A Briefcase instead of Racquets by Boris Titov
Marat Safin answered the questions of "Izvestia"
To the regular meeting of Izvestia "Sports Club" we have invited perhaps the most popular Russian tennis player Marat Safin. After returning from Paris from his favourite tournament Roland Garros, which he also attended for the first time in his career as a non-player and as a functionary of the national tennis federation, Marat willingly answered the questions of readers of our newspaper.
Izvestia: Marat, fans on the phone were asking about your impressions of this year's Roland Garros. And why you didn't go to your sister Dinara's game in Paris.
: The tournament turned out unpredictable, especially on the women's side. Nobody expected the Williams sisters to be knocked out, and that Schiavone would reach the final and beat Stosur. As for my sister (sighs) I was tired of answering this question. Dinara has not escaped the effects of a stress fracture of the spine. The injury was severe, it couldn't be healed with a plaster! The girl wasn't lightly injured, so it will take time to recover her strength and return to her previous level.
Ludmila Pankova: What, in your opinion, plays a key role in achieving success in tennis - talent or hard work? Do not you think that retires from sport can be more adequately, on a high note?
: I think talent and hard work are inseparable, not only for me but for any player from the first world hundreds. Aptitude - it's great, but without enormous work, you won't achieve anything good in sport. Throughout my career, I've heard so much unwarranted criticism that will last for five. It was accused of me that when he's in the mood, Marat wins, and when he's not, he breaks racquets and spends all his free time in nightclubs.
To those who said this, I propose for them to look at my body without a shirt
. Even now it has no fat, and is the result of daily hours of work on the court and in the gym. I am not ashamed of my career. It was what it was.
Izvestia: Was it only the the accusation of laziness that hurt you?
: Not just that. I really didn't like it when during the World Cup the yellow press were fixated on the hockey players of the Russian team because the guys were smoking in their free time. Yes, they are also professionals who know themselves, how to prepare for matches, and are responsible for their work! If the guys think that smoking a cigarette doesn't prevent them keeping in shape and doesn't affect the final result - it's their right.
Eugene Dudnik: Marat, not so long ago you completed your career. What will you do now, and is there a desire to return to big sport?
: I haven't left big sport. Today I work as a vice president of the National Tennis Federation, I sit on the support council for the Russian Olympic Committee and I'm ready to be even more closely involved in the sports of the country.
Tatiana Avsyukevich: Why did you leave the court without an official farewell ceremony?
: Actually there was a seeing off in November at the ATP tournament in Paris. Everyone came who wanted to say kind words about me. But to travel around the world on a farewell tour - it's not my thing. And in Moscow there were no official ceremonies.
Avsyukevich: If you had the chance to change something in your life and career, what would you do?
: I don't want to change anything. And even mistakes that are made, I wouldn't fix them either. With them comes vital experience.
Ludmila Batalova, USA: Thanks to the game of tennis you have become, if not rich, then at least a wealthy person who isn't thinking about how to earn an extra thousand rubles?
: Thank God, after my career I don't have to run around looking for money to live. I can fully concentrate on work.
reader to nick dee-mee-tree: Recently, you mentioned the lack of training facilities for Russian tennis players. If it will go through the point, how fast you can grow a new generation of stars?
: A base really needs to be built. And not one to be able to gifted children from 6 years and prior to their formation. Looking for big money, and an annual budget of OFWs do not exceed a million dollars. I can not imagine how in such circumstances can compete with the French (60-70 million euros) or American (150-180 million dollars) federations. My head is not bad on the uptake, but tens of millions I'm not able to obtain. However, thanks to the support of a large firm, this September we will be opening a tennis academy in Moscow
. The next step - Kazan, St. Petersburg and, hopefully, Sochi. But this is not one year.
And: A couple of weeks ago at the election conference of the Russian Olympic Committee, you said you're ready to work on Alexander Zhukov's team, in any capacity.
: I confirm this wish. And on the specific proposals I say this: I'm open to cooperation.
Dmytro Volin: How to treat a large number of former athletes in Russian politics in general and the State Duma in particular? Should professionals to work in their line of profession in modern society, people should be universal?
: Of course, today we are required to universalism. There must also be professional athletes in power, in my opinion. Especially since they really understand how to build a healthy, fulfilling life. Personally for myself, I'm also not ruling out a political career in the future
Victoria: Do you recall in your life any memorable incident with a fan? And did it bother you generally, if people paid too much attention to you?
: I don't call any such incident. Anyway, in the relationship with the fans, я никогда себя не выпячивал.* Because I know my worth, and I respect people who respect me.
* Could a Russian speaker pls clarify this?
Google translate gives it as "I never protruded myself".
Olga Tselebrova: Did you delete your page in Odnoklassniki because you were desperate to find a bride on the internet, or was there another reason?
: It's all very prosaic. Suddenly it became boring. Maybe it happened after Tibet. I took a fresh look at life and realised that 90 percent of it consists of an unnecessary fuss. Imagine how the world would change, if people channelled all their energy in the right direction!
Valery Alekseyev: What criteria should a girl meet, with whom you would be willing to start a family? And how many children would you like to have?
: For me there are no strict criteria for choosing a life partner. Or for love, or not. For me an example of harmonious family life is to serve, with Dinara, our parents. And as for children, I hope there will be at least three
Diana Biragova: Can one be happy and still yearn to fly off to another planet?
: Happiness - is too fleeting feeling that they could enjoy life. And there's no need to fly off to another planet. On Earth there are many good places where it's pleasant to go back to. I love nature, it feeds new forces.
I like Patagonia in Argentina, Vermont and New York in the United States, north of Spain, Zavidovo in the Tver region. And in the summer I want to go on Lake Seliger.
Maria Pati: If you met God, what would you say?
: Thank you for everything that he has created. And I would ask forgiveness for some of the inhabitants of our planet.
: Maria Pati's question, whose co-author is the writer Marcel Proust, was recognized the best by our interviewer. As promised, the winner will receive a postcard with Marat's autograph.