Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

By MaliVai Washington
Special to ESPN.com

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Year after year, it seems like Andre Agassi goes into a major and somehow manages to play less tennis than everyone else in the draw.


This year's Australian Open is no exception. Agassi is playing very good tennis, but he hasn't been tested yet. His semifinal opponent, Marat Safin, on the other hand, managed to go four or five sets in each of his five matches.


One of the challenges for Safin in this semfinal match will be his legs. How well will he recover after his five-set victory against Andy Roddick? The tennis Safin played Tuesday night showed he's as good as any top-five player in the world. The question now is whether his legs are strong enough to withstand the running he's going to do against Agassi.


Against Roddick, Safin opted to stay on the baseline, but there might not be any player who can beat Agassi from the baseline on Rebound Ace.


From Agassi's standpoint, he'll be hoping that this semifinal is played in the heat of the day. Hailing from the desert, Agassi admits he loves playing in hot, humid conditions because he knows he can physically outlast any opponent.


The key for Safin will be his serve. If he serves well, protecting it as he did against Roddick, he'll have his one and only chance.


There just seems to be too many factors against Safin winning this match, so expect Agassi to win it in four sets.

MaliVai Washington, a tennis analyst for ESPN, reached the 1996 Wimbledon final.




It's a night match......

Marat "the Hippo" Safin
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 12:41 PM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

Yep, it's a night match, and if Safin can win enough cheap points on his serve and finish points quickly he has a chance. That's a very big if, of course, but it's amazing to think that these two haven't played in over three years (the last time at Lisbon being the only one when Safin was really a top player and in his best career form).

I'm not sure I agree about the baseliner statement either - Sampras, Agassi's all-time nemesis, played him twice here and lost, whereas look at the similarities between the three who have beaten him at the AO - Chang and Spadea are the classic American hustlers and grinders, while Berasetegui was nicknamed the Little Matador for his fighting spirit. Of course, Safin doesn't have the same counterpunching style, but he's still a class opponent.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 01:12 PM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

Safin could totally beat Agassi. He's Marat Safin, for god's sake!

I agree that all the time spent on the court could hurt Safin, but if he can keep from being run around the court chasing balls, he has a shot.

Hopefully Andre will play up to his usual high standard.

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 02:34 PM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

He just needs a beer beforehand. He'll be okay
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 02:38 PM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

Marat can definitely beat Agassi, but it will be tough. He'll need to make sure there is a lot of variation in his game, so that he stands a chance. Once Agassi gets going, he'll be hard to stop.

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 02:39 PM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

I think Andre will win in straight sets, but Safin definitely has a chance if he plays well and maybe Andre has an off day, like he had against Nalbandian in Kooyong. But Andre will try to exploit Safin's tiredness by moving him around as much as possible and I'd give him the edge if the match goes the distance. Whatever the result, Marat has already had a great tournament anyway, and a great start to his comeback year.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 05:34 PM
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Re: Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterQ
Safin could totally beat Agassi. He's Marat Safin, for god's sake!
a classic argument already!! you crack me up time and again MisterQ, thanks for making my day (oh no wait, Marat will do that)
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 06:40 PM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

128 W Mariano PUERTA (ARG) 6-2 6-2 6-3
64 W Sjeng SCHALKEN (NED) 7-5 6-0 6-3
32 W Mariano ZABALETA (ARG) 6-4 6-4 6-2
16 W Mark PHILIPPOUSSIS (AUS) 6-4 7-6(4) 5-7 6-3
QF W Hicham ARAZI (MAR) 6-4 6-4 6-2
SF W Pete SAMPRAS (USA) 6-4 3-6 6-7(0) 7-6(5) 6-1
FR W Yevgeny KAFELNIKOV (RUS) 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-4

128 W Jiri VANEK (CZE) 6-0 7-5 6-3
64 W Paul GOLDSTEIN (USA) 6-1 6-3 6-1
32 W David PRINOSIL (GER) 7-6(11) 5-0 Retired
16 W Andrew ILIE (AUS) 6-7(1) 6-3 6-0 6-3
QF W Todd MARTIN (USA) 7-5 6-3 6-4
SF W Patrick RAFTER (AUS) 7-5 2-6 6-7(5) 6-2 6-3
FR W Arnaud CLEMENT (FRA) 6-4 6-2 6-2

128 W Brian VAHALY (USA) 7-5 6-3 6-3
64 W Hyung-Taik LEE (KOR) 6-1 6-0 6-0
32 W Nicolas ESCUDE (FRA) 6-2 3-6 6-3 6-4
16 W Guillermo CORIA (ARG) 6-1 3-1 Retired
QF W Sebastien GROSJEAN (FRA) 6-3 6-2 6-2
SF W Wayne FERREIRA (RSA) 6-2 6-2 6-3
FR W Rainer SCHUETTLER (GER) 6-2 6-2 6-1

128 W Todd LARKHAM (AUS) 6-1 6-3 6-4
64 W Tomas BERDYCH (CZE) 6-0 6-2 6-4
32 W Thomas ENQVIST (SWE) 6-0 6-3 6-3
16 W Paradorn SRICHAPHAN (THA) 7-6(3) 6-3 6-4
QF W Sebastien GROSJEAN (FRA) 6-2 2-0 Retired

That's the list of Agassi's 26 straight victories. And the list of his opponents at last three AOs is hardly impressive. In fact, Marat is the first quality opponent Agassi faces since AO-2000.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 06:49 PM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

The title is wrong, nowhere in the article Mal says that "Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi".
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 08:19 PM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

YS: So you think Marat has the edge because Agassi hasn't had any quality opponents?
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 08:41 PM
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Re: Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

Quote:
Originally Posted by ys
That's the list of Agassi's 26 straight victories. And the list of his opponents at last three AOs is hardly impressive. In fact, Marat is the first quality opponent Agassi faces since AO-2000.
Patrick Rafter is not a quality opponent?

If you look at the scores you will see that Andre did not just get lucky and "sneak through" the draw.

Anyway, I won't deny that 2003 was a pretty easy draw in particular. But Grosjean and Escude can be dangerous. And it's not AA's fault that the other "top players" couldn't hack it...

Last edited by MisterQ; 01-28-2004 at 08:48 PM.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 09:09 PM
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As happy as I am for Marat's come back performance in this tournament, I have to agree with Mal on this call. (I can't imagine why Mal thought this might be a day match.) This is a tall, tall order for Marat. I will be ecstatic if he pulls off a win here! But, at this point it doesn't look likely. Go Marat!!
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 09:35 PM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

Marat has to come out confident, believing in himself, and going for his shots. Not for one moment can he let stuff get to his head.

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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 04:07 AM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

Rogi has just proved the prediction vs Nalby wrong, now it's your turn Marat.

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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-29-2004, 04:12 AM
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Re: Another classic from Mal: Safin 's legs won't hold against Agassi

Marat needs to serve well and make sure his backhand down the line is working well, as Nalbandian has shown that works well agianst Agassi, also he definitely needs to vary the spins and try and bring Agassi forward. I hope he can knock the Bald eagle of his perch.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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