Safin: ATP schedule turning us into invalids

Tennis Fool
11-14-2005, 03:41 PM
From Annie's translation of his recent interview:

I remember your criticism addressed to ATP management with regards to tournament schedule, which increases levels of injuries.
- Yes, I criticised them. We play non-stop for 11 months a year. We have one month to rest and get ready for the next season. How can we talk about health, rest and personal life? And the system is made in such a way that you have to play tournaments all year round. You cannot take a two-week break if you are tired. And tennis balls change every time. Can you imagine football players having to play with balls of different weight all the time? Yes, I am in this business and I don’t want to die. But in addition to that I want to be healthy and I don’t want my colleagues to receive numerous injuries in one year.

- Will I exaggerate if I say that this super tight ATP schedule turns you all into invalids?
- No, you won’t, it does. Not even a well-trained person can handle this pressure. That’s why by 30 most players retire.

- Then how do you explain the Agassi phenomenon?
It’s a mystery to all. Well done, I take my hat off. I don’t know his secrets though, we don’t communicate much, quite a big age gap.

- How do you treat the opinion that your injuries are a result of your tennis routine violations?
- To those people, who think that way I would like to remind that tennis is my life and my business. All that I have, I owe it to tennis. And I treat my business just the same way as let’s say a chairman of the bank treats his. Will he go to work with a headache and swollen face suffering from a hangover? Neither will I, I cannot disorderly treat something, which is a basis of my lifestyle. And then I play for Russia and not for some Thai Pei, where noone even watches tennis. Here they notice these things right away.
I am already 25 and not 18 when I could have gone out to play after a party and treated tennis differently. Knowing what kind of money I earn people tend to think that I party every night and don’t give a damn about tennis. This point of view is not only stupid but it is also an insult to me. It is very unpleasant to communicate with people who think like that. It means that this person is “spitting me in the face” thinking that I am just lucky because I have the talent. How many of these talents weren’t able to remain in professional tennis! Take Marcelo Rios for example. When he worked – he was first, then he stopped taking business seriously and had to leave. And if I treated tennis in the same manner I would not be around. It was ten years ago that you could reach a final of a serious tournament with just your serve. Now everyone has impeccable preparation, everyone has a whole team behind him. You get into the changing room and look at these guys shirtless and get an impression that you have come to a bodybuilding contest, that’s how much time people spend in gyms with their fitness coaches. You won’t get far with just talent nowadays!

Horatio Caine
11-14-2005, 03:43 PM
- Then how do you explain the Agassi phenomenon?
Itís a mystery to all. Well done, I take my hat off. I donít know his secrets though, we donít communicate much, quite a big age gap.

Is Agassi behind with times or something? :haha: :haha:

11-14-2005, 03:45 PM
- Then how do you explain the Agassi phenomenon?
Itís a mystery to all. Well done, I take my hat off. I donít know his secrets though, we donít communicate much, quite a big age gap.

Many say that it is not any mystery. agassi disappeared for a few years in the 1990s when his contemporaries were wearing their body out. This is one reason he could play a full schedule until 2 years ago.
And right now, the "Agassi phenomenon" is not really valid because he has played so few tournaments, has withdrawn so many, had to take shots for back and other body parts, and even at the T.M.C must withdraw.

So really, he played until 33 a full schedule, and in between he missed a few years, which makes him about the same (a little more) than those like sampras playing full schedules until 30/31

11-14-2005, 03:45 PM
I couldn't agree more with Safin...

11-14-2005, 04:26 PM
So are people going to call him a whiner, too?

prima donna
11-14-2005, 04:35 PM
Marat has such a good head on his shoulders, how refreshing.