Originally Posted by Tennis Fool
Kafelnikov has said in the past that he didn't want any other Russian man to eclipse his achievements in tennis. Has Marat done this?
Uh, where he has said so? Sounds very unlikely, because he worked to develope Russian tennis. I know he isn't very appreciated in the West, but he commands much respect amongst fUSSR tennis players.
As far as career totals go, Yevgeny is still ahead overall, because of more titles, Olympic Gold and RG+AO is more valuable combination than USO+AO (due to clay factor), and also because Kafelnikov's doubles achievments.
However Safin's titles have been won in much shorter timescale and there is no doubt that he has superior potential and is likely to eclipse Kafelnikov. YK never won more than 4 titles per year and he never won any Masters/Super 9 singles titles. Also, while Yevgeny had all the tools to become real all-time great, he never had the mindset to make it happen. He almost always lost to contemporary top players and seldom seemed truly to believe that he was one of the best. Safin by contrast has mind and will of a champion and isn't afraid of anyone (except maybe Santoro