Second part of the chat/articles on sports.ru http://www.sports.ru/tribuna/blogs/s...ami/92331.html
with few new pics
I'll try to translate both parts these days, time-permitting...
edit: here is part 1 of the translation, I'll add part 2 here, as well. The text in Italic
is by sports.ru
my note: Marat, please stop bashing on my beloved Italian football team
You cannot compare Italians to Germans - they have such a different style
Part 1 Sports. Ru online chat
Marat Safin: "We have to start respecting each other"
- M: Good morning to all, despite it is a rainy one.
The Q&A started right away on high speed.
- Q: Do you get annoyed by the cliche questions, being repeated at every interview, and do you have cliche answers to them or do you improvise? What is harder: to be a public figure in sport or in your current job? What is the similarity and the difference?
- M: Like questions, like answers, one cannot think out of something special. Since the age of 12 one has to answer one and the same questions – unfortunately, no one even thinks to ask a normal question. Many questions had no relation.
Here I noticed that the questions today will not come from journalists.
- M: They have the ability to get insulted, they are all so sensitive. No, there are interesting questions, but they are so few compared to the standard ones.
We, the team of sports.ru – Inna German, Sergey Gilyov and I – looked at each other and decide that today we will not feel offended.
- Q: Is there a match in your career, which you want to replay and play it differently?
- Q: Is there a question that you would like to be asked, but they keep asking you other things?
- M: It is better to live things as they are – why should one think about the past, one has to live for the future. The past is already in the past. The whole life is in front and hopefully, the life will be long, why should one dig in the past. Everything that happened is in the past – well, we could be different people, if something happened in a different way, but I am fine with myself.
- M: I prefer to improvise, and it'd be better if a question surprises me, rather than sit and think of a question and after that answer it myself.
- Q: Did the Paraguayan football team surprised you yesterday? - I asked Marat.
- M: They are fighters, but the Italians scored at the end of the game (gets excited). I said it yesterday: they will score in the last minute, probably by a penalty shot. Like the Germans, so are the Italians – they always end the same way – in the last minutes, in an unknown way they score either by penalty, or they hit someone and - a goal.
Sergey suggested to Marat to send all our readers a brief video. Marat did it. This video and other pictures of Marat you can find on the forum.
- Q: Will there be new tournaments in Russia? What are the future perspectives of Kremlin Cup? How is going the organization process of the new tournament in Kazan?
- M: The fact that we need a tournament is certain – we need to engage people to tennis, develop it, go to the country – that's there our future is. That is valid also for the basketball, volleyball and all sports. Our country is large, but there are 4 distinct cities in it, and one could train professionally only in one – in Moscow. Not many people can afford living in Moscow. It happens that we cut out many talented kids from the sport, other business types, science and art. People just can't get to Moscow, or even if they get to it, they don't live a life, but an imprisonment.
Now we are processing the work on the Kazan tournament. When something specific happens, I will tell. I would like it by 2015 Kremlin Cup's and St. Petersburg's rating to rise. The Kremlin Cup's level and significance fell a little bit and about St. Petersburg I will not even talk – it's dramatic. Let's first rise the ratings of these tournaments, because they are our business card, and after that we will organize another. The business card of the USA is US Open and the Super 9, and ours is the tournaments in Moscow and St. Petersburg, there is a difference. There are things to be worked on, there are goals to be achieved. In the future we might think about developing tournaments in other regions.
- Q: If you can pick to meet three people, whom you have never met – who you'd pick?
- M: What's the point? Well, I'll meet them, we'll talk, and what next?
I asked: "What about Medvedev, in order to solve a problem with financing?" To which I got surprisingly long answer:
- M: We will still have the same problems, we have now. He will not solve everything. I am tired of everyone dreaming to go to Kremlin, to go to Medvedev or Putin. This is not a problem resolving method. He would give instruction, and further you will have to go the same offices. In our country people love to say to Medvedev "We want.. ", for example like Dibrov on MuzTV. I understand that he is respected person and I think he is smart and educated, but what was that?
Q: How could be solved problems here? Like in the States?
- M: We have to respect each other. When we acquire a little bit of culture in the behavior towards each other, then everything will start to move in the country. If we run to Medvedev or Putin and beg and whine, that something is bad – this will not solve anything. We have incorrect state of mind in the roots of it. In the States, generally speaking, everybody dreams to be a millionaire, here people dream to steal a billion.
- Q: During Serbia Open you were seen on the stands with Gerard Butler. Are you friends with him? Who else from the movie world do you know? Were you offered to play in a movie?
- M: I just met Butler – he came to the tournament, we have a common acquaintance, and an acquaintance of the acquaintance is his assistant – she is Russian. I know ours – Nikita Mihalkov, Sergey Bezrukov, for example. Everyone has to work in his field, I think (that commenting on him playing in a movie). I have seen Brad Pitt, I set with Salma Hayek on one table in Paris. They are normal people, but they have such a huge and correct PR
image, that they seem untouchable, but they are just like all of us.
- Q: Do you watch the football World Cup? If so, who do you cheer for?
- M: I cheer for Spain, but I am not die hard fan. So far I haven't seen interesting matches. I hope the next one will be more interesting.
The fact that Marat is not die hard is sure, since he came to us wearing a yellow shirt of the Brazil team, with Nr 9 on it. He said that a fan gave it to him, and he likes it very much. We liked it too.
- Q: Hi, Marat. Please advise, isn't it too late to give my niece in tennis at the age of 8 (aiming at a professional career)?
- M: What aim at professional career at the age of 8? At this age the kid could go to tennis to enjoy it. Let's say that there is already a wrong approach. One should in no way think of a 8-year-old kid as a business project, or everything will end bad and at 15 the kid will send his mom and dad far away. he/she'd say that he/she doesn't have to do anything, that they are not interested, so please go and play tennis yourself. The child must enjoy it, and at the age of 8 no one could tell what will come out of the kid.
- Q: Did they think of you as a business project?
- M: I had an opportunity to go study and play for an US university or college for free via my school. The school director was behaving well to me, and she knew that I play tennis. At that time Spain got tight for me, my parents were helping me, but no one knew, whether I'll become professional or not, despite that I was Nr. 1 or Nr. 2 in USSR. And this girl, who never had played tennis, wants to know whether she'll be professional. Until 14, even until 17, I didn't know whether I'll succeed or not. My parents were helping not because they thought I'll play. They did all to develop my skills. Parents must do everything to develop the skills the kid has, and where he/she will go next – no one knows.
- Q: You participate in commercials so rarely. Do you have plans to be in some kind of advertising projects? Do you get offers to advertise what not?
- M: I don't think of such options. I want to deal not with commercials, but with organizational sport activities – like a VP of tennis federation, in the Olympic Committee. I will not be in commercials for boxers or handkerchiefs.
Sergey noted that Ronaldo and Beckham advertise Armani
- M: Well, let them. To me this is not an indicator.
Inna asked "What would you agree to advertise?"
M: Watches are a good option. I don't know in what type of commercials I could be in, but definitely not in boxers or bras. Of course, everyone has a view and approach. To me Beckham and Ronaldo are respected people, and it is not an indicator.
Q: At first I'd like to wish you all the best, we all cheer for you. Now you are a veteran. How do you feel about it? What changed for you? And secondly – don't you think that you ended your professional career too soon? Probably you could play another year or two? Or you had enough of it? And thirdly, please, name, if it's not too hard, your most memorable final, the one you remember mostly. And why it? Probably because of the adversary? Or something else?
M: The new field – the new life, is very interesting. I think I made the right choice, with which I am perfectly fine, and I don't feel myself a veteran. Now instead of practicing, I do organizational work. In Sep-Oct we will open a tennis academy in Crocus, on MKAD, I decided to help guys, who I grew up with. We plan to make a nice place with reasonable prices for sport activities with full spectrum of services – with courts, 4-star hotel, food. The prices depend on the chosen by the parents and kids programs. In the hotel there will be discounts too.
Sergey asked what is the status of the tennis academy in Kazan. The building is ready, but there are no coaches; the kids, of course, don't go there and there are no practices. In Moscow the coaches earn $ 10 000 at least. To find even 5 coaches, and convince them to relocate to Kazan is a big problem, which again should be solved by Marat.
- M: No, I don't think I retired early. I had injuries, it is hard to play injured all the time – constantly something is aching, something is not right. As the years pass by, you start to understand that you get more slow and it's hard to compete with the young ones. The tennis in Russia had to be developed, so I took the decision and that's why I am here, in Russia.
All finals are significant for me – I didn't win that many tournaments.
- Q: How soon do you plan to get married? What is the root of the name of Dinara's cat Fenusya (or something)?
- M: I bought the cat, she now has a passport, a pedigree and a name. She is British. I don't plan to get married for now.
- Q: Are there any request (for example from Shamil Tarpischev) to play privately a set or two with Putin, Medvedev (or someone else from the top) in order to make them interested in tennis and get money? If it's not a secret, tell how that was. Were there offers from print houses/journalists to write an autobiography with juicy details? Do you know/study Tatar language.
- M: That's how people here think – he played with Medvedev, got money and went away. The problem is in our minds. It's sad that people have this view about tennis. To play tennis is one thing, to get salvage is completely different thing. Do you know how many people ask them for money, and how many people go to Putin? I didn't play with Putin on the Legends tournament, but I played blitz tournaments with Luzhkov, Dmitriev and others. But that wasn't to go and beg for money.
I don't like the glamor and the yellow press, and it is too early to write about myself. If someone is writing, probably they overestimate themselves? I think that one has to reach some kind of heights, and not to write memoirs at 30.
I don't know Tatar language (except for few words) and I don't study it. I didn't learn it, because I spent little time with my granny and she couldn't teach me.
The discussion continued around the fact that Marat is fit, we thought he even lost weight after retirement. Are there plans to attach a 8K mountain peak?
- M: An 8000m peak is hard, very hard. That's a lot of work for half an year. That's not a walk in the park, as some might think – he went there, walked up, walked down for a day. To altitude 5600m, where the base camp is, you travel by car, and further 2500 m you walk up for three weeks. And you have to train – went up, went down, slept, two days relax, got everything in norm, and again but this time higher - went up, went down and so on. It is real work.
- Q: Recently Marc Rosset admitted that he likes Moscow due to the services of the best tour guide named Marat Safin. Marc said that he feels ashamed about the brightest memories he has. Marat, I work in a travel agency making Moscow tours. How do you think, should our company feel threatened about one more competitor entering the field, or was this a one-time extra work?
- M: In no way I would hurt your business. I don't know why Rosset would feel ashamed, probably for his behavior (smiles)
Inna asked: "Is Marc so bad?"
- M: All Marcs are bad after dark (laughs)
- Q: Marat do you believe in the friendship between Nadal and Federer?
- M: They behave good towards each other. They don't live together in one room (smiles), but they are nice to each other, they talk. Absolutely honestly.
Sergey notices that now tennis players are more boring, compared to Marat's generation. Is that so?
M: Earlier, it was much more interesting. Now the approach is different, the game is ultra professional, everybody travels with a 4-5 people team. It appears that everyone is in it's own circle. Earlier, after a tournament the guys gathered, took a big table and spend the days off together. We gathered Australians, Argentinians, Americans, guys from Europe were interesting too. After dinner we hanged out. I caught some of that time. There were for example Rafter, Filipousis, Kuerten. There was wine, but there were no alcoholics among is, if that's what you hint on. To play under the sun in 40 C heat would be impossible. One would go out and die.
- Q: Do you plan to make Legends matches during Kremlin Cup? Will you come to support Russian team during the Davis Cup tie vs. Argentine?
- M: I work on that, so I think, yes. Absolutely.
Part 2 Sports. Ru online chat
Marat Safin: I was lucky to get into sport
The mood of the discussion between Marat Safin and Sports.ru readers could be divided in two. In the second part Marat, our users and we, so to say "got around" each other and the talk was very casual.
- Q: Who do you think is the most attractive female tennis player ( besides your sister, no question about it)? How do you like Flavia Pennetta?
- M: I don't know what to answer, since I don't view tennis players from the point of wooing. Pennetta is not my type.
– Q: Probably you were asked that many times: if you didn't become a tennis player, what would you like to become?
- M: Having in mind the perspectives that I had in the 90s, the maximum I could be is taxi driver. There were no other options back then. Or some kind of criminal. How else one could earn money in the 90s? There was no other choice. There was no money. How old are you (asked he Sergey)? 30? So, you understand. Where do you come from? From Izhevsk? O, from there is our Golubyev.
We started talking what could be worked in the 90s in our country and in Izhevsk. We came to the conclusion that one could also sell music CDs (what Sergey did) or Kalashnikovs (which, of course, he didn't).
- M: We all went through that, there were no other options. I was lucky to get into sport.
- Q: Marat, why don't you go to charity events, like the World Kids "Victory games"- these are sport competitions for kids, who survived cancer diseases, but you can always be seen on glamorous events like Premium MuzTv 2010.
- M: Did someone ever showed interest in the fact that I have a charity fund too? No one is interested in that – and why should I go to other people's charity events, when they don't come to mine? Like question, like answer.
I have established with my friend and partner a "Tavern at Taras Bulba" – do you know it? (it seem sthat there is one near on Ordynka). Well, enter the tavern and see what charity box is there next to the door and what information is written. When you read, you will understand. Some people say that we steal money from there (indignantly
), and my friends annual donates few hundred thousands of dollars, to "repair" former athletes!
Here one doesn't want to do charity, because they think that constantly someone is cheating about something. And what about those glamorous parties and charity funds – ok, fine, what about them? We also want to do PR
, but unfortunately no one knows about us. (here I promised that now people will learn).
- Q: If you had the chance to manage your own ATP tournaments in 3 places in the world, what would the places be? What specific differences would you like to see there?
- Q: The contemporary leaders in tennis tour are very distinct from the former leaders (Agassi, Sampras, Conners, McCanroe) by their political correctness. How do you value the work of the teams of image-makers? How you think – does the player's individuality gets lost this way?
- Q: If you had to share your life experience with the young tennis players, what are the three things, not related to the practice, that you would mention.
- M: I would like the tournaments to be in Russia, we have a big country, and tennis is a popular sport. Do not write Moscow or Kazan – write "in Russia" (stresses on it). There is no need to discredit other cities, because if we start writing Sochi, Kazan, St. Petersburg, Moscow, the people will say – and what are we?
– M: No one has image makers. It's just that the guys turned super-professional, the people left are pure machines. Earlier people were different, now they are all copies, except for few ones.
- M: One need to set priorities in life – what do you want, where do you want to go, and honestly to think – do you want it or not. One has to be frank with themselves. There is no point of cheating – yeah, I want it, but I am lazy. What should be worked on is a question to the coaches. They should teach kids the tennis game, and not the parents.
- What if the the parents are coaches? - I asked.
- M: if the parents are coaches, that's bad. Parents have never played tennis and try to teach the kids – that's very bad.
– Your mom is a professional coach.
- M: It doesn't matter, sooner or later this will lead to bad things. The parents should remain parents, and the coaches should be coaches.
- Q: Marat, what do you specifically organize at the moment? What are you responsible for? What would you like to organize, and be responsible for?
- M: Organization of a structure by which our kids could become stars without leaving the country. Go to the website and read the articles of association of the Tennis Federation or any other federation – the responsibilities of the VP are fully explained. Google it.
Answering a question about playing doubles with Dinara, Marat said that she has more chances with another partner. Answering a comment that Pennetta considers herself the most attractive tennis player, Marat smiling said that she was staged by TV paparazzi, who work in bars and mislead poor girls, and his name was mixed. Marat himself saw such type of journalists not just in a TV broadcast, like it was in Pennetta's case. He even described them, in case you happen to be in Spanish or Italian bar – 4-5 guys, dressed in black suits and ties, with sunglasses
Asked about Andy Roddick and what does Safin think of him as a player and as a person, Marat said that Roddick is a nice guy, whom he would like to meet more often. Marat as asked what he dreams lately, to which he replied that lately he has no dreams, and that it's strange. We assured him that this is due to clean conscience and it's normal.
- Q: What do you think of the comparisons to you? For example, you are compared to Juan Martin del Potro, a tall guy with good service, shined on US Open. How do you estimate his possible comeback? Or, for now they started comparing you to Gulbis. Do you know about that? How do you think?
-M: I am for Gulbis (talks excitengly
), I like him a lot. We have a similar game, though he is more powerful than I am, he is another generation. I gave him my coach Gummy, with whom I have worked year and a half, my managers. The result is already there – he was 109th now he is round top 20. Unfortunately he got injured and had to miss RG and it's not known, whether he will play on Wimbledon. I think he should be in top 10.
When asked, does he considers his win over the "scary" Federer an important one, Marat said "Of course, to me it was. It was important".
Sergey and I asked, whether foreigners understand our words. It turns out all tennis players know few words in the many languages' of their partners and adversaries. Well, you know, what words. For example, in Spain, many of the words that we try not use in front of women and kids are used quite common and do not insult anyone. We remembered about Hemingway. Actually we would ask Marat many things, but the question was short.
- Q: What is going on with Dinara? We feel for her... Will she work with the coach from Argentine, or she has other plans?
- M: She had trouble with the spine – a stressed fracture, and now she just lacks playing practice. A time is needed to go into the game again, to get the rhythm, to play, and then the results could be expected. It is impossible to go out and win right after a break. Regarding the coach: if they understand each other and have the same idea, then all will come to its place. Now they work, all is well.
- Q: Marat, what is your biggest weakness? What are you afraid most of in life?
- M: People's weaknesses are not discussed, and what I am afraid of? - I am afraid to die a painful death. I'd like to die my own death. (note:
meaning: his own kind of death).
- Q: With whom of the male and female tennis players you still have good relations?
- M: In terms of calling or texting someone – probably not. If I meet someone somewhere, then I'm glad. Many people don't answer phone calls – and that's in order. I am friends with Escude, I sent him an SMS, he got it after a month and replied. The same with Marc Rosset. But when I fly to some town, or some of the players come to Moscow, we have full respect to each other and do whatever necessary. I flew to Brazil and called Kuerten, in New York – called Courier or Filipousos, he lives there. We know everywhere whom to call.
Asked by an user is that true that Svetlana Kuznetsova is a party girl and very cool, Marat said "That's right! She is nice girl, interested in music, mostly RnB". Inna asked is that true that she has a tattoo "God will be your judge", Marat said that he hasn't read.
- Q: Marat, what was the last movie you saw?
- M: Robin Hood – complete nonsense. I saw Mihalkov's new one – the same thing. Avatar caught my attention, so did Alice in Wonderland, of course all in 3D. The rest is all avergage – with no meaning, no script, no idea. In short, there is nothing to see in general.
Marat goes to the movies on Leningradka, behind MKAD and in "October"
I asked Marat what does he think of lipsynching?
- M: It makes me sick. Ours should see how Americans work on their concerts – George Michael, Collins, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, they all work without lipsynching – I was on their best shows. I saw Mettalica in Houston, Red Hot Chili Peppers in London, Collins and Michael – here. Lady Gaga is non-sense too, she lipsynches too.
So, what in our show business there is no one?
- M: From what I saw I liked MakSim.
Inna interrupted – how is MakSim better than Lady Gaga?
- M: She is trying to do something on our pop scene, she has normal lyrics. I like Nyusha, she had a cool song coming out – "Don't interrupt me" – she ingrained. It's a light one, could be listened to, while driving a car.
Marat quickly found the song he likes on youtube, which was posted on sports.ru
- M: I also liked Tatu. It was nice that ours are known abroad. People talk – see Belan, but in the Sates they ask me - who is he? They new Tatu, despite that they spelled them T.A.t.u., When I mention them in States, they ask again, and go: oh, T.A.t.u.! They still know Gorky Park. I'd like to see Russian play in Hyde Park, Madisson Swuare Garden. When Russians tour in the States they play in russian clubs – that's spoiling.
When asked what's greater to win a GS or be Nr. 1, Marat replied that one without the other is not desirable option, because you feel that something is missing. One has to win at least one. He remembered Rios, who was extraordinary tennis player, but didn't win a GS.
The questions were pouring and we were afraid that Marat would remember about an important meeting, because the agreed one-hour period has long passed by.
Asked whether he knew that Davydenko is so good, Marat stated that Davydenko is great and he knew is 5 years ago. He was certain that he'll be top 10.
Asked what does he think about the curses on court, he replied with a contra-question – The people who ask this, don't they curse in their job? Especially, when they don't feel well and they are being insulted? If they express themselves in a different way – let them suggest how they do it.
- Q: In your opinion, in the near future who could take the crown of Clay King Nadal? What's the happiest day in your life?
- M: the happiest days is still ahead, and Nadal will not be taken down, until on the scene appears the same type of guy, but younger – ambitious, probably with the same technic, probably with another. Then there will be new Federer, new Nadal – the kids that now grow up watching their matches.
I grew up watching matches of Krajcek, Ivanisevic, Becker, McCanroe. Then I reached some level. Someone else grew up watching me – Nadal, Gulbis. They went further, because when they were watching us, they understood that they need to play better, in order to fight with us. Since childhood they have different habbits and approach.
The ones that now watch Nadal and Federer will be even better. And so on/ There will be progress, no question about it – our brain will always go beyond our imagination. Now there are couple of players – Del Potro, for example, Soderling is playing well, and the more you expands the spectrum of the weapons you have, the bigger chance you will have.
At this moment started spreading his arms wide, almost to the whole width of the room, to show us how many weapons do Federer and Nadal have. About Del Potro the spectrum turned less, because "he breaks" (injures).
Asked how much should be the price for courts in Moscow, Marat said "It'll never be fine for everyone, but the price should be lower".
Marat told us that the on the tennis court market are valid the same rules as on real estate market – someone lets the courts and later sublets them in order to gain double and triple prices in some cases. The price also depends on the service spectrum offered on teh different courts. The state cannot be responsible for it, because it has bigger problems to deal with. One has to understand whom one shall work with, and find a format, to work with these commercial structures, who are ready to give its share and help tennis development.
Marat was asked about the watch he is wearing. He replied that he bought them in Thailand for 20 dollars and probably are fake.
To disspell all doubt Marat took the watch off and gave it to me. I don't know anything about watches, so I gave them back to him. I liked the Marat's one though – with big zifferblatt and very light. Sergey offered to give them as a prize, but Marat didn't agree.
"in Thailand now they fight, so I will not go there to buy watches" – joked Safin.
We suddenly remembered about time and we had to say good-bye.
- M: Thank you all, who do not work in our country, all are sitting in front of the computers and show interest in sport. That makes me happy. I wish a lovely rainy day. Good luck, happiness and the most important - health"
Marat signed balls for the users with the most interesting questions, and later by old tradition we went to the "shooting wall" (named so by Tarpischev) to make pictures.