Safin wants nightmare to end
From correspondents in Paris
IN ONE month's time Russia will contest the Davis Cup final against Argentina in Moscow, but Marat Safin would rather be anywhere else.
Safin is expected to take a leading role in the final from December 1-3, just as he did in September's semi-final victory over the United States.
Possibly in preparation for the Davis Cup, Safin is even teaming up with compatriot Dimitry Tursunov in the doubles at the Paris Masters.
But the three-time winner of the Paris title is far from happy after a year dogged by injury and poor form, which once saw his ranking slump to No.104.
And he is hardly in the right frame of mind to be leading Russia's Davis Cup tilt.
"I don't have any expectations from this year," he said after a three-set second-round victory over Sweden's Robin Soderling today.
"It has been a terrible year for me. Disappointments following disappointments.
"I just want to stop. I want to get over this year and just continue a New Year from the start because, really, this has been terrible."
Winning a Davis Cup is often considered as the pinnacle of any player's career, alongside winning a grand slam.
Most people would think the prospect of a Davis Cup final would be enough to lift anyone's spirits. But not Safin's.
"Yeah, but who cares?" moaned the big Russian.
"Just for my personal career I think it was a disaster year. It is not even half okay."
The former world No.1 started the year ranked 12th thanks largely to winning the 2005 Australian Open, but fell to outside the top 100 before climbing back up to his current 37th position.
"From the first day that I came on court this year I've been struggling, problems and completely unlucky in many ways and I'm just pretty sick and tired of this one," he added.
"I'm just trying to play my best tennis to finish on the right note and forget about this one."
He was far from his best in the first set and a half against Soderling, trailing 6-3 3-1 at one stage.
But a run of five straight games spearheaded an eventual 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory and kept alive his hopes of winning a fourth Paris title.
Next up for Safin is a third round clash against France's Richard Gasquet or Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.