Surly Safin: I won 2 Slams. Leave me alone.
Basically that's the jist of the interview. Although he said he hints at still wanting to end the year #1
D. HRBATY/M. Safin
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You appeared to lack focus today. I mean, mentally you seemed a little bit at sea. Was there a reason for that?
MARAT SAFIN: No, just I really didn't play well. I didn't felt good on the court. I just couldn't find my game.
Q. Have you felt comfortable since the Australian?
MARAT SAFIN: Some moments, yeah. But like, normally, like I said, this month I never play well. So for me it's nothing new.
Q. You don't like the heat here?
MARAT SAFIN: No, I don't like the ‑‑ just for some reason I don't play well in both Indian Wells and Miami.
Q. So in the future are you planning to take March off?
MARAT SAFIN: No, just I have to come back. I have to come back and try to improve my record.
Q. Do you put more pressure on yourself now that you are the Australian Open champion? Does that make a tournament like this that you struggle at traditionally even harder?
MARAT SAFIN: No. Personally, I don't have any pressure but just, you know, I am not playing well which is okay, but it's little bit disappointing of course not doing well in the big tournaments.
But the people, the people are talking, so I guess, you know, everybody's ‑‑ everybody gives own opinion about how I'm playing and how well should I do and maybe I have a little pressure, and "Maybe he is not focused enough because he won Australian Open."
I don't really care about this, but I am trying my best.
Q. So you feel like you're being psychoanalyzed more since you won in Australia?
MARAT SAFIN: Me, I'm not. Like I said always, I've done my things that I had to do, you know. I won the two Grand Slams, you know. I came back from, you know, like five years I didn't win any major. I won another one. So for me it's a big thing, and I don't really care about opinion of the other people who tries to be, you know ‑‑ put me not under pressure, but the people who gives me an opinion, you know, about, "He should do that." I think I had a pretty decent career, so I don't have nothing, no pressure at all.
Q. How angry does it make you when you're out there on the court knowing you have the potential to play championship tennis but, like you said, you can't find your game on that one day?
MARAT SAFIN: But that's like everybody is different. You cannot compare anybody to anybody. So people, when they are playing, they are playing not really good but they can just run around the court and try to put as many balls as they can. Personally, when I'm playing bad, I'm playing really bad. There's nothing I can do. Serve doesn't work. Backhand doesn't go the way it should be. And of course the forehand struggles. So with this kind of game, it's difficult to beat anybody. So I have to keep on working, keep on waiting for the best times to come.
Q. You're a pretty young guy and you're saying you've had a pretty decent career.
MARAT SAFIN: Exactly. But you know how many times I hear ‑‑
Q. Do you want Grand Slam No. 3 or 4?
MARAT SAFIN: You know how many times I hear stories about me "He should have done that, he should have won five majors, 10 Masters Series events, he should have won like 30 tournaments"? Who cares. It's my career. I have done it for seven years that I am on the tour. I've been like four years in Top 10, Top 5, and then I won, like, two majors, five Masters Series, I won a Davis Cup, so it's pretty good.
Q. So what do you want now for yourself? You're still playing?
MARAT SAFIN: Maintain myself there where I was, where I am right now, actually. Keep on working. Of course more tournaments will come. Just I'm a little bit tired, you know, like every time I hear opinions, "I should be there," or, "He should be doing this." It gets a little tiring.
Q. This tournament notwithstanding, you are the only man who has a chance to win the calendar Grand Slam. Having won the Australian, you are the only person who can win all four majors this year.
MARAT SAFIN: I don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow. You're asking me already of winning another three majors. I mean, we are little bit ‑‑ little too far away for French Open, first of all.
Yes, there is a chance, but theoretically.
Q. Are you looking forward to the clay?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I hope better times will come.
Q. You had a chance to gain ground on Roddick this week with his loss. Does it frustrate you that you weren't able to capitalize?
MARAT SAFIN: Who cares, to be honest. It's not like it's my goal, you know, pass Roddick. At the end of the season, when it counts basically. It's not like really ‑‑ I'm not counting the points right now because it's just the beginning of the season. The season is really still long. A lot of people, they gonna have ups and downs ‑ also me.
So we'll see the end of the year who gonna be more stable and who gonna be able to maintain himself in a higher position, and then we can discuss about this in October, if I've passed Roddick, Hewitt dropped, Federer, he gave us a chance for somebody to become No. 1 in the world, then it's interesting. Right now, it's not really important, you know. Important would be the ranking at the end of the season.
Q. You talked the other night about your efforts to try to hold your frustration in check during matches. Is that even harder to do on a hot day like this?
MARAT SAFIN: No, but I am used little bit to the heat. It has nothing to do with the heat.
Q. How did you think you did in that regard today, trying to stay after the match? Even in the second set, when it was getting away from you, keeping your frustration in check, how do you feel you did with that?
MARAT SAFIN: Wow...
The frustration not coming because ‑‑ it's difficult to deal, you know, with the situation when you are playing bad and you are losing, that's for sure. Everybody would have the same problem in my position for sure. I don't think if you would play the same way that I ‑‑ if you would feel the same thing what I felt today, I'm sure you would go crazy, also.
So let's not, you know, like to be, you know, "He should be little bit cooler," or, "He should pay more attention, concentrate more." It's really difficult to do on the court when basically you have your chances in the first set. Then it would be completely different story. But then the first set slipped, you know, slipped away. He was little bit lucky. Then the second set, you don't really find your game and the guy is playing better and better, and you're little bit ‑‑ you know that you had your chances in the first set, that second set would be a little bit different.
And it's just, you can see how the matches is going. It's really sad that you not be in the second round. So it's just kind of things that it's difficult to deal with in a match, especially in a match like this.
Q. You've played Dominik many times before. In your head‑to‑heads, it's 7‑all.
MARAT SAFIN: 7‑all.
Q. Therefore, coming into this match, you must have felt some pressure? Obviously, he knows how to play you. Did you decide to come with something different today, or did you have a specific strategy in your mind as to how you were going to win the match?
MARAT SAFIN: But as well is I know how to play against him. He's not going to come up with something incredible, new things to play against me. He's not going to play serve and volley or chip and charge all the time. He's not gonna do that. He's gonna stick to his game. It's me who has to be a little bit more creative and try to bring him in and all these things.
So I couldn't really make these shots to bring him in and make him slice, a little bit spin, change the rhythm, come to the net a couple of times. Just I couldn't find my game on the back ‑‑ from the baseline. That's where the trouble came. When I'm not feeling comfortable, he is feeling that, and he feels more confident, he's secure, and he's going for the shots. That's why the second set he played much better; he felt it.
Q. How did you feel after he won that let point in that tiebreaker? Were you thinking, "Today is not my day"?
MARAT SAFIN: It's frustrating when you have, you know, like when it's 6‑All in the tiebreak and you have this kind of just lucky shot, you know. Gives you set point and serving. So how...
Can't get more disappointing than that.
Q. You're one of the few top players that still plays doubles. How do you feel that's helping your game?
MARAT SAFIN: Not much (laughter).
I didn't really win a doubles match in a tournament since very long time. Trying to ‑‑ doubles is a little bit like a practice. You work on your serve, you work on your returns, you work on your volleys. Basically, if you don't go to practice, you go to play a doubles, let's put it this way ‑ and you get paid (smiling).
Q. Did you spend any time on South Beach when you're here?
MARAT SAFIN: No.
Q. Maybe you should start doing that?
MARAT SAFIN: I'm old enough to know what I have to do.
Q. Thought you could use another opinion.
MARAT SAFIN: (Smiling).
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