CHENGDU, China (AP) — Famed for his angry outbursts on court, former top-ranked tennis player Marat Safin revealed Thursday he wants to put his argumentative skills to use in the Russian parliament.
The 31-year-old Safin is up for election to the State Duma on Dec. 4 and could join other Russian sports stars including gold medal-winning gymnast Svetlana Khorkina in the lower house of parliament.
"I am an intelligent guy and I have a lot to bring and a lot of ideas about things and what to do," Safin said. "I am very committed to it."
Safin retired in 2009 after winning two Grand Slam titles and reaching the No. 1 ranking in 2000. He earned a reputation as a gifted but unpredictable player, breaking countless rackets during his frequent bouts of rage.
Since he quit the sport after a series of injuries, Safin has been working for the Russian tennis federation and has become a member of the Russian Olympic committee.
He has also started playing on the ATP Champions Tour for former stars and it was at the Chengdu Open in China that Safin revealed his political ambitions.
Safin participated in the primaries in the Nyzhny Novgorod region, and now awaits the Dec. 4 vote to take one of the 450 seats in the Duma.
"I could be the best looking guy in the Duma," Safin said. "But that's only because all the other guys are over 60."
We should be appreciative of Federer though, because we will never see anything like him again. The fact he can still compete for slams ever after the erosion of his physical skills is really a greater testament to the natural talent he has than the period of time when he was dominating the tour.