Marat comments on the state of (Russian) men's tennis, and on the upcoming French Open, via Itar-Tass
Marat Safin: A lack of new prominent names associated with reduced levels of male junior tennis
MOSCOW, May 23. / Correspondent. ITAR-TASS Albert Starodubsev /
Former tennis world number one Russian Marat Safin believes that the level of male junior tennis has fallen seriously in recent years, and there are no bright new names in the sport.
"Why in tennis there is no fresh blood? This is a very complex issue," Safin told a correspondent for ITAR-TASS. "When I was in big sports, in those years was very much competition. Together with Roger Federer is the young were a serious threat to the the same Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. I think the whole reason that the level of junior tennis now fallen. At the time of my promising players aged 18-19 years were already in the hundreds of the best tennis players of the world, won at major tournaments. And now tennis players in this age group are at best in the third hundred and benefit only the "challengers". Here I see some moments of crisis in men's tennis."
Safin also made his prediction for the upcoming French Open, which starts on May 26: "I think that there are no new names coming tournament we will not open", said the former tennis player. "For the victory it will fight all those who were among the favorites a year or two ago. Will beat Maria Sharapova? I think she has a good chance for that."
With regard had fallen on hard times in the national tennis, I can only speak for men", continued Safin. "Yes, we had good times, when Russia won the Davis Cup, the domestic tennis players have won Grand Slam tournaments, the Olympics. Now it's all in the past, and our place is not in the World Group of the Davis Cup. The Russian Tennis Federation is headed by a very respected by me, Shamil Tarpischev Anvyarovich, who has his own point of view, how to bring our tennis of the protracted crisis. Whether he's correct, it's difficult for me to judge, because now I'm retired from tennis, I don't know how the federation ... Now I have a lot of other things. But I hope that in our tennis better times. Do I have the desire to become the president of the federation, and most take for that lots of problems? me so far no proposals have been received."