"Safin is not alone in his dislike of Wimbledon" [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

"Safin is not alone in his dislike of Wimbledon"

DhammaTiger
06-29-2007, 01:39 PM
I am glad Safin and I have at least one thing in common. It seems we both dislike Wimbledon :mad:



Safin mans the barricades for the great food revolt

Simon Hattenstone
Friday June 29, 2007

Guardian
There's a riot going on at the All England Club. Outside, the streets are paved with free food and drink - cold latte, organic yoghurt, you name it. It is impossible to walk a few yards without having a freebie pressed into your hand. Inside, it's a different matter. And Marat Safin is not happy about it.

"A plate of spaghetti costs £12.50. Where else do you see such outrageous prices?" the Russian No26 seed raged a couple of days ago after another rain delay. He has a point. Spaghetti? £12.50? They're having a laugh. Any self-respecting international tournament would welcome Mr Safin with a plate of borscht, a handful of gherkins, a sprinkling of cabbage and a decent beef stroganoff. At half the price.

Yesterday, having completed a straight-sets victory over Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and changed back into jeans and hoody, he had time to contemplate his next match - against the champion, Roger Federer - and his next meal in the players' restaurant. Federer will be tough, but not as tough as the steak. As for the pasta, don't even go there. "It's definitely not the Cipriani of New York. That's one of the best restaurants in New York, and I could have great pasta there for $20," he tells me, almost exclusively. "And we could certainly get a better pasta in Russia for 20 bucks."

Things are not much calmer among the press corps, where journalists are revolting.

Sorry, couldn't resist that. Let's start again. Things aren't much calmer among the press corps, where journalists are revolting about the all-day breakfast. Veteran correspondents stalk the corridors of the powerless, whispering conspiratorially. Last year the all-day breakfast virtually doubled in price after 11am. This year the authorities have been even more dastardly. The all-day breakfast is now called the English breakfast, and after 11am it metamorphoses into brunch. The difference? Brunch costs £1.25 more and comes minus the hash browns - although you do get an extra sausage. Reporters are accusing Wimbledon of subterfuge, skulduggery and worse. "I look forward to the all-day breakfast all year - sod the tennis," says one hungry hack, who asks to remain anonymous.

This is chaos, anarchy, the last fetid days of capitalism gone kaput. Forget Roman Abramovich and "Frank" Shinawatra, come to SW19 for the perversion of old-fashioned kitchen values. Yes, players get a food allowance of £23.49 here and yes, they also get a £170-per-day allowance and yes, they stand to take home £700,000 if they win the tournament. But there's only one Roger Federer, local rents are exorbitant and £23.49 doesn't even cover two bolognese.

Meanwhile, those behind the desk in the press office are also whispering conspiratorially. "Marat Safin's won £6.5m in prize money and he says he can't afford a bolognese," says one disbelieving publicist to her equally disbelieving colleague.

But our Marat's not leaving it at the food. Oh no. There's more. There's that bonkers grass surface, the delays, the rain, the pomposity and the endless security searches. It's bureaucracy gone mad. "The only thing they do," he says, "is search your bags and all your pockets about 300 times a day."

Again he has a point. I saw them spend an age searching Richard Williams' bag. Surely they must recognise Venus and Serena's dad by now. As for Safin, they couldn't seriously believe that this bronzed Muscovite Adonis is a common-or-garden terrorist. It's the same for the public. By the time you get past security you're lucky if you get to watch half an hour's tennis.

Safin is not alone in his dislike of Wimbledon. Maybe we British get so thoroughly wrapped in a nostalgic blanket of strawberries, grass and boaters that we forget just how miserable it can be for players who simply want to play the game as best they can without nonsense bounces and regular Cliff Richard breaks.

The Ukrainian Andrei Medvedev couldn't stand Wimbledon's "snobbishness", saying that "all the history, that's rubbish". He also lambasted the bureaucracy. "They smile and say, sorry, you can only have one badge. Sorry, you can only have 30 minutes on the practice courts." (Fair enough - when I ask if I can visit the players' restaurant to hear their side of the story I am told I have the wrong pass.) Chile's Marcelo Ríos, a former world No1, famously said that grass was better suited for grazing than ground strokes.

But, on the plus side, strawberries are £2 a punnet for the fifth year in succession, Timmy got two sets back and Safin says the showers are truly great. "No, showers are really important! If you see them, you understand what I'm talking about."

As for the pasta, he can always give it a miss. If he gets here early today he can even pick up a free yoghurt and latte on the street.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007

http://sport.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,330109172-125544,00.html

Beforehand
06-29-2007, 01:50 PM
Well, he won't have to stay much longer.

RonE
06-29-2007, 01:55 PM
Aw boo hoo.

bokehlicious
06-29-2007, 01:58 PM
If the Tsar doesn't like it then ITF should get rid of that tourney...

RagingLamb
06-29-2007, 02:42 PM
I agree with him. what a rip off.

doesnt matter if he makes $6.5 million or $65000, nothing gives them the right to rip him off.

DhammaTiger
06-29-2007, 03:14 PM
[QUOTE=J'torian;5594963]$25 for a plate of English spaghetti? :tape:



I think one would need to be sloshed on vodka to enjoy that insult to Italian cuisine. Having gone through English Public(private)school food for 6 years, I will not be surprised at the taste, but at least my school didn't charge over 12 pounds for school dinner.

FedFan_2007
06-29-2007, 03:24 PM
Would you like some cheese with that WHINE Marat???

Sofyaxo
06-29-2007, 03:27 PM
Why in the hell were they even asking him about food?

It's Marat, he's not going to lie or not say anything. Still this had me shaking my head.

FedFan_2007
06-29-2007, 03:35 PM
It's SW19, they can charge you whatever since you're a captive motherfucker.

R.Federer
06-29-2007, 03:38 PM
Didn't Dokic (the dad) get thrown out of Wimbledon for complaining that they were charging him too much for the salmon?

marat.... can always count on him for a good laugh :)

Metis
06-29-2007, 03:50 PM
:spit: El Hattenstone would make a good Safinette. :hearts:

:lol: Maybe he already is...


But our Marat's not leaving it at the food. Oh no. There's more. There's that bonkers grass surface, the delays, the rain, the pomposity and the endless security searches. It's bureaucracy gone mad. "The only thing they do," he says, "is search your bags and all your pockets about 300 times a day."


Obviously Marat was offended they didn't offer to do a body search as well :aplot:.

Balaenopteramusculus
06-29-2007, 03:51 PM
Didn't Dokic (the dad) get thrown out of Wimbledon for complaining that they were charging him too much for the salmon?

marat.... can always count on him for a good laugh :)

I believe it was at the US Open.;)

ilostmymarbles
06-29-2007, 04:03 PM
The journalist obviously completely missed the rest of safins interview:

What do you like most about Wimbledon and what do you dislike most about Wimbledon, apart from the prices?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, of course, what I like is the tradition. What I like is they improved a lot of site. Great facilities for the players to be inside. I mean, like the garden upstairs. The restaurant area, plenty of space. Pretty comfortable. You can go to Aorangi through the tunnel. You don't have to go with all the people. Great locker rooms. Great showers. No, showers is really important. If you see them, you understand what I'm talking about.

the rest of the interview is here
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/interviews/2007-06-28/200706281183040296750.html

the food is just about the only thing he complains about. I cant find the bit about the passes and searches anywhere! Besides if they really do search peoples bags, after the recent bomb scare in london can you really blame them?

stebs
06-29-2007, 05:03 PM
Having gone through English Public(private)school food for 6 years, I will not be surprised at the taste, but at least my school didn't charge over 12 pounds for school dinner.

Not that the food at Wimbledon is particularly good but all English food is not the same. Just because the food you ate at boarding school sucks, it means nothing.

The fallacy people enjoy beleiving that you can get better Italian food in Italy is total rubbish. If you know the right places you can Italian food exactly as good in many places in the world and the same goes for all types of quisine. It is nice to believe that countries which have specialities produce better quality of that food but it's total BS in reality. It is of course easier to find the top quality in some places though, extremely nice Asian food is a rarity where I live.

GlennMirnyi
06-29-2007, 05:07 PM
Don't play then, whiner. Nobody will miss you.

rocketassist
06-29-2007, 05:32 PM
I thought it was only the surface he hated, because he's looked a lot more used to the grass in the last few years.

Alexiana
06-29-2007, 05:34 PM
Tommy Haas once said : Grass is for cows ;)

almouchie
06-29-2007, 05:43 PM
even if he makes millions, it doesnt mean he cant voice his displeasure at the rocketing prices at wimbledon, many of the non top player are coachless & have lots of travel expenses & others miscellaneous,
as for UK, & england it has been sky rocketing in recent months,
i can understand his frustration
as a fan, wimbledon is THE grand slam tournie I want to watch
& hopefully plan to one day, but it will sure huge savings & big budget as well

ilostmymarbles
06-29-2007, 05:45 PM
I agree. Though I don't think anyone was implying that, and in my case I was trying to point out that even the best possible plate of basic spaghetti in the world shouldn't cost more than £4, £4.50 at a restaurant. Anything higher than that is blatant prestige pricing.

wehn was the last time you were in london? you'll be lucky if you get a sandwich for that price, especially in the more touristy places. The entire of london is expnsive, not just wimbledon.

Leo
06-29-2007, 06:09 PM
That's a bullshit price for British spaghetti and good for Marat to speak the truth. I don't mind when he bitches about the tournament if it's a valid complaint.

Sparko1030
06-29-2007, 08:34 PM
:haha: thanks for posting the article dtiger! Marat is very funny-esp when he's making a point. He adds so much color to the tour-gotta love they guy :yeah:

Bremen
06-29-2007, 08:57 PM
Most pasta costs about 11 to 12 dollars canadian here in a respectable restaurant. That isn't so bad really.

scarecrows
06-29-2007, 08:59 PM
come here Marat and have a pasta in the best restaurant for 6$ :D

Roddickominator
06-29-2007, 09:04 PM
The clip they showed on ESPN was pretty hilarious, dogging on the British spaghetti....at least he likes some restaurant in New York.

safin-rules-no.1
06-29-2007, 09:09 PM
come here Marat and have a pasta in the best restaurant for 6$ :D

eating dinner in the best restaurant in Albania = eating your dinner in a toilet :D

scarecrows
06-29-2007, 09:11 PM
eating dinner in the best restaurant in Albania = eating your dinner in a toilet :D

you've never been here sunshine

we have some of the fanciest restaurants I've seen around and I've traveled a lot ;)

safin-rules-no.1
06-29-2007, 09:14 PM
you've never been here sunshine

we have some of the fanciest restaurants I've seen around and I've traveled a lot ;)

how do you know ive never been? ;) :wavey:

maybe toilet was too harsh :hug: .......stable?

scarecrows
06-29-2007, 09:16 PM
how do you know ive never been? ;) :wavey:

maybe toilet was too harsh :hug: .......stable?

because you wouldnt have said that if you had tried our delicious food in our wonderful restaurants

safin-rules-no.1
06-29-2007, 09:19 PM
because you wouldnt have said that if you had tried our delicious food in our wonderful restaurants

ok there was a couple nice restaurants ;) - but i did have a few bad experiences :D i thought i told you i've been in the vcash chat thread :confused: :wavey:

scarecrows
06-29-2007, 09:22 PM
ok there was a couple nice restaurants ;) - but i did have a few bad experiences :D i thought i told you i've been in the vcash chat thread :confused: :wavey:

you didnt leave a tip and they forced you to wash the dishes?

I tend to forget quickly :o

safin-rules-no.1
06-29-2007, 09:25 PM
you didnt leave a tip and they forced you to wash the dishes?

I tend to forget quickly :o

no actually one of the waiters called me British scum before spitting in my face and pissing in my drink :rolleyes:

MarieS
06-29-2007, 09:29 PM
Don't play then, whiner. Nobody will miss you.

Not even you? :awww:

Burrow
06-29-2007, 09:38 PM
yes its a fucking rip off, go marat!!!

Fee
06-29-2007, 10:17 PM
Having been to the US Open and Wimbledon now, I'll take Wimbledon any day of the week. Better managed, nicer facility, and oh yeah, they actually care about the tennis there (as opposed to caring more about the band playing on the plaza next to the matches on the outside courts).

Was W. expensive this year? Yes, given the just-about-worst-ever- exchange rate for the US dollar. So you budget a little bit better, perhaps put a sandwich and a drink from Tesco in your backpack, and only buy one Pimm's, but none of that takes away from the quality of the experience. None of my security searches felt intrusive and since there were two car bombs found in London today, I'm grateful that they are just a bit excessive about it.

Sjengster
06-29-2007, 11:27 PM
Ah Fee, I knew that flag change would produce some measure of allegiance.

TenHound
06-30-2007, 01:58 AM
Interesting, Fee. Sad comment on Degeneration of USO as it goes from tennis as sport, to tennis as spectacle.

Marat is irreplaceable, though I don't see how he can expect to go far w/out his trusty curls :( Don't forget that the press uses him to express what most people feel about something, but they don't feel safe commenting about on their own - in this case the obscene price of a prob. mediocre $2/bowl of spaghetti.

Bremen
06-30-2007, 02:07 AM
no actually one of the waiters called me British scum before spitting in my face and pissing in my drink :rolleyes:

:eek: :eek:

What led to this confrontation? Please do tell!!!

caleb_123
06-30-2007, 02:14 AM
maybe if he complain less about the food and concentrate on playing on grass he might get somewhere.

Forehander
06-30-2007, 04:29 AM
i've been to wimbledon few times - 2001 2003 and 04. I gotta totally agree, it's the biggest friggin rip off in wimbledon by far. Actually all of the grand slam stores are rip off even though wimbledon stands out the most (england itself is the most expensive place to live in anyway). I mean in australian open fkn 7 dollars for a hotdog... dude i get one at school for 1 dollar, that's insanity lol. Last year US open i also bought some souvenirs for parents and costed me hundreds of dollars for tiny things. French open too, i bought a little trophey and costed me 80 euro... Oh well

Action Jackson
06-30-2007, 06:29 AM
Hahahaha, well good that the US Open has seemed to have improved the food in the players restaurant. I remember Medvedev putting his plate of spaghetti on the table and the challenge was to eat before it moved.

Most major sporting events are overpriced and Damir Dokic was right.

Nadalfanatic
06-30-2007, 06:39 AM
Screw Wimbledon. Worst slam of the year. Looking forward to the other real slams. Wimbledon is overrated.

scarecrows
06-30-2007, 06:42 AM
:eek: :eek:

What led to this confrontation? Please do tell!!!

:lol:

rule no.1: never believe what safin-rules-no.1 says

trixtah
06-30-2007, 06:44 AM
maybe if he complain less about the food and concentrate on playing on grass he might get somewhere.

Q. You still don't like Wimbledon; maybe you said it's very expensive in London.

MARAT SAFIN: Well, the most expensive city is Moscow, first of all. It's not like I dislike because everybody tries to pick on me and tries to put the words in my mouth because I said something that I don't like London. I love London, first of all. Wimbledon is a pretty good facility. It's okay.

So then I have my few things about the food, but it doesn't really matter. I don't make a big deal out of it, what I'm saying. But of course the press wants to start the sensation, Safin said and complained, and who cares about this.

But for sure there are people that like it. That's why I'm in this situation and that's why you're asking me this question.

For the record, he's right. The food DOES taste like shit

Fee
06-30-2007, 07:50 AM
Ah Fee, I knew that flag change would produce some measure of allegiance.

Make yourself useful and tell me where the heck I can get a decent sponge cake. I leave on Tuesday morning. :kiss:

Interesting, Fee. Sad comment on Degeneration of USO as it goes from tennis as sport, to tennis as spectacle.

Marat is irreplaceable, though I don't see how he can expect to go far w/out his trusty curls :( Don't forget that the press uses him to express what most people feel about something, but they don't feel safe commenting about on their own - in this case the obscene price of a prob. mediocre $2/bowl of spaghetti.

My overall impression of the USO is that it exists to make money, lots of money, and EVERYTHING else is a distant second place. The USTA said the band was there to provide entertainment, as if 16 courts of world class tennis wasn't entertaining enough. (Truthfully, the band is there to keep you in the plaza spending money. People who sit and watch tennis for 6 hours aren't buying enough apparently).

Henin just commented similarly in a recent interview: That at the US Open, people seemed to be showing up to do anything except watch tennis. :lol:

I think she might be right.

I won't deny that Wimbeldon makes a ton of money. I saw so many little green bags from the souvenir shop throughout the day, and a horde of people inside the two main shops whenever I passed by them. All of the items, in all range of prices were selling briskly. I'm sure most of the stuff they sell had more than 50% profit margin (no way the tote bag I wanted cost more than 7 pounds to make) and I don't really begrudge them that because all of that money goes to subsidize the LTA for the rest of the year. This is true for all of the slams, but the USO just seems to be much more blatant and crass about it. (Can't comment on the AO and RG, never been there).

Fedexex
06-30-2007, 09:19 AM
:awww: