I don't know if you all have seen the Tennis magazine article but I have it and will copy the text.. It's called the "Magical Misery Tour"
I scanned it into my computer but can't figure out how to get it in here with the pictures. If anyone would like me to email the file I can do it though. Anyway, here is what it says..
If the measure of a man is taken from the tales told about him, Marat Safin is the size of a mountain. Nine years ago, a 20-year-old Safin didn’t so much announce his arrival in the game as destroy all our preconceived notions about it. Here was a big man who moved like a small one, a clean-swinging killer who pummeled Pete Sampras in the 2000 U.S. Open final and left no doubt that the era of serve and volley tennis was over. “He can be No.1 for many, many years,” Sampras said. But Safin wanted something else, and in the 13 seasons he spent looking for it, he revealed as much of himself—his charm, his fury, his humor, his heart, his misery—as any player who came before him. In honor of Safin’s retirement, effective in November, here are a few of his stories, told by Safin and the people who loved him, indulged him, loathed him, and no matter what, found him impossible to resist.
Marat safin is banged up, playing badly, and less than a month away from trying to defend his 2000 U.S. Open title, which he won by playing the perfect Final. “That match was like a 59 round in golf,” Mats Wilander says. “It’s not going to happen more than once in a lifetime.” Safin refuses to believe this. Wilander, Safin’s coach at the time, decides that he needs break, so after an early exit from Montral the two set out from Sun Valley, Idaho where Wilander has a home, for Boise, where Eric Clapton is playing a show. They spend three days driving in Wilanders winnebago, padding what would have been a three hour trip with visits to hot Springs. Safin is relaxed, happy, far away from tennis. Then it’s time for the show. A few songs into it, Safin has heard enough. Acoustic Clapton - boring stuff. Him being the player and I being the coach, we left, Wilander says. “1 really wanted to watch that whole concert. We had great seats.” Wilander a guitarist and Clapton worshipper, isn’t pleased by safin’s gloominess at the time, though he tells the story affectionately; ‘That’s Marat,”
It’s late evening in Paris, at the 2004 Fr Open. Safin hits a drop shot winner in the fifth set and drops his shorts to celebrate. He’s penalized a point. “They tried to destroy the match,” he says later. “All the people who n the sport, they have in clue.”
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Safin stands on the practice courts of Barcelona in 2005. He isn’t happy. Crack.. One racquet down. Smash. There goes another. And another. Peter Lundgren, Safin’s coach, begins to worry: Safin has a match to play in two days, and he has two racquets left in his bag. crack! Make that one. Smash! ‘I called his manager and said, ‘we have a problem, Marat broke all his racquets,” Lundgren says. The next day Lundgren drives to the airport and collects a bag of racquets from one of the managers friends, who had received a few Safin racquets as a gift and now has to give them back. The friend immediately hops on a return f1ight “I was pretty pissed off when he did it, but now afterwards it’s pretty Funny;” Lundgren says. He gets angry and, he can’t help himself, he’s just S000000 angry. But he’s honest. You can almost feel for him when he’s that angry. You understand it.” Safin loses in the first round.