Originally posted by drf716
Do you know where to get a transcript of his interview in David Letterman...'cause I failed to watch it!!!
Here you go drf! Enjoy!
Marat Safin with David Letterman
11 September 2000
(Cheers and applause)
Dave: I'm mispronouncing the man's name. marat safin. marat safin. I've been saying marat safin. it's maratsafin.
Paul: oh, it' ssafin, accent on the...on the...
Dave: hope they don't take away the emmy. (laughter) yesterday at a surprise upset, our first guest defeated pete sampras to win the u.s. open tennis champion, becoming the only russian-born player ever to earn the singles championship. here's marat safin, ladies and gentlemen.
(cheers and applause)
(band playing) thank you very much for being here.
Marat: nice to be here.
Dave: quite a day, huh?
Marat: tough one. I didn't sleep even one hour.
Dave: you haven't slept one hour?
Dave: well, what's the problem? out celebrating, I guess, right?
Marat: no, I had my friends who were with me, so they wanted to...
Dave: did you go nuts? what do you do after you win a major championship like this? what happens? take us through that. they give you the trophy, then what happens?
Marat: then what happens? everything is coming to you. all the press, you have to talk. I played one hour and a half, and I met the press for already 25 hours. (laughter)
Dave: so the match only lasted 90 minutes, and you've been talking to press 25 hours.
Dave: so did you celebrate, did you have dinner, did you have a party? was it crazy, was it...
Marat: yeah, especially it was a nice dinner, really good atmosphere.
Dave: where did you have dinner?
Marat: yes. (laughter and applause)
Dave: and did you... now, you say it's all your friends, and did you, like, go to a club? are you drunk now? did you... (laughter) do you drink?
Marat: a little bit.
Dave: yeah. what were you drinking?
Paul: what do you expect?
Dave: vodka. (cheers and applause)
Paul: what do you expect?
Dave: now, as a top tennis star of the day... and now you're ranked number three in the world. is that where you are?
Marat: I didn't have a chance to look at it.
Dave:where were you ranked going into the tournament?
Dave: I say, where were you ranked going into the tournament? what was your ranking before the tournament?
Marat: and I was thinking about just staying in the top ten.
Dave: yeah, so I'll bet you did stay in the top ten. (laughter) seems unlikely that you would lose positions after winning the championship.
Marat: yeah, but now I'm looking forward to, you know, to a big opportunity to be number one in the world.
Dave: why, I think you probably could be number one. but see, now this brings us back to my point. should you be drinking as a... (laughter) you don't drink regularly, do you?
Marat: no, every day. (laughter and applause) for breakfast, for...
Dave: breakfast? (cheers and applause) every day for breakfast.
Marat: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Dave: for breakfast you have wheaties and "wodka." (laughter)
Marat: yes. and the cookies sometimes.
Dave: and cookies. (laughter) tell us a little bit about yourself. tell us, were you born in russia? tell us where. tell us how you came to the game of tennis. tell us, you know, everything you can here.
Marat: okay. my name is marat safin.
Dave: all right, all right. (laughter and applause) we've covered that.
Marat: I was born 20 years ago in the small city of moscow.
Dave: when did you start playing tennis? from moscow?
Dave: do you go back there now? have you been back there now? have you been back recently?
Marat: now, I win a little bit of money, so I can pay a ticket to go to moscow. (laughter)
Dave: is your family still there?
Dave: so now, are you, like, a big star in moscow? you must be now after this victory, right?
Marat: I don't know yet.
Dave: you don't know yet, sure.
Marat: we'll see. (laughter)
Dave: and how old were you when you started playing tennis?
Marat: I was six.
Dave: six years old.
Marat: but I didn't want to play tennis. I didn't like it. but my parents, they push me. (laughter) I wanted to be a soccer player.
Marat: you know, it's a typical european game. and then my parents, they decided that I'm not going to be a good soccer player, so they decided to push for tennis.
Dave: well, it worked out, didn't it? worked out pretty well. now, your mother was your coach for a while. she was also a tennis player?
Marat: yeah, until 14 years old.
Dave: and does she still coach you? does she still have advice for your game?
Marat: not anymore in the game, but in the life senses. (laughter)
Dave: in what?
Marat: in life.
Dave: oh, in life. well, you should listen to your mother. that's great.
Marat: of course, of course.
Dave: tell mom about the "wodka." (laughter and applause) was it earlier this year you were in a tournament-- maybe it was california, I'm not sure-- and you were not doing very well in the tournament, and you actually considered giving up the game of tennis.
Marat: yeah, because I was tired. I couldn't win one set-- nothing much, one set. can you believe it? and actually, I get the fine at the beginning of this year because of tanking.
Dave: I'm sorry.
Marat: because of tanking. you know tanking?
Marat: yes. not trying, not trying. (laughter)
Dave: oh, tanking a match, tanking a match.
Dave: oh, they said you weren't trying to win. now, were you? you were trying to win, of course.
Marat: of course, of course.
Dave: but they said you were tanking. oh, my god. so how do you go from that situation-- which was just a matter of months ago, right?-- how do you go from that, to now winning the u.s. open? and not only winning the u.s. open, defeating pete sampras in straight sets. how do you make that journey? and I'm guessing it's mostly mental, not so much physical, right?
Marat: no, just get tired of winning two games each time against other guys, and I decide to ... just to change something.
Dave: now, what did you change?
Marat: I start to fight. you know, I've start to win one set, after I start to win a match, and suddenly I win a tournament.
Dave: now I've noticed... (applause) I've noticed that you've broken equipment in the past. is that right? you've actually broken rackets?
Dave: yes. (laughter)
Marat: I used to do this.
Dave: does that help you as a player? does that help focus you? or does that actually dissipate your energy and concentration?
Marat: just...the problem is that you have to pay after you break the racket. (laughter) you have to pay a fine.
Dave: oh, they fine you for that.
Marat: no, no, they say thank you, you are doing well. (cheers and applause)
Dave: and after you have an episode like that, does that help your game, or are you... does it take a while to recover from an episode like that?
Marat: during five months, it was...I broke, like, 15 rackets.
Marat: yes, in four months.
Marat: so it didn't help me at all.
Dave: didn't help you at all. (laughter)
Marat: and now I break, like, 20 more in 6 months, and start to help sometimes. (laughter and applause)
Dave: here's an example I think we can all relate to that may be similar to what you go through. when you're driving on the freeway and somebody cuts you off, you get road rage. and suddenly it's not safe for you to be driving, because you're full of the road rage. (laughter) you know what I mean?
Marat: again, again, with the hands... yeah, yeah. (laughter)