groin problem he had at the end of the 1st set is not an issue . I think that playing so many sets of tennis is actually giving him match toughness experience. His serve has not been broken by Andy at all since the 1st set when he was still in a zzzzz mode.

The 2nd, 3rd and fifth sets of the match are really a joy to watch Marat at his best! The renowned natural, powerful and effortless groundstrokes are back. :)

goldenlox
Feb 1st, 2004, 12:35 AM
I hope Marat has one more day of greatness inside him.
Just stay at the level you are on. One more match. Vamos!

tall_one
Feb 1st, 2004, 01:10 AM
http://smileys.******************/cat/18/18_1_107.gif Good Luck in the final Marat!!!

goldenlox
Feb 1st, 2004, 03:08 AM
Marat lost the first set 7-6(3). I think all those 5 setters will take its toll. He couldn't get his first serve in play in crunch time.

bubble
Feb 1st, 2004, 05:19 AM
It was a day not meant to be for Marat. :(
The 1st set lost was the key factor...

Just hope that he can take in all the positivitism from the 2 weeks he had here and go on to a higher level. I had really enjoyed watched all his matches prior to this final.

He definitely has proved himself that he is back among the top. Just hope that he can hopefully by end of this year, take back his No. 1 spot as the goal he has set for himself. :angel:

ys
Feb 1st, 2004, 06:03 AM
Clear and simple. Federer's game is complete. Safin's game is still based on his raw talent. He needs a coach to develop that game into something complete. COACH!!!, not some looser who decided to become his coach because he himself failed to make it to Top 100.

goldenlox
Feb 1st, 2004, 09:43 AM
Marat wasn't the same player after those 5 setters. Against Agassi, 33 aces and no double faults. At the end of this first set, Marat couldn't get a first serve in.
If he played Federer in the semis, he would have lost to Agassi in the finals.
He was tired. Any player would have been. The draw beat him.

Keith17
Feb 2nd, 2004, 02:59 AM
No... if Marat played Roger in the SF's... Marat would have lost.

GL, I'm surprised you still don't see the amazing talent in Roger Federer.

I know Marat had a poor 1st serve %... but even when he got it in, Roger was handling them easily. Roger has that uncanny ability to return the best serves. May he continue to do this against The Duck.

ys said it perfectly... Roger's game is complete, and Marat's isn't. Marat still plays with no real strategy, and does silly things like hit all his 2nd serves to the backhand. Plus, Marat still shows signs of his previous bumbling oaf status by getting upset at inopportune times, and letting the crowd get to him.

I still think Marat has the talent to overpass Roger, but it will take a lot of work.

goldenlox
Feb 2nd, 2004, 03:07 AM
Playing 5 set matches against Agassi and Roddick, after playing 9 sets in two matches before that, creates physical and mental wear and tear.
Marat couldn't play at the same level.
I expected that to happen against Agassi. Marat's not superhuman.

Keith17
Feb 2nd, 2004, 03:09 AM
Marat didn't play at the same level... but credit has to be given to Federer.

goldenlox
Feb 2nd, 2004, 03:10 AM
I credit Federer with getting a better draw than Roddick and Agassi.
And a much better draw than Marat.

Keith17
Feb 2nd, 2004, 03:16 AM
Roger's draw wasn't a piece of cake... infact, some could say it was nearly as difficult since Roger has always had problems with Lleyton and Dahveed.

goldenlox
Feb 2nd, 2004, 03:18 AM
They aren't Agassi and Roddick. He has problems with them because he's not as steady.
Agassi would have beaten Federer.

goldenlox
Feb 4th, 2004, 03:47 AM
Not tennis, but worth posting again-

http://*********************/_common/_images/clear.gifFreedom is music to Larionov's ears By Jill Lieber, USA TODAY
Growing up in the former Soviet Union, in the hardscrabble industrial town of Voskresensk, Igor Larionov and his family listened clandestinely to Voice of America radio broadcasts for half an hour each night. In that brief window to the outside world, the hockey prodigy developed a passion for the truth, freedom and rock 'n' roll.
http://*********************/_common/_images/clear.gifhttp://*********************/sports/hockey/_photos/2004-01-28-larionov-inside.jpghttp://*********************/_common/_images/clear.gifIgor Larionov earned his nickname, The Professor, for his trademark glasses, his sixth sense on the ice and his intelligence off it.http://*********************/_common/_images/clear.gif"There was a fear of the KGB, so you had to be careful not to tell anybody you were doing this," says Larionov, who understood the ramifications of defying the government. His paternal grandfather had been banished to Siberia in the late 1930s at the height of Stalinist purges.

"At 12 years old, I was already asking, 'What is really happening in the world?' I was being taught something very different from what I was hearing on Voice of America. I was hearing songs by the Beatles. I wanted to know the truth, to taste freedom, to experience all that life had to offer."

Larionov, at 43 the oldest player in the NHL and in his 14th and final season in professional hockey as a center with the New Jersey Devils, hears music everywhere he turns. At home in Short Hills, N.J., daughters Alyonka, 16, and Diana, 13, are busy launching a pop music career, singing practically around the clock. They're putting the final touches on a demo CD. Next month, they'll showcase their talents at a New York City club in hopes of landing a major recording contract.

"I left the Soviet Union for one reason: Freedom. The freedom to choose my own path in life," Larionov says. "I believe in being passionate about life. You have to be honest. You have to be yourself."

In the hockey sense, being Larionov means being one of the most gifted centers to play the game, for many years with the Detroit Red Wings. The free agent left the Wings after last season and returns to Detroit for perhaps the last time as a player Thursday. He has 10 assists but no goals entering Tuesday.

Former Detroit coach Scotty Bowman says Larionov is one of the most intelligent players he has coached.

"What separates Igor from other players is his vision on the ice," says Bowman, Larionov's coach during three Stanley Cup-winning seasons in Detroit (1996-97, '97-98, 2001-02). "He sees the ice so clearly. He's always well aware of the situation. He knows when the game is on the line. He knows when to take chances. He's got a sixth sense. Wayne Gretzky had it, too."

In the Russian sense, being Larionov means being one of the most outspoken and courageous athletes to come through the Soviet sports system. Robert Edelman, a Russian history professor at the University of California-San Diego who authored Serious Fun: A History of Spectator Sports in the USSR, says Larionov is "arguably the most politically important athlete in the history of Soviet sport."

"Igor really understood what was going on in the period of perestroika — this opening to the West and the early stages of the process of globalization," Edelman says.

Russian hero fights the system

In 1981, Larionov was recruited against his will to play for the nation's dominant hockey team, the Central Sports Club of the Soviet Army. He centered the famous KLM line, which included Vladimir Krutov and Sergei Makarov, and won two Olympic gold medals (1984 and '88). He rose to the rank of captain without firing a gun.

In the late 1980s, the International Olympic Committee was moving to obliterate the delineation between amateurs and professionals, which would allow those on Soviet teams to play in the NHL and still represent their country in the Olympics.

The Calgary Flames were the first to sign a Soviet player, late in the 1988-89 season, little-known Sergei Priakhin, who had played for the Soviet Wings.

But the Soviet Ministry of Defense and national team coach Viktor Tikhonov forbade superstar Soviet players to take their game to North America without defecting.

"This was a time of tremendous change — some were in favor of it, some were not," Edelman says. "Not everything emanated from the Kremlin, however. President Mikhail Gorbachev couldn't be bothered with worrying about hockey players going to the West."

When the Soviet Ministry of Defense and Tikhonov reneged on a promise to allow defenseman Slava Fetisov to play for the Devils. Larionov lambasted Tikhonov in a popular Soviet political magazine for "his Stalinist tactics." When Fetisov was left off the 1989 World Championship roster and reassigned to a desk job, Larionov, drafted by Vancouver, and his teammates threatened to boycott the tournament.

"Hockey was still behind the curtains," Larionov says. "Nobody knew how Tikhonov treated the players until I spoke out. Year after year, living in a training camp behind fences, even paradise becomes hell."

Finally, in 1989, after his persistent battling, the State Sports Committee agreed to let Larionov and Fetisov play in the NHL, breaking the barriers for all Soviet athletes to pursue their careers in the West.

"Igor is a hero in Russia and a legend in hockey," says Devils center Sergei Brylin, who was born in Moscow and played in the Central Army's hockey system. "Standing up to the Soviet government and Tikhonov was completely unheard of. Igor fought the system and made it easy for the rest of us."

Survivor instincts serve him well

Larionov carries conviction in his genes. "The Russian soul is different from the American soul," he says.

http://*********************/sports/hockey/_photos/2004-01-28-larionov-notch.jpghttp://*********************/_common/_images/clear.gifIgor Larionov with his five-year-old son Igor, says it's time to 'help my children achieve their goals.' One grandfather was shipped to Siberia; the other was in a World War II labor camp.http://*********************/_common/_images/clear.gifHis paternal grandfather, Ivan Larionov, survived 14 years in a gulag in Siberia for his outspokenness. In 1937, KGB agents knocked on the door of his Voskresensk home, near Moscow, at midnight and hauled him away for a dissident act, while his wife, Paulina, and their five sons slept. They struggled to keep from starving.

"The five boys shared one sugar cube a week," Larionov says.

After Stalin died in 1953, the grandfather was finally able to return home.

"My grandfather was lucky," Larionov says. "Most people were either executed in the gulags or died there. ... It's the saddest part of our history."

His maternal grandfather, Fedor Barankin, had a life of hardships and heartbreak, as well. After being wounded in the early days of World War II, he was taken to a labor camp in Norway. When he was released near the end of the war, he thought he'd return home a hero, but the Soviets imprisoned him for several years, claiming he was a German spy.

"I still get goose bumps, comparing my life to theirs," Larionov says. "I can't even imagine what it was like for them."

Larionov's father, Nikolai, at home in Russia, still cannot speak about the atrocities committed during Stalin's regime. At 14, he went to work in a Moscow bombs and munitions factory. He retired two years ago, at 74, from his job as a metal worker. A quiet dissident, he encouraged his son to listen to Voice of America and question authority.

Having a strong sense of survival instincts has served Larionov well throughout his hockey career. He eats only two meals a day, usually breakfast and a late lunch. He has a glass or two of wine every night. He works out religiously. And he tries never to put himself in a position to be hit on the ice.

At 5-10, 165, Larionov is nicknamed "The Professor," as much for his bespectacled appearance off the ice as his supreme intelligence on it.

He's a master at chess. He's the co-author of one autobiography and is writing another. He's spearheading his daughters' singing careers. He's the owner of a theater production company, bringing musicals to the Moscow stage. His first offering, The Witches of Eastwick, a London import, is running to rave reviews.

"He's always interested in many things," says his wife of 17 years, Elena, a former two-time junior world champion ice dancer. "He likes to know a lot about life."

A man of many tastes and talents

Larionov is also an ambitious wine connoisseur. He has a wine cellar of more than 550 bottles at his Fort Lauderdale home. He has traveled on tastings to the south of France. This spring, he launches his own label, IL Triple Overtime.

The first 1,000 bottles will roll out in Dearborn, Mich., at a March 9 fundraiser for Red Wings forward Darren McCarty's cancer foundation event. A portion of the proceeds will go to McCarty's foundation.

Eventually, Larionov will import three tiers of wine to Russia: a reserve Shiraz 2002 from Australia, a sauvignon blanc 2003 from New Zealand and a French blend of Merlot and Sirah. Last summer, he and partner Mike Davis, a wholesale distributor from Detroit, hosted two tastings in Moscow that were well received.

"Throughout Russian history, vodka has been the liquor of choice," Larionov says. "With the economy getting better, the middle class and the rich are swinging to wine. There's a tremendous business opportunity."

Davis says: "Being in Russia with him is like traveling with Babe Ruth. He has tremendous respect, and he can open incredible doors. ... He has a love of wine and a lust for learning. With all of the reading he does, he comes up with a lot of stuff about wine that I don't know."

Having moved 19 times in the past 15 years with Elena and their brood, which also includes Igor, 5, Larionov is ready to throw himself into his business ventures and to settle down in one place. He's not sure where that will be, except that it won't be in Russia.

"It's too difficult a transition for my children," says Larionov, who visits Russia every summer for two months. "Elena and I bring them up Russian. We talk to them in Russian because we don't want them to speak the language with their grandparents and friends in Moscow with an American accent."

Larionov won't forget his Russian roots. He's raising money to build an ice rink for the children of Voskresensk. In December, he'll stage his retirement game in Moscow — North American All-Stars vs. Russian All-Stars. Bowman will coach the North Americans. Fetisov, Krutov and Makarov will coach the Russians. The festivities also include two banquets, a private tour of the Kremlin and a rock concert with a performance by his daughters.

"It's time for me to do different things in life," Larionov says. "It's also time for me to help my children achieve their goals. I can feel it — in my heart, in my soul."

goldenlox
Feb 7th, 2004, 03:06 PM
Max Mirnyi labored through five sets to upset a weary Marat Safin on Friday, pulling Belarus even at 1-1 against Russia after opening singles in the Davis Cup.

Mirnyi beat the Australian Open runner-up 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), 1-6, 4-6, 11-9 in just more than four hours to extend his unbeaten Davis Cup streak to 10 matches.

Safin was a late decision to play for his World Group match. He competed in a Grand Slam-record 30 sets in Melbourne and arrived in Minsk only on Wednesday.

Earlier, Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus retired with an ankle strain against Igor Andreev in the fourth set, giving Russia a 1-0 lead. Andreev, making his Davis Cup debut, won 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 5-7, 3-4. In Saturday's doubles, Voltchkov and Mirnyi are scheduled to meet Safin and Mikhail Youzny. Reverse singles are Sunday.

goldenlox
Feb 7th, 2004, 04:10 PM
Minsk - Marat Safin and Mikhail Youzhny gave Russia a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup World Group first round tie against Belarus on Saturday by beating emergency pairing Max Mirnyi and Alexander Shvets 6-4 7-5 7-6.

Shvets replaced injured Vladimir Voltchkov, who was forced to retire with a twisted ankle during Friday's singles against Russian debutant Igor Andreev.

Safin and Youzhny, however, were also playing doubles together for the first time and looked much more powerful and quicker than their opponents.

Safin gained some revenge after Mirnyi beat the Australian Open runner-up Safin in a five-set marathon on Friday, with the last set decided 11-9.

Russia, the 2002 Davis Cup champions, look firmly in command against World Group newcomers Belarus, who will have to rely on the 31-year-old Shvets or untested 15-year-old Andrei Korotchenya for Sunday's singles.

A minute's silence was held before the doubles for the victims of a bomb blast in the Moscow metro on Friday which killed at least 39 people.

the cat
Feb 7th, 2004, 06:47 PM
I hope all this tennis doesn't cause Safin to suffer an injury. He needs to take a couple weeks off after this Davis Cup Tie.

KV
Feb 7th, 2004, 06:53 PM
Good chance for Russia to qualify for the next round. Maybe M. Safin could be replaced by Misha tomorrow.

Roxers
Feb 7th, 2004, 06:59 PM
I hope all this tennis doesn't cause Safin to suffer an injury. He needs to take a couple weeks off after this Davis Cup Tie.

he will ;)

after Davis Cup he will play next Marseille, which is in 2 weeks.

the cat
Feb 7th, 2004, 07:15 PM
Thanks for the info.

TheBoiledEgg
Feb 8th, 2004, 02:40 PM
just when things couldnt get any worse, think again

Misha :rolleyes: :smash: :retard: :help:

goldenlox
Feb 8th, 2004, 03:55 PM
WORLD Group newcomers Belarus scored a shock 3-2 victory over Russia on Sunday to knock the 2002 Davis Cup champions out of the competition at the first hurdle.

Vladimir Voltchkov beat Mikhail Youzhny 7-5 6-2 6-4 in the decisive fifth rubber to give huge underdog Belarus a quarter-final berth and a tie against Argentina.

Both Voltchkov and 2002 Davis Cup hero Youzhny were surprised replacements for Alexander Shvets and Australian Open runner-up Marat Safin respectively.

Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev shocked everyone by taking out in-form Safin, while his Belarus counterpart Sergei Teterin decided to bring back Voltchkov, whose participation had been in doubt after he injured his ankle in Friday's singles match against Igor Andreev.

Playing decisive matches was nothing new to Youzhny, but against the inspired Voltchkov he was a pale shadow of a man who came back from two sets down to win an epic five-set match against France's Paul-Henri Mathieu in the 2002 final in Paris.

Earlier in the day, Max Mirnyi trounced Andreev 6-3 6-4 6-4 to bring the home team level at 2-2.

The Russians had been in command after Safin and Youzhny teamed up to beat the emergency pairing of Mirnyi and Shvets 6-4 7-5 7-6 in Saturday's doubles to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. Belarus will now host Argentina, who took an unbeatable 3-0 lead against Morocco on Saturday in their first-round tie, in the last eight from April 9-11.

ys
Feb 8th, 2004, 03:59 PM
Congrats Belarus! Maybe in 2005 Kafelnikov will be back and there will be someone to build a team around. This team was useless anyway. Or maybe Andreev will improve, and Sasha Krasnoroutsky could be on the team too.. How is he doing , Eggy?

the cat
Feb 8th, 2004, 04:26 PM
How does Tarpischev take the Davis Cup Tie against Belarus out of Safin's hands? :confused: You go down with your best. And that didn't happen to Russia. I wonder what Safin was thinking sitting out the decisive rubber watching Youzhny lose in straight sets.

Now Russia has to play a Davis Cup world group playoff just to get back into the world group for next year. And with no respectable #2 player behind Safin it will be a long time before Russia wins the Davis Cup again. Youzhny really has to get his act together. And Russia has to develope a couple of good doubles players. The absence of Kafelnikov was felt in this Davis Cup Tie.

I don't think Russia was going to beat Argentina in Argentina with all the good clay court players they have. I don't think Belarus has much of a chance to beat Argentina either. Especially if the Tie is on clay in Argentina.

If they had saved Safin's for the doubles and sunday singles Russia would have won. Strangely enough Marat making the finals of the Australian Open hurt Russia's chances to beat Belarus in the Davis Cup. :(

How soon can the Russian Tennis Federation name Yevgeny Kafelnikov as their new Davis Cup captain? Not soon enough for me.

Congrats to Belarus on a monumental Davis Cup Tie win. :) Wherever the MinskLynx is she must be happy. :cat: :D

TheBoiledEgg
Feb 8th, 2004, 04:57 PM
Congrats Belarus! Maybe in 2005 Kafelnikov will be back and there will be someone to build a team around. This team was useless anyway. Or maybe Andreev will improve, and Sasha Krasnoroutsky could be on the team too.. How is he doing , Eggy?
He's progressing nicely, maybe 2006 when he could be playing more. right now he's still in juniors and this yr should be making progress. He turns 17 in June.
last i heard he was 1m90 unofficially.

Zhenya should have stayed in shape, if only for doubles.
We could have done with him here, meaning rest for Marat.

ys
Feb 8th, 2004, 05:05 PM
He's progressing nicely, maybe 2006 when he could be playing more. right now he's still in juniors and this yr should be making progress. He turns 17 in June.
last i heard he was 1m90 unofficially.

Zhenya should have stayed in shape, if only for doubles.
We could have done with him here, meaning rest for Marat.
Wow.. Maybe we will have a new safin in him? Only with better work ethics..:)

the cat
Feb 8th, 2004, 05:05 PM
Even if he has retired, I think Kafelnikov should still be playing Davis Cup doubles for Russia. Why not? But perhaps he just wants to get away from tennis completely. I would have to think Yevgeny could help the players more than Tarpischev can.

ys
Feb 8th, 2004, 05:15 PM
Even if he has retired, I think Kafelnikov should still be playing Davis Cup doubles for Russia. Why not? But perhaps he just wants to get away from tennis completely. I would have to think Yevgeny could help the players more than Tarpischev can.
I am not sure about that. The captain has to be a great psychologist and motivator. For Yevgeny himself motivation has always been a problem.

the cat
Feb 8th, 2004, 05:27 PM
Is Tarpischev a great psychologist and motivator?

Safin is showing good signs. But I am worried about Youzhny. One year ago I thought he would be a top 20 player for sure and make a run at the top 10 someday. Now I'm starting to have my doubts. Mikhail has been through some tough times and I hope he still fulfills his potential. He was the Russian Davis Cup hero in 2002 and that should not be forgotten. :)

ys
Feb 8th, 2004, 11:10 PM
From reports of very respectable Russian sources, Marat was partying in Minsk restaurants till 3AM in the morning, and when Tarpishev asked him in the morning whether he can play, Marat said "Do you want to see me dead?"

http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/default.asp?date=2004/2/9&id=143145

http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?81388 (http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?81388)

And some people even dared to suggest that he has matured..

tenn_ace
Feb 8th, 2004, 11:42 PM
they actually didn't say anything about a source of this information, so I wouldn't be in a hurry believing it...

and why would he has to carry a team? if Youzhny can't beat an injured player, who barely plays on the pro tour and as old as my grandma, how is it Marat's problem? :rolleyes:

ys
Feb 8th, 2004, 11:53 PM
they actually didn't say anything about a source of this information, so I wouldn't be in a hurry believing it...There are two source of information these articles mentioned - Tarpishev, and Itar-Tass news agency, which is the most respectable source of information in Russia. Because , as a news agency, they have to either refer another source of information, or they are liable.

and why would he has to carry a team? if Youzhny can't beat an injured player, who barely plays on the pro tour and as old as my grandma, how is it Marat's problem? :rolleyes:Why did Kafelnikov have to carry the team for years? Why did Federer have to fly, just like Marat, from AO directly to Romania and single-handedly beat quite strong Romanian team? If you are a member of a team, you are either in or you are out. If you are in, you do what it takes to win.

Youzhnyi is in pathetic form, everyone knows that, but that's a different issue. Russia had all necessary tools to win this tie and with just a normal professional approach from Safin Russia would have made it to quarters.

I am very close to giving up on Safin. First time since I started following him, I seriously think that he might never get rid of his immaturity and lack of dedication. And his infantilism is very well matched by the same quality of his coach. I fully expect Russian media to crucify Marat in next days and may be it will help him.

tenn_ace
Feb 9th, 2004, 12:03 AM
btw, regarding your questions about YK or Federer, good for them that they did/do it. But a meaning of a team is that other player contribute to the win, so it's not his duty.

tenn_ace
Feb 9th, 2004, 12:08 AM
i agree on your point about his coach... been saying it all along. however, i'm not inclined to blame this loss on Marat. At least, he has some excuse (mentally tired, jetlag, etc), but what is excuse for Youzhny? Isn't he a pro and MUST be prepared to play and to beat a player like Volchkov? I'm as a close to giving up on him, as you are on Marat...

tenn_ace
Feb 9th, 2004, 12:14 AM
Tarpishchev didn't say anything about Safin partying untill 3am... he said that Safin looked very tired in the 3rd set of doubles. he aslo said that Safin wouldn't have played anyway.

as for TASS, do you really think they are liable and they would have to disclose their source? :rolleyes: they even say that it's their version (note: not the fact) why he didn't play.

ys
Feb 9th, 2004, 12:19 AM
btw, regarding your questions about YK or Federer, good for them that they did/do it. But a meaning of a team is that other player contribute to the win, so it's not his duty.

Marat is the only player from this team who is good on fast surfaces. Youzhni and Davydenko are slowcourters, that's undeniable, they can well contribute on clay or, say, on Rebound Ace, or even grass. But hardcourts and carpet is not their cup of tea. If you look at their records indoors or DecoTurf, it has always been pathetic. Andreev is also grown up in Spain. He got a good serve for fast surfaces, but not much more. Youzhnyi, Davydenko or Andreev at their best will not beat fastcourt specialists Mirnyi and Voltchkov at their best on very fast indoors court. No way. Tarpishev spent all this time thinking where could the team get the third point for this tie. The team relied on two points from Safin from the very start. Tarpishev has been saying that, everyone knew that. And we got 0 point from Safin. He simply let everyone down.

We are in clear shortage of fastcourt specialists, and the only player who could technically help Marat ( even if just at his current possible best )was Yevgeny, but he decided he is out of it.


i agree on your point about his coach... been saying it all along. however, i'm not inclined to blame this loss on Marat. At least, he has some excuse (mentally tired, jetlag, etc), but what is excuse for Youzhny? Isn't he a pro and MUST be prepared to play and to beat a player like Volchkov? I'm as a close to giving up on him, as you are on Marat...
Com'n, I gave up on him long time ago. He is no contender for anything serious. At his best he can play on clay. There is something that separates great players from others - good serve. Yozhnyi has no serve. He is hopeless therefore.

ys
Feb 9th, 2004, 12:24 AM
Tarpishchev didn't say anything about Safin partying untill 3am... he said that Safin looked very tired in the 3rd set of doubles. he aslo said that Safin wouldn't have played anyway.And what would you expect him to say? that his players don't give a flying f@ck about this tie and party all night long? Of course, he had no choice, other than to say something like that. But do you seriously believe that someone could be dead tired from something played a week ago? Safin himself declared himself fit to play just two days ago.

as for TASS, do you really think they are liable and they would have to disclose their source? :rolleyes: they even say that it's their version (note: not the fact) why he didn't play.Itar Tass had that on their website, which is unfortunately down right now. Or inaccessible from my PC. Here is the link:

http://www.tass.ru/level2.html?NewsID=400606&PageNum=0

I saw it while it was up.

ys
Feb 9th, 2004, 12:26 AM
Also there is a nice rumour that someone bet heavily on Belarus this morning.

goldenlox
Feb 9th, 2004, 03:56 AM
Vladimir Voltchkov overwhelmed Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 7-5 6-2 6-4 in the fifth rubber to give underdogs Belarus a last-eight meeting against Argentina, 5-0 winners over Morocco.

Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev gambled by replacing an in-form but exhausted Marat Safin with Youzhny, who clinched the decisive fifth rubber in the 2002 final against France to hand Russia their first Cup win.

Tarpishchev's Belarus counterpart Sergei Teterin also produced a surprise when he decided to bring back Voltchkov. The Belarussian number two was seen limping on crutches just 24 hours earlier after he injured his ankle in Friday's singles match.

Against an inspired Voltchkov, Youzhny was a pale shadow of the man who came back from two sets down to win an epic five-setter against Paul-Henri Mathieu in the 2002 final.

"When Tarpishchev and Youzhny saw me warming-up just before our match they both looked a bit surprised to say the least," said Voltchkov.

"I think it played a big role in the outcome because Youzhny just lost the game mentally."

Max Mirnyi had trounced Igor Andreev to bring the home team level at 2-2 in Minsk.

bubble
Feb 9th, 2004, 05:21 AM
I think Belarus played a bigger part in gamesmanship by tricking the russians into believing that they will be facing a 15 year old opponent for the 5th rubber. :o

What a move it was.... Russia lost the tie even before the 5th match started.

the cat
Feb 9th, 2004, 07:07 PM
ys, how can you give up on Safin after his great but totally unexpected run at Oz 2004? :confused: I know his lifestyle can be frustrating. But I want Marat to enjoy life as much as he can. :D Within reason. ys, when Marat is making a run at the Wimbledon title this year I assume you'll be in his corner. ;) And how can you compare playing Romania to playing Belarus indoors in Davis Cup? Max Mirnyi is a very good indoor player with a huge serve and Vladimir Volchkov was once a Wimbledon semifinalist. I don't think Romania has players of that caliber.

Thanks for the article, Maus. It sounds like Youzhny was psyched out by Volchkov even before the match began.

goldenlox
Feb 12th, 2004, 12:54 AM
http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/default.asp?id=143366

KV
Feb 12th, 2004, 08:15 PM
Misha made it to the QF at Milan. Positive result, after his slump

KV
Mar 2nd, 2004, 11:42 AM
In dubai Misha def. second seed Coria in 3 sets, well done!

TheBoiledEgg
Mar 2nd, 2004, 11:48 AM
Misha great comeback :D

yesterday was a good day too
Tursunov d. Karlovic
and Andreev d. Ancic

Marat in action in just over 2 hours

the cat
Mar 2nd, 2004, 03:22 PM
I hope this is the beginning of Misha turning his career around. Beating such a good player as Coria has to do alot for his confidence.

goldenlox
Mar 3rd, 2004, 11:50 PM
Federer beats Safin again but Russian remains defiant

DUBAI: Switzerland’s world number one Roger Federer won a repeat encounter here on Tuesday with charismatic former number one Marat Safin who believes he can take away the Swiss star’s top spot by the end of the year.

Federer had a one-sided straight sets victory over Safin at the Australian Open final in Melbourne in January, but this time, in a 7-6, 7-6 success in the first round of the Dubai Open, the outcome was in doubt till the end. It was one of the toughest opening round match-ups in the history of the ATP Tour, and the wildcard Russian came back from 3-0 down in the first set and had Federer in trouble at 15-40 on his serve at four-all. But Federer suddenly launched four superb serves as though a rocket had been hidden in his pocket, and in the tie-break he was full of relaxed concentration and athletic strokes, taking the first five points before Safin could reply. Federer again got an early break in the second set, but Safin broke back for 5-5 with some obstinate and gallant returns, saving a match point in the process.

In the tie-break however the defending champion combined a sharp-eyed return of a Safin serve at 4-3 with a forehand drive follow-up which eluded his opponent’s reach. That mini-break was the crucial thrust which Federer consolidated for victory. “I thought we were both hitting the ball well,” said Federer. “And I managed to find something when I needed it.

“Being number one doesn’t feel all that difficult because I have won big titles and there was pressure when I was close to being number one all the time last year.

“Grand Slams are the priority but I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t want to win this too.”

Safin, who was away from the sport for much of last year, repeated his belief that he was able to recover the pinnacle. “To overtake Roger I have to be very consistent through the year. What’s helped me get back? One year off to think about my life.”

Federer next plays Tommy Robredo, the Spanish Davis Cup player. Earlier world number five Guillermo Coria became the latest seed to tumble in the desert, as the upsets continued to come hard upon each other. The second-seeded Argentine became one of five seeds out of six to fall at the first hurdle as he was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 by Mikhail Youzhny, the 21-year-old Russian who has ambitions to reach the top 20 this year.

Youzhny was not always his usual flowing self from the baseline, for he sometimes felt the need to try to finish the rallies earlier against one of the fastest movers on the tour. For two sets it made for a scrappy match with a high ratio of errors, and in the end it was Youzhny’s capacity to struggle tenaciously in the humidity which saw him narrowly through. “I knew that you cannot beat Coria unless you make winners,” said Youzhny. “If you don’t you have to 20 or 30 shots in a rally and the weather’s not like Moscow out there, that’s for sure.” Despite that Coria almost saved himself at the end. He twice reached break point at 4-5 in the final set after Youzhny, pressing hard with his second serve, delivered double faults, but on neither occasion could he return the Russian’s serve into court. “I didn’t play well and I didn’t make the most of my opportunities. My serve was not as it should have been,” said Coria, who changed his service action after getting an abdominal strain last year and has since returned to something similar to the original action.

Youzhny now has a decent chance of further progress for he next plays a qualifier, Dennis van Scheppingen of The Netherlands, in a section in which the fifth seeded Mark Philippoussis has also been beaten. A possible quarter-final match-up however could see Youzhny play Rafael Nadal, who last month made a winning Davis Cup debut for Spain at the age of 17 and who overcame the former top 20 Belarussian, Max Mirnyi, in straight sets. Later another seeded Argentine, David Nalbandian, the fourth seed, also went out. The former Wimbledon finalist was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen, whose heavy left-handed serve and imposing forehand punched many holes in Nalbandian’s defences.

Despite that Nalbandian almost broke back when Nieminen was serving for the first set, reaching 15-40 and seeing a lob which had left Nieminen stranded fall just an inch long on the second of the break back points. But when Nieminen served for the second set there were no alarms. The first seed to survive the opening round was the number eight, Sjeng Schalken, the Wimbledon quarter-finalist from The Netherlands, who overcame the US-based Armenian, Sargis Sargsian for the loss of only four games in a quarter which now contains no other seeds. —AFP

KV
Mar 5th, 2004, 01:34 PM
M. Youhzny into semis

goldenlox
Mar 10th, 2004, 03:46 AM
30 Marat Safin vs bye
Qualy vs Nikolay Davydenko
Jan-Michaell Gambill vs Qualy
3 Andy Roddick vs bye

goldenlox
Mar 18th, 2004, 03:14 AM
MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat.

Q. You started very well. What, in your mind, switched the tendency out there?

MARAT SAFIN: I little bit was disappointed with myself when I lost this break that I had. And then in the tiebreak, that he hits -- he was so lucky. He came to the net, this volley, half volley that he made on the line, then the next volley that he played. I thought just everything changed in my mind. I was a little bit disappointed with the way it went, the match, because normally I would have to win the tiebreaker, and the match would go in my way.

Q. You're saying mentally you couldn't recover?

MARAT SAFIN: I was really disappointed with these two volleys that he made out of nowhere. And there is no chance that he could make it in all his life, these kind of volleys. They were just right on the line, just changed the match completely.

Q. Could you compare your level now and in Australia?

MARAT SAFIN: That's the problem. I'm not playing bad. I'm playing quite good tennis. My level is really high. These couple of matches that I played before, I lost 7-5, 7-6 against Bjorkman, which is very difficult opponent for me. Then against Federer, 7-6, 7-6. Today also was a little bit disappointing the first set. I couldn't just recover because I was thinking about these two points and I was getting upset with myself, with this way the match went. Just missing a little bit of luck and a few points. If they would go my way, it would be different story. I would beat him in two sets.

Q. Were you surprised that he came to net so much in the second set, almost see it as a sign of respect for you that he changed his game?

MARAT SAFIN: He saw that I was a little bit down, he started to feel confident. He had to do something because otherwise on the baseline, he didn't have too many chances because his backhand is a little bit weak. If we go backhand to backhand, he have no chance. So he had to do something, just change a little bit his game, do something extra to get me in trouble.

Q. Your backhand seems further along than your forehand.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's my best shot.

Q. But it seems that you're close to playing it as good as you can play it.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I mean, I'm not playing that badly. I'm really playing good, and I'm feeling confident in myself. The stat is not -- they are looking at the matches that I've been playing lately, not going my way. That's the only problem I have. My serve is okay. My volley is perfect. Baseline is quite good. My fitness is really good. So basically I'm just missing a little bit of luck.

Q. Can you talk about the conditions out there today?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, I'm get used to it. It's like my sixth year on the tour and I'm used to the conditions, used to play.

Q. Lleyton in particular talked about the balls fluffing up, getting really heavy here more than last year. Do you feel that way?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but the balls for me is not a problem. They are not flying all the match like they used to fly. Sometimes it's difficult to make the point, make the winner with that balls. You have to play -- you have to run a little bit more than you used to. But doesn't make any difference for me.

Q. Did you feel like you were having problems with your first serve?

MARAT SAFIN: Kind of. Didn't give me any easy points. But I knew from the beginning I wasn't serving well, so I have to run a little bit more and I have to make the points and I have to do something, you know, just stay on the baseline with him. It wasn't so difficult. Just if I could stay on the baseline with him, backhand to backhand, the match would go my way because he doesn't have really good backhand compared to mine.

Q. How do you feel about your luck in the tiebreaks this year?

MARAT SAFIN: I was really disappointed. This weather killed me a little bit today. At 3-1, then he had a few lucky shots. As I said before, just two volleys out of nowhere. That changed a lot.

Q. Probably on some level it's nice to get a lot of good practice against top players. Because of the ranking situation, are you getting a little tired playing the Roddicks and Federers early in tournaments?

MARAT SAFIN: Tired, yeah, but you have to deal with the situation. My ranking is a little bit not really high, 30 in the world, and I have to deal with this kind of situation: in the third, second round I'm going to play against the top seeded. It's how it is. Whenever I will break through, then like the draw is opening. For example, he has a quite comfortable draw, like no seeds left. Moya lost. He will go far away. You have to win these kind of matches, like really tough points, and then you gain confidence and you have an easier draw.

Q. He so you sort of like having these tough matches early?

MARAT SAFIN: That's how it is. That's life. You have to deal with it.

Q. Is Walt here with you?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. Obviously with the busy schedule, you can't do the kind of training you did before. Are you going to schedule like a period of time?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm doing. I'm doing my job. I'm doing whatever we can do. Whenever we can, we can go running. We're doing some exercise on the court. Is not a problem of fitness anymore.

End of FastScripts….

the cat
Mar 19th, 2004, 08:43 PM
I must say even though Youzhny blew the first set against Agassi, he was up 4-2 40-0, that his game is starting to come around. I think Youzhny is a much better tennis player than he has shown in the last year.

As for Safin, he is playing okay. But he can't seem to hold serve in a big spot this year. He was up a break in the first set against Federer in the 2004 Australian Open final and was broken his next 2 service games. And he was up a break against Roddick in the first set of their third round match in Indian Wells and let that slip away, too. If Safin wants to win another grand slam singles title he's going to have to be able to hold serve in the big matches.

goldenlox
Mar 19th, 2004, 08:47 PM
The Tennis Channel was replaying the Davis Cup tie from early February.
The Marat-Max match, 11-9 in the fifth, was amazing. Even though I already knew the result.

goldenlox
Mar 24th, 2004, 08:58 PM
Safin Looks Sharp In Practice
http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/Safin%20fri%204.jpg
Photo By Cynthia Lum By Richard Pagliaro
03/24/2004

Strokes on the practice courts can be the tennis equivalent of new clothes in the fitting room mirror: everything looks good. Unburdened by the restrictive pressures of ranking points, financial rewards and vocal crowds, players swing away with the relaxed joy of rediscovered love.


Then there's Marat Safin.

The man who has turned tennis into a collision sport with his past penchant for racquet-destruction and emotional explosions is capable of many actions on court, but monotony isn't a part of his make up.font>

As qualifiers fought it out for precious positions in the Nasdaq-100 Open main draw and fellow pros traded strokes and jokes on the practice courts, the temperamental titan who regained his Grand Slam form by reaching the Australian Open final two months ago engaged in a spirited practice with Finnish lefthander Jarkko Nieminen inside the stadium.

About 28 fans sat scattered in various seats watching the pair pop potent topspin shots that jumped off the court and echoed throughout the stadium alternating with the steady squeal of sneakers to create a sound track of tennis effort.

Though both players have first-round byes — the 29th-seeded Nieminen will face either Todd Martin or Ivo Heuberger in the second round, while the 31st-seeded Safin awaits the winner of the all-American clash between James Blake and Vince Spadea — they played the final minutes of today's practice as if it were a match.

Sprinting to the sideline to hit a saving running forehand, Safin spun, changed direction and charged toward the net. It was a dazzling display of agility from the six-foot-four Safin, who correctly anticipated Nieminen's pass down the line only to knock the forehand volley into the net.

Shouting some self-critical phrases at himself, Safin picked up the ball that failed to clear the net and belted it into the 12th row of the stands with so much force the ball looked as altered as an altoid when it splattered against the stadium wall below the F section of bleachers.

Lashing his lefty inside-out forehand to Safin's forehand Nieminen frequently found the inside of the sideline with clean winners. Dripping with sweat, Safin was always on his toes shuffling laterally or surging forward. It was the fast footwork of an eager player who looks as fit as he was when he scorched Pete Sampras in straight sets to take the 2000 U.S. Open — one of seven titles he won that year. In his final service game of the practice, Safin really began to find his range, pounding crosscourt shots off both sides and moving forward to slam a pair of overhead winners.

As Ai Sugiyama stretched on the side of the court waiting her turn to practice, Safin motioned to play one more point. Then he slammed an ace down the middle. A smiling Safin took the last ball out of his pocket and smacked it out of the stadium. "Thank you!" Safin said to the small crowd, stopping to sign autographs for three kids before leaving.

A second-round casualty to Davide Sanguinetti in Miami last year, Safin faces a challenging second-round test from either Blake or Spadea, who started the month beating Blake, Andy Roddick and Nicolas Kiefer in succession to claim his first career tournament title in Scottsdale. Safin, who has never played Spadea, beat Blake 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 in the fourth round of the Australian Open. Should Safin surpass the second round he could play eighth-seeded David Nalbandian in the third round.

Top players practiced throughout the day, which began with Lleyton Hewitt posing for photos and signing autographs with a group of young Florida Special Olympics tennis players. A smiling Hewitt signed autographs, t-shirts and posed for photos with kids and staff members.

Fellow adidas endorsers Paradorn Srichaphan and Alex Bogomolov, Jr. played points as Paradorn's father and coach, Chanachai, paced on the sideline. An hour later, Bogomolov's fiancee, Ashley Harkleroad hit on the same court.

Xavier Malisse, clad in an orange t-shirt, whipped forehands on a practice court as former French Open champion Andres Gomez sat and spoke to a friend. Paola Suarez sprinted, split-stepped and leaped in a series of agility drills on the grass behind a bank of four practice courts while Todd Martin walked by holding racquet in one hand and a jump rope in the other.

the cat
Mar 24th, 2004, 11:21 PM
Thanks for the article, GL. :kiss: The Australian Open was already 2 months ago. It's time Marat played at a high level again and went far in the Nasdaq-100 Open.

goldenlox
Mar 27th, 2004, 12:45 AM
MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Please go ahead for Marat Safin.

Q. How do you feel coming here after last week?

MARAT SAFIN: It's another chance to win a couple of matches, to get the confidence back, and another try.

Q. Where is your confidence now?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, I didn't had the really good results for a couple of weeks, but I had also difficult draws. And also this week I am having a really tough first round, it's Blake or Spadea. So I'll try to get over it and try to see if I can move on and I can play the same level as I played in Australia. I just need a little bit of luck, and I think is another great chance for me.

Q. Do you think you are in a good way?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I'm feeling good. Just circumstances are not really good for me. I'm just little bit unlucky with draws. First round against Federer, second round against Roddick. I was a little bit out of confidence. If we go other way around, probably I would be in the same position as Federer right now.

Q. So you think you can beat these guys at least?

MARAT SAFIN: No, but it's not like I'm losing quite easily. That's what I'm saying, 7-6, 7-6 against Federer, it could go also my way. It's like lottery. The score 7-6, 7-6 could go any way. So, unfortunately, didn't go my way. But there is always another chance.

Q. You trained in Valencia with Juan Carlos, right?

MARAT SAFIN: Not exactly.

Q. Not exactly?

MARAT SAFIN: Not exactly. One is from the same place, but different cities. I would live like around 60 miles away from each other.

Q. You know him pretty well?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, yeah. We been playing, I mean, we been traveling together in the same tournaments since we are 14.

Q. He doesn't seem to be a particularly popular champion here in the States. He's not in this tournament, but do you have any idea why that might be?

MARAT SAFIN: Who, Ferrero?

Q. Yes.

MARAT SAFIN: You asking me why Ferrero is not popular in Miami or in USA?

Q. USA.

MARAT SAFIN: Because, guys, I think that you have your own players and you like very much your players, the American ones. Nobody really cares about the Spanish players, especially here. Nobody cares about it. Exactly also for the players from other countries. At least there is a lot of people, they know only Agassi, Roddick and Blake. I think it's normal. Also, he is not also popular in Russia. Nobody knows him. Nobody cares about him. The people from Europe, yes, they know him, because he's traveling and he's playing in Europe.

Q. There have been players from Europe who have been very popular here - Becker, Edberg. Do you think he hasn't won enough, or is it his style of play, his demeanor on the court?

MARAT SAFIN: We are talking about little bit different things. For all the respect for Ferrero and a lot of other guys, including me, who didn't achieve the same things as Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker. So this is probably the main reason. Also, you have to see that lately, nobody should know -- I cannot even watch tennis on TV. Nobody shows tennis. And the way they show, there is some matches that nobody cares about them, so who's gonna watch? So how do you want to promote the players? How the people, they gonna understand who is who? They don't know who is who and they don't really care who is who because it's not interesting, because it's boring, and because you cannot even see them on TV.

Q. I guess I would still argue that you won one Slam; Juan Carlos has won one Slam.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. But, sorry, where you can see me on TV in the United States? Where? You think that they really care about Safin in a match in Indian Wells first round? Nobody cares. For the same reason. Tennis is so -- they don't promote it very well. They don't get enough hours to show on TV because it's not entertaining anymore. That's the main reason. That's the main reason that the people like us, like Ferrero, Federer and Safin and Roddick -- okay, Roddick, because he is American, but normally, nobody really knows the players and not really interested to watch these kind of matches.

Q. So it's the media's fault?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know who's fault but definitely not mine. It's somebody who has to deal with -- for example, here's a person from ATP. You can blame them for that, for not promoting the tennis the way it should be promoted and not getting enough hours on the TV. It has to be either certain hours, so at least the people can see sometimes tennis.

Q. I guess I would still argue...

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's okay, you can argue. You don't have to tell me.

Q. You're more popular than a Ferrero. Spanish players in general have never been that popular, if you go back, in the States.

MARAT SAFIN: And? What's your point?

Q. I don't know.

MARAT SAFIN: But make your point. You don't know.

Q. Just wondering why. You lived in Spain. Is it something about...

MARAT SAFIN: It's nothing in particular about Spanish players. I mean, the Spanish players, they are quiet, famous enough in Europe. Maybe because their tennis is not really unbelievably attractive, could be one of the reasons. Could be. But also, everybody has different character. But this kind of character that the Spanish people have, maybe they're not -- the people from the States don't like it; they want to see something else. They want to see like maybe a John McEnroe, they want to see Boris Becker, or they want to see big names, more interesting game. They want to see little bit serve and volley and some nice shots. You cannot see that from the Spanish players. Could be this is the reason. I'm not taking away the achievements they had for the last past -- a lot of like, 10 years. Spanish tennis grew up a little bit - quite a lot actually - they have already 10 players in the Top 100. But somehow it's not that attractive for the people. Not for me, I don't really care. But for me, they are tough opponents, but we are not talking about the issue. That's not the issue. It's about how attractive really is it or not.

Q. Do you like to watch the Spanish play?

MARAT SAFIN: I will not even watch tennis if I'm not playing. I had enough with my own problems, and I have enough with my own tennis. I won't go to see the match of... I don't know...

Q. Why did you choose Estoril for the clay court season instead of Valencia?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, because the people from Estoril, they wanted more than the people from Valencia. I don't know. I choose it. It is my decision that I actually choose Estoril because it's - I don't know - it's nice place. Nice people. They always treated me well there, even though that I didn't play really well. And they want still me to come back and come back. So I have to give them -- at least I feel like I have to try my best, you know, to improve my game there and to show the people that if I am coming there I want to play and I want to win the tournament. Because really I am coming for -- it's gonna be my fourth time there, and the maximum I got is quarterfinals. I definitely can do better than that. It's also great preparation for me to, you know, to get the confidence, get the confidence and move on to the clay court season. It's a great, great, great tournament and great people. That's why main reason I am going there.

Q. What are your expectations with the European clay court season coming up?

MARAT SAFIN: It's difficult. Is one of the most difficult months that we have, because we have three Masters Series almost like in a row. So it's really difficult because the schedule is not really great for the players. Because we have no time to rest and to get ready for another Masters Series. So basically you play Monte-Carlo, you have Barcelona, you have Rome, Hamburg, and you are already end up in Roland Garros. So it's also too much frustrates for the players. It's really difficult to get focus on every particular tournament during this months because everything comes together. That's a little bit difficult, so you have to be mentally prepared.

Q. You were just talking about Andre before. Can you imagine playing as long as he is playing?

MARAT SAFIN: No. No.

Q. Why do you think he's having such success?

MARAT SAFIN: Because it's not like because he is Andre Agassi and he's the best of all times, blah-blah-blee, blah, blah, blah, I can move on like this for a long time. Just because he loves tennis, he feels like playing, he's really enjoying it, even at the age of 33 years old, and he's playing since he's 16. So calculate how many years he's on the tour. Still, to be in love with tennis as he is, I don't think that there are many players -- you cannot even count on one hand, not many players like this that will stay for a long time and really enjoys tennis and gives his best and try and try and try every year and be fit like he is fit, and beating most of the guys quite easily. And even when he loses, he still continues to play and still continues to work. And he is a great professional athlete. But, in my case, I don't think I'll be able to play against -- till the age of 34 because it's my character. But his character is completely different than most of the people. That's why he's one of the million.

Q. You were saying that you are really, really close to that top level. Where would you say in your game is the little, slight difference that you have to make to be there, exactly there, with those four or five names that are the ones that maybe sometimes make a problem for you?

MARAT SAFIN: But you cannot -- it's just -- every person has different mentality, okay. I have my own -- everybody like -- it's really difficult.

Q. Would you say is it confidence? Is it technical difference? Adjustments you have to make in your game?

MARAT SAFIN: But, okay. Very simple. The answer is really simple because the way that the level grew up in the past let's say five, six years, the way they improved, it's unbelievable. It wasn't like this when Becker used to play, when Edberg used to play, when Agassi started and Sampras and McEnroe was there. It was like Top 10 - let's put it this way, Top 20, and then the rest of the guys. So that's why, because now tennis is more competitive, and it's more equal between the guy who was No. 1 in the world to like 99 in the world, even 100.

Q. I would agree you are there, in the top level.

MARAT SAFIN: I am there but also...

Q. What would be the difference that you have to make in order to achieve the next step?

MARAT SAFIN: There is no "another step." There is no another step. Because before, for example, take Roland Garros of '96 or beginning of the '90s when Becker used to play. First three rounds he is winning 6-1, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 basically. Once he has a tough match because he felt like he doesn't want to play this day and he was bored, because he fight with his girlfriend, for example, and he make a difficult match. But at the end, he is winning so easily until semifinals. Semifinals he gets the match against Edberg. Then starts the tournament basically for him. Then he plays against Edberg, then the finals against McEnroe. Now, try to win the first match. I have match against Blake or Spadea. They are unbelievable players. Then if I win, I have to play against Nalbandian. If I win, I have to play against another like - I don't know - Roger Federer, for example. I'm not even in the quarterfinals. So I have to work my ass off just to get to the quarterfinals. It's also difficult to maintain this level because it's like it's physically it's much tougher than it used to be. Every day, it's every day. Why do people, they get injured so fast and so much? Everybody's injured. Everybody suffered like the -- they have to go to make surgeries. Tommy Haas, he was out for one year and a half because of the schedule, because of the level of the game, and because it's really competitive. You have to give every time 100 percent. If you don't give 100 percent, you are out. And for how long, how many weeks you can -- your body is able to compete on the same level? If you make two, two weeks in a row, you are unbelievable strong. Three, you are amazing. But no more than three. But, for example, that's what I'm talking before. In May we have three Masters Series. Try to play the same level, try to win all three of them - no chance.

Q. Not possible?

MARAT SAFIN: For sure you will make -- okay, if you win one, you will lose...

Q. If you make it, you will be bad the rest of the year.

MARAT SAFIN: I think we're playing not -- we're playing the same level of Becker and Edberg.

Q. But not every day?

MARAT SAFIN: But not every day.

Q. It's impossible to maintain that every day?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, because like you have a tough match. The next day you have another tough match. The third day your body cannot do anymore, no matter how many hours you spend in the gym.

Q. When were you in Spain? What years did you train there?

MARAT SAFIN: From '94 to 2001.

goldenlox
Mar 27th, 2004, 05:56 PM
Marat lost 6-7, 7-6, 4-6. A good match. Another very difficult draw for Marat.

bubble
Mar 27th, 2004, 06:17 PM
Marat has been losing matches with similar scores like 67, 46 ..:(

the cat
Mar 27th, 2004, 06:33 PM
Safin seems to be unable to find his 2004 Australian Open form. :( Marat needs to start playing some smaller ATP tournamnets so he can improve his ranking. He really needs to win a singles title before Roland Garros. And if that singles title is a small tournament, so be it.

- L i n a -
Mar 27th, 2004, 06:42 PM
I agree... Marat just needs to do whatever he can to move up the rankings. Where he is now... he's going to be playing the Federer, Roddick, Ferrero's in the early rounds of every big tournament.

Plus, he's got to defend his Barcelona final too. At least getting a Top 24 seed for Roland Garros is a big deal.

goldenlox
Mar 27th, 2004, 10:21 PM
I just saw Nikolay Davydenko take the second set from Federer, and he has some good, flat groundstrokes. If he can play steady, he's going to beat a lot of good players.

goldenlox
Mar 28th, 2004, 02:14 AM
MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat, please.

Q. Even if you lost today, did you play a pretty good match of tennis?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but I'm not satisfied definitely with my performance today. I should have won. Unfortunately, wasn't my day today. Luck wasn't on my side. I had chances; I couldn't take them.

So that's why Vince, he was all the match there, and he deserve to win.

Q. When you woke up in the morning and you saw such a strong wind, what was your first reaction?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it's the conditions that you have to accept. I mean, if you want to win. There might be a big change in the weather. Like it's not gonna be so windy for the rest of the week. Also the draw is different. Nalbandian, he withdraw.

So it's a little bit open. You have a lot of chances. This kind of matches, you just have to win no matter what, the way you play, even if you play bad.

Q. What did Vince do that really bothered you? It seemed like you were not passing him well at the net. Was that more you or him?

MARAT SAFIN: It's not like he was serve and volleying. He was just playing on the baseline, try to be solid. I couldn't take my chances. That's the problem. I had my chances in the first set on the tiebreak, a lot of breakpoints, and whenever he had the chance he took it so...

Q. Now that the match is over, the overrule on matchpoint, you're standing right over the ball. In or out?

MARAT SAFIN: It was in. But is the same way, it could be on his side and could be overrule. So it's nothing. I have to give him point. It could be other way around, right?

Q. You had a play on the ball as well?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, I'm not shouting at the umpires to say that the ball is out. I was playing and I was like, I was there. I didn't make anything just to show that the ball is out, so...

Q. When you get into a tight situation in the third set, because he had a three-setter already, does Vince have an advantage?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it has nothing to do. Is just the situation. It's who gonna take the first advantage, you know, the first two points of the game. And if it's 30-all, so of course I'm gonna be a little bit tight because it's like two points away from -- one point away from matchpoint and I can lose it. He knows this, he knows that it's like very important point. So you have to concentrate as maximum as you can. And with a little bit of luck, with a decision that you make, sometimes you have to go for it. He went for it, and he deserve it.

Q. Does Vince return your serve as well as any player?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. But sometimes he was like -- a few games he was returning well and then sometimes he was trying to defense. So basically, it's okay. I mean, you can play with him. It's not like he making winners all over the court without giving you a chance and he doesn't put too much pressure on his serve.

On his second serve, yeah, but it also depends the way he serve, how short he can serve, and also with these conditions, for one side the ball is -- the wind is blowing. So it's gonna be -- the ball's gonna be shorter. And then he attacks.

But also he went to defense straightaway.

Q. Do you have any recommendations to Patrick McEnroe as to whether Vince should be playing Davis Cup?

MARAT SAFIN: He's old enough to decide by himself (laughter).

Q. What do you need to reach your best level?

MARAT SAFIN: A little bit of confidence, a little bit of luck. I take my chances that I didn't take the past four weeks. I had chances in all my matches, and I just couldn't take them. Something is missing. Maybe is a little bit of luck, maybe is a little bit of decision in my shots and be more aggressive or be more sure. Confidence.

Q. Your shots...?

MARAT SAFIN: The backhand is okay, forehand. But it also matters when I get to the point you have to make the shot, when you have to make down the line or when you have to make short cross-court, you need to have the confidence to do that shot.

Q. Do you think it also could just be the winning feeling, because you come into tournaments and have to play great players right away, so you have no time to build up?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, I cannot blame anybody to the draws they have. Of course I don't have the best draws of my life, but this is the situation. But also it happens to them. I don't think they would really like to play against me. But somehow they are beating me. So we are both in the same situation.

Q. You're playing doubles with Mark Philippoussis. How did that pairing come about? Have you ever played with him before?

MARAT SAFIN: I never played with him. I was looking for my partner because I was supposed to play with Nicolas Escude. He got injured. I was looking around for somebody who was gonna play doubles. He was looking also. So we decided to play, no.

Q. Do you play doubles more for practice, for fun?

MARAT SAFIN: It's kind of a practice. It's also -- it's more than practice. Of course if you win, it's more than a practice. But it's great. It feels great.

But mostly, it's because you can practice your volleying, you can improve serve, return, so just not to forget how to play tennis.

Q. So at one point you went to throw your racquet because you're angry, then you didn't. The next point, you said, "The heck with it," is that something you felt like you needed to do?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah... Just sometimes you need to do it because you cannot -- because you are boiling inside and you really feel that it would be maybe - I don't know, just improve something. Because you cannot, because you are making mistakes and have the mistakes and you are really trying your best and it's not working this way, your way.

So you cannot anymore. I couldn't. So that's why I had to throw the racquet. In a way, it helped me.

Q. You were down 3-0 in that second-set tiebreak. It seemed like...

MARAT SAFIN: No, I come back. I come back. But didn't do anything special for me.

Q. Was there anything that surprised you about his game since it's your first time playing him?

MARAT SAFIN: No, nothing surprised. I was expecting him to play this way, be solid from the baseline, aggressive on return, serve not bad but not really unbelievable so they cannot giving you any chance on his serve.

But he's very solid player. He has a lot of experience. He knows how to play. He knows where to be at the right moment, the right place, the decision he is making. He's a clever, clever player.

bubble
Apr 12th, 2004, 04:13 PM
Guess what, if the rumours going around are true and to be certified on Tuesday, Marat has sacked Denis and found himself a proper coach... Peter Lundgren :eek:

KV
Apr 16th, 2004, 04:27 PM
Marat Safin into the Estoril semis. :)

goldenlox
Apr 16th, 2004, 04:40 PM
Safin Shakes Off Dizzy Spell to Defeat Ascione

By REUTERS
http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gif
Published: April 15, 2004



Filed at 4:37 p.m. ET

LISBON (Reuters) - Marat Safin played through a dizzy spell to beat Frenchman Thierry Ascione 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the Estoril Open Wednesday.

The Russian eighth seed took to the court despite feeling queasy but still managed to overcome Ascione with a polished claycourt display.

``I wasn't feeling well at the start of the game,'' Safin said. ``I was dizzy but I took a bit of sugar and I soon felt better.

``I felt much more comfortable than in my first round match. Really, I'm playing great tennis.''
Safin will next face fourth seed Tommy Robredo after the Spaniard overwhelmed Argentina's Mariano Zabaleta 6-1 7-6.

``Playing Robredo will be great preparation for the semi-finals and final,'' Safin said.

goldenlox
Apr 16th, 2004, 04:52 PM
Safin Slips Past Robredo Into Estoril Semis
http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/SafinbhLUM.jpg
C.Lum/Image Works.com By Alberto Amalfi
04/16/2004

Marat Safin entered today's Estoril Open quarterfinal against Tommy Robredo knowing he had to do something special to subdue the Spaniard who was a tournament semifinalist last year. In the end, Safin's added aggressiveness in the decisive third-set tiebreak proved to be the difference in his thrilling 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-6(5) triumph over Robredo.
The eighth-seeded Russian will play Irakli Labadze for a spot in Sunday's final. Labadze, an Indian Wells semifinalist last month, received a walkover into the semifinals after 17-year-old Spaniard Rafael Nadal withdrew from their scheduled quarterfinal due to a small fracture in his left ankle.

After Safin and Robredo exchanged breaks in the third and fourth games of the final set, the pair stayed on serve into the decisive tiebreaker, which turned into a mental tug-of-war. Robredo, who spent much of the match running around his backhand, caught Safin off guard with a backhand winner to force a 3-3 tie. Safin snapped a volley winner to take a 4-3 lead, but Robredo responded winning the next two points to earn a 5-4 edge.

Sensing Robredo's desire to use his superior speed by playing longer rallies, Safin sought to shorten the points by approaching behind deep drives. Blocking a backhand volley winner crosscourt, Safin evened the tiebreaker at 5-5 then boldly rushed the net again and followed with another volley winner to reach match point.

The two hour, 27-minute struggle came to a sudden end when Robredo hit a double fault, returning the gift Safin gave the 2003 Roland Garros quarterfinalist when he double faulted on set point in the second set.

Often altering his return position to give Safin a variety of different looks, Robredo converted his third break point of the fourth game as an infuriated Safin clenched his racquet as if contemplating snapping it before calming down. Robredo consolidated the break by holding at love for 4-1. Two games later, Robredo held at 15 for a 5-2 lead. A frustrated Safin double faulted on break point to hand Robredo the second set, 6-2.

Safin stormed out to a 5-1 lead in the first-set tiebreaker before Robredo slightly slowed his momentum with an ace down the middle. Seeking to step inside the court and put pressure on Robredo, Safin followed a strong serve forward and belted a forehand winner crosscourt to earn four set points at 6-2. The former French Open semifinalist produced a serve-volley winner to take the first set.

goldenlox
Apr 16th, 2004, 11:56 PM
Safin surprises Robredo in Estoril quarterfinals


ESTORIL, Portugal (Ticker) -- Russian Marat Safin, seeking his first title since 2002, got by fourth-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo Friday in the quarterfinals of the Estoril Open.

Safin, a former world No. 1 who has 11 career titles, recorded a 7-6 (7-2), 2-6, 7-6 (7-5) to move into the semifinals for the first time since the Australian Open, where he lost in the final to Roger Federer of Switzerland.

"We were both fighting against each other and fighting against ourselves," Safin said. "Neither us of wanted to lose, and I think that given the [windy] conditions, we played good tennis."

The 24-year-old Safin defeated Robredo for the fourth time in six career meetings in a match that lasted two hours, 27 minutes. He will face Irakli Labadze of Georgia in the semifinals of this $665,000 clay-court tournament.

"We have known each other since we were nine years old and we have played together in Russia," Safin said of his next opponent. "We played in the Under-16 European championships and he beat me in the quarterfinals. He's one of my best friends and I really like him. It will be nice to play him and hopefully get revenge."

sirius21
Apr 17th, 2004, 02:27 PM
well...marat's into estoril finals now!

hope this marks the start of a positive spell for him

goldenlox
Apr 17th, 2004, 04:44 PM
Tennis - Safin to Face Chela in Lisbon Final
By REUTERS

Published: April 17, 2004


Filed at 12:21 p.m. ET

LISBON (Reuters) - Russia's Marat Safin was handed a place in the final of the Estoril Open when his opponent Irakli Labadze of Georgia was forced to pull out with a back injury Saturday. Safin, the eighth seed, will take on Juan Ignacio Chela after the Argentine fifth seed made short work of German qualifier Florian Mayer, winning their semi-final 6-3, 6-3.
Labadze was leading Safin 3-2 in the first set when he decided the pain in his back was too severe to continue.

``The injury happened first in Miami (in March),'' said Labadze. ``It just got worse and worse from playing too much.

``Better to stop now than to be out for two months.''

For Safin, who has already climbed to third in the Champions Race with his run in Lisbon, the manner of his victory was unimportant.

``I'm just really happy to be in the final,'' he said.

goldenlox
Apr 17th, 2004, 09:29 PM
Safin handed victory


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39976000/jpg/_39976757_safin203.jpg
Latest results (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/statistics/default.stm)

Marat Safin moved into the Estoril Open final when Irakli Labadze was forced to pull out of the semi-final suffering with back pain.

Labadze was leading 3-2 at the time when he decided the pain in his back was too severe to continue.

Safin will now play fifth seed Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina, who beat German qualifier Florian Mayer 6-3 6-3.

"It wasn't the best way to win, but this final is a great thing for me," said the Russian.

"I had a good warm-up and played a few games. That's enough for me today, I won't be going to the practise court.

"I'll just let the other two guys go out and do their job." Labadze reached the semi-final after Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal pulled out of their semi-final with a suspected hairline ankle fracture. "I would have had to pull out on Friday, but he did, so I took it," said the Georgian.

goldenlox
Apr 18th, 2004, 07:41 PM
Marat lost the final 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-3.


The fifth-seeded South American rallied after dropping the opening set, breaking the former Grand Slam champion and world number one twice in the second set and recovering in the third to seal the win.

Chela had previously been beaten all three times he had faced Safin, who despite the loss will move to third in the season points race.

Safin, who missed half of 2003 with a wrist problem, has now added Estoril to losses he took on clay in Barcelona last spring (against Carlos Moya) and a defeat by Roger Federer at the Australian Open in January.

The Russian stands 11-9 in career finals.

Chela, ranked 26th, is the second Argentine in three years to take the title in Portugal. David Nalbandian lifted the trophy in 2002, two months prior to making his run to the Wimbledon final against Lleyton Hewitt.

Chela, now 19-7 for the season, was competing in his first final since Long Island in August, 2002. His last title came in the Netherlands a month previously.

"Everybody knows that Safin is one of the best players in the world," said the winner who collected 35 race points and 72,120 euros.

"He's a great player with his serve a huge weapon. But I took my chances and was able to play my game. It's a great victory."

Until the loss, Safin had been pleased with his progress during his first week of the season on clay. The Russian advanced in a semi-final when opponent Irakli Labadze quit with a back injury after just five games.

Chela raced off with an early break in the first set, taking a 3-0 lead before Safin got untracked to hold for 1-3 as conditions brightened after a dull morning.

But Safin's big-match experience came to the fore as he got the break back to settle the set down on serve. The big Russian forced a tie-breaker and established a one-set margin with a win in the decider.

Chela went up a break midway through the second set and held onto the margin for 4-3.

The South American squared the match at a set apiece with a break in the penultimate game for 5-3, closing out the set 6-3. Chela took a 3-0 lead in the final set, but found himself level-pegging again as the revitalised Safin broke back for 2-3.

That setback seemed to inspire the South American, who got the break straight back before moving on to serve out the victory.

Warrior
Apr 18th, 2004, 08:47 PM
So far, Marat's progress this year looks a lot like a repeat of 2002.

goldenlox
Apr 18th, 2004, 09:08 PM
I thought Marat played great tennis in Melbourne. But he played a lot of long close matches, and I think it will take Marat time to get back to that level.
Maybe at Roland Garros.

goldenlox
Apr 19th, 2004, 01:29 AM
Marat Safin will work with Roger Federer's former coach Peter Lundgren for the clay and grasscourt seasons.


Wimbledon champion Federer split with Lundgren at the end of last year just weeks after winning the end-of-season Masters Cup.

"We'll see if it works - you have to feel comfortable with him as a person," said Safin, who was beaten by Federer in January's Australian Open final. "He is a partner off the court and you have to spend a lot of time with him."

goldenlox
Apr 19th, 2004, 09:26 PM
Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela defeated Russian Marat Safin 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-3 to win the Estoril Open on Sunday.


The eighth-seeded Safin took the first set by winning 7-2 on the tie-break before he made too many mistakes later on as Chela sealed the match in two hours 26 minutes and claim his third clay-court title of career.

"I knew it would be a long match," said Chela. "I was prepared for it and I was fortunate to win. This is an important victory for me."

After winning the tie-break, Safin couldn't find his consistency in the second set and committed too many errors, particularly on the forehand.

"Maybe I went for it too much," said Safin. "I started to make mistakes and I became frustrated as he became more solid."

After the break of serve, Safin received a penalty point for breaking a racket, a decision unsettling the Russian for the next few games.

Chela took advantage to clinch the set with another break and moved into a 3-0 lead in the third. "I think the penalty was really unfair," said Safin. "I lost the game and I threw the racket down but what was I going to do? It wasn't enough for a penalty."

goldenlox
Apr 20th, 2004, 12:20 AM
Tomorrow Marat is playing O. Rochus on the Tennis Channel. But if the weather is as great as it is today, I won't get to watch it until tomorrow night.

goldenlox
Apr 20th, 2004, 07:47 PM
Monaco absentees due to unrealistic schedule - Safin
Tue 20 April, 2004 16:45

MONACO, April 20 (Reuters) - A list of big-name absentees at this week's Monte Carlo Masters is the result of an unrealistic and gruelling schedule, Marat Safin said on Tuesday.

The Russian, who missed most of last season through injury, said the calendar of events burns players out mentally and physically which is why so many stay away from the principality.

World number one Roger Federer, number two Andy Roddick and America's world number five Andre Agassi all chose to miss the $2.89 million event despite it being such good preparation for next month's French Open.

"If you want to have all the best players in the world coming to Monte Carlo you need to give players some time to recover, to prepare, so they can give their best," Safin said after beating Olivier Rochus 4-6 6-3 6-3.

"Players try but they're coming from indoor tournaments or they're coming from Miami, which ended a tough month because you were playing in Indian Wells, you've been playing Scottsdale... all of a sudden you end up in Monte Carlo.



"A TAXI"

"Of course, if you lose one of these matches you lose confidence... then it's already Rome... Hamburg... then the French Open. Basically, you end up with more kilometres than a taxi.

"There is always a reason for not moving tournaments, changing the schedule. It is always 'because, because, because'... but or because'. Nobody ever agrees -- it is difficult.

"After a while you can get burned out completely. The schedule is so tight.

"Take for example Roddick. He is playing in Houston and then he has to fly overnight and play in Monte Carlo the next day -- if he's lucky he could put two balls in the court.

"Federer, also, he needs more time to prepare. "Something must be done."

goldenlox
Apr 20th, 2004, 10:52 PM
Safin fears player burn-out


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40061000/jpg/_40061493_safin270.jpg Safin says the tennis season is too long

Marat Safin fears that the relentless demands of the men's tennis tour are threatening the future of the game.

World number one and two Roger Federer and Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi are among the top players to withdraw from this week's Monte Carlo Masters.

"The schedule is very tough. We only have 10 days or two weeks vacation and then you start over again," said Safin.

"After a while you can get burned out completely. Tennis will suffer because of this," the Russian added.

"Players have physical problems because the schedule is so tight without any rest.

The Monaco event is one of the prestigious Masters events and has traditionally been a good warm-up tournament for the French Open.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifSafin, runner-up at Estoril on Sunday, staged a comeback to beat Belgium's Olivier Rochus 4-6 6-3 6-3 in the first round on Tuesday.

But former US Open champion believes that the schedule - which saw some of the top players playing in the US last week - is not flexible enough. "If you want the best players to come to Monte Carlo, you need to give them time to prepare and give their best. "You keep playing and then you lose this special feeling you have for the big tournaments, you don't enjoy it."

goldenlox
Apr 21st, 2004, 02:42 AM
Tomorrow is Marat-Max on red clay. Revenge for Minsk.

goldenlox
Apr 21st, 2004, 03:37 AM
Cry mercy

Safin says players are burned out, scheduling changes must be made




http://i.cnn.net/si/2004/tennis/04/20/safin.tired.ap/p1_safin0420_ap.jpg Safin wins opener in Monte Carlo after losing in Estoril final.
AP
MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) -- Marat Safin called for changes to the tennis schedule, saying Tuesday that players are burned out and big tournaments will suffer.

"Players have too much tennis," the 2000 U.S. Open champion said after beating Olivier Rochus 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at the Monte Carlo Masters. "If you want the best players, you have to give them time to prepare."

Safin pointed out that Andy Roddick pulled out of the Monte Carlo event Monday, a day after losing in the final of the U.S. Clay Court Championships in Houston.

Roddick would have had to "fly overnight from Houston, then play on clay the next day?" Safin said. "He's lucky if he puts two balls in the court."

The winning doubles team in Houston, James Blake and Mardy Fish, also pulled out of the Monte Carlo tournament. Top-ranked Roger Federer and Andre Agassi withdrew earlier.

"There has to be a solution," Safin said. "But the players are always playing, so they don't have time to sit down with the ATP organizers and arrange something. Tennis is a beautiful game, it would be a pity to spoil it."

tenn_ace
Apr 21st, 2004, 03:41 AM
Marat Safin



An interview with:

MARAT SAFIN
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. There is a difference here between this tournament and the other one, the balls and the..?
MARAT SAFIN: It's a little bit different because the balls are flying a little bit more, courts are little bit faster, and of course there's less wind. It's little bit better conditions, but it's also very difficult to change from one courts to another courts. It takes a little bit of time.
Also, I don't like to play against Olivier Rochus. It's little bit tough for me. He has very good hands, is very fast. He knows how to play. So for me, it was very important and very tough first round. It's just a big win for me.

Q. Were you tired at all?
MARAT SAFIN: No, I wasn't tired. I just was a little bit frustrated in the first set because I couldn't take my chances, because I had a lot of breakpoints and just I couldn't make any of them.
So then I thought that in the second set he would play with little bit more of confidence and would be very tough. But I stayed there, and made the break when I need to make. And I was all the time there, was doing well and playing good tennis.

Q. You're a very all court player. Do you think you have on clay the same chances you have on hard court? Do you feel the same?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I really like and I really enjoy to play on clay. I think it's still my best surface to play on.

Q. What are your goals for this year?
MARAT SAFIN: Still try to be more consistent as I can.
Then there's the hope that I can be in the Top 3, fight for No. 1. Federer, he is playing well, but also is just the beginning of the year. Still is a few months to go, three Grand Slams to play, a lot of Masters Series still to come.
But try to be consistent, and we can see at the end of the summer.

Q. Do you think that of all your opponents Federer is definitely one step up above everybody else?
MARAT SAFIN: I don't really think so. With all the respect, he plays great tennis. I know everybody knows that he's very talented, very good, and on all surfaces.
But also, other players also can play, but they're not used to play against him. So until they will discover how to play against him, it will take time. But I think that in this at this level, there is everybody is playing more or less equal. But because he has the confidence and he won the Australian Open, so he is playing on the confidences he got from there.

Q. You have a new coach. Why did you take this choice? What do you expect?
MARAT SAFIN: Because with Denis, it got to the point where you cannot just business and friendship does not go together at all, because I don't want to lose him as a friend. He's more important for me as a friend than as a coach. Every lose, you take it very personally, you get a little bit down, you know, like he is not really good not communication , how you say? Feelings. We playing little bit with the feelings of each other.
Peter Lundgren, he's a professional tennis coach. He been traveling with Rios, he been traveling with Federer. He knows how to deal with it. Also, he can put me in he can explain to me a couple of things that probably I should know.
And I want to try, I want to try to work. And if it will help me, it will be great. I am going to try until Wimbledon.

Q. How about Mirnyi, is he going to be tough for you?
MARAT SAFIN: Very difficult. Because the courts are little bit fast. He has a kind of game that he doesn't let you play, without rhythm. He serves well. No baseline, basically, and very good volleys. Anticipation, quite good. He chooses the ways that the game all of a sudden, you're playing from the baseline, you can find him at the net from out of nowhere. So this kind of game you have to be focused on the return and try to fight for every ball and just give everything back, and so he will see that it's tough from the beginning and he has to be very, very focus to beat me.

Q. Are you going to the football tonight?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. What do you think about the match? Give us your preview.
MARAT SAFIN: I'm for the football, I don't care who gonna win. I want to see beautiful football. But it's one of the matches you go to the stadium and the score is 0 0. So I don't think it's gonna happen tonight, otherwise, I will be really frustrated.
But I hope they can show really good football. Of course Monaco has to win, but I got the tickets from the Chelsea so I have to support them also (smiling).

Q. From Mr. Abramovich?
MARAT SAFIN: Yes.

Q. Do you know him?
MARAT SAFIN: No, not personally. Friend of the friend of the friend of the concierge of the hotel where he is staying (laughing). :haha: :haha: :haha:

goldenlox
Apr 21st, 2004, 03:43 AM
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I really like and I really enjoy to play on clay. I think it's still my best surface to play on.

Good. He can win Roland Garros.

bubble
Apr 21st, 2004, 05:26 AM
Q. What do you think about the match? Give us your preview.
MARAT SAFIN: I'm for the football, I don't care who gonna win. I want to see beautiful football. But it's one of the matches you go to the stadium and the score is 0 0. So I don't think it's gonna happen tonight, otherwise, I will be really frustrated.
But I hope they can show really good football. Of course Monaco has to win, but I got the tickets from the Chelsea so I have to support them also (smiling).

Marat got the results he had hoped for... 3-1 Monaco win. :angel:
So Marat, now it's your turn to give us the results we want to see from you. Beat Max in straight sets! :devil:

goldenlox
Apr 21st, 2004, 07:24 PM
Safin hoping Swede can keep him on straight and narrow
Wed 21 April, 2004 11:02

MONACO, April 21 (Reuters) - After sacking coach Denis Golovanov to save their friendship, moody Russian Marat Safin is hoping Peter Lundgren can keep him on the straight and narrow.

Last season the Swede led Roger Federer to Wimbledon glory and he has also coached temperamental Chilean Marcelo Rios, another former world number one.

At the Monte Carlo Masters, Safin said he hoped he would click with Lundgren.

"Peter Lundgren... he's a professional tennis coach," smiled the Russian. "He knows how to deal with it.

"If he can deal with Rios, he can deal with me," he laughed. "He can explain to me a couple of things that probably I should know.

"And I want to try, I want to try to work. And if it will help me, it will be great. I am going to try until Wimbledon."

Safin said he had parted ways with Golovanov as business began to get in the way of their relationship.

"With Denis, it got to the point where you cannot just... business and friendship does not go together at all -- I don't want to lose him as a friend.

"He's more important for me as a friend than as a coach.

"Every loss, you take it very personally, you get a little bit down, you know, like he is not really good.

"Feelings... We (started) playing a little bit with the feelings of each other." A former world number one and 2000 U.S. Open champion, Safin missed most of last year through injury but returned this year in spectacular fashion by reaching the Australian Open final before losing to Lundgren's former charge Federer.

goldenlox
Apr 21st, 2004, 07:27 PM
With Roddick out, Marat has a great draw -



The unseeded Safin subdued Belarusian Max Mirnyi 6-4, 6-3, as the big Russian seeks his second trip to a final in two weeks, having finished as the runner- up to Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela this past Sunday on the red clay in Estoril. Safin will battle Aussie lucky-loser Wayne Arthurs on Thursday, as Arthurs edged out French wild card Nicolas Devilder 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to advance.

goldenlox
Apr 22nd, 2004, 07:25 PM
Safin powers into Monte Carlo last eight
Thu 22 April, 2004 15:58


By Eric Salliot

MONACO, April 22 (Reuters) - Rejuvenated by the European clay, former world number one Marat Safin overpowered Australian Wayne Arthurs 6-4 6-2 on Thursday to reach the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals.

After some patchy hardcourt results the last few weeks, Safin followed his runners-up spot in Estoril last week by equalling his best result on the principality courts.

He reached last-eight here in 2002 before losing to Carlos Moya.

Flying high in only his second claycourt tournament of the year, the former U.S. Open champion freely admitted the luck of the draw had so far allowed him to avoid claycourt specialists.

"I just played two attacking players and it's better to be up against these guys than to run for miles against Argentines or Spaniards," said the Russian who beat Max Mirnyi in the previous round.

Against Arthurs, who grabbed a place in the draw as a lucky loser when top seed Andy Roddick pulled out, Safin only had to return his opponent's serve to impose his game in the 67 minutes of the match.

"Wayne is extremely hard to play on grass or hardcourt but on clay, it's something else. He served well, but it's much too slow for him," Safin said.

In the quarter-finals, he will at last face the challenge of a real specialist when he meets Alberto Martin. The Spaniard dismissed Argentine Agustin Calleri 6-3 3-6 7-6.

TheBoiledEgg
Apr 22nd, 2004, 08:06 PM
With Roddick out, Marat has a great draw -


why do you think he pulled out :tape:
Marat had a good draw even if he was there...... on clay Marat would kill him.

Marat should win tomorrow and make semis where he'll likely come up against Coria.

Davydenko has been playing awesome all week for once :eek:
62 62 over Ljubicic today, now he's got a tough 1/4 vs Moya (0-3 H2H)

goldenlox
Apr 22nd, 2004, 08:29 PM
Roddick just made the finals in Houston. Arthurs is a much easier draw.

goldenlox
Apr 22nd, 2004, 08:45 PM
Things are happening for towering Russian Marat Safin.

goldenlox
Apr 22nd, 2004, 08:52 PM
Safin concentrates on more work, less play
Thursday, 22 April , 2004, 07:45

Monaco: Marat Safin is determined to put behind him his reputation as a party animal and concentrate on work, work and more work.

Safin, who reached number one in the world and won the US Open in 2000, is widely regarded as one of tennis' great unfulfilled talents with many believing the 24-year-old should have more than just the one Grand Slam title to his name.

"I have to separate the business from the pleasure. For the next few months, I choose business and to work hard. After Wimbledon, I will take a few weeks off and enjoy it," said the Russian after brushing aside Max Mirnyi of Belarus 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters here on Wednesday.

"Sometimes you can have too much pleasure and you get to the stage where you need to take a rest."



Safin, however, refuses to make excuses for his lifestyle, firmly believing that there is more to life than tennis.

"For people it is a miracle whenever we are talking about life. It seems there is only tennis and there is nothing else outside the courts. But it's not like this.

"Everybody enjoys doing other things rather than tennis. I know, I had one year of vacation and I could do whatever I wanted to like any normal guy of 23 or 24," added Safin who missed large chunks of last year because of a wrist injury which limited him to just 13 tournaments as he slipped outside the top 50 for the first time since 1997.

This year, he is back to 25 in the world after reaching the final of the Australian Open and hammering home his clay court ability by finishing as runner-up in Estoril last weekend.

"It's very annoying when people come up to you and try to explain: 'You should be calmer, you should better.'

"But these people are losers because they don't know how much time, how much dedication, how much it takes to be where I am right now."

"At the end of the day, I will be who I will be and I will win as much as I can win."

"People come to me and say: 'You should have won five Grand Slams by now.' Sorry, but for some reason I couldn't. I wish I had but it doesn't work that way."

"Sometimes you are playing against yourself. Sometimes you have to fight yourself. It's difficult to push sometimes, sometimes you are scared, you are choking, not feeling confident." Safin, whose next task here is a third round clash against Australia's Wayne Arthurs, insists his new regime should stand him in good stead ahead of the French Open where he was a semi-finalist the last time he played there in 2002. "I just want to keep it cool, go match by match. I have long months ahead of me, long tournaments. If I get too excited right now, maybe I will be burned out by the time of the French Open."

TheBoiledEgg
Apr 23rd, 2004, 03:11 AM
Roddick just made the finals in Houston. Arthurs is a much easier draw.
even i could have made Houston final, that draw was easier than Challengers :o jk, all the good clay courters were conveniently "placed" in other half.
he met one good player, Haas and got spanked.

TheBoiledEgg
Apr 23rd, 2004, 11:40 AM
Marat into SF of Monte Carlo for 1st time
6-3 3-6 6-1 win

should have been alot easier
had match in bag at 6-3 *1-0
then a few brain cramps set in and he was 1-4 down.

now a SF vs Coria/Nalbandian
interesting.

well done Marat
Kolya on soon

tenn_ace
Apr 23rd, 2004, 12:43 PM
should have been alot easier
had match in bag at 6-3 *1-0
then a few brain cramps set in and he was 1-4 down.


:haha:


good luck to Kolya... he's losing to Carlos right now (a set), so hopefully he'll fight.

goldenlox
Apr 23rd, 2004, 07:06 PM
http://wwwi.reuters.com/images/2004-04-23T203227Z_01_NOOTR_RTRJONP_1_India-152438-2-pic0.jpg (http://javascript<img%20src=&quot;ubb/tongue.gif&quot;%20border=&quot;0&quot;%20alt=&quot;&quot;%20title=&quot;stick%2 0out%20tongue&quot;%20smilieid=&quot;6&quot;%20class=&quot;inlineimg&quot;% 20/>hotoPopup('newsPhotoPresentation.jsp?type=sportsNe ws&locale=en_IN&imageID=1001102326')) http://www.reuters.com/locales/images/clear.gifSafin first into Monte Carlo semis

By Eric Salliot

MONACO (Reuters) - Marat Safin reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time by overpowering Alberto Martin 6-3 3-6 6-1 on Friday.

The Russian will face Carlos Moya for a place in Sunday's final after the Spaniard destroyed Safin's compatriot Nikolay Davydenko 6-4 7-6.

In the bottom half of the draw, fourth seed Rainer Schuettler wasted no time dismissing a lightweight Tim Henman. The burly German hammered the sixth-seeded Briton 6-3 6-1 in just 62 minutes.

Schuettler will have a much harder task on Saturday when he lines up opposite Guillermo Coria or David Nalbandian.

Last year's runner-up Coria is the tournament favourite but his fellow Argentine Nalbandian would make an equally worthy opponent for the German. The pair meet in the last quarter-final later on Friday.

Safin had been a strong favourite heading into his last- eight clash, having won all five previous matches against the Spaniard, and did not disappoint.

"I wanted to finish the match quickly in the second set and that is when I started to make some mistakes," Safin said.

"But then in the third set I got my confidence back and that was it."

U.S. Open champion in 2000, Safin was playing his first quarter-final at a Masters Series event since Bercy in 2002.

He missed much of last season through injury but returned to the circuit in fine fashion this year, reaching the final of the Australian Open.

Now ranked 25th in the world, Safin knows he has a big job ahead of him with Coria or Nalbandian blocking his path to the final.

"I played more aggressive, attacking players earlier in the tournament, now I am facing the real claycourt specialists," he said. "It is not easy to change your game to do this. But I will try. "Today was the first real claycourt test. I am happy I came through. But Coria or Nalbandian will be really tough."

bubble
Apr 24th, 2004, 04:29 AM
MARAT SAFIN



THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat, please.

Q. From the seats, it was a strange match. You looked in control of the match when it first started, then everything went bad, then you came back. What happened exactly?

MARAT SAFIN: No, but just a little bit difficult for me to play after the matches that I played against Mirnyi and Arthurs, then to go and completely change the game, to switch and to play also great match against Martin. Because, yeah, you can play one set, but then he start to get used to the fast, fast rallies. So the only thing he could try to do is to make me play an extra ball. So it also is, for me, is difficult to adjust myself.
So I little bit had the match in control. I breaked in the second set, first game. But then he start to play better. He started to miss less. I was trying maybe to go for too much. I start to rush a little bit.
But then by the time I realize it, it was already the end of the second set. I tried. He played well.
And the third set I just had to hold my serve and wait for the opportunity and take it.

Q. Towards the end of the second set you were touching your back. Did you have problems or..?

MARAT SAFIN: No, just a little bit of recharge. Because for two weeks, a lot of matches. So it's kind of...
No problem.
Q. You stay in Monte-Carlo? You live in Monte -Carlo?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, whenever I can.

Q. Where exactly?
MARAT SAFIN: Upstairs, in Park St. Roman.

Q. So you just walk from there?
MARAT SAFIN: No, but I stay in the hotel.

Q. Yes? Why?
MARAT SAFIN: Because the hotel room is bigger than my apartment (laughter). :haha:

Q. What is most difficult for you on clay, to adjust to clay? You played a lot on clay when you were very young. What is it?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but it's, for everybody, is a big change. You have to play an extra few balls. You have to prepare more the point. You cannot just play fast shot and go to the net and whatever, and wait for the short ball.
Here, we have to play. You make him run, and you have to wait, wait, wait. You cannot just make winners all over the court because it's a little bit slower, the bounce is little bit higher. The serve doesn't work this way like it works on the hard courts. So you have to play, you have to be consistent, you have to be focused a little bit more and wait for an extra ball, because it's always coming back. You have to finish the point, like, properly.

Q. What is difficult for you? Is it the concentration more than the physical part or technical part?

MARAT SAFIN: Just be, you know, be focused during all the match because the match is very long and the other opponent has a lot of opportunities to come back because it's very slow, so he also thinks. And, you know, it takes time.
On hard courts maybe it's very fast because it's just fast, fast, and two points and one bad return from him and just one double-fault and I play a good shot, and that's it, the game is over.

Q. So next - Coria or Nalbandian. What can you say about that?

MARAT SAFIN: They're pretty similar players. They're playing the same , all the same game. They attack whenever they can, they like to control the point, they don't like to be dominated. And of course they are running fast, they have very good -- well, good legs, good hands.
So you have to be -- but it's a kind of similar Spanish style. You have to push them and be in control of all the match from the beginning. Otherwise, it's a little bit difficult. Because once they start to be confident and then it's difficult to turn the other way around.
Q. Are you ready physically?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. Semifinals, it's a great motivation for me to get into the finals.

Q. First time?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, so it's good. So I hope I have a little bit of luck tomorrow, I'll have more opportunities that I can finish in two sets. But just have to be really, really focused for that, have to really play well, have to serve well, be consistent to not make a lot of unforced errors, be there all the match.

Q. Do you get the feeling, Marat, that this could be a very good year for you? Are you beginning to feel in yourself that this could be a good time?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, well, just...

Q. You give that impression.

MARAT SAFIN: You cannot be so sure, you know, the year is gonna be really good for you. Because once you start to feel this , once you start to have this feeling, you have bad luck or you're not playing -- you start to play not really well, you have bad draws. So you never know.
For example, me, I had -- for all the months of February, I had Federer first round, Roddick I had, and so it wasn't like really they beat me, it was just a matter of two points - 7-6, 7-6 against Federer. Roddick was a little bit lucky in the first set, so in the second set I felt a little bit frustrated so I didn't play.
These kind of matches, they cut your motivation.

Q. Yeah.

MARAT SAFIN: But once it's starting all over again, played well in Estoril, playing well here. Will try to have a rest next week, then Rome, Hamburg and French Open and then slow down a little bit, prepare for the grass, a big tournament in Wimbledon, and we'll see how it's gonna go.
Then I will take a few months -- a few weeks off before the big -- before I go to the States.

Q. It seems as though you're enjoying it, you're getting a lot of enjoyment out of it.

MARAT SAFIN: You have to prepare. You have to prepare a little bit. It has to be -- of course if you don't enjoy it, it's really difficult for me to play. Just it's really difficult. Otherwise, sometimes it's a little bit boring. So you have to make it very interesting for yourself not to get bored, because it's really difficult job and it's really difficult thing to travel around the world and living in a -- traveling with a suitcase and living in hotel rooms.
So you have to make it interesting.

Q. You have to be motivated?

MARAT SAFIN: Of course. If you are winning, it's great. But whenever you have two big losses, then it's like everything goes down and you have to really push yourself a little bit to work on something. It's tough, but...

Q. Do you think that you take losses harder than most?

MARAT SAFIN: Not anymore. Not anymore. Yeah, I'm get frustrated on the court whenever I'm losing; everybody does. But outside the court I am taking very easy right now because my time will come. Whenever I have the opportunities, I will take them. Everybody will lose some day. There's no chance to win all the time. There's no chance that you're gonna play great tennis during all the year.
Sometimes you have really bad losses to the people that you shouldn't lose in a thousand years. It's gonna happen. It's gonna happen to everybody for some circumstances. So you have to accept this. It's a part of the job.

Q. You talk a lot about frustration. For someone young and with a great potential like you, is a word important. Can you explain to me the difference between the frustration of losing or not being able to play, to win, against someone you think you are better than; and playing against someone like Federer or Roddick, you feel you are the same level, and you lose for one ball, two balls. What is the difference between the two situations?

MARAT SAFIN: You can...
No, because against Federer, Roddick, it's kind of -- is a big player, and you gonna play well, you know that. Because it's just it's a kind of a challenge. It's already motivate you, it's already giving you extra power, and you want to beat him. It's a kind of a challenge.
But once you play against the players you think you have to win, you have to find this thing in case something goes wrong. For example, today, for me, it was -- I beat him five times. And for me, it's like I knew that I have to win - I mean, that I have to win. So once you are winning 6-3, 1-0 and you really want to finish it, just make it short, make it two sets, "Thank you very much, Bye-bye," then comes the problems when he start to play better, and you are keep on going faster and faster, you know, to finish, because you really want to finish. You don't want to stay here for three sets, you don't want to suffer in the third set, in case he gonna play well, you gonna miss a few shots, he start to play unbelievable shots. You don't want to get to this point.
So you get frustrated with yourself. You see it, and for some reason you cannot get it. You miss by a little bit, you miss little bit there, little bit there. He played well one ball, and it's, like, unacceptable sometimes from my mind but...
But that's really difficult, because you have to understand that other people, they know how to play tennis also.

Q. He was playing well.

MARAT SAFIN: He played a great match. But just this kind of tennis, it just make you a little bit nervous.
Because really, I understand -- I started to understand better the game over the years. And you know what's gonna happen, you see it coming. And when it comes, you get frustrated by that because you see it coming.

Q. What is the way to cope with that? Is it to stick to the basics, say, "Move your feet, watch the ball, hit cross-court..." Things like that?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but sometimes, you know, like you go, because it's your nature. You don't fight the nature, you know. It's like nature, you don't want to go down the line, but you go. It just like automatically calls for it. You miss it. Then you say to yourself, "I shouldn't have done that."
But once you don't miss it, so that's normal. But once you miss it, that's not normal. So these kind of things.
I also speak to guys like Henman or Costa, and I say, "Is it true once you are young, you have no fear, you are playing the matches and you don't understand anything basically about tennis. You are playing and you don't care about the score."
But now you start with the time, you start to...

Q. You start to lose your innocence?

MARAT SAFIN: No, but...just, yeah. You lose your virginity.
Once you start to know, understand tennis really good, you see, you can predict what's gonna happen. So that's why sometimes you choke, sometimes you start to be scared, that's why when you only play against the young guys you don't play really good tennis, and then you start to play and win ugly. But it's like this.

Q. Then you win if you take some risk? So it comes again.
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's all coming back.

Q. It's like life.
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, exactly. There is nothing... Don't fight the nature. Don't fight it.


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Looks like he will be giving Barcelona a miss next week. Good decision.

goldenlox
Apr 24th, 2004, 02:32 PM
Marat lost the semi 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. I saw all of Marat's wins this week. He was not playing as well as he did in Melbourne.
If Marat can get back to that form, he can the French Open.

goldenlox
Apr 26th, 2004, 02:12 AM
Safin pays the price
By Clive White
(Filed: 25/04/2004)



Marat Safin, like another Russian millionaire earlier in the week, went for broke here yesterday and paid the price. Unlike Roman Abramovich, however, Safin had only himself to blame - he isn't hiring a coach until later this week.



Potentially, one of the best three or four players in the world, he lacks the patience for the slow burner of clay-court tennis and against someone with the patience of Job such as Guillermo Coria, that can be fatal.

The artful little Argentine, so redolent of football's Dennis Wise, is fast building an unparalleled reputation on clay - this was his 25th consecutive victory on the red stuff since he unexpectedly capitulated against Martin Verkerk at Roland Garros in the semi-finals of last year's French Open. And, even more remarkably, he has lost only four sets in the process.

The fourth was here in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters yesterday when Safin took the second set so emphatically - 6-1 - that one wondered whether Coria's run was about to bite the dust.

But he is so resourceful that he can never be discounted, even against someone as powerful as Safin, and came back to win 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in 1hr 51min, thereby making his second consecutive Monte Carlo final. In it he will meet today Rainer Schuettler, who could be roaring to victory here a month before fellow "Schu" takes his customary place on the winner's podium in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Yesterday the German tennis player, so impressive against Britain's Tim Henman in the quarter-finals, accounted for yet another fellow former world No 1 when he beat Carlos Moya 7-6, 6-4 with the sort of consistency which epitomised Coria's victory. Schuettler had previously disposed of Gustavo Kuerten and Lleyton Hewitt.

Juan Carlos Ferrero, who beat Coria in last year's final, may still be the man to beat on clay, assuming he rediscovers his form. But if not, one need look no further than Coria for his successor at Roland Garros.

Safin has his own views on whether Coria is bred to triumph at the French. "For him, I think it's a little bit difficult," he said. "While he is really in shape, he doesn't serve big, really good, it's not like a powerful serve. He doesn't really get free points."

Untimely though such an observation was, tasting just a little bit of the sour grapes not normally found in these parts, he may have a point. But what Coria lacks in power he more than makes up for with a consistency which Safin can only dream about. The unseeded Russian's game was never more erratic than at the start of the match, which got under way against the noisy hubbub of the Monte Carlo Country Club diners.

Having opened with an emphatic service game, he allowed Coria to save three break points on his own opening service game. There is the distinct impression that rallies bore Safin and the sooner he can curtail them with a booming forehand or a double backhander which he sometimes literally jumps into the better. The trouble is the rallies are sometimes ended with the wrong outcome from his point of view.

After missing most of last year with a wrist injury, Safin's enthusiasm was rekindled by his remarkable comeback at the Australian Open, where he went all the way to the final before running out of steam against Roger Federer.

A subsequent closer and more frustrating loss to the world No 1 in Dubai convinced Safin that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em or at least join up with their old coach. Hence Safin's decision to link up with Peter Lundgren, Federer's old coach, for a trial this week in Barcelona.

Safin must hope that the Swede can rid him of his impetuosity which finally got the better of him in the eighth game of the third set, which he lost to love on his own service. It came courtesy of two sloppy forehands, a perfectly weighted drop shot by Coria and an errant backhand by Safin that so disgusted its executioner that he belted the ball over the clubhouse, earning a warning from the umpire. "I'll catch him another time," vowed Safin of his tormentor.

goldenlox
Apr 26th, 2004, 07:52 PM
Once-and-future King?


Hot on the heels of his Monte Carlo success, Argentina's Guillermo Coria may be the man of the future, but don't overlook the once-and-future great Marat Safin. Although Coria beat Safin in the semis, the Russian showed glimpses of the form that made him world number one, writes Grégory Lanzenberg.


http://www.eurosport.com/img3/article.gif NEWS: Coria out of Barcelona (http://www.eurosport.com/sport.asp?LangueID=0&SportID=57&StoryID=579906&eventid=6177)
http://www.eurosport.com/img3/camera.gif SAFIN: Out of gas in Australian Open final (javascript:MM_openBrWindow('/zones/V3/multim/popup/Player_Container.asp?LangueID=0&VideoID=14697&SportID=57&StoryID=580043','audiovideo','width=600,height=540 ,left=80,top=80'))


"I'll catch him another time," said Safin after his 4-6 6-1 3-6 loss to Coria on Saturday.

That other time just may well be at the French Open in Paris next month.

http://www.eurosport.com/imgbk/TENNIS/ALL/MD-I139823.jpg True, when you play an opponent who returns as well as Coria and who rallies better than a Michael Chang at his best, it takes a while to get used to the pace.

After losing the first set, Safin manage to serve & volley and overpower Coria from the baseline. He crushed the Argentine 6-1 in the second.

But the third set was typical Safin: Three perfect service game, then a misjudgment from the chair empire that rattled the Monaco resident enabling Coria to break and win the match.

Last season's wrist injury aside, you might say that Safin has never really recovered from crushing Pete Sampras at age 20 in the 2000 U.S. Open final.

The long list of opportunities offered in a silver platter include the 2002 Australian Open where Sweden's Thomas Johansson prevailed in a match Safin should have won and 2002 Roland Garros where Safin inexplicably gave up the ghost to Juan Carlos Ferrero in straight sets.

GYM RAT?

It's all the more inexplicable that Safin when he's focussed is unperturbable like in his US Open win over Sampras, or more recently his five-set epic victory this year over Andre Agassi at the Australian Open or his wins over France in Paris in the 2002 Davis Cup final.

http://www.eurosport.com/imgbk/BASKBL/ALL/MD-I130947.jpgAlong with world number one Roger Federer, Safin - now 23 - remains the most gifted player on the tour . If the Moscow native played at full potential all of the time he'd be world number two just behind the Swiss.

So which Safin will show up in Paris? The good one, he promised.

"I'm really, really getting in shape."

"I'm optimistic about the French because my preparation has been good and it's in five sets, which gives me more time to correct my faults."

"I'm really, really getting in shape," he added, a repeat of the statement that was met with scepticism before this year's Australian Open, scepticism that was quelled with his brilliant wins over Agassi and Andy Roddick.

TheBoiledEgg
May 2nd, 2004, 02:08 PM
looks like Kolya is going to have to show the way to OAF and Co ;)

he beat The Face (Verkerk) in the Munich final 6-4 7-5 to win his 3rd title :)

well done Kolya ;) :D

goldenlox
May 2nd, 2004, 02:41 PM
I saw his match against Federer in Miami, and I could see he has game -


BERLIN (Reuters) - Russian Nikolay Davydenko upset fourth seed Martin Verkerk in Sunday's Munich Open final, winning 6-4, 7-5 to capture his third career title.

The unseeded Davydenko, a winner in Adelaide and Estoril last year, showed more composure when it mattered to beat last year's French Open runner-up in an hour and 40 minutes.

Davydenko, who has now beaten Dutchman Verkerk twice in as many meetings, broke his opponent in the ninth game of the first set and went on to take the set after 40 minutes with his opponent hitting a forehand wide on set point.

The second set was tight until Verkerk dropped served again in the 11th game to enable Davydenko to serve for the match.

The 22-year-old Russian won the last game to love, sealing victory with an ace on the first match point. Verkerk, 25, who won his only title so far in Milan last year, relied on his trademark strong serve but made

goldenlox
May 2nd, 2004, 11:51 PM
Rankings (http://www.sportsline.com/tennis/rankings) · Schedules (http://www.sportsline.com/tennis/schedules) · Players (http://www.sportsline.com/tennis/players)
Roddick, Safin among evacuated amid fatal hotel fire in Italy
May 1, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports
ROME -- A fire broke out at a luxury hotel Saturday, killing three people and forcing the evacuation of tennis stars Andy Roddick (http://www.sportsline.com/tennis/players/playerpage/219950), Marat Safin (http://www.sportsline.com/tennis/players/playerpage/201588) and other players in the Italian Open.

None of the players was injured, said Nicola Arzani, communications director for the ATP Tour.

The fire broke out at about 5:15 a.m. in Room 305 of the five-star Parco dei Principi hotel, police and fire officials said. Police took two American women, 24 and 25, in for questioning because the blaze started in their room, but said they were being treated as witnesses, not suspects.

Smoke and flames spread quickly throughout the floor and to other parts of the hotel.

One American man died after he tried to escape the fire by shimmying down his balcony using a bedsheet and slipped, police official Giuseppe Andruzzi said at a news conference. Firefighters found a Canadian couple dead in their bathroom, apparently after they suffocated from the smoke, he said.

The blaze and smoke forced the evacuation of the hotel's 350 guests, including the second-ranked Roddick of the United States, the Russian Safin, Mariano Zabaleta (http://www.sportsline.com/tennis/players/playerpage/201612) of Argentina and Max Mirnyi (http://www.sportsline.com/tennis/players/playerpage/219928) of Belarus.

Mirnyi was seen covering himself with a blanket outside the hotel in the early morning cold, wearing only shorts.

The Italian Open starts Monday, and nearly all the affected players had to rearrange their practice schedules, Arzani said.

"A lot of people lost equipment," Arzani said.

The American women taken in for questioning were permitted to leave Italy, Andruzzi said.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman said the women had spoken with a U.S. consular official.

Police and fire officials identified the dead as James Lawery, of Georgia, and Bernice Mary Joan Busque of Connors, Canada and Paul Emile Busque of Lac Frontier, Canada.

The U.S. Embassy spokesman said the wife of the dead American had survived the blaze.

KV
May 3rd, 2004, 12:14 PM
Sad story in Rome. Well done Kolya :)

goldenlox
May 4th, 2004, 09:15 PM
Russian Nikolay Davydenko stayed hot on Tuesday with a 6-2, 6-2 pasting of Armenian Sargis Sargsian. The surging Davydenko has won nine of his last 10 matches and will next battle 13th-seeded Chilean slugger Fernando Gonzalez in the second round.
Australian Open runner-up Marat Safin advanced with a 6-4, 6-3 decision over Italian wild card Stefano Pescosolido. The mighty Safin will encounter 10th- seeded Thai Paradorn Srichaphan here on Wednesday.

goldenlox
May 4th, 2004, 10:49 PM
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040504/capt.gb11105042150.italian_open_gb111.jpg Tue May 4, 5:53 PM EThttp://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/p/ap120.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/brand/SIG=br2v03/*http://www.ap.org)
Marat Safin of Russia returns a backhand to Stefano Pescosolido of Italy, during the Italian Tennis open at Rome's Foro Italico Complex, Tuesday, May 4, 2004. Safin won the match 6-4, 6-3. (AP Photo/Gregorio

goldenlox
May 6th, 2004, 08:37 PM
ANDREW DAMPF, Associated Press Writer

http://sfgate.com/templates/types/universal/graphics/clear.gifThursday, May 6, 2004
http://sfgate.com/templates/brands/breakingnews/graphics/logo_ap.gif (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/05/06/sports1556EDT0300.DTL#sections)


(05-06) 12:56 PDT ROME (AP) --

Marat Safin, Lleyton Hewitt and Tim Henman joined the long list of top players making early exits from the Italian Open.

Safin lost to eighth-seeded Nicolas Massu 7-5, 6-4 in his second match of the day, former No. 1 Hewitt was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 by Andrei Pavel, and fourth-seeded Henman was eliminated 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 by Mariano Zabaleta.

The clay-court tournament's top-seeded trio of Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Rainer Schuettler lost earlier in the week.

Three straight days of bad weather disrupted matches across the Foro Italico, and Thursday's play combined the second and third rounds.

Safin, the 2000 U.S. Open champion and twice an Australian Open runner-up, beat 10th-seeded Paradorn Srichaphan 6-2, 6-2 Thursday, then struggled a few hours later to keep up with the much fresher Massu.

Both players stayed at the baseline for more than two hours of lengthy rallies, and Safin sought respite during changeovers, breathing deeply and resting his arms on the back of his chair as if he were sitting on his sofa at home. After a slow start, Safin made a valiant effort to get back in the match and make both sets close, but ultimately was undone by 45 unforced errors (Massu had 29). Safin was scheduled to play a doubles match with partner Mark Philippoussis later Thursday.

KV
May 7th, 2004, 01:35 PM
Pretty disappointing loss to Massu. But now he only can go up on the rankings. Fortunately he's a more complete all courter than players like Massu.

sirius21
May 7th, 2004, 01:48 PM
yeah... he's not just an all courter... he's a pretty good all surface player as well... which is a very comforting thought

the cat
May 7th, 2004, 03:15 PM
Davydenko is playing well. :) But Safin and Youzhny continue to dissapoint. :(

goldenlox
May 8th, 2004, 09:23 PM
This is next week's TMS -

Sargsian, Sargis v Davydenko, Nikolay
Safin, Marat v Grosjean, Sebastien (8)


Youzhny, Mikhail v Kiefer, Nicolas
Burgsmuller, Lars (wc) v Schuettler, Rainer (4)

goldenlox
May 10th, 2004, 07:06 PM
Safin ousts Grosjean in Hamburg
Mon 10 May, 2004 17:06


http://wwwi.reuters.com/images/2004-05-10T164323Z_01_GRI057985_RTRUKOP_1_PICTURE0.jpg (javascript:commonPopup('newsPhotoPresentation.jht ml?type=sportsNews&imageID=1001134055', 540, 525, 1))

By Patrick Vignal

HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Russia's Marat Safin recovered from a sluggish start to squeeze past Sebastien Grosjean 7-6 7-5 on the opening day of the Hamburg Masters.

The former world number one, twice a finalist in the northern German port city, fought back from 3-0 down and survived two sets points in the opening set before knocking the eighth-seeded Frenchman out of the claycourt event

The towering Russian, who started the year by reaching the Australian Open final, trailed 5-1 in the opening set's tiebreak but then produced a string of brilliant winners to take it 8-6.

The second set was equally close until Safin converted his first match point with a superb forehand winner to seal victory in just under two hours.

"It's the kind of match you have to finish somehow," Safin said after the boost to his preparations for the French Open starting on May 24. "With a bit of luck he (Grosjean) could have won it in straight sets but I just kept going. This is very good for my confidence. It's a great win."

KV
May 11th, 2004, 01:58 PM
Very good win. Depending on M. Fish results this week or whether he has points to defend. Very good chance for Marat to crack the top 20. Go Marat. :)

goldenlox
May 12th, 2004, 06:37 PM
Tennis: Safin provides usual rollercoaster ride as he beats Grosjean

HAMBURG, Germany : Marat Safin, the temperamental former world number one, went through his familiar repertoire, breaking a racket, gaining a code violation warning and upsetting the seedings on the opening day of the fifth Masters Series of the year.
The 24-year-old Russian continued his attempt to regain the pinnacle with a tempestuous 7-6 (8/6), 7-5 win over Sebastien Grosjean, the eighth-seeded Frenchman, who held two set points in the first set and led 5-1 in the tie-break.
Grosjean was not the only seed to exit on the first day of the tournament as Paradorn Srichaphan's miserable clay court season continued as he went out in straight sets to Olivier Rochus while the Czech Republic's Jiri Novak was another high-profile casualty going down to Germany's wild card entrant Florian Mayer in three sets.
Safin was not happy with his play despite his battling performance.
"Neither of us played well," claimed Safin.
"It was a pain in the arse to stay there and try to struggle. It was a nightmare to play this kind of tennis. He should have won that first set."
Safin nevertheless fought hard from 2-5 down in that set, playing out a large number of consistent rallies, broke back tenaciously when Grosjean was serving for it at 5-3, and produced a model point to save the set when he was advantage point down on his serve at 4-5.
But his frustration boiled over when he missed a chance to reach set point in the next game, sending a forehand drive into the net from inside the baseline, and putting a moderate return of serve into the net on the next point.
He hurled his racket down, cracking the frame, and just in case the umpire had not seen it whacked it against the net post right under the officials eyes. The code of conduct warning became inevitable.
He then played a model point to save the second set point at 5-6 in the tie-break, grabbed his first set point with a heavy serve, and broke Grosjean again in the final game of the match.
It was a patchy performance but by no means a bad one and Safin's self-critical reaction indicated the intensity of his desire to climb from his current position of world number 21.
It also suggested that the system of a 150 dollar fine to his coach for every racket broken, which Safin used to operate with Mats Wilander, will not apply to his new mentor Peter Lundgren.
"I can't change - I'm too old," said the 24-year-old, smiling at last.
He then cheered up as he began to talk about his fortnight-old professional relationship with Roger Federer's former coach.
"We don't know how it will work. I have to make sure I don't bother him, and he doesn't bother me," he said wryly. "But we will try to work together until Wimbledon and see what happens."

goldenlox
May 12th, 2004, 06:56 PM
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040512/capt.hbg11205121755.germany_hamburg_masters_hambur g_hbg112.jpg
Russia's Mikhail Youzhny cries out after defeating Germany's Lars Burgsmueller at the Tennis Masters in Hamburg, northern Germany

goldenlox
May 12th, 2004, 06:57 PM
http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20040512/i/r277637420.jpg Wed May 12, 9:30 AM EThttp://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/p/reuters120.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/reuters/brand/SIG=pd7i95/*http://www.reuters.com)
Russian player Marat Safin returns the ball to Sargis Sargsian of Armenia during their match at the Hamburg Masters Tennis tournament, May 12 Safin won 46 63 63.

tenn_ace
May 13th, 2004, 02:15 PM
according to Russian media, Marat was having a good time last night again...

http://www.gazeta.ru/sport/2004/05/a_108425.shtml

goldenlox
May 13th, 2004, 04:14 PM
Melzer bewildered an off-peak Safin with an array of crafty clay-court shots and used his second match point to stun the Russian.

Earlier, Melzer blew another match point at 5-3. But with Safin serving at deuce, the Austrian left-hander used a deft backhand drop shot to draw Safin to the net, then passed him with a superb backhand to win the match in one hour and 43 minutes.

In his first two matches in Hamburg, Melzer had lost only four games.

A frustrated Safin at one point broke the chair of a linesman with his racket.

Safin reached the final of the Australian Open at the start of the year and came into the match ranked No. 5 in the ATP race for the seasonal top ranking. He had 31 unforced errors for 18 for Melzer, who hit 28 winners. Safin had only 11.

"The second set was a real battle," said Melzer, who was down a break of serve before pulling level at 2-2.

"That rebreak was huge. He thought he had me and he played a couple of sloppy points and I was back," Melzer said.

Safin complained about the early hour of the match and the equality of balls.

"I didn't really feel like playing tennis today. I had no motivation. I didn't want to be on court. I'm not a morning person," he said.

"The balls are of bad quality, they are a nightmare, you don't have confidence in your shots," Safin said.

Safin, a former No 1 in the world and two-time Hamburg finalist, said he would not go to the French Open if he remained so unmotivated. "At the level I'm playing now, I'd have no chance. Hopefully, I'll be in better shape,' Safin said

KV
May 14th, 2004, 01:41 PM
Well done Misha, :) but Marat. :sad:

goldenlox
May 14th, 2004, 05:24 PM
Safin may boycott French Open
May 14, 2004

Former world number one Marat Safin launched a blistering attack on the Association of Tennis Professionals after crashing to a surprise defeat in the third round of the Masters Series.

The Russian was angry about the balls being used, alleging that the ATP, the governing body which runs the men's tour, did not care and that it was ignoring complaints.

The temperamental 24-year-old also suggested he might pull out of the French Open, starting in ten days.

"The courts are soft which give a lot of bad bounces (in Hamburg), but it's also the balls we are playing with. They are ridiculous," claimed Safin who was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Jurgen Melzer, the world number 68 from Austria.

"Everyone is complaining and the ATP doesn't do anything to change them. I spoke to many players who think the same and it seems like the ATP doesn't care.

"For players who have a big serve, you can't play. All of a sudden the ball is going straight to the fence and you have no confidence in your shots. You start to play a bit slower. Everything goes out and you don't enjoy it.

"Players are complaining to the ATP, but they just find a thousand excuses. They just say we are wrong.
"The quality of the sport is important but it seems the ATP don't care about it. They say also that I am not allowed to speak this way, but the balls are not very good.

"It's not important who is complaining or that I lost today. About 99 per cent of the top 50 are not happy with the balls because they can't feel them.

"There is something wrong with the structure of the ball, with the air in the ball. They are like stones."

When asked what he planned to do next, Safin said he would go home to Monte Carlo and practice, but that he might pull out of Paris, even though a different brand of ball will be used there.

"I am not motivated at all right now," he insisted. "These kind of matches and this kind of tennis makes me not want to fight.

"If I don't feel like going to the French Open at the last moment then I won't go. To struggle and be a loser - I am not this kind of guy. If I am going to go I want to go there big time and I want to start winning."

The ATP denied 99 per cent of the players had complained.

"That is an exaggeration," said Weller Evans, ATP Tour manager.

goldenlox
May 20th, 2004, 12:57 AM
Safin hints at missing French Open

By Patrick Vignal

HAMBURG, Germany, (Reuters) - Former world number one Marat Safin hinted that he might miss the French Open after losing 6-4 6-4 to unheralded Austrian Juergen Melzer in the Hamburg Masters third round on Thursday.

"I only go to tournaments when I feel like playing and if I believe I can win," the Russian said of his chances of entering the Paris Grand Slam starting on May 24.

"If I don't feel like going and if I don't think I can win, I don't go," added the 24-year-old, a semi-finalist in Paris two years ago.

"Now I'll go home, take a rest, maybe hit a few balls and we'll see how I feel."

Safin, twice a finalist in Hamburg, looked nervous throughout as the 22-year-old Melzer reached the quarter-finals of a Masters Series event for the first time.

Both players held serve until Melzer broke the Australian Open finalist with a forehand winner to take the first set in 45 minutes.

Safin, who made many unforced errors, was warned for racket abuse when he dropped serve in the eighth game of the second set, enabling Melzer to serve for the match.

The Austrian left-hander wasted a match point by netting a forehand and was broken but he earned another in the next game with an astute drop shot and converted it with a superb backhand crosscourt winner.

Safin complained about the balls used at the tournament and the conditions on another cold, damp morning in the norther German port city.

"I didn't feel like playing tennis today," Safin said. "The game was early, the conditions were not good, the court was slow and bouncy and the balls were awful. "You hit the ball twice the same way and it reacts totally differently the second time. You lose confidence in your shots and you have to change your game totally. "There's something wrong about that ball's structure. I'm not the only one saying it but the ATP people don't care."

goldenlox
May 24th, 2004, 06:53 PM
Tough first round draw - Guillermo Coria (3), Argentina, def. Nikolay Davydenko, Russia, 6-4, 6-2, 6-0.

goldenlox
May 24th, 2004, 07:58 PM
Lundgren: ''Safin needs motivating''

Monday, May 24, 2004

Former player Peter Lundgren has been coaching Marat Safin these past few weeks. After taking Roger Federer under his wing for many years, the Swede is delighted to be back overseeing one of the most talented players on the circuit. Here’s a quick Q&A with Coach Lundgren.

How did you become Safin’s coach?

Peter Lundgren (PL): His agent called me when he heard I had stopped working with Roger (Federer). He asked me what I was going to do and I told him I was about to have a break. I did nothing for three and a half months. Then he called me in April and asked me whether I’d be interested in coaching Marat. That’s how it all started.

Did you start working together in Estoril?

PL: No. I went to Estoril to touch base and see how we could sort things out. We decided on a trial period from Rome through to Wimbledon. After five tournaments - Rome, Hamburg, Roland Garros, Halle, and Wimbledon - we will decide whether to continue or bring things to an end.

How’s it going?

PL: Very well. His personality is very different to that of Roger’s but he’s great. He listens to what I tell him. I really like him very much. Sometimes I wish he would be a bit more motivated. Because he has so much talent.

It has to be said you’ve coached three exceptionally gifted players so far. Three world number ones - Rios, Federer, and now Safin…

PL: Absolutely. I was only saying the same thing to myself the other day; that I had coached probably the three most talented players of their generation (laughs). It’s funny. They are different but they also have a lot of things in common. They have so much talent that they all tend towards laziness. Because tennis comes so naturally to them.

How do you see your role with Marat?

PL: It’s mainly about getting him motivated. As you have said, Marat has so much raw talent, his potential is limitless. But he sometimes finds it hard to have fun on court and tends to get bored. Then he simply doesn’t’ feel like playing.

How do you think things will go for him here at Roland Garros? He’s been handed a tricky first round opponent.

PL: The first round will be tough but I think he can do really well at this tournament. If he plays to his potential, he’ll go far. Calleri certainly isn’t an easy customer but he has been injured for a while and isn’t fully fit. It’s up to us to make the most of that.

tenn_ace
May 25th, 2004, 04:06 AM
well, Wimbledon will be the last tournament for those two... Marat never sticks to a coach who tries to motivate him.

goldenlox
May 25th, 2004, 03:23 PM
Safin Can Reclaim Top Spot, Says Lundgren

By REUTERS
http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gif
Published: May 25, 2004


Filed at 6:31 a.m. ET

PARIS (Reuters) - Marat Safin can topple Roger Federer as world number one if only he can stay motivated, the Russian's coach Peter Lundgren said Tuesday.

Lundgren is qualified to talk about such things, having guided Federer to the Wimbledon crown last year.

Now he is working with former number one Safin until Wimbledon at least. He believes the Russian, who lost to Federer in the Australian Open final in February, can be the best.

``Marat has so much raw talent, his potential is limitless,'' the Swede said at Roland Garros where Safin is playing the French Open.

``His personality is very different to that of Roger's but he's great. He listens to what I tell him. I really like him very much. Sometimes I wish he would be a bit more motivated, because he has so much talent.''

Apart from Federer and Safin, Lundgren has also coached former world number one Marcelo Rios and the Swede sees much in common between the trio.

``I was only saying the same thing to myself the other day; that I had coached probably the three most talented players of their generation,'' he laughed.

``It's funny. They are different but they also have a lot of things in common. They have so much talent that they all tend toward laziness. Because tennis comes so naturally to them.

``With Marat it's mainly about getting him motivated. But he sometimes finds it hard to have fun on court and tends to get bored. Then he simply doesn't' feel like playing.''

Safin, who reached world number one as a 20-year-old in 2000 after winning the U.S. Open -- faces Argentine Agustin Calleri in the French first round Tuesday.

Lundgren knows it will be a test but believes the Russian can impress on the French clay.

``The first round will be tough but I think he can do really well at this tournament,'' he said.

``If he plays to his potential, he'll go far. Calleri certainly isn't an easy customer but he has been injured for a while and isn't fully fit. It's up to us to make the most of that.''

goldenlox
May 25th, 2004, 04:37 PM
Safin in French Open second round after Calleri retires
Tue 25 May, 2004 16:49


PARIS, May 25 (Reuters) - Russia's Marat Safin reached the French Open second round on Tuesday after his Argentine opponent Agustin Calleri pulled out injured.

The former world number one, seeded 20th, was leading 5-7 6-1 4-1 when Calleri called it quits.

Safin missed Roland Garros last year as well as two other grand slam tournaments with a wrist injury and staged a formidable comeback this season by reaching the Australian Open final.

His claycourt season has been more erratic. After reaching the final in Estoril and the semi-finals in Monte Carlo, the Russian lost in the third round in the Rome and Hamburg Masters.

goldenlox
May 25th, 2004, 08:44 PM
Day 2 - Marat Safin interview
Tuesday, May 25, 2004http://www.rolandgarros.com/images/players/atps741.jpg




Q. Are you happy you didn't stay home and maybe retire from tennis?>

MARAT SAFIN: I didn't say I'm gonna retire, I'm just -- I'm happy that I had to play all the match all the way through, because I was missing a little bit of confidence. I was absolutley tired. So now it's completely different story.



Q. Is there any chance this could be like Australia, where you come in and people don't think you're much of a factor, then you start playing better and better and who knows what can happen?>

MARAT SAFIN: That's always the best. Also it's very good to have a little bit quite strong draw so every match is important one and you don't lose today - how you say - when you have easy draw, you can lose to anybody. But once you have a strong draw, you motivate yourself. So you start to play automatically well. That's the case, because I have quite very tough draw. Calleri, Mantilla, then if I go through, it's Grosjean, so it's tough ones. So I hope it will be like in Australia, I will start to get better and better and I will have my chance.

Q. How far away do you think you are from your peak form?

MARAT SAFIN: How many times they ask me this question, far away. I'm far away. I'm far away. I still have to work on little things and I'm definitely not in the best shape right now. I'm missing a little bit of the confidence, but that's coming back. Just I totally can get better from now on.



Q. When you went home after Hamburg, did you ever think that you would not play here? Did you think you'd get a little bit of a break?

MARAT SAFIN: I need some kind of a -- just get out of tennis, because it was getting too much on my nerves and I was getting too -- I've been for a long time traveling from tournament to tournament, so I needed some time off. Took like five days off, I didn't touch the racquet, I enjoyed my friends and just did normal stuff that people do, and it helped.

So I come back here, I practice for four days, it was enough for me. And now I get motivation to move on. That's what I needed, you know, because it was a really difficult schedule. I mean all the months, we had like three Masters Series tournaments, then you have to make the preparation before the tournaments so it's a little bit too much of tennis for me.



Q. I think in '98 you beat Agassi and Kuerten, right?

MARAT SAFIN: Yep.



Q. Does that seem a long, long, long, long time ago?

MARAT SAFIN: Very long time ago.



Q. Marat Safin has changed very much since then?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, yeah. Quite a lot. But it's really long time ago.

But six years, but it was like for me was like it was yesterday. But I played so many years afterwards and I get more experience, I get much more, I think, clever. Of course if I would have the same brain as I have right now back then, it would be much easier, with the confidence that I got in that time, I was playing great. But I didn't know how to manage to win the tournament, and I was really playing well.

Great performance from me, great thing.



Q. You were briefly at the top of the world. In your generation, the top players have succeeded each other very quickly, Ferrero, Federer. Is it impossible to stay at the top for a few months given the demands of the game now?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, Federer, he managed to stay there for quite a long time.



Q. Months.

MARAT SAFIN: Months. He was there for much more. From January he became No. 1? Still not bad. He has the game, he has the power to be there. Like I said, because of the schedule and because of the tournaments are so tough and the level of the players outside of Top 10 and outside of Top 20 is much, much stronger than it used to be, so basically every match you are playing on the tournament, and any tournaments is a tough one.

Yeah, especially the schedule, the schedule is very tough. It's tournament after tournament. So if you have two straight Masters Series tournaments in a row, you can't play and win them all. You have to be really, really lucky with the draw and really, really full of confidence to do it, and also in great physical shape.

But now it seems like it's almost impossible.



Q. You won the US Open, you were at your peak. Do you have to do some more work to reach that level?

MARAT SAFIN: Of course I have to work, but that was probably a mistake to win the tournament. Probably if I would not win US Open, I would have won another Grand Slams and much more than one. So it's also -- it's two-side story.

But I was playing really well and I was just lucky to win the tournament.



Q. Do you have a court that you prefer? Do you prefer the clay or the hard surface?

MARAT SAFIN: I think at the beginning I used to like only clay because it was where I grew up. I spent several years in Spain and I learn how to play on clay and it was my surface. Now I like to play on hard courts. Hard courts and clay is my favorite ones. Grass, a little bit too difficult. And, well, indoors, indoors depends of the surface also.

tenn_ace
May 26th, 2004, 03:03 AM
Youzhny is playing doubles with Todd Martin

Andreev with Davydenko

KV
May 26th, 2004, 01:37 PM
The good thing about Marat no points to defend this year. Needs good GS's and a few good tourneys. Top 10 at the end of the year seems likely.

goldenlox
May 27th, 2004, 07:38 PM
F. Mantilla 4 6 2 7 7
M. Safin - 6 2 6 6 6

J. C. Ferrero 4 2 3
I. Andreev - 6 6 6

AKTW
May 27th, 2004, 07:52 PM
Safin's match-finally a halt

TheBoiledEgg
May 27th, 2004, 07:57 PM
Marat frankly needs shooting
if he loses this match........ just pathetic

he was a break up 3 times in 4th set, to lose it again :o (served for match at 5-4 in 4th) plus he had chances to go *4-1 in 4th too
and in 5th he had chances to lead *5-1 and lost the plot

but kudos to him for hanging in there, breaking back 3 times when Felix served for match.

Igor was just brill :D :)
but i wouldnt have given him a hope of beating a 100% Ferrero on clay.

Misha tomorrow :) should win :)

bubble
May 27th, 2004, 07:58 PM
this Marat apparently stripped down his shorts after a very good point won and laughed with the crowd and Felix and the kind umpire gave him a point penalty... wish I saw this match ;)

goldenlox
May 27th, 2004, 11:42 PM
Darkness forces suspension of play between Safin, Mantilla at French Open
Canadian Press

Thursday, May 27, 2004
http://mirror.canada.com/images/s.gif - Marat Safin and Felix Mantilla played for four hours 15 minutes Thursday, then walked off the court at the French Open with neither a winner - or even a leader.

There are no lights on the courts at Roland Garros, and darkness forced the suspension of play. Safin, the 2000 U.S. Open champion, won the first and third sets, but Mantilla rallied to forge a tie at 4-6, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-7.

The two weary players failed to hold serve in each of the final six games before stopping. Mantilla held a match point at 6-5, but Safin hit a forehand winner.

The 20th-seeded Safin won 188 points, Mantilla 187. They were scheduled to finish the final match of the second round Friday.

the cat
May 28th, 2004, 12:56 AM
Whatever happened to Marat Safin's fine serve? He used to have one of the 5 best serves in mens's tennis. But since his incredible serving performance against Andre Agassi in the 2004 Australian Open semifinals he has struggled to hold serve in most of his big matches. :) Unless Safin developes one of the best serves in men's tennis again I don't see him being a serious grand slam contender in the future.

And it seems like Mikhail Youzhny might be finally getting his game together. He has talent and I enjoy watching him play. I still expect Youzhny to become atleast a top 20 player at some point in his career.

KV
May 28th, 2004, 12:21 PM
Whatever happened to Marat Safin's fine serve? He used to have one of the 5 best serves in mens's tennis. But since his incredible serving performance against Andre Agassi in the 2004 Australian Open semifinals he has struggled to hold serve in most of his big matches. :) Unless Safin developes one of the best serves in men's tennis again I don't see him being a serious grand slam contender in the future.

And it seems like Mikhail Youzhny might be finally getting his game together. He has talent and I enjoy watching him play. I still expect Youzhny to become atleast a top 20 player at some point in his career.He missed too many first serves, and not sure though, the tennis balls have become heavier, not in his fav. Though this match against F. Mantilla should never have come to 7 all in the final set. Though he's a very good chance to make the top 10 at the end of the season.

KV
May 28th, 2004, 12:22 PM
Great perf. Igor :)

vaiva
May 28th, 2004, 01:26 PM
Finally plonker closed the deal at 11-9.

Now stop this circus, Marat.

KV
May 28th, 2004, 02:03 PM
At least Marat qualified for the next round. Made it way too difficult for himself. He's getting closer to the top 10. :)

the cat
May 28th, 2004, 02:39 PM
I'm happy Safin pulled it out in the end. But I'm unhappy he didn't put Mantilla away earlier in the match when he had the chance to do so.

Overall the Russian men have had a solid French Open so far. :)

goldenlox
May 28th, 2004, 03:29 PM
Safin, seeded 20th, needed 24 minutes to close out his victory after playing for 4 hours and 15 minutes Thursday. He finished with 101 winners but also had 117 errors, including 40 in the final set.

The Russian advanced to the fourth round for the fifth time. He has yet to play in a French Open final.

vaiva
May 28th, 2004, 04:34 PM
The Russian advanced to the fourth round for the fifth time.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves

goldenlox
May 28th, 2004, 04:44 PM
http://www.sportinglife.com/images/spacer.gifhttp://www.sportinglife.com/images/spacer.gif FRENCH OPEN NEWS http://www.sportinglife.com/images/spacer.gifhttp://www.sportinglife.com/pictures/general/allsportsafinfrenchopenknackered.jpg Safin - pushed to the absolute limit (Getty Images)
SAFIN EDGES OUT MANTILLA.... EVENTUALLY


Marat Safin took over four and a half hours to dispose of Felix Mantilla in Paris.

The Russian 20th seed began his topsey-turvey encounter against Mantilla on Thursday afternoon, but did not finish the Spaniard off until almost a full 24 hours later.

Safin won the opening set 6-4 after breaking almost immediately, and few watching in Paris could have predicted at that stage what dram`aa would unfold therein.

Mantilla, a semi-finalist back in 1998 but a player who has perhaps seen better days, roared back to take the next 6-2 and level up.

Not to be outdone, Safin took the third by the same scoreline, before Mantilla squeaked home in the fourth set tie-break to take the match into a decider.

Safin raced into and early 4-1 lead, and looked to be home and hosed as Mantilla called on the trainer because of a persistent calf problem.

He hobbled on though and amazing levelled things up at 4-4 yet not before Safin had been controversially docked a point for dropping his trousrers to celebrate a sublime winner at the net.

That decision rattled the Russian, and as darkness fell Mantilla twice served out for the match.

Despite having two match points, Safin would not give in and levelled up at 7-7 before the umpire brought them off.

The pair resumed on Friday afternoon, and this time a refreshed Safin had the measue of his man. After a few early games went with serve, Safin eventually converted his first match point to win an epic encounter 6-4 2-6 6-2 6-7 (4/7) 11-9.

It will be talked about always. Afterwards Safin launched a scathing attack on the ATP Tour after being docked a point for pulling down his shorts. ``I don't know why I did it,'' the eccentric Safin said in his after-match press conference.

``I felt this way, it was a great point for me and I felt like pulling my shorts down. What's bad about it?

``It's like the entertainment business; you try to make tennis fun.''

Safin's gesture might have amused the French spectators but it did not please the ATP Tour organisers who penalised him by docking him a point at 4-4 in the fifth set and who could also decide to fine him.

``I am working my socks off on court, it was a full crowd, I think we did a great job,'' Safin added.

``Because of this incident I got treated badly by the ATP, do you think this is fair?''

Safin accused the ATP of trying to take away the entertaining part of tennis by making it too serious.

``People at ATP try to do everything they can to take away the entertainment,'' Safin added.

``This should not be allowed. I did not deserve to be docked a point. Everyone should understand that it was good for the crowd, who want to see a great match.''

Safin will face Italy's Potito Starace in the third round on Saturday after Starace sprung a surprise by crushing 10th seed Sebastien Grosjean of France in straight sets on Thursday.

``I saw him play and he is a great player, he seems to be able to do everything,'' Safin added.

``He also just beat Grosjean and probably gave him a lot of confidence.

``But I will be there. I need more wins to gain more confidence too.''

goldenlox
May 28th, 2004, 04:53 PM
http://www.rolandgarros.com/images/headers/fo4510h2_e.gif Q. How did it go last night? Did you sleep? Toss and turn?

MARAT SAFIN: No, no, I was great. I had a good treatment (smiling).

Q. And today you didn't have much trouble.

MARAT SAFIN: No, it was a little bit more of luck, a little bit taking my opportunities. I was lucky. I went for it.

Q. Did you like seeing that crowd around there? I had to stand to watch you. It was worth it.

MARAT SAFIN: Okay. At least that's good.

Q. Are you a masochist? You could finish in three sets and go home, have a nice dinner.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I wish. But I couldn't. I couldn't. I really tried. I tried my best. Tried to make it short, but I couldn't just because he was playing great. I mean, I had to play all the time. I had to go a little bit for too much sometimes. Couldn't hold my serve a couple of times. That was a problem.

But I'm really satisfied that even in five sets I managed to win that match.

Q. In the history of Marat Safin crazy matches, this one is near the top?

MARAT SAFIN: Probably, yeah. The top one (smiling).

Q. Have you thought what would happen if you would have lost that match?

MARAT SAFIN: I didn't want to think about it. But it was kind of a weird situation because we both played well. Just it would be a pity, you know, to lose this kind of match with so many opportunities.

But the way the match went and the way the crowd was behind, I don't know, it was -- I didn't want to think about if I lose, what I'm going to do, how I'm going to get better, how I'm going to get my confidence back.

Q. No retirement in your mind?

MARAT SAFIN: No, not yet. Still a little bit too early.

Q. The incident at the net, I don't know if you touched the net or what happened there. It was one of the best.

MARAT SAFIN: When?

Q. The point at the net. You got a warning.

MARAT SAFIN: No, because I pulled my pants down.

Q. But you won the point. >

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I won the point.

Q. You always win the point when you pull your pants down.

MARAT SAFIN: That's two points for that (laughter).

No, but really for me it was a big -- I mean, it was a terrible thing to do, just Carlos, also the supervisor on the court, Mike Morrissey. They just basically destroyed -- they tried to destroy the match. Just Bruno come there and just show that they are there sitting, doing nothing, which they have no clue about tennis. Try to show that they're above the tennis players, they put me a penalty point, which is a thing that is ridiculous.

Q. But you didn't touch the net, Love-40 and then 15-30?

MARAT SAFIN: No, no. It was supposed to be like Love-30, and then he pulled the penalty point. And that's really, really pity that -- these people, they shouldn't be even there. They shouldn't be. It's really a pity that we have these people running this. Why are you laughing?

Q. Because you pulled down your pants.

MARAT SAFIN: I bring you the video (smiling).

Q. Was the reason for the penalty point because you pulled down your pants?

MARAT SAFIN: I really don't think so. Nobody complained. Everybody was okay. It wasn't like really bad. But I don't understand why. The people like the chair umpire, the supervisor on the court, they should to come and they should destroy this just to show that they are there. Really, they have no clue about tennis.

All of the people who runs the sport, they have no clue. It's a pity that the tennis is really going down the drain. It's really a pity.

Q. But the argument was about what?

MARAT SAFIN: About I pull my pants down. Can you believe it (smiling)?

Q. Why did you pull your pants down? What was the argument?>

MARAT SAFIN: Because? I don't know why. Because, because. I did it. It just happened.

Q. Some people play a point, stupendous point, raise their fist in the air. I don't think I've ever seen anybody pull their pants down to celebrate winning a point. What in your mind said, "Pull my pants down"?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, you see, that was the reason, so you guys will ask me five questions about the same thing, and I will give you all the time.

I don't know. I felt this way. I felt it was a great point for me. I felt like pulling my pants down. What's bad about it?

Q. Just confusing.

MARAT SAFIN: Confusing why? It's like, what, entertaining business. You try to make it fun. You try to make it -- you know, I am working my ass off on the court, it was full crowd, full stadium. We did a great job, I think. Was great tennis for four hours. Because of this incident, that's how we get treated by the people from ATP? You think it's fair? You think it's really fair?

Q. I'll have to think about this one.

MARAT SAFIN: You have to think about it, uh-huh.

Q. When you say that tennis is going down the drain, is that what you mean? That people don't like fun?

MARAT SAFIN: Because the people, they do everything is possible just to, you know -- just to take away the entertainment. You're not allowed to do that. You're not allowed to do this. You're not allowed to speak whenever you want to speak. You're not allowed to do many things. A lot of examples, I don't want to go into details.

But the way it's running, it's just a joke. It's really a joke. It's really a pity for me just to watch it from outside. I'm a tennis player, but I really -- I can sacrifice myself. Just for me to see how has been managing, it's just ridiculous.

Everybody loves this sport. I'm here. I'm really enjoying. I got everything from the sport, everything I have, and I give everything what I have. And that's how -- like the ATP, they really appreciate that. It's really bad that this has been managed this way.

And like every year it's getting worse, worse and worse. I don't know where we're going to end up like this. It cannot go like this anymore. It has to be a radical change, and I hope it will be really soon.

Q. There was a thing in Monte-Carlo about Schuettler taking a photograph of a line call. He got a point penalty for that.

MARAT SAFIN: Exactly. One of the examples. It's really a pity. It's really sad to see it, that nobody does anything about such a great sport. It's really, it's really bad, because nobody had power or courage just to do and to take it, start from all over again. Nobody can do it. Unfortunately, yeah, it's what happens.

Q. Both defending champions are gone, a lot of unseeded players are winning, a lot of upsets, pants are falling down, is this a crazy French Open or is it just exactly what a French Open is every time?

MARAT SAFIN: That's tennis. That's tennis. It happens. It can happen. We are playing the same sport. No matter what happens, tennis is still tennis. You can see a lot of great matches, a lot of new people. It's doing well.

Q. How do you feel about where your game is right now?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm trying to get over this -- these kind of matches to get the confidence, try to play better and better, and just looking forward. Let's see where I'm going to play next match. I hope I'll be more lucky and I hope I'll just play better and better and try to do well.

I mean, I'm looking -- I'm not looking for big results, but I'm just trying to play match by match and try to... I don't know, slowly.

Q. Sometimes you make a simple mistake, then you lose three points in a row. Don't you think you should be more indulgent with yourself?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but it's me. You cannot change me. This is the way I am. That's why I'm who I am. That's why I am where I am. I can't do anything about it. Probably I'll not be so successful if I will keep everything in myself inside of me.

Q. Tomorrow Potito Starace, do you know anything more about him than we do?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I heard a couple of times about him, I saw him in Rome practicing, and actually yesterday. He's really a great player, can do everything. He can play forehand, backhand, great serve. He has confidence. He beat Grosjean, which is a big win for him. So he'll give me a hard time tomorrow.

But I'll be there. I'll be there. I will have to play really good because he's full of confidence.

Q. During the match with Mantilla, did you have the feeling that Mantilla was taking some advantage, calling the physiotherapist in the fifth set? Were you nervous about it? I heard on TV you said also some words to him, is that correct?

MARAT SAFIN: No, to him I didn't. I have nothing against him at all. I mean, I said what I thought to the chair umpire. He heard everything. I said everything what I thought about. Yeah, he deserve it. He really deserve it.

Q. You talk about there being a need for change in the game. Are you planning on leading the coup?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm not leading anything. I'm just getting people to realize it, because nobody said anything before. I don't know, whatever I said to you, it will cause me a lot of problems, with the schedule, with the courts. They might. They might do everything. It's possible just to put me on the side. I don't care. I really don't care. Just it has to happen.

Also, the press, they deserve to be treated much better. I'm not only blaming the players, the players, the players are doing this wrong, that are do this things. Like all the time it's the players. But it's not always the players. The players are doing their job, and they're trying to do whatever they can. But if you don't have enough like knowledge, the people who are running the sport, at least give the opportunities for the players to do what they can. And they will really appreciate.

Nobody did anything stupid. Nobody did anything ridiculous on the court that is really like, you know, you have to put a penalty point or whatever. I mean, everybody understands the sport, and everybody understands what is good for the crowd, and what is not. They really respect it with the people. You'll never treat bad the people who are watching, especially when it's full stadium, and they really want to see a big show.

Q. The moustache and the beard, is it your tribute to the Musketeers because you're at the French Open?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I'm just trying to keep my luck. I will shave it after I lose.

Q. Did you talk to Mantilla in the locker room afterwards?

MARAT SAFIN: No. He wants to kill me probably, so...

About what?

Q. "Good match."

MARAT SAFIN: No. He said everything on the court. It was a great match. Unlucky.

Q. He said that to you?

MARAT SAFIN: No, he was unlucky. I told to him.

Q. What do you think the fine is for pulling down your pants?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't care. I doesn't really care. Has no price for this.

Q. No idea?

MARAT SAFIN: No price for this.

Q. Have you ever done it before?

MARAT SAFIN: Never. Never happen to me. But this point really deserve that.

Q. You're with your 373rd coach. Have you ever thought, "If I stay with one coach, I might have a more consistent time on the court"?

MARAT SAFIN: Probably.

Q. Why not?

MARAT SAFIN: Don't ask me. There's a lot of people that don't want to work with me, like Chesnokov, Volkov. A lot of people, they were there, I just had nobody to travel with. I always said there's Volkov, Chesnokov, I made which I used to travel before which is my manager, they are not coaches. Basically in my life, I had three coaches.

365 coaches is what you're trying to say?

Q. I can't remember the other 365.

MARAT SAFIN: No. So remember it next time.

Q. You say the officials are trying to take the fun out of the sport. I know you're a big football fan. You see it with referees, players celebrating, they get yellow cards, sometimes sent off. Do you think sometimes the officials are trying to be bigger than the players?

MARAT SAFIN: In our sport, yes, definitely.

Q. Why do you think that is?

MARAT SAFIN: You really have to ask them this question. They will probably give you really good excuses, which for me is a little bit ridiculous.

goldenlox
May 29th, 2004, 04:16 PM
By Lisa Dillman, Times Staff Writer

PARIS — Maybe there should be a new nickname for Marat Safin of Russia after his latest adventure at the French Open.

Half-moon Marat?

Safin set Roland Garros abuzz Thursday night, with darkness approaching, when he partially dropped his shorts after hitting a spectacular drop shot in the fifth set against Felix Mantilla of Spain. His next move came Friday afternoon when he resumed play at 7-7 in the fifth and went on to beat Mantilla in the second-round match, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-7 (4) 11-9, in 4 hours 37 minutes.

Safin, who saved one match point Thursday, had an encore. He came into the interview room and verbally torched the chair umpire and one of the tournament supervisors, saying they "tried to destroy the match" and that officials were trying to be bigger than the game.

The often-impulsive Safin received a point penalty for dropping his shorts. Earlier he had been warned for racket abuse, and Grand Slam officials announced later Friday he would be fined $500 for that action and nothing for the other incident.

This wasn't exactly Janet Jackson material. His baggy shirt covered plenty of territory and the crowd, and even Mantilla, realized he did it to celebrate the shot. Apparently, so did those in charge of disciplinary matters.

"I felt this way," said Safin. "I felt it was a great point for me. I felt like pulling my pants down. What's bad about it?"

Mantilla was asked if he was surprised. "Well, surprise, yes, because it was really a crucial moment and you know it's something," Mantilla said. "But he also put the pants down, everybody saw his — I don't know the name … the bum."

Some of the players felt Safin should not have been given a point penalty.

"I thought that was a little uncalled for, the point penalty. It was a great match," said Lindsay Davenport, who defeated Marissa Irvin of Santa Monica, 6-1, 6-4, in the third round Friday. "He definitely wasn't doing it in a fit of anger. They're always telling us to lighten up anyway."

Safin had no regrets. "I don't care," he said.

Bill Babcock, administrator of the Grand Slam committee, could understand why chair umpire Carlos Bernardes Jr. assessed the point penalty.

"You can make a judgment about it," Babcock said. "It was one of those points where the chair made a decision — either he could let it go because it was probably in good spirit or he had to sort of issue the code of conduct to get it back under control."

As he frequently does, Safin took on the ATP too, saying it and officials at the Grand Slam tournaments were taking the entertainment out of the game, saying they had "no clue about tennis" and that the sport was "really going down the drain."

The ATP, which runs men's tennis, is separate from the four Slams. Two years ago, the ATP modified its rules of conduct, largely eliminating the automatic default, relying on point and game penalties. It still can be used when there is particularly egregious behavior.

"His general thing about players expressing their personality is fine; however, I don't remember Jack Nicklaus ever dropping his pants after making a spectacular birdie putt at the British Open," ATP spokesperson Graeme Agars said.

Safin isn't turning into the leader of any potential coup, but said he was putting himself on the line even if there were consequences.

"You're not allowed to do that. You're not allowed to do this. You're not allowed to speak whenever you want to speak," he said. "I'm a tennis player, but I can sacrifice myself."

TheBoiledEgg
May 29th, 2004, 05:43 PM
is Dodo a new nickname for Marat ???

down 2 sets to 1 to a player ranked 202 :rolleyes:
he's lucky its only that cos he was also 2-4 in 2nd but won it 6-4

the cat
May 29th, 2004, 06:10 PM
Pulling down his pants tells me that Safin doesn't have it all together. In a way it was funny. But his mind should have been on the match and not clowing around. Marat was fortunate enough to win that match against Mantilla. But today Safin is down 2 sets to 1 to a player ranked #202. :( Maybe Marat can win the fourth set and have the fifth set postponed until tommow.

goldenlox
May 29th, 2004, 06:35 PM
Marat broke back with Starace serving for the match, now 5-5, and down 2 sets to 1.

TheBoiledEgg
May 29th, 2004, 07:14 PM
3-3 in 5th

Marat saved 2 mp's at 4-5*

this is just another typical performance from OAF

and then he says "i'm tired" :rolleyes:

goldenlox
May 29th, 2004, 07:38 PM
Marat wins. 6-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.

TheBoiledEgg
May 29th, 2004, 07:54 PM
another hopeless battling performance
his serve saved him today

won on his 6th mp i think

Marat u lucky plonker

the cat
May 29th, 2004, 08:28 PM
Another sensational win for Marat! :bounce: But he got booed off the court according to a short BBC article located at http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/3760899.stm. Safin called for the trainer with Startace serving for the match at 5-4 and deuce in the fourth set. And that angered the crowd. They thought Marat who is generally a good sport was using gamesmanship.

Where is ys who likes to disparage Safin's guts? Marat has shown a tremendous amount of heart in his last 2 wins. :D

vaiva
May 29th, 2004, 08:31 PM
ys is away, the cat.

Do you call an injury timeout to treat blisters at 4-5 deuce in forth set, on the verge of losing, a tremendous amount of heart?

the cat
May 29th, 2004, 08:32 PM
Well Vaiva, what do you think of what happened to Safin with his second straight incredible win and the touchy French crowd booing him?

vaiva
May 29th, 2004, 08:36 PM
I think he needs to buy a brain cell or two.

And stop acting like diva.

That's all, folks :p

the cat
May 29th, 2004, 10:17 PM
Vaiva, "That's all folks" is a saying at the end of Porky Pig's cartoons! LMAO! :lol: :haha:

goldenlox
May 30th, 2004, 01:04 PM
http://www.miami.com/images/miami/miamiherald/8790/77265496610.jpg AP PHOTO A PULL-UP: Marat Safin pulls up his shorts after briefly dropping them as a joke during his match Thursday. http://www.miami.com/images/common/spacer.gif

Safin aftermath shows tennis is behind times

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LINDA ROBERTSON
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PARIS -- Marat Safin did more than expose his derriere at the French Open. He exposed a major flaw in tennis.

The sport, especially on the men's side, is starved for personality. Safin, one of the more unpredictable characters in a colorless cast, gave tennis a spectacular and hilarious morsel, and tennis officials spat it back at him.

In a moment of spontaneity, he was gagged, he was chastised, he was discouraged. The wacky incident occurred in the eighth game of the fifth set Thursday at dusk in Safin's marathon match against Felix Mantilla.

After Safin caressed the ball over the net for a drop-shot winner, he dropped his shorts in glee. It was almost like an involuntary reaction, like Brandi Chastain ripping off her shirt at the World Cup. Some people celebrate by yelling, some by jumping on top of one another, some by disrobing. To each his own.

It wasn't really a full moon. More like an eclipse. Safin pulled down his pants, but his shirt was so long that much was left to the imagination. Can't say the same for Serena Williams, even when she's fully clothed.

The gesture was quick and inoffensive. The crowd loved sharing his happiness. The fans laughed and clapped. Safin was not doing it out of anger or to incite anybody.

''I don't know why,'' he said when asked why he did it. ``It just happened. I felt it was a great point for me. I felt like pulling my pants down. What's bad about it?''

Well, the chair umpire and court supervisor thought it was very bad, naughty and inappropriate, so they penalized Safin by giving the point to Mantilla. Safin went on to win the fifth set 11-9 on Friday, but he was still frustrated by the penalty.

NO SENSE OF HUMOR

Only tennis, in its current downward spiral, could turn something funny into something ugly. Safin got mad, the crowd booed, the atmosphere soured.

Dullness is tennis' main opponent these days, and it won again.

''It's entertaining business,'' Safin said. ``I am working my off on the court, it was full stadium. Was great tennis for four hours. Then they do everything possible to take away the entertainment. You're not allowed to do that. You're not allowed to do this.

``All the people who run the sport, they have no clue. It's a pity that tennis is really going down the drain. It's really a pity.''

There are several reasons for the sport's declining TV ratings. The style of play has become homogenized due to supersized rackets. There are too many tournaments and a jumble of names to try to follow. The game is not marketed with any panache.

What's missing are the personalities and rivalries of yesteryear -- Jimmy Connors, Ilie Nastase, Boris Becker, John McEnroe vs. Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova.

Roger Federer's shots are divine, but he's an introspective guy. We haven't gotten to know the Belgians, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters. Andy Roddick has star qualities, but the game is in transition at the top.

The passion of the great players during the boom era was also contagious. Today, the players seem aloof.

Safin is an example of what could cure tennis, and of what ails it, too. He's personable, but his passion is suspect.

McEnroe saw Safin in the locker room Friday, and shook his hand.

[b]McENROE'S PRAISE

''He is exactly what our sport -- a one-on-one sport -- needs,'' McEnroe said. ``He's like many guys who need to be promoted better by the stiffs who run tennis. Tennis is hanging on because it's a great game, but what's going to happen if they keep stifling the fun element of it?''

When it was announced in the press room that Safin, a serial racket abuser, had been fined $500 for slamming his racquet Friday, a journalist called out, ''Can we pay him?'' On a ho-hum day at Roland Garros, he was the story.

He handed out vodka to reporters after his straight-sets thrashing of Pete Sampras at the 2000 U.S. Open. At last year's Australian Open final, he brought two provocatively dressed guests to the player's box, and, after playing one of the worst matches of his career, thanked his ''team'' for their support.

The burly Russian is humorous in three languages and has an exciting, powerful game.

But the fire is inconsistent. Safin is a reflection of tennis today. A lot of potential, bottled up.

tenn_ace
May 30th, 2004, 01:17 PM
funny article.. thanks, gl!

bubble
May 30th, 2004, 01:29 PM
Great article , tks :)

goldenlox
May 30th, 2004, 01:42 PM
Safin Advances After a Disputed Timeout

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
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Published: May 30, 2004



http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/p.gifARIS, May 29 — Seemingly determined to make each victory more dramatic than the last, Marat Safin advanced, just barely, into the fourth round of the French Open on Saturday with a five-set victory over the Italian qualifier Potito Starace.

That is a remarkable name, and this was a remarkable match. But what else is new?

In the second round, Safin had to play over two days and save a match point before eliminating the Spanish veteran Felix Mantilla by the fifth-set score of 11-9.

This time, the powerfully built, mentally fragile Safin saved two more match points, both in the 10th game of the fourth set, before taking a questionably timed break for medical treatment, then rallying to beat Starace, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.

The 202nd-ranked Starace, making his first appearance in a Grand Slam event, saved five match points on his serve in the fifth set before Safin finally broke him. If Starace had managed to tie the score at 6-6, the match would have been stopped for the night because of the fading light, and he and Safin would have had to return on Sunday.

Instead, Safin closed out the match, and instead of a warm round of appreciative applause from the center court crowd for his efforts, he was roundly jeered. The fans had not appreciated his decision to take the injury timeout for hand blisters at deuce during that pivotal 10th game of the fourth set.

Safin called for treatment after saving his second match point with a forehand pass. Although it is within the rules, taking a timeout during a critical game is frowned upon by players, and this timeout ended up shifting the momentum of the match.

"I am not the kind of person to take the doctor on a point like that," Safin said, holding up both hands to show multiple blisters. "I couldn't hold the racket on the backhand."

Starace, his eyes red from crying, did not question the blisters, just the timing.

"Everybody can see he had blisters on his hand, but he maybe could have stopped earlier," Starace said. "He just decided to do it at a difficult moment."

the cat
May 30th, 2004, 05:21 PM
Safin definately had major blister problems on his hands. Especillay his left hand. It's unfortunate he took the injury timout at such a crucial point in the match. But it was a legitimate injury timeout. A blister on his left hand had burst and he had to get it treated. Today NBC television showed the burst blister on Safin's left hand. He had to get that blister and the other blisters treated because blisters are a painful injury. Especially after they burst.

goldenlox
May 31st, 2004, 03:16 PM
Safin Goes From Earth to the Moon

By SELENA ROBERTS
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Published: May 31, 2004


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WELL-DESERVED raves were directed at Marat Safin after his dare-to-bare moment at Roland Garros on Thursday revealed a spontaneous character among the Stepford guys in the second round, but was this just one of his moon phases?

"I felt like pulling my pants down,'' Safin, the Chippendale Russian, said Friday. "What's bad about it?

"It's like, what, entertaining business. You try to make it fun.''

Then on Saturday, an entranced French Open crowd was thrilled to harass Safin when he called a Band-Aid break for blisters that happened to burst like Jiffy Pop at a tense point in his next match. But can Safin, the social smoker on the club scene, sustain the intrigue he has whipped up?

"You have to wake up and you have to run if you want to survive,'' said Safin, dripping drama after his five-set victory over Potito Starace.

The network that brought the world the soft-lens, sepia-toned Olympics was so tied to the Williams sisters' canned escapades that it couldn't provide more than a brief clip of Safin's matches, but should NBC become emotionally invested in a swinger with commitment issues?

Devotion to Marat Safin is truly complicated. He is an irascible, Technicolor talent who has the ability to polarize tennis crowds desperate for a men's player who will prod their sense of right and wrong.

Imagine what a perfect foe the self-involved Safin would be for the valiant Andy Roddick, who was last seen pulling a Dudley Doo-Right as he rescued hotel guests from a burning building in Rome. Imagine what a wonderful foil the temperamental Safin would be for the earnest Roger Federer, whose posse includes a pet cow named Juliette but neither an agent nor a coach on his current perch at No. 1.

Meanwhile, Safin is on his seventh coach and fifth entourage in the four years since he won the United States Open at age 20. After he prowled the Manhattan vodka circuit to celebrate his first, and only, major title, Safin ended as the No. 2-ranked player in 2000, fell to No. 11 in 2001, popped up to No. 3 in 2002, then plunged to No. 77 last year.

It's the progress chart for a bucket of crabs - scramble up, fall down, repeat. Over the past week, Safin has, once again, discovered resiliency in his adventures at the French Open.

"If he wants to be a champion again like he was,'' his latest coach, Peter Lundgren, said, "he has to have that even though he says to himself: 'I hate this game. I hate this and this and this.' "

The volatility of Safin ignites and defeats him while also fueling and fooling observers. The latest display of Safin's passion has prompted discussion of how amazing he is for the game, how quickly he could reach the kind of trans-Atlantic pop status of a Boris Becker or a Goran Ivanisevic.

It's not often you can say Pete Sampras was prophetic, but in 2000, he was the soothsayer who outlined Safin's future after Safin unleashed a string of backhand returns at his feet during the United States Open final.

"Safin could be No. 1 if he wants to do it,'' Sampras said at the time. "It's a decision you have to make about your life. You have to decide how much you want to be at the top of the game and deal with the pressures."

Safin can't make up his frazzled mind. That's the trouble with his crowd-pleasing unpredictability and the intrigue of his wild moods swings: it gives rise to his early-round exits.

How can he be good for the Tour when he isn't a regular part of it? Certainly, injuries have sabotaged his attempts at smoothing out the lurches in his career, but his uneven head has done more to harm his potential to be the Tour savior. Safin cannot be a rival for the Roddicks and Federers of the Tour if he doesn't advance far enough to meet them.

The bold act of Safin is only a peep show when he doesn't stick around long enough for an encore. His unabashed style cannot build a following when he doesn't have the legs to extend himself in a major.

This past week, fans have received a delicious taste of what life with Safin could be like. One day, he left them loving him for his moon shot. A match later, they were loathing him during Blistergate.

"You know I had to take time,'' said Safin, who gladly displayed his range of blisters after defeating Starace. "So why do I have to suffer to waste away the three hours that I've been running on the court and can't hit the backhand anymore? Why I cannot take the doctor?

"It was really sad for me that the people, they couldn't understand this simple things.''

It is never simple with Safin - a fact that makes him compelling and confounding and impossible to commit to.

bubble
May 31st, 2004, 04:39 PM
Poor Marat, go home and give your bloody hands a rest and recovery .....

I cringed everytime the cam focuses on his blistered hands....

goldenlox
May 31st, 2004, 04:54 PM
Marat lost 5-7, 4-6, 7-6, 3-6. He wasn't going to win this tournament with those blisters.
Get healthy for Wimbledon.

daniela86
May 31st, 2004, 05:15 PM
Marat :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: I really hope he will get better for Wimbledon.He had so much injuries in his career,it is so unfair :hug: :hug: :kiss:

goldenlox
May 31st, 2004, 08:49 PM
Open-Safin calls on McEnroe, Wilander, Noah to save game
Mon 31 May, 2004 18:42


By Francois Thomazeau

PARIS, May 31 (Reuters) - Having stolen the show for most of the first week, Marat Safin exited the French Open fourth round on Monday with a call for some of the more outspoken players of the past to save the game.

"You should seat a couple of ex-players like (John) McEnroe, (Mats) Wilander, (Yannick) Noah would be good too, to discuss what we can do and start all over again, start from scratch," said Safin after losing 7-5 6-4 6-7 6-3 to Argentina's David Nalbandian.

The Russian's comments followed remarks he made last week after being handed a point penalty for pulling down his shorts during his second-round match against Felix Mantilla.

Furious about the decision, he slammed tennis authorities for penalising entertainers like him.

The former world number one, who also swore at the chair umpire in Spanish during his win against Mantilla, complained about rules banning verbal or racket abuse on court.

"You have not seen the soccer players, we're pretty decent compared to them. NHL, NFL, NBA players are using a lot of good words, good English too," he said.

"Try to do our job and you'll see how you react. You play four hours on court, and you get a penalty point from a person who never touched a racket in his entire life.

"There are a lot of problems inside the (tennis) organisations. Nobody is responsible for anything, basically. And the persons suffering from it are the players.

"There are too many associations, too many different stories. The people upstairs sitting in their office just don't know," Safin added.

"You cannot satisfy all 1,500 tennis players, you should make strong positions."

goldenlox
May 31st, 2004, 08:51 PM
Russian Marat Safin eliminated from French Open tournament

Updated at 16:42 on May 31, 2004, EST.



PARIS (AP) - Russian Marat Safin's left pinkie was mummified. Parts of four other fingers were wrapped with white tape, too, and matchbook-sized patches protected each burning palm. Spots of rust-coloured medicine stained his hands.

This was no way to try to reach the French Open quarter-finals, and Safin eventually succumbed to the pain of 11 blisters and the steady play of David Nalbandian of Argentina.

Safin's colourful run here included two five-setters, three match points saved, a much-discussed partial disrobing, a rant about what's ailing tennis - and it all ended in the fourth round with Monday's 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 loss to Nalbandian.

"The hands, I don't care about actually anymore, because I'm just a little bit frustrated," the 2000 U.S. Open champion said. "It was another big opportunity for me to fight for a title.

"Just to waste this opportunity this way, it's a pity."

Stephanie Dubois, of Laval, Que., had a busy but fruitful day Monday. She upset France's Pauline Parmentier, the 16th seed, 6-2, 6-4 in a second-round junior girls singles match. Then she teamed with American Yasmin Schnack to down Florencia Molinero of Argentina and Brazil's Teliana Pereira, Brazil, 6-2, 6-0 in a first-round doubles match.

The eighth-seeded Nalbandian joins No. 3 Guillermo Coria, No. 22 Juan Ignacio Chela and unseeded Gaston Gaudio to give Argentina half of a major's quarter-final slots for the first time. And none faces each other next, a prospect that delighted Nalbandian.

"I'm a little surprised," the 2002 Wimbledon runner-up said. "It's not like this every day. I hope it will be all Argentines in the semifinals."

On Wednesday, Nalbandian will play three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, who finished his 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory over No. 23 Feliciano Lopez of Spain caked with clay from a late tumble on a serve-and-volley bid that went awry.

"Look at me," a smiling Kuerten said moments after winning. "This never happened to me in my life.

"I'm all dirty."

Nothing was messy about Gaudio's 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Russian Igor Andreev, who knocked off defending champion Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain in the second round. Gaudio's quarter-final foe will be No. 12 Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, a 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (6) winner over Xavier Malisse of Belgium.

Two men's quarter-finals are Tuesday: Coria versus 1998 champion Carlos Moya of Spain and Chela versus No. 9 Tim Henman, the first Englishman to get this far at Roland Garros since Roger Taylor in 1973. All women's round-of-eight matches also are Tuesday, highlighted by American Serena Williams against compatriot Jennifer Capriati in a showdown between past champions.

With Safin's departure, three men are left who have won a Grand Slam title: Kuerten, Moya Hewitt, the 2001 U.S. Open and 2002 Wimbledon winner.

When Safin walloped American Pete Sampras 3½ years ago in the final at Flushing Meadows, his potential seemed limitless. The six-foot-four Russian was just 20, his serve was fearsome and only his temper and a taste for the night life appeared to stand between Safin and a slew of Slam titles.

Well, he's still stuck on one such title and counting, although he did reach the Australian Open final twice. It was at that event in 2003 that he tore ligaments in his left wrist, an injury that sidelined him for the season's last three majors and sent his ranking down to 77th.

Unseeded at this year's Australian Open, he upset Americans Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi to reach the championship match, where he lost to No. 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland. Two gutsy comeback victories last week had No. 20 Safin thinking he could make a similar showing at the French Open - but they also drained him and beat up his large hands.

"The last four games, I couldn't play" he said. "I couldn't hit a forehand.

"I couldn't do many things."

By the fifth game, he was looking at one hand or the other after nearly every errant stroke. With Nalbandian serving at 40-30 in the next game, Safin interrupted play to have a trainer work on his hands, the first of at least seven times he was treated for the blisters - six on his left hand, five on his right.

Safin drew whistles and jeers from the crowd when he called for the trainer at 30-30 during the fifth game of the fourth set. He walked slowly to his seat, chucked his racket down, and threw a hand in the air.

To his credit, Nalbandian wasn't fazed much, his only real blip coming in the tiebreaker. He used drop shots effectively throughout, five times getting clean winners, and repeatedly luring Safin to the net before whipping a passing shot.

Asked about that tactic, Safin paid Nalbandian an insightful compliment.

"He has a great touch," Safin said. "He's one of the most talented people.

"He has really great hands. Great hands."

the cat
May 31st, 2004, 10:02 PM
I hope at some point Marat Safin can rediscover how to hold serve in the clutch. But it's dissapointing how often he has his serve broken in big spots. :( And it happened a couple of crucial times today against David Nalbandian.

tenn_ace
Jun 21st, 2004, 05:27 PM
Misha lost :mad: :retard:

well, at least, thank him for doing it in a quick fashion. Nastya will be able to play her match now.

goldenlox
Jun 22nd, 2004, 06:10 PM
Safin Crashes to Compatriot http://www.wimbledon.org/images/pics/thumbs/m_02_safin59_getty.jpg (http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/photos/imagepages/2004-06-22/200406221087912792658.html)© Getty Images Tuesday, June 22, 2004http://www.wimbledon.org/images/misc/trans.gifhttp://www.wimbledon.org/images/misc/trans.gif

Marat Safin, the 19th seed, went out in the first round at Wimbledon today against his fellow Russian Dmitry Tursunov. The lesser-known player came through 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) in two hours and 32 minutes on No.2 Court.

Former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, a guest at The Championships, was a courtside spectator but left after Tursunov won the second set to level the match.

It was a major triumph for the 21-year-old Tursunov, who is playing at Wimbledon for the first time after reaching a career high world ranking of 66 earlier this month.

What appeared to be a routine start for Safin, a former Wimbledon quarter finalist and US Open champion, as he broke serve in the first game and ran out the first set in 34 minutes, turned into a position of growing authority for Tursunov.

Safin was still able to reach a strong position at 5-3 in the second set but Tursunov produced his most sustained passage of play to win four games in a row for the set, then another three games to lead 3-0 in the third set.

Safin's decline became more marked in the third set as Tursunov established greater command, with seven aces and 69 per cent of first serves into play.

By the time Tursunov had won the third set after being on court for 108 minutes the arrows of defeat were all beginning to turn in Safin's direction.

But Safin had chances to restore himself in the match. He broke in the fourth game to love and held serve for 4-1, the best position he had been in any of the sets. But Safin dropped serve in the seventh game to love, double faulting on the last point, and Tursunov responded by holding serve to love for 4-all.

In the next four games Tursunov had two points to break serve, one for 5-4 and a second for 6-5, but Safin fought them off.

But once the tiebreak began, Safin was tumbling out fast with Tursunov taking six points in a row for victory, winning with a forehand down the line.

Safin, runner up at this year's Australian Open, had paid the penalty for mistiming and not lifting his service game when it was needed.

Tursunov, who showed his skills in last year's US Open when he qualified and beat former French champion Gustavo Kuerten in the first round, took all the chances which his opponent offered to swing the match his way and then retain control.

Tursunov moved from Russia to the USA when he was 12 and is applying for US citizenship.

AKTW
Jun 22nd, 2004, 06:25 PM
Marat :rolleyes:

goldenlox
Jun 22nd, 2004, 07:53 PM
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat, please.

Q. Was it encouraging to have Boris Yeltsin there, or did you feel pressure?

MARAT SAFIN: No, just I didn't felt like -- playing, I didn't felt like -- I couldn't -- I didn't any like -- I didn't felt comfortable there.

Like I said, I don't like to play on this surface. I don't feel like I'm moving. I cannot move there. Every time, I don't know how it's gonna bounce. So it's like a really nightmare for me.

So after a while, just I get bored. I lost completely motivation, and I give up.

Q. Have you played on that court before?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, a couple of times.

Q. You haven't lost?

MARAT SAFIN: No, because other people, they withdraw.

Q. Do you think you'll come back, or do you think you'll just give up on Wimbledon?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I give up on Wimbledon. Is definitely not the tournament for me. I give up on spending time on this courts. I give up on practicing before the tournament, just to prepare myself for better results.

I hate. I hate this. I have to admit it. I'm not really enjoying playing on this courts. So I just, you know, come like other people - Friday, Saturday before the tournament. Practice a couple of days, then I play. I'm not gonna spend my time, not gonna waste my time on that knowing, though, that I will not play well.

Q. Have you always felt this way about grass?

MARAT SAFIN: I never could move. That's what's my problem. Was always a problem for me. I was sliding. Bounce is very low for me. Just I hate also when it's like very low bounce, and sometimes bad bounces.

I mean, it's for everybody it's like this. But for me, especially for my game, I cannot adjust to this. You have to be really focus in your mind, but it's not my territory.

Q. Did you go out last night or anything? I mean, do you take a different approach here and just kind of say...

MARAT SAFIN: No, I try to be serious. I try to be serious. I came here one week before, and I was practicing quite a lot. I spend a lot of time on the courts. I didn't go out last night, and I didn't had fun. I was trying to prepare myself and try to -- I know -- give myself another chance.

But I think it's the last one.

Q. How has Lundgren helped you? What do you hope to get out of this relationship?

MARAT SAFIN: What do you mean?

Q. Just, your coach.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. I mean, how has he helped you?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but what he can -- about Wimbledon or about what?

Q. Just in general.

MARAT SAFIN: Well, I mean, we didn't make any results yet, any incredible results. So we have to work on that. Unfortunately, I was prepared for Paris. I was playing good. But I couldn't finish that particular tournament.

Then here, which is second big tournament we're playing, is not like the tournament to show my best results.

But he's trying to support. He's trying to, you know, like put a little bit -- be a little bit motivated, be a little bit positive.

But not yet. The results not coming yet.

But I think it's good. It's really good for me. I don't want to speak about this tournament. But be seriously, be honest, like it's coming, second part of the year. I think it's gonna be much better.

He is pretty good person. He knows what he is doing. I trust him more than 100%, and the results will come soon.

Q. You had such a great result in Australia, so people should expect great things from you outside of Wimbledon.

MARAT SAFIN: Probably. Wimbledon, let's not talk about Wimbledon. It's not really the place to, you know -- is not my surface. Is not my territory. I just -- is like I didn't play that tournament.

Because it's still coming, like long American tour. That's what I'm trying to focus. Is two big Super 9s, then there is Olympics, then there is US Open. So that's what I'm trying to focus.

Q. Did your blisters heal?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, yeah. Perfect.

Q. Strange, wasn't it?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. Nobody knew what it was. I don't know.

Q. Could we see your hand?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it's perfect (showing hands).

Q. That's amazing.

MARAT SAFIN: Amazing blisters or amazing...

Q. No, it's an amazing recovery.

MARAT SAFIN: The recovery (smiling).

Q. Is there any chance this will be a very low moment and in the middle of August we'll see you with a gold medal around your neck in Athens?

MARAT SAFIN: Like I said many times, and I'm still insisting that the Olympics is not for tennis. Tennis doesn't need the Olympic Games. It's not my best -- it's not my goal in my life to win Olympic Games and say to everybody that I have Olympic gold medal.

We have four Grand Slams. We have Super 9s. We have a lot of tournaments. We have pretty tough schedule. And now we gonna have Olympics. I mean, of course it's gonna be -- it's every four years. But, still, it's little bit -- it's more like for amateur sports. Of course it's like for swimmers, for runners, it's great. Then triathlon, all these things that for them, Olympic Games is huge. They have World Cup once a year, European Cup once a year. There's not many tournaments they have. So they prepare basically for six months to go to this tournaments.

We are playing almost every week, and we are gonna have Olympic Games. We are professional sport. Let's see, like nobody from NBA basically playing. Because everybody says is student from the colleges, right? I mean, of course they gonna bring some big guys just to, you know, to play, just to make it more entertaining. But the tennis doesn't need this.

Q. So why are you playing?

MARAT SAFIN: Why I'm playing?

Q. Yeah.

MARAT SAFIN: It's not because -- because I have to play for Russia. Because I have to. I have to do it. But is not my goal in my life to win the Olympic Games.

Ask Marc Rosset. He will tell you the same. He won it. He is not really proud of it, and just saying, "I won the Olympic Games. It's great. It feels unbelievable," and it's the best thing that will happen in his life.

Q. What is your big goal right now?

MARAT SAFIN: For me, it's the Grand Slams. I think for tennis players, is nothing bigger than the Grand Slams. And nothing will be bigger than that, not even Masters at the end of the year. Of course it's huge. But you're most known for Grand Slams. That's how it was, how it is, and how it will be.

Q. Have you had chats with Yevgeny about this?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but Yevgeny is the same, probably the same. You don't get this special feeling. Of course you more playing for your country than you playing for yourself.

But just all they do is like different way. Are teams. So they change something. Because it's not -- I'm not excited. I'm not excited at all to go there.

But, first of all, look at the schedule we have. We have two Super 9s, we have to go to Olympics, and we have to fly back to the States. So it's also little bit not... not good.

And then they try to, you know -- then the players, they have to perform here and there, and they have jetlag also. If you gonna play well in Olympic Games, you might not play very well in US Open. And after two tough Super 9s, you have to fly to Olympic Games and then prepare yourself well there. It's really tough schedule.

Q. Is this why guys are getting hurt more often?

MARAT SAFIN: Of course. Because you have a very long years. Like, for example, Ferrero, he's basically finish for this year. Because he played -- he finish last year. What he played? Masters, and he had to fly in Australia for the Davis Cup. From there he had to come back and already he had no time even to rest. He has to prepare for next season. And that's why he got hurt. That's why basically he's suffering for this year, that he can't do anything.

Then the people, they wondering what happen to them. I mean, look at our schedule. We have no time even to rest.

And I think it's -- they have to change something, for sure. Think a little bit about the players and try to make the schedule a little bit shorter so the players, they can perform well.

Also, the people, they don't want to pay for -- in my opinion, every time -- you basically can see the person every week. So the people not excited to see Ferrero, to see Federer. Because you can see in Halle, or you can drive one hour and you already are in Rosmalen. So it's like it's not interesting anymore for the people.

That's why I see so many times there's empty stadiums. Grand Slams are huge. That's why they doing well.

Q. How disappointing is it not to be going further here?

MARAT SAFIN: Huh?

Q. How disappointing is it not to be able to keep playing here?

MARAT SAFIN: It's okay. Like I said, it's not my biggest goal. I tried and I tried, but it doesn't work. Really, is not my tournament where I can play well because I don't feel comfortable. I cannot move. For me, it's difficult to play my tennis.

So basically, I have to focus on play well in other surfaces, which is clay; I can play on hard courts, indoors. Basically, this tournament, not many people that can play here.

Q. Bud's favorite surface is grass.

MARAT SAFIN: Not for me (laughing).

Q. When you're playing Dmitry, are you playing a Russian or an American?

MARAT SAFIN: No, but he's from my club. He's from Russia and he will be Russian. It's just a little bit -- "Surfing Dude," we call him.

Q. You still love tennis, or do you tend to get bored with it?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I love tennis. I just don't like grass (smiling).

the cat
Jun 26th, 2004, 02:44 PM
I'm finally losing hope with Safin. :( He seems as immature and uncontrollable as ever. And the performance of the Russian men at Wimbledon was absolutely dreadful! :mad:

KV
Jul 10th, 2004, 03:21 PM
Some good news. Igor Andreev reached the final,he'll meet R. Federer

goldenlox
Jul 11th, 2004, 03:35 PM
Wimbledon champion Roger Federer beat Igor Andreev 6-2, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 Sunday to win the Swiss Open for the first time.

It's the tour-leading seventh title of the season for the top-ranked Federer, who has won his last nine finals.

Federer had to play four matches in three days because of rain delays.

"I always believed that I could win in Switzerland," said Federer, who adjusted quickly to this tournament's red clay after beating Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final for his 24th straight victory on grass.

"If you can come from Wimbledon and play on the clay court -- totally different tennis, totally different game -- and win a tournament, you really deserve the title of tennis' No. 1," Andreev said.

It was the first ATP Tour final for Andreev, a Russian who turns 21 Wednesday. "It's good experience for me, and I just hope I can go a stage further in the future," he said.

saab95
Jul 11th, 2004, 04:52 PM
http://boxmail.biz/constructor/img/122463.jpg

it seems first final but not last

This year Igor played some good matches.

JC Ferreiro, Gaudio, Agassi, Federer....

If he can improve backhand he'll get top-20.

http://alltennis.boxmail.biz/cgi-bin/guide.pl?action=article&id_razdel=5840&id_article=82322

vaiva
Jul 29th, 2004, 01:24 PM
Here's some insight on what's happening with Marat [from his interview after 1rd loss to Kiefer in Toronto TMS]:

Q. Kind of playing off Tom's question of how are you different from when you won here in 2000? When you're here in 2002 you seemed to be fighting yourself a lot. It didn't seem like there was as much of that today. You seemed a lot more playing within yourself. Where are you in relation to where you were then?

Safin. I'm not fighting with myself. Oh, my God. That's how I am. You know, the story of the hippo? The hippo comes to the monkey and said, listen, I'm not a hippo. So, he paint himself like a zebra. He said but he's still a hippo. He said but look at you, you're painted like a zebra but you are a hippo. So then he goes, you know, like I want be a little parrot. So, he put the colours on him and he comes to the monkey and said but, sorry, you are a hippo. So, in the end, you know, he comes and said I'm happy to be a hippo. This is who I am. So, I have to be who I am and he's happy being a hippo. :cuckoo:

goldenlox
Jul 29th, 2004, 01:28 PM
I saw Marat play on tv yesterday. Brad Gilbert said Marat should be in his best form now. The way he played in Melbourne.
Gilbert thinks it's partly lack of hard training, and partly his temperment.

goldenlox
Jul 29th, 2004, 02:58 PM
Colourful Safin talks about hippos, monkeys and zebras after loss
DAN RALPH Canadian Press
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
http://mirror.canada.com/images/s.gif

TORONTO (CP) - Leave it to Marat Safin to spice things up a little at the $2.5-million US Tennis Masters Series Canada event.

The colourful Russian was a first-round casualty Wednesday, with German Nicolas Kiefer defeating the 15th-seeded Safin in a hard-fought, three-set match. Safin, who earlier this year expressed his disgust with Wimbledon's grass courts and at another tournament dropped his shorts during a match, was on his best behaviour at centre court at the Rexall Centre. But he quickly got off on a tangent during his post-game news conference.

Safin, the 2000 Tennis Masters Series Canada champion, was asked how he's different now than he was during his last visit here two years ago, when the reporter suggested the Russian seemed to be fighting himself a lot.

"I'm not fighting with myself," he said. "Oh my God, that's how I am."

Then came vintage Safin.

"You know the story about the hippo?," he said. "The hippo comes to the monkey and said, 'Listen, I'm not a hippo.'

"He said but he's still a hippo. He said, but look at you, you're painted like a zebra but you are a hippo. So then he goes, you know, like I want to be a leopard. So he put the colours on him and he comes to the monkey and said, 'But, sorry, you are a hippo.'

"So, in the end, he comes and said, 'I'm happy to be a hippo.' This is who I am so I have to be who I am and he's happy being a hippo."

Then Safin, the 2000 U.S. Open champion, proceeded to translate his bizarre opening statements.

"I'm happy with the way I am, that's me, that's my tennis," he said. "I'm not fighting anything and I'm just trying to play and I'm trying to have fun.

"Sometimes I have ups, sometimes I have downs. But I'm trying, you know, to make my life easier and enjoy it but it's a difficult job."

Pro tennis might be a difficult occupation, but Safin is managing quite nicely.

He is presently ranked No. 14 in the world and came into this tournament having won $808,383 US this year. Over his career, Safin has bankrolled nearly $9.5 million US, which isn't too shabby for a 24-year-old who now calls Monaco home.

But Safin said he wouldn't trade places with Switzerland's Roger Federer, the top seed here and world's top-ranked player. Federer has won seven ATP titles this year, including the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and has earned over $3 million US.

"No, I would not enjoy it," Safin said. "I will not enjoy his life, he will not enjoy mine.

"I like the life I have. It could be better, that's why I'm here and I'm trying to improve myself and I'm sure Roger also wants to be better in some way. Not on the court, he can't be any better on the court but he also, you know (has) the weak points."

KV
Aug 4th, 2004, 02:17 PM
Misha def. M. Massu in 3 sets, though you hardly could call this a surprise. Unhappily he doesn't receive Qual. points for that.

goldenlox
Aug 6th, 2004, 05:18 AM
August 2, 2004

M. SAFIN/J. Novak
6-3, 6-0

MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat.

Q. How did you feel today?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, it was good. It was, actually, for my first win in two months. So it was pretty -- I was pretty happy. I was a little bit nervous at the beginning, and then I started to feel better and better. A little bit I gain some confidence. And was good. Good win for me.

Q. Can you talk about your past few tournaments where you've had early exits.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, was like a little bit disappointing for me. I had chances, and I had I would say -- just I had a lot of chances. I couldn't take them. Even against -- last week against Kiefer I didn't play really my best tennis, but I was there, I had the opportunity in the second set. Like I had the set and 2-Love. I couldn't hold my serve. And then it started to be complicated, and then he started to play with more confidence. And he beat me. It was like third-set tiebreak is a lottery. So I was little bit unlucky. Also in Wimbledon was same situation, you know. So it's basically the first win from French Open.

Q. How important is it for this momentum?

MARAT SAFIN: Very important. Very important. Very important to win some matches and start to win, you know, to get the confidence back, and try to work on yourself, not to rush too much, and try to go for another one. I mean, it's so complicated to get the confidence back. So you have to, you know, to take match by match and go slowly because everybody's playing pretty well. And they have to be focused. It's tough conditions. So it might help me because I didn't play a lot of matches so, you know, I am a little bit more fresh than other players.

Q. It was a pretty quick win today. What was the difference?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, he didn't -- I played like I had nothing to lose, so I tried to do my best. I was running, I was fighting, I was serving well. So I didn't make big change in my match. And then he didn't really play well. I mean, I have to be honest. He didn't really felt comfortable on the court. So it was a matter of making a break in the first set, and things would be much easier. That's why it went so easy in the second set. He couldn't find himself on the court basically, and I took advantage of it.

Q. What do you think of the tournament here?

MARAT SAFIN: It's a Masters Series. Great tournament. I mean, even to -- in such tough conditions, not really a big city, you know, for Mason basically; is not Cincinnati. People are still interested in it. It's good entertainment for them. I hope they enjoy it. Because this tournament is here for a long time, so it means that it's doing well. And a lot of kids. So it's quite important. I mean, if the people still come and still interested in tennis, it means that we're doing well.

KV
Aug 6th, 2004, 10:22 AM
Finally he got his win with a convincing scoreline

bubble
Aug 6th, 2004, 03:36 PM
Marat Safin

Q. You had never played him before. How did you approach this match? You must have been a little bit worried to play him for the first time.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's a little bit tough opponent to play. No rhythm. I mean, he serves incredibly well. So I have to be really focused and wait for opportunities because ‑‑ for your chances.

So I had a chance in the first set. I had a few breakpoints. Then in the tiebreak just you have to be focus. There always will be one point if you will miss, or also the second serve, then you have to take advantage of it.

But it's kind of just one, two points makes a big difference in that match. So it was try to stay focus, try to hold my serve, and hang in there and wait.

Q. What are you the most happy of in your game?

MARAT SAFIN: That even that I stayed quite focused. I managed to return, I managed to have my breakpoints, quite a lot of chances to break him even though that he was serving well. I mean, five, six breakpoints, that's a big deal against him. And even though I couldn't take my chances, but I was there. That's a good sign.

Q. You had a bunch of breakpoints. We didn't see the point that you won, you got your break in the third set. I think he had already saved a couple. What happened?

MARAT SAFIN: Basically he made the double‑fault. But I don't think so. But they called it out.

Q. You seemed to have a lot of people cheering for you out there. Is that common for you in the early rounds, do you think?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know what's common. If the people, they enjoy it, that's great. I don't think they're just cheering me they want me to win, they want to see also a good game. Must be like they like me, they like my game. I'm happy for them (smiling).

Q. Do the fans play a part in a match for you?

MARAT SAFIN: What?

Q. Do you find the fans play a part in a match for you?

MARAT SAFIN: It's kind of good to have some support. I mean, of course it's good. They are really into it. I heard some people, that they were.

No, it's good to have some supporters even though that there was a match on center court. And they were really, the people, they were really into it. I mean, not so many of them, but, still, they were really trying to help me and try to give some advices and supporting me. That's good. That's good.

Q. You play with some emotion and personality, obviously. Do you try to, to some extent, play to the fans and win them over?

MARAT SAFIN: Can you repeat that?

Q. Do you attempt to get the fans on your side by showing personality on the court?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I'm not trying. I'm just trying to win the match. That's my main goal. I mean, when you are winning, everybody's just ‑‑ they like it. I mean, the people, they really like the winners; they don't like the losers. So when you are playing well and your main goal to win, then you are kind of playing good tennis and feeling comfortable on the court and you have some great shots so the people, they love it. They always like to see some great shots. That's what it's all about, is entertainment. Is nothing else. Entertainment, sport. The people, they pay not just to see the boring match and just, you know, to kill the time. They're coming here and they want to see tennis ‑ great points, they want to see personalties, they want to see athletes fighting and all these things. So basically you have to give them.

Q. You've been up to No. 1, then you had some struggles and injuries. Do you sense there are a lot of tennis fans rooting for you to get back up there, they're cheering for you now?

MARAT SAFIN: Apart from that, also I'm doing for myself. I'm not doing for anybody else.

It's not so easy, though, to come back and try to come back strong and all of a sudden become No. 1 in the world. It takes a little bit of time. I've been out for quite ‑‑ almost for a year.

So I need to get used to ‑‑ you need to come back, first of all, to get the rhythm, to get the confidence back. Because sometimes if you are injured and you are a little bit scared, also it can break again, not just of the injury. So is little bit more mental, mental problem. Just, you know, like you have to get through this and you have to work harder because you lost already one year. If you didn't play for a year, you're losing that touch, you're losing the eye, you're losing the feeling, you're losing most of the things of the game.

And you need to bring it back, and then you can fight for No. 1 and try to do some great things on the court.

Q. What kind of things did you do to occupy your time during that year? Was it hard to find something that interested you?

MARAT SAFIN: Anything except tennis (smiling). Anything.

Q. Was it hard to come up with things that interested you?

MARAT SAFIN: Believe me, there are very interesting things in life except tennis. I mean, tennis is great. But also there is ‑‑ is not the only thing in life that can a person have. And, believe me, there is much more things than that. Tennis is a part of your life, a major part of your life. But if you are not playing tennis, there is plenty of things to do.

Q. Do you find motivation a little bit easier to come as you go along the week rather than first round?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, the motivation kills ‑‑ what kills motivation? Kills if you lose in the first round, it kills the matches that you are fighting and you are trying as hard as you can and losing 7‑6 in the third and then you are just like, you know, 7‑6, 7‑6. I lost to Bjorkman , for example, in Halle 7‑6 in the third. I lost in Wimbledon tough match. I had the opportunity to win in three sets and I lost it. Then I lost to Kiefer 7‑6 in the third. So how you can find the motivation?

I mean, motivation automatically goes away. Because you are trying and you are trying so hard that it's just killing you from inside.

So when you have the opportunity to win, then the motivation comes back ‑ I mean, with the matches and the confidence coming back. Once you have the confidence, you enjoy it more, tennis. You don't struggle any more on the court. You just go there and you play and you enjoy it because you can do things that normally you do playing good.

Q. Therefore, as you get to the quarterfinals, it's easier because you've got some wins?

MARAT SAFIN: Now we're talking about something. If you lose the first round, second round, it's not interesting actually. It's just basically you didn't achieve anything.

So if you're in the quarterfinals, it's already something that can become something bigger. Once you have quarterfinals, then ambitions, motivation, ambitions, they coming back. You want to achieve more and more and more.

Q. You don't know who you're going to play, but can you say a few words about Hewitt and about Henman .

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, it's gonna be tough match for both of them. I mean, Henman , he can play great tennis. Hewitt is always tough, he's always running, he's always fighting, and he gonna be there for as many hours as he need to be there.

I mean, against Hewitt it's little bit difficult just because he's all the time fighting, and you have to be there for 100 percent every game, every point, even though if you are winning he can come back from out of nowhere.

With Henman , the problem is that he can serve well, he has great volleys, and he has a very aggressive game. So you have to be pretty focused and take your chances ‑ basically like today.

There's one, two points that makes a big difference. He serves well. He improved a lot ‑ improved a lot. I mean, he can play from the baseline, he can go to the net. I mean, the volley, he's just one of the best now in these days. From the baseline, he improved. He can run with you. If you're not 100 percent, he will just ‑‑ he will beat you quite easy.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

Noticed that Marat said that he has to stay really focused... :eek: This is a nice change from the OAF... :o

:yeah: Keep it up Hippo

Warrior
Aug 6th, 2004, 11:41 PM
Does anyone here know if Tursunov will continue playing for Russia? Commentators keep saying that he wants to become US citizen.

goldenlox
Aug 7th, 2004, 12:32 AM
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040806/capt.xmas10108061902.masters_cincinnati_xmas101.jp g Fri Aug 6, 3:05 PM EThttp://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/p/ap120.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/brand/SIG=br2v03/*http://www.ap.org)
Marat Safin from Russia, reacts to a missed shot during a quarterfinal match with Lleyton Hewitt from Australia, Friday, Aug. 6, 2004, at the Masters Cincinnati tournament in Mason, Ohio. Hewitt won 6-4, 6-4

KV
Aug 7th, 2004, 12:13 PM
Marat's improving from his recent results, but certainly not at his best. Best illustration his defeat vs. Hewitt. Or Hewitt got away with things.