Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Somewhere fairly shingly
Re: Expect the unexpected???
Seriously, from the interview after the Labadze match it seems as though he has accepted that he cannot do well at certain events and resigned himself to his fate at events like IW, Miami and Wimbledon. It's not the attitude of a no. 1 player, and it'll certainly make it difficult for this rivalry with Federer that the ATP are longing for to actually emerge, but Safin himself has said that he'll never have the consistency of someone like Federer and, as we've all heard, you can't change a happy hippo's spots. He says that his game is high-risk and when the confidence is not there then he ends up missing too much and not feeling comfortable on court, but other players must go through similar lulls - yet they manage to battle through most of the time.
Safin's really too much of a perfectionist for his own good, ranting at his own mistakes but also at well-played points from his opponent; it's as if he believes the hype about himself that he should be controlling everything on court since he has such a dominant game, but it's obvious from the humility of his interviews that he doesn't think of himself like that. Federer had similar problems with being a perfectionist a couple of years ago, and has only really developed the capacity to "win ugly" over the last year or so.
The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.
Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?
ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.