I thought the transcript could be here too although amdany posted it in the Interviews thread.
10 JANUARY 2008
PRESS CONFERENCE - MARAT SAFIN
Q. Marat, Andy looked in pretty hot form out there. Was that
a case of him being on top of his game, or were you a bit
below par today?
A. No; but what it think was, first of all, tough conditions.
It's pretty hot out there, a lot of wind, so it's pretty
difficult to control the ball, especially when you are
playing against a guy like him with a big serve, and you
need to be really fit. I wasn't my best today, felt a
little bit slow on the court. But that's nothing to do
with it. Next week is another tournament. He is playing
well, serving well, but I still believe I can play much
better than that, and I can bring up my game next week.
Q. How much was today the conditions or your game? You sort
of looked a bit thrown by the wind a bit?
A. It was pretty tough for me, to be honest. I couldn't see
the ball pretty well, and a lot of wind. Also, my game, I
don't play more all the time, not hitting the ball, not
playing pretty flat, so it's very tough. And to play
against him you need to be really, like really, really in
good shape. But he is playing solid. He doesn't make any
mistakes, goes with the serve, put pressure on opponent's
serve, and he is waiting for mistakes. He works pretty
well so he's a complete player. For me, it was pretty
Q. Do you feel ready yet for next week?
A. Yeah. I think it was two good matches, even though I lost
today pretty easy. I didn't play for the last, three, four
months any matches, so for me to play in these kind of
matches is very good start for the year so I can see what I
need to work on next few days. A lot of sets, try to work
myself on some things and get ready. I think it was pretty
good preparation for me.
Q. Did the court play any differently to yesterday, in the
A. Well, the court has nothing to do with it. The balls are a
little bit, flying a little bit more with the heat, so it
was kind of also a problem for me to control because I
played with same tension like yesterday, and today was
really hard so I need to play a little bit harder strings.
But, anyway a few things. It doesn't mean I lost because
of that, but just a few, few touches here and there it will
Q. The balls seemed to be fluffing up a little bit; does that
seem to be a problem, do you think? Some of the players
are saying the balls are fluffing up a little bit with this
surface? Did you notice that?
A. Well, I'm pretty sure the players who are talking like this
are the ones who don't have so much power, so they are
complaining; also complain when the balls are too fast, you
know. So for every person it's different feel. For me, I
feel like the court has to be green. But it's okay. But
everybody has own feelings, sensations on the court, which
makes big difference. I guess, for sure, the balls are
becoming big, but for players like me, like Roddick, Roger,
the ones who are hitting the ball pretty hard, I think
these kinds of balls suit their game. Otherwise would be
too fast, because the courts are not slow. So we need to
slow down somehow the game, otherwise there would be no
rallies and would be boring for everyone.
Q. You spoke yesterday about where you are in your ranking and
where you want to be going ahead, and getting that down
again. Does today give you any further indication of how
you are going, or do the conditions make it too difficult
A. Also, it's just 10th of January today, so we are talking
about - already, my rank is 57 in the world, which is not
great but still top hundred, and of course I don't want to
be here in my position right now. I want to be a little
bit higher for that, to be pretty solid throughout the
year, and the big tournament is coming right now. Also
hoping for the good draw, I won't be seeded so I need to -
I would have pretty touch match in any round, so hoping for
the rest not to play with Roger Federer in the first round.
And then, with a ranking, if you make a couple of good
results I think you can be seeded, and then you need to be,
stay confident and stay focused and be consistent. Then in
the middle of the year you already know where you are going
to be in the end of the year, and my goal is to be top 20.
I just try there, and from there to top 10 is not so far.
Q. Marat, Lleyton Hewitt had a go at the standard of umpiring
yesterday, saying it has got worse since Hawk Eye came in
because the umpires aren't as brave to make decisions. Do
you feel it has go got worse in the last couple of years?
A. Well, I mean, there was people bought Hawk Eye, so all of a
sudden some tournaments they have Hawkeye; some tournaments
they don't have Hawk Eye. On the Rod Laver Arena we have
Hawk Eye, and I think Vodaphone there's no Hawk Eye. So
also it's a little bit strange situation. I understand him
also, because balls playing so fast, such fast tennis.
Say, for example, the woman today makes an overrule and she
couldn't see that ball, first of all because it was going
pretty first, and second of all she couldn't see through
Roddick and she overruled. What makes it overrule because
the linesman said she didn't say, well, she saw it. How is
it - how you can see through the people - these kind of
decisions? Of course, this position is different
completely, what Hewitt has. I'm pretty sure it's tough to
make some calls when both players are playing such fast
tennis, and they should make Hawk Eye maybe everywhere and
every court. That's a lot of money.
Q. He says it's got worse, though. Has it got worse in the
A. It's got faster. The game is too fast for the people to
say, so you can't say the people are getting worse and
worse. It's just the game is getting faster and faster.
It's impossible to see some of the balls.
Q. Thank you.