Marat Interviews [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Marat Interviews

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Kiara
12-13-2003, 12:53 AM
:)

Shadow
12-13-2003, 12:54 AM
hehehe thanks :kiss:

Shadow
12-13-2003, 12:56 AM
2000 FORO ITALICO

ROME, ITALY

May 9, 2000

An interview with:

ANDREI CHESNOKOV and MARAT SAFIN

Q. Why are you such a good coach?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: I am a good tennis player.

Q. Could you perhaps tell us roughly how the new relationship with Marat came about, you know, when did it happen and why did it happen and then perhaps Marat could tell us a little bit of the impact it clearly had on him.

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: His agent found me in Paris and asked if I can help with Marat. I got a phone call from his agent, an agent. He asked me if I can help him as a coach, and that's the way we begin together in Barcelona. I want to tell, I never did special like -- special things. Like I will never practice together for five hours, we never worked for five hours, but, you know, I think I took the great player. And the only things I can tell you, like something for his head during the tournament in Barcelona. And I think this guy, he can listen well. I think if he can listen well, it's more important things.

Q. Have you ever thought that you wanted to get in to coaching, or is it just a complete surprise to you as well?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: It's little bit surprised me, and before I was -- I was -- I still playing like a tournament last week. And I don't play any more, let's say ATP tournaments, but I can -- I always play -- I was always continue to play the other tournaments, and I think this offer little bit surprised me. And I said to myself, "Okay, but Marat, I know he's a nice guy and why I don't -- why I'm not going to try a little bit to help him." And I think he did a very, very good job in Barcelona, and then last weekend in Mallorca. And I said to him, you know, now you can play tennis, you don't need a coach anymore. (Laughter.)

Q. Can you tell us something, can you say if it's true about your new technique of hitting your pupil if he doesn't want you to order it?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: The new technique, it's very simple today. I said to Marat, you know, it's very simple today. We don't have too much time before the Barcelona tournament because I am arrive to Barcelona Sunday, and one of the things -- I don't want to see any results, but I want to see the man on the court, and I would like you to fight for every single point. That's the first things I said to him. But I think he listen well, and he know the tennis and I think he was working a lot with his old coach and he has a very good potential today, and he's very talented and he can play tennis.

Q. Which do you think was his biggest problem? At which level do you think he could arrive?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: Which level?

Q. Yes. I mean ranking or...

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: But, you know, the way he played until the Barcelona tournament, the way he played until Barcelona tournament he should be like maybe 500. (Laughter.) Don't be nervous, don't be nervous. But the way he played like the last two tournaments, it's No. 1 player.

Q. Is he allowed to say some words, too?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: Can you tell how far you can go?

Q. Does this new technique work out of Spain or just in Spain?

MARAT SAFIN: What do you mean?

Q. You won two small tournaments in Spain.

MARAT SAFIN: Excuse me, but maybe it was small tournaments for you, but to me, I won one tournament that was $325,000. So for me to win a tournament in Mallorca is 500,000. There are a lot of players, Kafelnikov, not a good player... Norman is -- I don't know. Maybe for you is -- sorry, I'm not on your level now.

Q. Marat, when did you start thinking that you might need to change your coach, and was it your idea that they spoke to Andrei?

MARAT SAFIN: Yes, because I think we have been together a long time with Rafael. He had become not a coach, he become like a father. And it's little bit difficult to get something really high, for example, I don't know, to be in the top in rankings. It's a little bit difficult because you can't -- when he's talking, sometimes you don't understand him because he's talking like a father, and he cannot understand me on the court. But out of the court, we was -- we was so close, so something -- we miss something on the court. So I said to him, "Let's try something new." I would like to know what is happening. I told him that I am going to try to work with Andrei. He said yes, it's -- he told me it is a good idea. I was sad, he was sad, but that's life because it just was business. But our relationship is still the same, and I think it's bit more important than the business. Because otherwise, if was -- if I will be with him right now, it will be first round, first round, first round, and then in two months, say ahhh, fuck you and fuck you. That's it. (Laughter.) We like this. I don't want to lose him -- I didn't want to lose him like a friend, so that was right idea I think.

Q. Some days you play like a champion, some times like a 500 player. Is it some Russian attitude? Like Kafelnikov, sometimes he plays like a champion, wins a Grand Slam tournament then after for three, four weeks in a row he gets out in the first round with all the talent he has. Is it a Russian problem or just the athlete?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. Ask him.

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: I would like to give the answer. I would like to give the answer. First of all, about the -- you said two "small" tournaments, Barcelona and -- no, no, no. Listen. Okay. For Sampras and Agassi, it's maybe like some kind of Challenger. Maybe. It could be. For him, you know, for him it's a big tournament and it was a big week in Barcelona, even in Mallorca. Because it doesn't matter who he played, maybe the player ranking all the way up to the final, you know, against the players like ranking 100 or 200. The way he played, he played great, and I think it's more important that he won these two tournaments. He got the confidence. His head is clean now and he can play tennis like a champion. And of course we don't want to stop, you know, let's say last week, you know. He won the tournament. He won two tournaments. It's not our goal. I'd prefer we go forward. And the question with Kafelnikov, I don't want to see Marat on the Tour if he's going to play the way like Kafelnikov. You know, I said, okay, if you're going to win a tournament, you know, you have to be like a champion. You cannot, let's say, play the next tournament, let's say you won the tournament in Barcelona. There's the next tournament in Mallorca. You cannot, like, giving up the first round. No, you have to fight. You have to fight for every single point, and that makes the difference you to the other players. I don't want talking about let's say especially to Kafelnikov, who will let's say -- who played the tournament in -- Grand Slam tournament, first tournament Grand Slam this year, Australian Open. And then next, let's say now he's losing everywhere first and second round. No. It's not -- it's not -- today it's not like his style and, you know, we're working to get him better.

Q. What would happen if Marat acted on court the way he did at the Australian Open this year with you coaching him? At the Australian, when they fined you for --

MARAT SAFIN: Who fined me?

Q. The ITF fined you.

MARAT SAFIN: Ah, fined me.

Q. What would happen?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: What, in Australia? I don't understand the question. Go ahead.

MARAT SAFIN: One more time?

Q. You were fined.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. For allegedly not trying in the Australian Open this year.

MARAT SAFIN: First of all, I would like to say that how they put in the press and everything, it was completely different. Because nobody -- everybody knows more than me. It's unbelievable how the people from the press, they know what I did.

Q. What did you do?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, because it was -- sorry, but it was in the court almost higher, so we played almost there. Nobody was in the stand, no in the seats. Was completely empty. I don't know how the people from the press, they knew it.

Q. We were just told that --

MARAT SAFIN: Who told you? How you can write this thing --

Q. We only wrote what we were told - that you were fined because of --

MARAT SAFIN: Because of what?

Q. -- for not trying.

MARAT SAFIN: Okay, for not trying. How I not try?

Q. The ITF officials told us.

MARAT SAFIN: The ITF don't have any idea.

Q. What was your view of what happened?

MARAT SAFIN: First of all, in the press they put that I took the ball with the hand. How can you write it if you didn't see it with your eyes? How you can do it? Sorry, guys, but is not serious. How --

Q. All we could write was what they produced as an official statement. We couldn't make any comment. We have no idea whether you were at --

MARAT SAFIN: Okay, so ITF, how they can do this?

Q. They apparently did it on the report of a supervisor, Bill Gillmore.

MARAT SAFIN: Okay, he's a genius. I mean why? He was on the court?

Q. I have no idea. He said he was.

MARAT SAFIN: He was on the court?

Q. He said he was.

MARAT SAFIN: There was only umpire, my coach and a few person more.

Q. I can witness that I was passing by this court and I had just a glimpse, I saw you desperately trying. I am the witness against all of those reporters, all of them. (Laughter.)

MARAT SAFIN: Okay. So you can write whatever you want, okay. I'm a bad player, they put me fine $2,000, okay. I think it was good -- yes, I took with the hand the ball. Yes, I hit the ball boy also. You can put it. Is okay. Is no problem. But, no, ITF, okay, is no your problem, is ITF problem. But I don't understand how the people, they can write it. Sorry, but it wasn't like this. I'm telling to you now, it wasn't like this. You have to write this, what they put on the press.

Q. Did I ask you for a press conference there, I don't remember?

MARAT SAFIN: No.

Q. You weren't asked for a press conference there in Australia? But were you asked for a press conference there?

MARAT SAFIN: No, because I was -- sorry, but I was sad. When I read this -- I had it to --

Q. But immediately after the match.

MARAT SAFIN: No, nobody asked me what happened. Sorry.

Q. Andrei, how much are you likely to travel this year?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: Today, I don't like to travel. I don't like to travel.

Q. So are you not going to travel to a lot of tournaments or what?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: I will, I will. If we're going to continue to working, I think I have to travel.

Q. We'll see you everywhere.

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: I cannot promise you.

Q. Can he win the French Open?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: Can he win the French Open?

MARAT SAFIN: No.

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: Okay, you can go out and I give answer. I don't want you to hear this. (Laughter.) But also, I would like to say, you know, I will give you answer on this question but, you know, today -- but not today. I said already to Marat, the way you played the tournament in let's say Indian Wells, Copenhagen, Monte Carlo, let's say you play the first set then if something happens, like something bad, then you give the match away. And I said it, you know, the way you played until Barcelona, you was not a man. And if we -- if you want to work together with me, you have to be on a court like a man, like a Muster. Muster, he was a big fighter, even he was in a bad mood, didn't sleep, something happening during the match, he never give up. He play until the end. And I said to Marat, that's the way you have to play every match. Even today, it could be he's going a bit tired after the Barcelona and Mallorca. It's not so easy to play two weeks in a row like this. I said even if he's going up 6-2, 5-Love, I would like you to play until the end. Every point, every point you will win, you will get the experience for the French Open. For the French Open, I would like him to win, you know, the big tournament like the French Open, Wimbledon, whatever. But the point is I don't know him very well. I don't know where we have to work to get -- when, where, on what case we have to work. I know what is his bad things on the court, I know he has good things on the court. But of course I would like him to win French Open. You know, every thing is possible during the two weeks in the French Open. The point is you -- it's not only you have to play well sometimes. Also, you have to be lucky sometimes during the tournament, because, you know, the level is so high today and not everybody can play well. Like Ruud last week, he played the biggest match. I never seen Ruud the way he played against Safin. And Safin, he won 7-5 in the third.

Q. But in your opinion, clay is his best surface?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: I think he can play everywhere. I think he can play well everywhere because he got a good serve and also his hand is quick.

Q. Even grass?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: Even on grass.

Q. On ice?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: On ice, he can play Moscow during the winter. And I played on ice, yeah. It's not so easy. You have to -- you have to skate well. (Laughter.)

Q. I always do that in St. Moritz for Christmas. I have experience on ice, as you are experienced on ice.

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: Did you won the tournament in St. Moritz?

Q. I was beaten in the semifinal. Can you say something about the human being? We don't know anything about Safin like man, like guy, what sort of man he is.

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: I don't know, but he's a nice guy and that's it. He's not talking badly about no one, and he has a very good relationships, I think, with everybody. And let's say big heart, I think it's very important in tennis, for the relationships.

Q. What do you think was the most important: To take you as a coach or to leave the other coach, in a way? Not because he was bad coach, but because it was a psychological problem at the moment.

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: I didn't know his old coach very well, and I don't want to -- I don't want to tell anything bad about the old coach. I just want to tell something good about the old coach, because --

Q. Thinking psychologically more than anything, he seemed to have a problem to play well when he was with him more psychologically.

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: You know, I just want to tell you then, his old coach, he created -- I think he's create a big player, you know. And I think what the main point for Marat, he needs to fix his brain. I think that was the main point, and I never -- I never train Marat, you know, I never, like, spend five hours on the court with Marat.

Q. You spoke well.

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: You know, I only had chances to give the good feeling, good sense, I don't know. I tried to tell him, you know, something for the -- to get him in shape to get, you know, to do not thinking about anything, you know. If you will be clean in your head, even if you are in the bad shape, you can play well. That's what I was trying to tell Marat.

Q. Are you excited by the amount of talent you see in him?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: I think he's very talented today, and the point is if we not going to continue to working, the talent is going down like this. And -- because today he only played a tournament every week, and I said to Marat if you want to be ready for the French Open, you have to like stop for one week and --

Q. Is he going to do that?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: No, he's entering to play before French Open.

Q. He's playing Dusseldorf?

MARAT SAFIN: He's going to play Dusseldorf, but in the team, Kafelnikov and Safin, they taking the team. I said to Marat, okay, listen, I'm going to play instead of you. (Laughter.) Because I don't -- I don't want you get exhausted before the French Open, and I don't want you repeat my mistakes, or any mistakes on the Tour.

Q. Which were playing too much?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: Let's say I said to him if you want to play well, you have to play three, four tournaments maximum, and then you have to practice for one or two weeks. Then you can improve your tennis, and we talk about the talent. You know, the talent is not only we have to be the talent in your hand, you have to be talented in your head also. If you bring two things together, talent here and talent in your head, then you can be the champion.

Q. If you had to play against Safin today, how you can beat him?

ANDREI CHESNOKOV: No, I don't want to beat him. I don't want to let him go on. No, no, but if you want to see this match between me and Safin, the way he play, he can beat -- he can -- I don't think if he afraid to play someone else on the Tour today.

End of FastScripts….

Shadow
12-13-2003, 01:03 AM
THE 1999 LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

March 20, 1999

M. SAFIN/B. Becker

7-5, 6-0

An interview with:

MARAT SAFIN

MIKI SINGH: Questions for Marat.

Q. What does playing somebody like Boris and beating him, even though he's no longer at the peek he was, what does that mean to you?

MARAT SAFIN: Today was a nice match because he's -- I think it's my opinion, he's not ready to -- he's not playing good, I don't think. He wasn't ready today. But he's still Boris Becker. He was No. 1 in the world. It doesn't matter how he's playing now, he was No. 1 in the world. It's everything.

Q. How did you regard him eight or ten years ago when you were a little boy starting to play? Was he a hero?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I like him, watching in TV or somewhere. It's nice, play against him. I mean, it's very important to me that I can say to my kids that I was playing against Boris Becker. It's nice. Sorry for the people that loves him a lot.

Q. How much a better player do you think you are now than you were in the French Open last year?

MARAT SAFIN: I think more experience. Now I know what I have to do. Most important moments of the match I can think. I can do a lot more, I can play better now because I feel better, with more confidence, I know everybody from the Tour. I have more experience, just this.

Q. Although you're preparing for this tournament and the hopes to win a championship, what do you think about the area itself in South Florida? Are you enjoying any recreational activities at all? Do you like it here?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I like it. But I'm 19 years old, so (laughter).

Q. No marriage in your plans there?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I just playing my tournament. I bought a computer three days ago, so I'm playing with computer. I can go anywhere.

Q. Are you on the Internet all the time?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but I like this place. Miami is very nice. I like it very much because I was here like seven times playing Orange Bowl, a lot of tournaments. So I like it.

Q. You know this was Boris' last match in the United States. Do you have any feelings about beating him so badly, especially in the second set?

MARAT SAFIN: Very badly, yeah (laughter).

Q. That's tennis, right?

MARAT SAFIN: Really it's not very nice, but I really sorry about that. I was doing my job. I was playing because I can't lose the concentration. If not, Boris can make turn around the match. I had to play all the points, so that's why the score in the second set was a little bit not so good.

Q. What do you sense was the difference? 5-5, double-faulted three times. Seemed like the lights went out after that.

MARAT SAFIN: I think it was the key there. He make just three double-faults. If it's going 6-All, I don't know what can happen in the tiebreak. Maybe in the second set he play with more confidence, because he doesn't play a lot of tournaments, so he's losing confidence, confidence is going. I still don't know what can happen the second set if he win the first one. He can play unbelievable tennis.

Q. He did, you say?

MARAT SAFIN: No, he can play unbelievable tennis. If he win the first set, feeling better, maybe 7-6, 6-0, but for him, 7-5, 6-0.

Q. Did you watch him? When Boris won Wimbledon the first time, you were four or five years old.

MARAT SAFIN: I was in a kids garden.

Q. Were you interested in watching tennis when you were young?

MARAT SAFIN: I didn't see him too much on the TVs. It was a little bit difficult for us, for Russia, to see Boris. Sometimes in the big tournaments like Wimbledon and Roland Garros, of course I was watching him.

Q. That must give you a lot of confidence because you played so excellent, with the Davis Cup now against Germany.

MARAT SAFIN: Really today was a little bit nervous because still it's Boris Becker. I was playing good today.

Q. When did you first see him in real life, not on television?

MARAT SAFIN: Last year, Stuttgart. Boris, Boris (laughter).

Q. Did you feel you had to show him some respect early in the match?

MARAT SAFIN: Is difficult to respect him. Of course, you respect Boris. In the match, you have to think how to beat him. It's not the respect -- it's not the same respect.

Q. Apprehensive of his reputation?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. It's different. I was thinking about to win this match. Doesn't matter who is standing in there, Boris or Pete Sampras, who else. Out of the court, of course I will respect him.

Q. Do you follow the history of tennis? Do you know how many Grand Slams he's won, how many Wimbledons he's won?

MARAT SAFIN: Really, exactly, I don't know.

Q. You mention you're 19 years old. How does it feel having a job like this, you're on top of your game, other people are going to work with a briefcase and suit and tie? You're 19, having a great time playing tennis. How do you enjoy your position at such a young age?

MARAT SAFIN: It's true, I'm 19 years old. I don't know what can happen next year. Maybe I'm going back to play satellites. 19 years old is a good age. I'm 26 in the world. I don't know what can happen. It's not for sure, a hundred percent, that I'll be a great player. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe I'm going back to satellites. Maybe I retire in one year. Maybe something can happen tomorrow. Nobody knows. I don't have a good contract with, I don't know, a good magazine like somebody here. I have to be worry about this. This is my job.

Q. Where are you going to start your clay court tournaments after Davis Cup?

MARAT SAFIN: Estoril, and everything, Barcelona, Monte-Carlo. I have to play because I'm young. Why not? I will try this year.

Q. Are you going to play anything on grass between France and Wimbledon?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I'll play Queen's and Rosmalen. Not too many chances.

Q. In Spanish you said that you felt sorry because of the crowd, that you defeated Boris. But you didn't show any mercy when you were 5-Love. When Boris was in his prime time, he was the same. Did you feel a little bit, "I am winning this set in such a way against Boris"?

MARAT SAFIN: It's not nice, but if I give him one game --.

Q. -- He can come back?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. Why not? It's too dangerous. Sorry about this. It's too dangerous for me.

Q. You thought that?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, of course. I know it's not nice, but this is tennis. I have to think about me.

Q. When Boris was 19, he wouldn't have given you a game.

MARAT SAFIN: For sure. This is for sure, a hundred percent.

Q. Are there public radio stations or TV stations where you're from? Do you listen to public radio or television where you're from?

MARAT SAFIN: What do you mean?

Q. Like National Public Radio or public television?

MARAT SAFIN: Talking about me?

Q. Yes.

MARAT SAFIN: For the moment, no. I hope you will talk about me.

Q. We certainly will. Tomorrow you play Mark Philippoussis. Lost to him in Indian Wells. How are you going to approach this match?

MARAT SAFIN: Last week he was teaching me how to play tennis. This week I don't know. I hope I'll play better. I will try to do all my best. I think he won Indian Wells last week. He's playing good, big serve. He's been playing good from the baseline and unbelievable volley. It will be really tough. I have to be clever in important moments of the match. It will be just two or three points. It will be all the match. So I have to be with more confidence and be clear.

Q. Are there other sports you have a passion for as much as tennis?

MARAT SAFIN: Soccer. I like hockey, but it's too dangerous, I think, my teeth (laughter).

End of FastScripts....

Kiara
12-13-2003, 01:06 AM
Thank youuuuuuuu :kiss: I always thought Andrei was the best coach Marat had

Jessi
12-13-2003, 06:33 AM
Here is one of my favorite interviews. Its full of great quotes and Marat witticisms ;)

Interview With Marat Safin from ATP.com (2001)

Marat Safin is currently ranked second in the ATP Champions Race. He's preparing for a busy summer schedule which begins for him at the Tennis Masters Canada. He then follows that with the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, and the RCA Championships in Indianapolis.


Q. You once said a few years ago that you loved women more than tennis. Is that still the case?

MARAT SAFIN: You cannot compare pleasure with the business, my friend. It's two different things. So you have to dedicate yourself to the business or to the pleasure. Sometimes you have to choose between business and pleasure; you choose business. This is my case.

Q. Is tennis for you then a means to an end? Are you actually enjoying when you're on the court? Are you having a good time?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. But, you know, sometimes is difficult because for some reasons you don't -- it is not something just playing tennis, it's more like psychological game. It's not only passing the ball, just hitting the ball as hard as you can, just serve and volley. It's more than that. Sometimes you are using your head. Sometimes it's very difficult for some reasons, because you're not playing well, or you're playing well. So it's sometimes difficult. It's difficult sometimes to win matches for some reasons. Is what happened to me in Wimbledon and semifinals in Paris.

Q. I would like to know whether the Toronto experience two years ago, history may repeat itself, do you have a sense it would repeat itself, win here in Toronto, go on and win the US Open? Do you have a sense it could happen again?

MARAT SAFIN: Yes, of course, for me it would be great because now, as you can see, it's a little bit difficult to fight with Hewitt because he's playing great and he's like 150 points maybe ahead of me. Definitely have to do well in the tour of America and try to win one Super 9. If it would be Toronto it would be, you know, big thing for me, you know, to come back there and win it one more time. Of course, to prepare myself as much as I can for The Open because it's there where going to decide basically who is pretending to be No. 1 and who has more chances. I definitely want to be there and I definitely want, you know, I would like to try to finish this year still No. 1. It would be big honor. I want it but, you know, a little bit difficult. But I'm preparing myself. I'm preparing myself mentally. I'm working hard.

Q. What do you remember about that Toronto experience, winning the tournament two years ago?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it was great. It was just -- I never expect that I'm going to win a Super 9. You know, there I was playing great tennis. I beat Pete Sampras. I beat a couple of guys that, you know, you have to work hard to beat them. And I'm happy that I won. That give me a lot of confidence to win the US Open, definitely.

Q. When you talk about preparing yourself mentally, do you find that sometimes your temper gets in the way of your performance on the court? How do you control that temper?

MARAT SAFIN: You know, you're not the first one who is asking me this question, and I don't think you're going to be the last one. You know, for me it's tough to explain what the person he has in the head. Every person is different, as you can see, you know, in the experience of your life everybody is thinking different way. It's impossible to find two persons thinking the same way. It's very difficult because everybody has own style of life and just, you know, they're different. In my case, a lot of people, they think that it's kind of easy for me, tennis. You know, I have a lot of talent, that I have potential to win a few more Grand Slams, I have a big talent, but I'm just not focused enough, I'm not working enough, I'm not into it anymore. All the time they find to put me down all the time. It hurts. Of course, it hurts. But, my friend, is not so easy to, you know, just be with the talent. I think that is what they say. Is not enough. You have to find yourself like a player, what you want, how you want to play. Is not easy to play, especially when the tennis is more equal than before, and everybody can play tennis basically. Is not only Top 10, now is top hundred can play great tennis. You have to prepare every match and every match. This year, just I had a couple of bad loss, you know, like 7-6 in the third against Moya, a few other ones. 7-6 against Hewitt in Miami. So as you can see, I'm fighting. But I cannot make this small step that I need. It would be different story. For me, it's difficult. You know, I'm looking for it. I'm looking. I want to win. Of course, I want to win. Of course, I want to play tennis. Of course, I want to win a lot of Grand Slams. But it's not so easy. It's difficult to explain. It's not only tennis; it's more psychological game. I'm trying, but for me it's not so easy like for other persons.

Q. On that same subject, do you believe in sports psychologists? A lot of people believe in them. Do you use any?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I don't. I don't know, maybe. I never tried. I don't think I want to do it because - I don't know. Me, I'm not different, not completely nut case. I'm just different. Just don't know. People, they see what I'm doing on the court. Some people don't understand. But is not so difficult to understand. I don't know. I have to push myself sometimes when I'm losing. I have to push myself. I have to break racquet, whatever, just throw the ball out of the court. At the end it helps me. The way I played in 2000, you know, getting upset on the court. But this way I only can just push myself to work hard and to fight on the match. I liked it. It's good in this way, and it's bad because I'm showing too much that, you know, I'm too - how would say - I show too much on the court my emotion. I'm too emotional. So it doesn't help me. Of course, it helps me. It's just the way I am. I cannot change myself when I'm 22.

Q. John McEnroe used it to a great success. Do you see any comparisons between your temper and John McEnroe's? Maybe it helps you in some situations.

MARAT SAFIN: I would love to be like, you know -- to be in a way like him. But, I mean, you cannot compare me to John McEnroe. I mean, sorry, but he won 77 singles titles and 77 doubles titles. Me, I won one title and one final, so I don't think you can compare me to him. He's too good - too good. But is also different time, different tennis. I don't know. As you can see, nobody -- for example, this year, Johansson and Costa won the tournaments, so nobody can make. I don't know, like Hewitt or Federer going to win five Grand Slams or six Grand Slams, you know, something like this. It's very difficult because is too many people who are playing too good tennis.

Q. A lot of people like to see athletes show emotion like you have. People complain that tennis players don't show enough emotion. Do you find that you're more appealing to tennis fans because of your willingness to show emotion? Do you think more people should show emotion like you on the court?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. It's the way I am. It's nice actually to hear a lot of people, they like watching me play. It's very nice. But just, you know, the tennis stars, you don't have to forget at the end of the day it's a beautiful sport. I don't know, it's a gentleman's sport, whatever you can say. But is entertainment for the people, for the spectators. And they don't have to forget this thing. We are just entertainment.

Q. You talked a little bit earlier about the year end No. 1 and all. I wondered if that motivated you as much as Grand Slam titles? Is that something that still is as important as -- to be the year end No. 1? Does that motivate you as much as winning Grand Slams?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, you cannot be No. 1 in the world without winning a Grand Slam. It just like doesn't work. But just it's going together. You have to. I mean, if you can win one Grand Slam in the year, then it means you are fighting for No. 1. So it's coming together. Of course, I'm motivated to be No. 1. Of course, I'm motivated to win. I would love to win a lot of more Grand Slams. You know, it would be great, but it's not so easy. Is not so easy. But you have to fight. I'm still fighting. I'm trying. I'm looking for myself. I'm looking for my game. Just sometimes it doesn't work, but you have to keep on trying.

Jessi
12-13-2003, 06:35 AM
Q. Do you see yourself, when you're out there on the court, have you been playing at the same level as 2000? People know your game more and it keeps getting more and more competitive to play at that high level week-in and week-out as you did that 2000 summer hard court season.

MARAT SAFIN: No, 2000 I think I played amazing tennis. I had so much confidence. I was playing just great. I was impressed myself that I could play such great tennis. I was surprised actually that I can be -- I mean, I can be good, I can win a Grand Slam, I can win two Masters Series tournaments, win in one year seven titles, is not so easy. I was playing great. I was playing with so much confidence. And this year, yeah, I can. I'm trying. But is not. I'm still far away. But, you know, I'm trying to get there. I'm trying. I'm looking for it, trying to. But is already half a year passed. Not many months is still left so I have to hurry up (laughter).

Q. What you were just talking about, does the beginning of the hard court season in North America help you out because you have had success in this part of the tour before?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I mean, I always like to play in the States. I always played good tennis. Is what the question was, this question?

Q. Yes. Like you were saying, in 2000 you played so well.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, yeah, but, you know, I was make quite good results in US Open. I don't know. I'm feeling comfortable, very comfortable, playing on the hard courts. So it's basically the tour of States. I like. I don't know, I like the courts, I like everything. For me it's easy to play good tennis there.

Q. Is there, do you think, a clear No. 1 in men's tennis right now?

MARAT SAFIN: No, not at all, at all. I don't think there is clear No. 1. You can be a little more lucky, a little bit unlucky. But there is not a one, you know, No. 1 like was Pete Sampras, this kind of guy. No, no, no. Everything is too close and everybody can beat everybody, so is basically ... Of course, we have Hewitt. He's a great player. But still, you know, he has some problems with other players, I mean, on clay courts. Playing against him, we have a chance. We know we have a chance. We know if we are fighting, we can beat him. Against Pete Sampras a few years ago when you were going on the court with him, you knew that you have no chance to beat him. It has to happen something, I mean, that he will not feel great, he will miss a couple of volleys, he will not serve so great, you know.

Q. Is the fact that there's no clear No. 1 a good thing or a bad thing for the fans, do you think?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. Let's see. Let's see how it will work. I mean, it's just -- you know, the tennis is changing. It's still some more young people are coming. Already the Top 10 is already young players. It's Ferrero, it's Hewitt, it's me - I consider myself a young player - Federer, Grosjean, Haas. They're young. You know, like my generation, '78, '79, '80 and '81, these year. I think in one or two years we'll see who is. Something going to happen, I think. Somebody will take care of No. 1, a real No. 1.

Q. Tennis doesn't really have a season. The tour runs pretty much year-round. How hard is it to avoid burnout and to keep yourself engaged in the game?

MARAT SAFIN: Can you a little bit explain the question, a little bit? You went too far with this thing. Just make it for me a little bit more simple.

Q. Because the tour runs year-round and doesn't really have long breaks, how hard is it to not burn out?

MARAT SAFIN: Okay, okay, I get you. It's difficult. I can tell you that how you can -- basically it's traveling 11 months a year. Can you believe it? 11 months? And it means that we are changing basically every week from tournament to tournament or we're trying to go for practice, you know. All the time it's airport, car, hotel, court, home, hotel, tournament, all the time like this. I think for me it's difficult because I'm also scared of flying, yes. I have this paranoia. But, I mean, we are trying. Everybody has the bad periods of the year, you know, when you don't want to do nothing. You are just tired of traveling, you are tired of playing tournaments, and you need to rest. So then you take two weeks, three weeks off, you know, just go out, just enjoy your vacations, to be able to start again and start to playing well because you cannot play well during 11 months of the year. So you have one month you're playing great, another month you're not so great, then you have bad losses. But you have to work on it, and it's very difficult sometimes to find the motivation to play. But also you have to see it's a job. It's quite a great job. It's nice work to do. But, of course, everybody -- I mean, everybody is taking even vacations, like make sessions of five tournaments, take two weeks of vacations.

Q. Have you ever wanted to do anything else besides play tennis?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, to quit tennis and to do something else?

Q. Or when you were growing up, did you want to do something else?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. But, you know, you have to see from other side. Of course, you can find work to do, like not only tennis. But it's difficult. It's difficult to push yourself because you are already playing tennis since you are six, and I'm already 22. So it's like I'm playing for long time. And if I want to learn to do something else, I need to go back to school, I need to study, I need to spend the time with the lessons. I need to, you know, start again, start over, start zero, from the beginning. So I think it's better to keep on playing and do whatever I can do, and do whatever I like, which is play tennis. Yeah, but I like it. You know, just it's nice game. I think it's great.

Q. I read somewhere that your parents named you after the French revolution figure Jean-Paul Marat?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it's just a Muslim name. I think you know that I'm Muslim, you know, this religion. Yeah, that's why they call me because is Muslim name.

Q. Does the name mean something in Muslim?

MARAT SAFIN: Somebody told me, but I forget. I don't know. I don't know. Freedom. I don't know, something good for sure (laughter). Not French revolutionary. But I hope also because of him. Maybe because of him also. Maybe something it's a royalty (laughter).

Q. You mentioned that you're afraid to fly.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. Does that affect your game at all?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it affects me. Not tennis, it affects myself. Every time I go in the plane, sometimes I'm too scared.

Q. Just added stress to the travel

. MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, is difficult. But I'm taking sleeping pills, so is okay.

Q. Tell me what Lleyton Hewitt is doing right now that he's established himself as the No. 1, even though he's not a dominant No. 1. What have you seen change in his game over the last couple of years?

MARAT SAFIN: Just that he's a big fighter. He's more - how would say - you know, during the year his average is very high. He doesn't have bad losses. Every tournament he plays, he makes something. Instead of other guys, we can play great tennis, but sometimes we have such a bad losses, for example, I don't know. You have like second round a few times in a row. And he doesn't make this. He's very stable during all the year. That's what he has.

Q. Tell me about his groundstrokes and so forth. Is his game consistency?

MARAT SAFIN: Consistency, yeah, yeah. You are right.

Q. Are his groundstrokes the best in the game? Are Agassi's better?

MARAT SAFIN: Can you bring it again?

Q. His forehand and backhand, do you think are they the best in tennis or is there someone better?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I think -- Hewitt, what is good, his complete game. He has everything, you know. But he doesn't have the best forehand. The best forehand, I don't know who has at the moment. Ferrero maybe. Federer I think is the best forehand. One-hand backhand type thing is Kuerten. Tommy Haas is great backhand, one-hand. And two-hands backhand I think Kafelnikov, Agassi. And how to say this one? The Russian one, doesn't have a bad one also. What is his name, the young one, the tall one? This guy, you know (laughter)?

Q. I'm not sure which player that is.

MARAT SAFIN: The one not playing too bad. He beat once Sampras in the finals of US Open. Do you know him (laughter)? Safin, maybe Safin? I mean, I don't know, I consider myself I don't have a bad backhand. Not super, but I'm working on it.

Q. What do you think about the fact that there isn't a dominant player in tennis? Some people would say the game is as balanced now as ever. What do you think the reasons for that are? Why isn't anyone able to dominate nowadays?

MARAT SAFIN: Because everybody can play tennis and everybody just -- everybody can play, everybody. Means not only Top 10 players, they can play tennis. Means that the level of the guys like out of Top 10 is very high. That is the reason.

Q. Do you foresee anyone could get to a level where they can do what Sampras did for five years in a row?

MARAT SAFIN: I think now is a stage of being more -- the tennis has to be more equal. Of course, is going to be the guy that come up with something huge. I mean, it goes by times, you know. So I think it will be a few years like this, then it's going to come back the big guy going to come and he going to kick our ass big time.

Q. Could you be that guy?

MARAT SAFIN: I will be too old already for this (laughter). But I'm trying. I'm trying. But it's difficult. I'm trying hard, believe me.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

Jessi
12-13-2003, 06:54 AM
Thank youuuuuuuu :kiss: I always thought Andrei was the best coach Marat had

I agree. I really wish they'd get together again :sad:

Cris
12-13-2003, 09:19 AM
Thanks Girls! :kiss:
Marat :worship: I'm still trying to find another player on tour with the same sense of humour and wise coments. He's unique. :)
Agree with you, work with Chesnokov again would be great for him.

Shadow
12-13-2003, 11:37 AM
:worship:

I LOVE this interview! :rolls:

Thanks jessi :kiss:

Shadow
12-13-2003, 11:47 AM
Marat Safin Expects A Family


Beautiful Safin expects a family and desiring good health than fame & wealth.


Picture this: A family-man holding a bottle of beer in one hand and a baby in another. A tall and handsome Russian tennis player. In which image will Safin look more attractive to you? It is not bull. Safin, a giant who is now 21 and 6 feet 4 in height, seems pretty much enjoy drinking the Qingdao beer (a local beer's brand name) during his stay in Hong Kong and says it is as good as the famous beer he drinks in the foreign countries. Safin says he likes kids so much and will give birth to two at least.

Reporter: Everybody agrees you are good looking. Which part do you think you look the greatest? Do you think the fans like you due to your appearance?

Safin: I think the fans like me because I play pretty good. I don't know if I'm good looking, you know, I'm a man and I don't always look into the mirror (Safin gazes at me [the reporter] and oh, I am almost electrified), and I don't care much about how I look by the way.

Reporter: How are you going to rank the following: Family, tennis, friends, girlfriend, beer.

Safin: (Safin looks at Sylvia who sits quite far apart at once and then smiles) My girlfriend is here, I can't say she is not number one. Actually, Family is number one, including my girlfriend, friends then, tennis, and beer the last.

Reporter: Do you drink beer everyday? You are not afraid of having getting pumped?

Safin: (undoubtedly) Yep, Qingdao beer, I drink it almost everyday, I like its taste. I am not easy to getting fat.

Reporter: Have you got any plans to get married? And how many children do you want to have?

Safin: I'll maybe get married at 23, maybe 25, or even 30 or 35, I can't say when I should get married. I won't get married until I feel I would like to, which means I am ready to be a father. I like children so much that I think I am going to have at least 2 children. However, it is not good to have the life I have now (running around the world to play tennis) when I have children, so I must think carefully in advance.

Reporter: You knew Anna Kournikova when you two are still young. Kournikova now earns a lot apart from playing tennis. As beautiful as you are, have you ever thought to follow her footsteps?

Safin: Boys and girls are different. Girls can easily be the people's focus because of how beautiful they are, and there are not many beautiful women tennis players after all. But there are many charming guys in the men's tennis world, look at Rafter, Philippoussis and Haas. I have earned enough from playing tennis and it is unnecessary to find other stuff to do apart from this. I don't feel like doing ads, making films or some kind of self-promotion. There used to be people asking me to do these things in Moscow but I declined them. Fans can go to the tennis courts supporting me if they want to see me.

Reporter: Fame and wealth, which is more important to you?

Safin: Neither compared to good health. I have been injured which makes me learn how important it is to have good health. Without a healthy body, how can I earn fame and wealth from tennis?

Reporter: Many people say you are the successor of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Whose successor would you want to be? Pete or Andre?

Safin: I think "Successor of Sampras" is more applicable to me since both of us are low-profiled. You can see Agassi on TV and magazines while Sampras only concentrates on playing tennis.

Source: Apple Daily, Hong Kong

Cris
12-13-2003, 01:39 PM
Nice article! Thanks! :kiss:

The first time I read the title of this article (Marat Safin Expects A Family), I thought he was going to be a father. :lol: Me :retard:

Shadow
12-13-2003, 01:47 PM
lol, well indeed you could think that when you read it for the first time ;)

Its so sweet, when he talks about children and he love them so much that wants at least 2 :hearts:

Cris
12-13-2003, 01:55 PM
Yes, he loves children. That's sweet! :hearts:

About the last one, interesting comments about fans. ;) He blushed when the reporter asked him about Sampras and John Mac comments. So cute!

Shadow
12-13-2003, 10:08 PM
here we go Sis ;)

Maxim Magazine
September 2003
by Tatiana Oleynik

Marat Safin never asked the eternal question:" Why do I exist in this world? "

From his childhood years he knew exactly what he was made for - in order to overcome pain and fury, and to run around a green court, chasing after a yellow ball. He became a top sports star, the guest of kings and Presidents, the permanent hero of telecasts and the dream of millions of girls worldwide. But was this enough to make him feel like he has succeeded in life? - Even Marat doesn't know yet.

So here is a conversation with the tennis-player about bananas, car thieves, and the leader of the world proletariat.

" Safin lifestyle " - what is that?

I do not have a [ lifestyle] concept. [ I live by ]The word of honor.

So lets use this conversation to find out. Do you have any philosophical concept of a supernatural existence?

Probably, there is [something] - somewhere. I will look deeper when I need to at a convenient time.

If I was Marat Safin, then each morning when I woke up I would say:" Thanks, Lord, for the fact that I am Marat Safin ". Do you do that?

No. I say:" Thanks for the fact that I had parents, who selected a profession for me. Thanks for the coaches, who taught me everything that I know.Thanks for sponsors, who believed in me ".

Doesn't this heavy load of appreciation oppress you?

No. Finally I realised that there were many forces who came together at the beginning to make me who I am.


Tell me honestly - do you love tennis? Does the game itself still please you? - or are you tired of it?

In my opinion everyone should take pleasure out of what they do for as long as they can.

Especially, if you do well at it. Did you actually play since you were five months old?

No, certainly not. This crazy myth arose after my mom - an excellent tennis player herself and a good trainer - she described in an interview that she took me on court, because there was no-one to babysit me. I wasn't taught tennis until later - from about the age of five. And I didn't show any special ability, by the way, since I really did not want play tennis.

If you had not become a tennis-player - what would you have done?

It always seems to me a pointless thing - to sit and to think: 'what would happen, if life had turned out differently?' Well, I would not be a tennis-player - I would have become a football player. Probably, a bad one. Or I would be involved in business? In any event, I wouldn't be me, but some other man with an entirely different fate.

By the way, about fate. I look at you: you are twenty three years old, you are beautiful, rich in success - a world star. Through such an impression, it would seem there is nothing left to wish for. Is it not boring to live, having done so much? Is there no feeling, that there is nothing thing more to strive for, to want, nowhere to aim?

I hate this term:" star ". Stars - they are in space, just large spheres of heated gas. But me - I'm Marat Safin, a normal person, with problems, pleasures and troubles. What does it mean - " nothing left to want "? Naturally, I want to be the number one again.


Yes but you've already achieved that - where do you go now?

Again, become the number one. Do it again and again. This is life in sport - to constantly win in order to feel happy.

Well, are there other things that please you? - Things that have nothing in common with the racket and the balls?

Certainly. I love life in general - with all its elements. Simply, I treat them without fanaticism.

And what is your present pleasure? Give us specifics. In the casino, for example, do you love to risk things? As a person, who lives frequently in Monte Carlo, you are obliged to visit the gambling institutions...

I go sometimes - but not for the game, but when I am meeting with friends. The last time I played was a year and a half ago.

And did you lose a million?

I won five hundred dollars. Then three days in a row, I ate supper in restaurants with the pleasant thought, that I was eating for free.

You love to eat well?

That's not the right word. But for me it is constantly necessary to observe a diet.

Yes, I know that the tennis-players eat bananas - around the courts there's always bananas. You've probably exhausted an entire plantation of these fruits?

Bananas? I hate them! I was overfed them as a child. No, but I do love a good borsch, beetroot soup, cutlets - with fried potatoes, garlic.

What else do you like? Nice cars?

I admit it.

To press the gas pedal to the floor at the speed of 300 km an hour?

Well no, this pleasure is for those who want to become organ donors. I'm not ready to give my benefit to these people yet; therefore I drive accurately. But good cars please me - and who doesn't love good cars?

Once, your BMW was stolen. If they are reading this interview, what would you like to say to them?

Guys, since you had chance to take the car and not get caught, then I hope that it gives you happiness. Let someone get pleasure from this situation.


Are you always so kind and generous?

I'm not very generous - I don't make enough money to send gifts to strangers. But I love to give gifts to people close to me.

For example, to women?

For example, by them.

You love women in general?

Very much.

All women?

I sincerely believe that all women are excellent - each in their own way. No two in the world are the same.

Therefore to stay with just one is not possible?

Don't put someone elses strange ideas in my mouth. On the contrary, I consider that it is the perfect ideal when you find the one, and I hope that this will happen to me.

And what type of woman will have the best chance with you - a fellow celebrity?

Famous girls don't interest me particularly.

You do know that in this edition of Maxim number you will be included in a " fashioncollection " with Anna Kournikova? She will be on the cover of the periodical, and you will be in the fashion section.

It is good, I have nothing against Anna. We, by the way, were in the same sports school together.

Did you pull her by the plaits?

No, even then she was well-known, so she was more likely to be pushed by her crowd of friends!

So her plaits were reliably protected from you?

Yes I didn't want to hurt her.

Does that mean, you will search for yourself a simple and modest girl, simply a very beautiful girl?

Why " very beautiful "? Beauty - this not the most important thing, it's the basic character of a woman [that's important]

But in what essence?

In her soul, in her nature, in her mind.

Do clever women scare you?

No. I try to read alot.


And what are you reading?

Lenin's Biography.

Why?

I'm interested in the phenomenon - he was this weak, small person but he knew how to impose his will on millions of people.

......who never held a racket in his hands.

This indeed is a gift - to subordinate itself to those surroundings. A very special talent.

Where do you have more fans - in Russia or in Europe?

Here, in Russia.

People often approach you on the streets, in the cafe? Does this irritate you?

On the whole, no. True, it's unpleasant, when you sit in a restaurant, for example, with friends, and toward you suddenly charges a complete stranger and he begins to recite a lecture: " here you did this incorrectly, and on the return he was weakened, but in the last set you did not know how to be focussed? "

And what did you do? Stand up and argue with him?

No. I said " thanks alot, next time I will try to play better "

You have an iron endurance.

You learn to live with it. But someone on the street often approaches you and begins:" You are Safin ? No, really- Safin? No, sorry, you are just similar to Safin." Therefore, when they ask me, who I am, usually I say that I'm a cousin or brother of Safin.

This proves that you are modest?

It's very foolish to prove what you are. But life is too short to waste it on trifles.

Cris
12-13-2003, 10:25 PM
Thanks Andrea! :kiss: Great interview!
Love his comments. Those about women, his stolen BMW and "stars" are amazing. ;)

Jessi
12-13-2003, 10:28 PM
Thanks Andrea :kiss:

There are two different translations of this interview.. i have the other one ;)

Kiara
12-13-2003, 10:42 PM
I love that interview..Marat is SUCH a quote machine lol!every line in there is a gem! Thanks Andrea

Shadow
12-22-2003, 06:19 PM
PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 10, 2003

M. SAFIN/S. Koubek
3-6, 6-3, 7-5

An interview with:

MARAT SAFIN

MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. You seem to have lost it two or three times, yet you hung in and won. How did you do that?

MARAT SAFIN: Excuse me?

Q. You were on the ropes about two or three times, coming back in the third set from breaks down. What did you go through mentally to get yourself back?

MARAT SAFIN: No, just I couldn't fight. I played the first set, I had two breakpoints in the first and opening game, and then unfortunately I couldn't make a break, then a little bit I lost the game first set. Then I came back in the second. He just threw everything out, he was missing all over. And in third set, he was playing his great tennis, I think. He was going for the shots, and that I didn't expect. That's why I make -- you have to wait for an extra ball, but a really tough one, because he was going from all over the court - just down the lines, forehand, backhand. He was playing great, and he was serving well. Just in the third set, when I was 3-Love down, I knew that I have a chance because he cannot play this type of game, you know, for a long time. Until it gets really -- until the end of the match, he probably will miss all these shots. And he did, then he start to play a little bit slower, he was not going for too much, he was missing. So that's how I won. I stayed in there.

Q. Are you a player that plays better or worse when emotion and exterior things going on with calls and crowd; are you a player that plays better or worse in those situations?

MARAT SAFIN: The thing is, you get upset when you can say that the calls are like -- you know for sure the ball is out and they're telling you it is in, and you get upset. Today it worked.

Q. Are you able to use that?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it gives you a little bit energy because also I'm coming here, playing tennis, not just to fight with the chair umpire. But still it's pissing me off when it's so many -- not so many mistakes, it's mistakes on important moments of the match, and like you just trying to hang in there in the match, and you're waiting for the mistakes from your opponent, and still they make mistakes on the calls. I understand that they're people, they're human beings, but still I got upset. But it worked, otherwise I don't think I would be able to react in the third set. That's why I came out with such a --.

Q. What was the nature of your injury? You called the trainer in the third set.

MARAT SAFIN: I had a big hole on the shoe.

Q. You had a hole in your shoe?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I broke the shoe. I had a hole. Like when I was sliding, I was -- I had a cut on my skin and I couldn't slide anymore.

Q. It was on your left foot?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, left.

Q. Did you just make that hole in your shoe in that match, or have you been wearing that shoe for a while?

MARAT SAFIN: No, in that match.

Q. Sounds like you might have called a shoemaker instead of a trainer.

MARAT SAFIN: Easier to call a trainer than a shoemaker.

Q. You got the code violation for what reason? Taking too long? Verbal abuse?

MARAT SAFIN: Verbal abuse.

Q. Do you want to tell us what you said to him?

MARAT SAFIN: No, you don't have to know.

Q. Can you explain why you felt you still had a chance to win when you were down 3-Love?

MARAT SAFIN: Because I had this feeling , because he was playing such a great match - he was focused, he was playing - I just said he was going sometimes for too much, I understand. It worked - down the line, passing shots, serves. You know, he made me unbelievable wide second serve ace. So it's these kind of things. But you have to really understand tennis to see that. I knew that he will not be able to make it when the score will be 4-3 or 5-3, you know, and he has to finish the match, then will start the problems. At the beginning of the third set, he was playing great because he was not under pressure. But the problem is, the problems are coming when you have to close the match, then you start to thinking, "What I'm going to do now? If I will not go for too much, you'll give my ball back, it's like long rally. What should I do? Should I go to the net, risk it or not?" This guy, these kind of things in his head, help me. I just had to stay in the match. I just try to hold my serve. Even I was a break down, he would give me the opportunities to come back. That's what I did.

Q. How was your health coming into this tournament? I know you had health problems earlier this year.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I've been injured twice. I came back like three weeks ago in Rotterdam, but I was a little bit out of shape because I had no rhythm - I didn't play for three weeks. I didn't touch the racquet even. It's difficult to come back straightaway and try to play your best tennis. It never works. I was like serving for the match against Kafelnikov, couldn't make it. I was a break up in Dubai against Robredo. I lost 7-6 in the third. I was playing great tennis, but I couldn't finish the match, something was missing. So I a little bit lost my confidence. That's why this first match I was a little bit nervous about my game. That's why I was missing all over the court first set. And the third, I didn't play my best, best tennis. But at the end, I came back and I was playing great. I was quite confident. When I made a break in the third set, you know, it was 4-2, I made 4-3. You have to put a lot of balls in, just sometimes to go to the net or risk it. If you want to win, you have to risk sometimes, you have to take the risk. You cannot play a hundred percent sure and just win a match. It doesn't work. That's not my style and it's not my game.

Q. Been a couple years now since you beat Pete Sampras in the US Open final. Have you played a match since then that good? Have you played that level since then? A lot, little, not at all?

MARAT SAFIN: Every player on ATP, just in all the other sports, every single player has this kind of day that you will wake up in the morning, whatever you will do, it will be perfect. Against Pete, it was this kind of a day. Like everything I would do was perfect. I couldn't miss the ball. Even if I will try to miss a ball, I couldn't miss it. I was happy it was exactly this day, like on Sunday against Pete Sampras in finals of the US Open. To beat Pete like straight sets in the first Grand Slam final, that's really tough. I don't know if it happen again to me. For example, in Australia, I couldn't make it. But hopefully is not my last final of a Grand Slam. But it definitely will not be the same like against Pete.

Q. So it never really has happened again to you on that level?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I'm still hoping and I'm believing one day it will come.

Q. In that match, you only made like four errors. Isn't it a little bit frustrating to be as young as you are and you're likely never to come to that point again?

MARAT SAFIN: Frustrating? Why frustrating? Why I have to be frustrating? Why?

Q. I don't know.

MARAT SAFIN: You just said it's frustrating, it was frustrating. Why are you saying it's frustrating? What, I look bad? I look like injured, I'm disgusting, playing terrible tennis? I'm 23 years old. I've been No. 1 in the world. I won a Grand Slam. I was in the final of a Grand Slam. Last year I won Davis Cup, which is not bad. 11 titles. Two or even three Masters Series. Another four finals, I think. It's not so bad. I have a really great career. There's some other kids, you know, same age as me, they couldn't win a Grand Slam, being in a final. So just making -- it doesn't make any sense, frustrating. Frustrating would be like if I will drop to top 200 and never will be able to come back. I'm still Top 10. Okay, maybe is not my best shape at the beginning of the year because I was injured. But still there is a lot of time coming. You know, is not the end of the world. And I'm having a great time being here and playing tennis. Is the most important thing.

Q. How close are you do you think to getting back to your game after all the injuries?

MARAT SAFIN: It takes time. It takes really a lot of time. You know, to play great tennis, you need to be perfect. You need to have confidence. The confidence is coming with playing these kind of matches. If you're not been playing really great tennis, you have to struggle, you have to run for two and a half hours all around the court, just run and run. These kind of matches help you to get the confidence back. Once you get the confidence back, then you can find your game and then you can win a big tournaments. It's how it works. So hopefully it can be this week. If will not be this week, it will be next week. There is always another week. Hopefully it will come soon because I would like to -- I would like to get my game back really soon so I will be able to fight to be No. 1 in the world. Why not? I'm still there. I'm still young. I can make it.

Q. With the disappointment because of the injuries at the start of this year, have you set yourself any specific target, goal, tournament that you want to win to make up for things?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, for me I'll be totally satisfied if I would win French Open. That's my goal. Forget about No. 1 in the world. It comes with the tournaments. If you win tournaments, then you can think about No. 1 in the world. Definitely you cannot think about it if you didn't win a tournament this year. I didn't, so I cannot think about this. I'm thinking about how to get my confidence back and how to win my first tournament of the year. So then I can just get another tournament, another tournament, another tournament, so I can get prepared for the Grand Slam. It's pretty soon. It's like in two months. We're already in the middle of the season. Then you can see what it makes. But I would love to win French Open. That's my goal.

Q. What about Wimbledon? There are maybe 10 guys left in the world who can serve and volley.

MARAT SAFIN: It doesn't work anymore serve and volley, as you can see, on grass. There is not natural serve and volleyer anymore.

Q. It doesn't work anymore?

MARAT SAFIN: No, because there is no more natural serve and volleyer like Pete, like Edberg, like Becker. There is no more.

Q. You don't think you're a natural serve and volleyer?

MARAT SAFIN: Jesus, that's a really compliment. I'm working on that, but I'm really not. I'm more a baseliner who can finish with a volley.

Q. With a serve like that?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I cannot have it all. I'm working on that, but it takes time. But still I have a few years to improve it.

Q. What about Krajicek, he won Wimbledon serve and volley. He's still hanging around.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, you can. But in every tournament you need to pass the first rounds. That's what gives you the real confidence. If I will be able to pass the first rounds in Wimbledon, I can adjust my game to the Wimbledon. Definitely, of course, you will not be able to win -- a player like me, I cannot win Wimbledon just staying on the baseline like Lleyton did. Of course, I will have to go to the net and put pressure on the return, try to make it more serve and volley eventually. But I cannot make it all the time serve and volley. Say I serve twice, I go to the net, sometimes I stay back, go to the net, so the guy is a little bit confused. That's my game.

Q. Wouldn't you put Philippoussis in there?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but he doesn't use it. He has great volley, great serve, great motion, but he doesn't use it. I don't know, sometimes he stays on the baseline. He should have go -- he should go for the volley. He has great technique. He has balance. He has perfect serve. You know, he's tall, he's huge, he has long arms, he can do everything. He doesn't use it.

Q. You didn't like a lot of the calls today. Do you think they should use instant replay with the chair umpire?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it's okay. Everybody makes mistakes. That moment you get pissed because you know you want to win, it's not going your way. You know even if the ball is out, they call you in. You just get frustrated, that's it. You cannot blame the people who are just the linesmens. But sometimes, you know, you should a little bit pay more attention, you know, because it's always a mark.

Q. You're okay with the human element, mistakes?

MARAT SAFIN: Everybody makes mistakes. It can go my way, it can go his way. Today it went a little bit his way. Tomorrow it will be my way.

End of FastScripts….

Shadow
12-22-2003, 06:20 PM
PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 12, 2003

M. SAFIN/M. Philippoussis
6-4, 6-3

An interview with:

MARAT SAFIN

MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. It seems you were more quiet on the court today?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I had no power because I was actually very sick last night. I took some antibiotics. I'm feeling like a little bit weak. But just I try to stay focus and try to finish, try to do -- try to play a little bit faster, you know, like stay calm and try to concentrate from the first point, just play my game. I was successful.

Q. What were you sick with? Was it a flu?

MARAT SAFIN: Just sick from my stomach, throwing up, and I had fever last night. I had to take some antibiotics.

Q. And now it's better?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. But still I feel a little bit, you know, like I don't have too much energy. So I'm trying to survive.

Q. Do you think it was something you ate?

MARAT SAFIN: Probably. It cannot be from anything else.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about Pete's retirement. What do you think he's going to do? What do you feel? What would you do if you were in his place?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but I don't know what he has in his brain. I mean, he's doing whatever he wants. Probably he doesn't want to play for the moment at all. I don't know. I cannot judge the guy who was the best player of all times, and the guy who won 14 Grand Slams. So I'm not the person to judge here. He has to do whatever he feels like. If he feels like playing, great. If he doesn't want to play, better for him.

Q. If you were ill, how were you able to play so well?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. Probably he didn't play his best match definitely. He was missing quite a lot of balls. I was focused. He's a kind of a guy that is not like you have to run a lot, you have to play a little bit more short points, try to -- just try to return his serve, don't let him to push you. He's not the kind of player like Hewitt where you have to run a long time and try to do something unbelievable strange. You have to play your game and try to just stay focused, that's it.

Q. You said the other day that your dream was to win Roland Garros, the French Open. What will you change in your preparation for the tournament? Are you going to play less tournaments or different?

MARAT SAFIN: You can't to change a lot. It's a little bit tough schedule. You have like three Masters Series in a month, and then I have to play. It's a good preparation to play Dusseldorf, because I know I have to practice, but it's a nice tournament to play. The same thing. Very important to stay focused from the first match you're playing at French Open, so you play less sets than other players. That's the main thing. Try to work out, you know, physically. Yeah, you have to be very good prepared physically. That's it. Try to prepare yourself mentally also for long matches and for these kind of like against really tough players, you have to be focused, be at your best shape.

Q. Are you being attended by a physician? Are you seeing a doctor for the problem you say you have?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I have a masseur, he's also a doctor. I had to take some antibiotics. Just cannot stay a long time in the heat, getting worse. But I'll be okay. I'm still young. My body can survive.

Q. In terms of your religious belief, are you of the Islamic faith?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. Do you practice any of the rituals?

MARAT SAFIN: No, no.

Q. Were your parents Islamic?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. They don't practice either. Just my grandfather.

Q. Was he Russian?

MARAT SAFIN: No, he's not Russian. He's Islamic also, Muslim.

Q. Where did he come from, may I ask?

MARAT SAFIN: If I start to explain geographically, it will take a little bit longer. It's from part of Russia.

Q. Have you talked with Wayne Ferreira and Jeff Tarango about the association that the players want to build up around next week?

MARAT SAFIN: It's a little bit subject that I don't want to discuss. You will know. Anyway, you will know soon. But just is a thing that's a little bit private.

End of FastScripts….

Shadow
12-22-2003, 06:22 PM
2003 AUSTRALIAN OPEN
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

January 14, 2003

M. SAFIN/R. Sluiter
6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

An interview with:

MARAT SAFIN

MODERATOR: Questions for Marat.

Q. How was that out there today?

MARAT SAFIN: Tough. First match, you know, big tournament, third match of the year, so you're kind of nervous and you try to win in straight sets. You have a tough opponent. The guy can play great tennis. He beat Hewitt in Stockholm. But was okay, you know. Just I lost a little bit my concentration on second set, that's why I lost. But I knew what I have to do, and I came back. I think I played great third and fourth set - good enough to win.

Q. How do you feel with your shoulder? Do you feel it's going to come through okay?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm taking care of it. I'm taking some antiinflammatories, Vioxx. But it's okay. The pain is going away. It's much better, much better. Like next match I think will be perfect then.

Q. Have you thought anything about last year?

MARAT SAFIN: Last year is the history already. It was one year ago. The time is running. Is another chance, another year, another tournament. Just I would like to do the same thing. It's difficult because another year. You are not playing the same tennis. The other people are not playing the same tennis. The situation is difficult. But I'll be there. I'm still in the draw. I think I still have a great potential to do well here, and we'll see if I will be able to make it. Because other people, they also know how to play tennis. But I want to do well here, definitely. I will give all my best. I will try my best. It doesn't matter if I will play my great tennis, if I will play bad, but I will be there, I will be tough and I will give trouble to everybody, that's for sure. Then if I will win or I will lose, then it's just we'll see on the court.

Q. What was the biggest celebration or most enjoyable celebration after winning the Davis Cup?

MARAT SAFIN: It's tough. It's tough to celebrate straightaway because even we went out to the club, and from 12:00 that we got into the club until I think 3:00, I was signing autographs, so I didn't have any chance to celebrate at all. I was making pictures, I was doing everything, but definitely not taking care of myself.

Q. Were you signing autographs for pretty girls?

MARAT SAFIN: No, pretty boys I was signing.

Q. The court is supposed to be faster this year. Firstly, do you agree? Secondly, how much does that help you in winning the title?

MARAT SAFIN: It is definitely faster. Of course, the bounce is a little bit lower. It's good for my game. It's good for me. I'm really far from winning this tournament still. First I have to pass the first week. First it's difficult to pass the first round. Then you have to pass to the second week. Then, of course, is a matter of luck, just if you get your game, if you get your best shape, and then you can see. I will tell you if I have opportunity to win the tournament in the second week if I get there. Then I will see my chances, see if I'm playing great tennis or not, see how the other players are playing. But I'm sure I can do well. I'm sure. I hope also. I hope so. But it's good. It's good. The courts are -- I think for my game, they're really good.

Q. Are you surprised that Larsson is giving Hewitt a lot of problems?

MARAT SAFIN: He beat me last year, Larsson -- sorry, two years ago. He's a great player. He's I think one of the most talented players on tour. He's from old generation. He beat Sampras in Masters -- not the Masters, in Grand Slam Cup, in Munich there was a tournament, in the finals. It means he's a great player. He can give some trouble. He can be dangerous. Again, he have a good serve, good forehand, he can also play backhand, great volley. But for some reasons he didn't do well, didn't give his best to the tennis. I felt for me he was one of the best players on the world, definitely. He could be, I think, easily No. 1, but for some reasons he couldn't make it.

Q. Do you think Yevgeny, who said he was going to retire, you get upset, you try so hard to win the Davis Cup for him, then he says, "I'm going to keep playing"?

MARAT SAFIN: That is the question is everybody asking me, even the players. I think, my opinion, he just said that he wants to retire, but then he realized that what he's going to do after he will retired. For example, he's not playing any more tennis. What he has to do in Moscow, Russia, whatever country he is living in? It's difficult to find this new job or new thing, you know, to discover a new thing in your life because you have to change your life completely. You've been playing tennis since you are six, and suddenly you just want to change something. You need to prepare yourself. You need to see what you like, what you don't like, what you want to do, what you feel like doing. And then, of course, slowly you can leave tennis. But he has nothing to do. You know, the guy has been playing for tennis and he didn't prepare himself for the life after tennis. Of course, he found himself just he doesn't know what to do. So is the best thing to play tennis and try to prepare yourself for next life. I think he still can play few years, two years for sure. He's 29. Let's see how he's doing.

End of FastScripts….

Shadow
12-23-2003, 07:21 PM
2000 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York

September 10, 2000

M. SAFIN/P. Sampras
6-4, 6-3, 6-3

An interview with:

MARAT SAFIN

MODERATOR: Questions for Marat.

Q. You said if you were scared a minute before you went out, you wouldn't be able to talk. Do you remember saying that?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I didn't talk on the court, I just played.

Q. Were you scared?

MARAT SAFIN: When I was really scared, it was in the last game. Actually, last two games. I think I had breakpoint for the 5-2, 5-1, I don't remember.

Q. Two.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. So I knew if I would miss this, I can lose, so I was already start the game with my service game. I start with a lot of pressure myself. That's why I make double-fault. I didn't know what to do. I was under pressure. I couldn't play. I couldn't serve. I serve all the time with a second serve. I was close to lose it. I don't know what going to happen if I lose this game. I don't want to think about this. I was completely -- I was so nervous, I cannot explain what I felt. "It's now or it's never, never going to be."

Q. Why were you not scared before? It's your first Grand Slam final.

MARAT SAFIN: Because I didn't even think about final. I was trying to beat Pete. Just I knew what I had to do. I made it try to hold my serve. I think from the baseline I'm better than him. He has to accept this, that I'm better than him on the baseline. But in other parts of the game, he's much better than me. So with my baseline, I can win my service games easy because I didn't actually had big problems with this. Also with his serve, I knew I have to risk sometimes. I have to return his legs and after I have to pass him. It's simple. I know it's not simple, but it's simple to understand. Otherwise, you have no chance to beat him. If you start to make great returns, 200 kilometers per hour, you're not going to beat him. So it's very simple. We return to his legs and after we pass him. Very easy.

Q. When did you feel you had control of the match today?

MARAT SAFIN: Not until we finish, you know, yeah (smiling). Not before.

Q. Even after being up two sets?

MARAT SAFIN: It doesn't matter two sets. It doesn't matter if it's two sets and I had a match point. Doesn't matter. We can see against Todd Martin against Moya, two-sets-to-Love, match point. After what happened?

Q. You're obviously quite right, this is one of the greatest moments of your life, fantastic occasion.

MARAT SAFIN: How do you know (laughter)?

Q. How can you relate the feelings now to those you were feeling, say, going into Monte-Carlo in April?

MARAT SAFIN: I was much better in Monte-Carlo. No, it's difficult to explain because I just won a tournament, a huge tournament, but it's a lot of attention, I can see it, everybody wants to ask me. It's one step forward.

Q. Could you have imagined then? You must have had some disparaging moments then.

MARAT SAFIN: I think about quitting the tennis in Indian Wells. Now I won the US Open. Just I played -- I start to play better, and before I was thinking to stay in the Top 20. With luck, I can finish in Top 20. Maybe I can go to Top 15. Now I'm thinking about to be for No. 1 in the world. I have a big chance, so it's a big difference, I think.

Q. Was there one thing that turned that around for you, a match with somebody, a conversation you might have had with somebody that turned things around for your year?

MARAT SAFIN: I think Andrei, he just explain to me, and I understood this. My ex-coach, he was explaining the same thing. I'm just start to understand it now. But he was explaining the same thing like he did Andrei Chesnokov. I don't know how I understood better Andrei than my ex-coach.

Q. What was it?

MARAT SAFIN: What was it? "Just fight. When you're playing bad, you have to fight." I didn't fight. You know how many matches I lose 6-Love in the second set? I mean, it was a disaster. I was just making Christmas presents. I cannot do this. So I start to fight. I was playing -- I didn't play my best tennis in Barcelona, but I start to fight. I had a tough match against Zabaleta, a tough match against Portas. Then my confidence came. I start to play already with a big serve, inside the court, putting pressure all the time. I just found it in two days, three days. I don't want to lose it now.

Q. Do you believe in destiny? Did you see something written before coming here? You were so convinced in the third round saying, "I came here not to win the quarters or semifinals, I came here to reach the final and win."

MARAT SAFIN: I was right. I was right. No, because if you come here, if you have in your head make quarters, last 16, semifinal, what is this? It's nothing. Actually, it's nothing. You have to come to the tournament, to Grand Slam tournament mentally to win, to win it. Why not? Why I can't win it? I have everything to be in the final, even beat Pete.

Q. But you never said that in the previous tournaments.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I start to convince myself, otherwise I have to think in positive way, not negative. I came here and said, "I come here to win. If it works, it works." Sometimes it doesn't work, but at least you have in your head that you want to win here. So already you have inside to your body to win, to win each round, you know, just show to the people that I want to win this tournament. It doesn't matter with who I'm playing, it doesn't matter in which court. I want to be in the final. I want to win. That's it.

Q. How important was it that you had clothes given to you from Kiefer on your way to this win?

MARAT SAFIN: Gives me luck. Gives me luck.

Q. Without his clothes, how would you have done it?

MARAT SAFIN: Without his clothes? I would smell on the court, that's it.

Q. When you played Pete earlier this year, did you see any tendencies in his game that you thought you might be able to exploit?

MARAT SAFIN: Before?

Q. When you played him earlier this year, did you see any tendencies of his that you thought you could exploit or work on?

MARAT SAFIN: Everybody knows how to play against Pete, but nobody can beat him. Normally. Earlier in the year, I would not -- is no chance to beat him. I was playing so bad, maybe I would win one game in both sets, that's it. But now with the confidence, you know how to play, you have to receive, you have to risk sometimes, you have to be sure when you're going out to the court. But is also difficult to play against him when you are out of confidence. When you are with confidence, it's easier. You have to make right decisions in right moments. If you miss one shot, the set is gone, so you have to be a hundred percent sure what you are doing on the court.

Q. You said earlier that you had no confidence until you had won the match. Does this match change your confidence level? Do you not think that you can't lose one point for giving away the match? Will you be different when you come to play tennis next time?

MARAT SAFIN: Explain one more time.

Q. Is your confidence level much higher now, now that you've won?

MARAT SAFIN: Of course, of course. But, you know, the confidence is coming and is going very fast, very fast. One week you're playing great tennis, like I did last year, I played great tennis during two weeks. It was unbelievable for me. Playing great tennis for two weeks, make two semifinals, it was huge. After, the confidence gone until the tournament in Boston. It was like five months, something like this. I couldn't put one ball inside the court. Now I have the same situation, I have my confidence back. It's already during five months. You have to understand this situation, this feeling. You have to hold it because the game is there. The problem is in your head, nothing else. You have a head, and you sometimes use it. You can play great tennis. Otherwise, with only the shots, there's no chance. Now I have this situation that I'm playing with a lot of confidence, so tennis is much easier for me, much more easy.

Q. Pete just made a very strong statement. He said you could be No. 1 for many, many years. Maybe you don't want to think about it. What is your response? What are your thoughts about that comment?

MARAT SAFIN: Thank you very much, but I'm still No. 2 or No. 3 I'm going to be. Thanks a lot to respect me, first of all.

Q. Is this the best match you ever played? Was it the best return of serve you ever made?

MARAT SAFIN: Probably I can say it was best match when I return. I was returning -- I didn't return better in my life. But sometimes I was thinking too much from the baseline because I knew I'm better than him and I can't lose a point against him, so is not correct. You have to be -- you have to play your game. I start to push the ball inside the court. The last game was the same situation. I start to push the ball. I start to wait for his mistakes. You cannot do this. You have to play your game. If you start to push the ball, you can lose your game in five minutes. After you have to run from one side of the baseline to other side. So I hope I'll not do the same mistake, otherwise it can cost me the final.

Q. When you were age 14, you moved to Spain, you were very lonely, did you ever dream about this moment?

MARAT SAFIN: Never, never. When I was 14, I was thinking about how to get my first point in a Satellite. To get a point in Satellite, you know how difficult is it? It's very difficult. I was thinking about this. I was playing quallies. I couldn't pass one round in the qually. To get one point, you have to pass two or three rounds in the main draw.

Q. Most kids dream of winning a Grand Slam, holding the trophy. You didn't?

MARAT SAFIN: No. For me it was more important Satellites (laughter).

Q. How do you feel now about winning the US Open?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't have time to think. After when I go to the locker room, maybe I start to think about this. Now, it's just nice trophy. I hope I will take it with me. I can't explain to you right now what I feel. I'm still a little bit in the match, in the last game. It's very difficult feeling it was in the last game. I had adrenaline all over my body. I was so scared, I didn't understand. Now it's difficult to go out from this situation. I cannot think about how great is it to win a Grand Slam.

Q. If you think back to the whole tournament, what do you think was the toughest match that you had in the tournament? In the early rounds you struggled.

MARAT SAFIN: Three times I struggled, with Guardiola, Pozzi, Grosjean. I was almost on the plane with Grosjean. It was 7-6 in the fifth set. I was two sets up. I don't know what I start to do in the court. In half an hour, I lost two games. I was already a break down in the fifth set. I felt like I don't know how to play tennis anymore. I was making so many mistakes. I was running. I was just running all over the court. I didn't have any time to think. After, when I get through this rounds, I just said, "Marat, come on, let's concentrate, just play your game, make it three sets, and go home." I start to make it with Ferrero. With Kiefer, it was a little bit difficult, but I made it. I found my game after match of Grosjean because I was scared to lose. I just understood that I can lose here very easy.

Q. Early in the third set, you've already beaten Pete Sampras, up two sets, early break, were you as shocked as the crowd was?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm already three years on the Tour, so I'm used to play with the crowd, you know, with this huge crowd. I played like in Moscow also against Slovakia in the Davis Cup. Was the same, but for us. You don't think about this when you already played for three years on the ATP. You play your game. You don't think about spectators. It's a little bit different.

Q. Where did you get that point?

MARAT SAFIN: Which one?

Q. The point you were looking for, the Satellites.

MARAT SAFIN: Spain. I was very happy - more than now (smiling).

Q. Do you remember who you beat and where?

MARAT SAFIN: I beat guys like David Sanchez, he's 90 in the world, Peuntas (ph), he's 100. For me, they were like 400, 300. I had no points at all. When I beat them, it was unbelievable for me. It was something incredible. I was more happy than now.

Q. More money?

MARAT SAFIN: More money also.

Q. Despite your nervousness in the match, Pete said he's not sure you could have played any better. Can you look at that and just see the fact that you beat a guy who is 13-2 in Grand Slam finals, pretty much blew him away, can you look at what you did? Are you in awe, as a lot of people who were there were?

MARAT SAFIN: Probably I was less nervous than him because for him it's very important to win here, in New York with the crowd. I mean, 20,000 people coming to see you. I just -- I'm the guy from Russia who had not a lot of spectators here, so I had nothing to lose, completely nothing. So I just played my game. I was relaxed. He has a lot of pressure on him because everybody wants him to win here. I'm just one guy who came here. I didn't feel any pressure, except the last game. Then I start to think, "Yes, I can win." Pete, he become a little bit bigger on the court. He was all over. You know, he become huge. The racquet is huge. Everything is huge.

Q. Was it easier than you expected?

MARAT SAFIN: Actually, I didn't expect it's going to be three sets. But I returned very well, definitely. I can't return better, any better. I can't. I just made it. That's why it was maybe so easy. Probably he didn't play his best game also. But it's difficult to explain what happened.

Q. Before the finals, Alexander Volkov said you were in a hurry to get back to Spain to your girlfriend, Sylvia. Then after the match, he said you were in a hurry to get back to Tashkent.

MARAT SAFIN: I have to go to Tashkent.

Q. What about Sylvia?

MARAT SAFIN: She has to wait. I mean, the business is business.

Q. Champagne is already here.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but everybody start drink without me.

Q. Are you going to get drunk tonight?

MARAT SAFIN: Guys, what do you want me to say yes to put in the press? Between us, I hope so (laughter). It's for free. If you want also, it's for free.

Q. You went from being a clay court player primarily in Europe to winning maybe the most important hard court tournament in the world. How did you do it?

MARAT SAFIN: You cannot believe, but it's very simple. I become a fighter. I start understand better the game. I start to fight on the court. That's it. Is not so difficult to play this game. But you have to fight. You have to be there on the court. If it's five hours, you have to be during five hours there, running all over the court, point by point, be there, be tough. After, everything is coming.

Q. Can you believe now you were fined for tanking a match earlier this year?

MARAT SAFIN: What?

Q. I'm told that you were fined for tanking a match earlier this year.

MARAT SAFIN: Yes, but I don't know why the press -- somebody put that I just pick up the ball with my hand from the serve. I didn't.

Q. You didn't?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I didn't do this. Probably I was angry with myself. I return one serve on the fence. Another return, I just wanted to make a dropshot. Maybe it wasn't the right decision, but I wanted to make dropshot. Just went to the net. The guy just said that it's for tanking. I mean, at least I'm in history already.

Q. Is this ring around your neck of any special significance or do you wear it just for the US Open?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, especially I bought for the final. It's from my sister.

Q. Is it good luck?

MARAT SAFIN: Yes. Actually, it's funny. When she just make me a present, I start to win matches, I start to play great. It gives me luck.

Q. When did she give it to you?

MARAT SAFIN: In a Challenger in Holland. I was like 400. She make me a present. I finish the year in top 200. I'm still with it. I'm already 6 in the world.

Q. When was this? When did you get it?

MARAT SAFIN: Three years ago.

Q. Will you ever say now that your sister will be better than you?

MARAT SAFIN: My sister?

Q. Yes.

MARAT SAFIN: I hope so. At least I have a big future coaching her.

Q. How will winning the US Open Championships change you as a man and how will it change your life?

MARAT SAFIN: Explain me one thing: Why you have to change? Why? Because of this (pointing to trophy)? I just win a huge tournament. I get this. Yes, I have a check of $800,000, it's here (pulling it from his pocket, all folded up). That's it.

Q. Did you sign the check already?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I have to get it out. The money in cash, I will take in cash everything.

Q. When you went for the dropshot early in the match, you slipped on the court, did you have any concern about hurting yourself?

MARAT SAFIN: No, you don't think about this.

Q. I was worried.

MARAT SAFIN: At least for me the match can finish a little earlier so I don't have this headache on the court.

Q. Pete said you could be No. 1 for many years if you wanted to. Are you aware of the sacrifices you need to make?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I don't want really (laughter). Of course, I want. Of course, I want.

Q. How much you want it, how much you want to be champion.

MARAT SAFIN: There is different levels how much you want. For me it's one level. I want. I definitely want. I want. If I have this opportunity, I will do this. If I can stay for one year, for one week, I will make it. If I have a chance to make it for seven years, for ten years, I will make it also. Everybody has opportunity to be in top. But if you want, you can be there. I want. I personally want.

Jessi
12-24-2003, 07:00 AM
Ah.. what memories! Thanks Andrea! :kiss:

Shadow
12-24-2003, 12:27 PM
2002 PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 10, 2002

An interview with:

MARAT SAFIN

MODERATOR: Questions for Marat.

Q. Looking back at last year, can you evaluate your decision to play with your back? You played at this tournament when your back was hurting, through other tournaments. Can you evaluate, was that a good thing to do, looking back at it a year later?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I think it was the right thing at that moment, to play all these tournaments, because I had no other solution. I already spoke about this. I think everything is clear. I think for me it was the right decision. That's it.

Q. Tell us about how you're feeling at the moment, your tennis, everything. How do you look at this tournament?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm good. You know, I played well in Australia. I won the last match in Davis Cup. I played only one tournament after Australian Open. It was in Rotterdam. Unfortunately, I didn't do very well, I lost second round. But I'm just trying to play less, and I try to do better in the tournaments, than to play a lot of tournaments. Some of them you'll not do well. It's just less tournaments, better quality.

Q. When you were going around playing with your lame back, had you been advised by medical people that you could not make it worse by continuing to play?

MARAT SAFIN: No, no, no.

Q. You could have made it worse?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I couldn't made it worse because I spoke with my medicals, with the people that I know. They said is not a problem. Just, you know, you have to wait and you have to take a rest during one month, three weeks, then it's going to be okay. But I couldn't make it because I had no other solution, so that's why I had to play all these tournaments. That's why I couldn't do very well actually here. Basically I spoiled all the year. Like I said, I had no other solution.

Q. Why did you actually decide to play less?

MARAT SAFIN: Because anyway, if you're playing a lot of tournaments, it's difficult to do well in all of them, and the quality of your game is going down with the time because your fitness is not so well, you're not fit after two or three weeks of playing tournaments in a row, you know. It's not good for the spectators, it's not good for me, because I'm also losing confidence. I think it's better to prepare well, play less tournaments, do better results and have more confidence. You are more satisfied, have you more time to enjoy your life actually. You have enough time to enjoy it, to spend the money as well (smiling).

Q. Can you give us an update on your coaching situation?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I'm traveling with a guy, his name is Amit Naor. He's my manager. We're trying to work with him. I'm trying to work with him. For the moment is going well. I don't want to change anything. I'm satisfied with the work we are doing.

Q. What happened with Mats? Is that finished?

MARAT SAFIN: Mats, yeah, I think everybody understands that Mats is playing tournaments, Senior Tour, and he has a family. It's a little bit difficult to have a coach for all the year. That's what I need, a coach that he can spend with me like 30, 40 weeks a year. He could not make it for these reasons. He's playing tournaments and he has a family, which I respect. So I think the right solution was, you know, just to finish. I'm still having contact with him. We are good friends. That's more important than to have a business together, I think.

Q. Can you go through details of what you've been doing between Rotterdam and here?

MARAT SAFIN: I have my vacations, you know, because after the trip to Australia, you need a few days to recover because it's a long trip. You have to celebrate anyway because it's not many times in life you will make the final of Grand Slam. Then, yeah, I played Rotterdam. I had like also two weeks, so I had time to rest. I had ten days of preparation before this tournament, and I'm fit. I'm looking forward. I want to do well here because I have nothing to defend. I think I'm ready for this.

Q. After the US Open, do you remember where you were, how you heard about the terror attacks?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I heard this when I left. I left New York on Sunday. The planes crashed I think on Tuesday morning. So basically, yeah, I was lucky that I lost to Pete, so I had time to get out of there.

Q. Where were you?

MARAT SAFIN: I was in Tashkent. I was really shocked. I think it's too much. It was too much for me. Too much for everybody.

Q. Do you think a lot of things have changed in the world?

MARAT SAFIN: It will be more difficult to get a visa to the States, that's the main thing, especially for Russians (laughter). But, no, it's okay. It's more important for you guys, you know, you just recover from all of this. I think it's very difficult and really scary what happened here. I hope everything is okay, everything is in order, and everything will come back, just live the normal life like you lived before.

Q. How long have you been practicing here in Indian Wells?

MARAT SAFIN: I came here on Wednesday night, so since Thursday I'm practicing twice a day, doing my footwork, fitness, and getting ready for a tournament. Not much to do actually here. But it's really nice, nice and easy, enough time to concentrate for the tennis.

Q. Have you heard from any of your entourage in Australia, your friends in Australia?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't think. They're just friends and that's it. Not many words I can say about this.

Q. It was in the paper every day.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but it's okay.

Q. At the stage where you are now, tennis-wise, what do you think you are happy with and what do you think you still need to work on?

MARAT SAFIN: You have to improve something. I have many things to improve. The year is just beginning. I have a lot of time. I'm just wondering, you know, like that I can play for all the year and keep the confidence that I'm having right now, just to play my best game is the most important thing, just keep in the same shape during all the year.

Q. You seem much more serious than when I've observed you at the US Open where you were laughing.

MARAT SAFIN: I'm growing up. I'm 22 now, so I have to be more serious.

Q. Is life less fascinating for you at 22?

MARAT SAFIN: No. You know, I'm trying to be serious and try to do my business as best as I can.

Q. When you play a tournament where you have a lot of points to defend, then where you play a tournament like here where you don't have much to defend, what is the difference?

MARAT SAFIN: The difference actually is the same. When you're playing a tournament, you are trying to defend the points. When you have nothing to defend, you're thinking to get as many points as you can so you can go up in the ranking. So also you're under pressure all the time. It's like difficult sometimes.

Q. How is your confidence level? Is it back where it was once?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, you know, I'm getting better. I didn't play very well in the last year. But I'm coming back, I'm playing very well right now, looking forward that I can play the same level like I play in 2000.

Shadow
12-24-2003, 12:28 PM
2002 NASDAQ-100 OPEN
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

March 23, 2002

M. SAFIN/M. Philippoussis
7-6, 6-1

An Interview With:

MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Strong performance?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it was good. For first day it was beautiful. I hope I can play this way next matches.

Q. What do you think of Mark coming off that quad injury on his left foot? Can you tell?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, he been out for a long time, so it's very difficult to come back. Especially because -- especially now that everybody's already playing for a few months and he didn't make any -- he didn't play any tournament. Of course it's difficult. Everybody's playing great, and he had some problems with the legs, with the knee. So of course it's difficult to come back and play first matches. You need to run, you know, you need to play few tournaments to get back to the same rhythm. Because everybody's playing fast. So it's difficult to catch up with us. But he will, because he has a great game. He is very talented. So it will not be a problem for him.

Q. Marat, I remember you playing that close final in Paris, the two of you, a couple years ago. How close to that is your form now?

MARAT SAFIN: Definitely not there. Definitely not the same as the way I played in 2000. But I am working on it and I am trying to get there. Of course it takes time. It takes too long. But I am trying to get there. That's my goal. If I will manage to get there, I definitely will fight for No. 1 in the world.

Q. You have an Israeli coach, huh?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. How did that happen?

MARAT SAFIN: I met him long time ago. He was my manager, one of my managers. So that's why he used to play. On ATP, he was like 160. We decided, you know, just to try together and to travel a little bit and see how it's going, you know. For the moment is okay. I'm satisfied. And it's okay.

Q. Any ideas for your game?

MARAT SAFIN: Ideas, ideas is always same - try to get my game a little bit more aggressive because for the last two years I became a little bit passive, staying a little bit more in the line, in the baseline. And I'm not going forward. I think my game has to change a little bit and I have to go -- try to go to the net all the time, put the pressure on the other guy, the opponent. That's my goal, actually. That's the way I played in 2000. Even though I had not such a great volley like now. (Inaudible).

Q. Is it just a matter of fine-tuning the strokes and strategy, or is it the confidence level?

MARAT SAFIN: Confidence. Confidence. I think definitely is the confidence. You can play long matches, you can win great matches, but still not feeling great 100 percent, you're not satisfied with the game because for some reason, you know, you're not playing great, is not your game. You can hit the ball very good, you know, like, but is not your game. So doesn't make me feel great.

Q. How do you describe that feeling that when you go out there you know you're going to win; that confidence?

MARAT SAFIN: That's most difficult part of the game, you know, to get the confidence. Because when you are getting the confidence, you go out of the court, you go to the court and you are already know that you definitely going to beat this guy. Or at least you have, I don't know, 70 percent, 80 percent that you gonna beat him. When you have no confidence, you know you are scared, you're not going for the shots, you're not going to the net, you're losing anticipation. Everything is like falling apart. To get back, you need to matches, matches, matches and try to work hard and just try to push yourself to go to the net, be inside the court, put pressure on other guy, you know, play fast. That's -- it seems to be very simple, but it's not.

Q. So you're now a property owner in Miami Beach. How often will you be living there?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know.

Q. Couple months?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. I don't know. No, definitely not. I just -- I don't know. I will see. We'll see. I mean, we'll see. Depends how beautiful gonna be the apartment and if I will like it or not.

Q. When do you move in?

MARAT SAFIN: Hopefully next week.

Q. Lot of parties around Miami Beach.

MARAT SAFIN: So that's why I don't want to spend a lot of time here (laughter).

THE MODERATOR: Any further questions for Marat?

MARAT SAFIN: That was last one, no? Thanks, guys.

Shadow
12-24-2003, 12:30 PM
2002 NASDAQ-100 OPEN
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

March 25, 2002

M. SAFIN/L. Horna
3-6, 6-3, 7-6

An Interview With:

MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat, please.

Q. I know you're much better than this. When are you going to get some consistency in your game?

MARAT SAFIN: It's difficult. I didn't play well today; I know that. I almost lost my match. I had big opportunities, you know, 4-3, serving -- with a serve. 6-5, serving for the match. Just bad game. But I was there, still was there. I fight and eventually, in the tiebreaker, I could finish it.

Q. You did fight today. But those easy volleys you missed?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I played bad, I know that. I didn't play my best tennis definitely. But it happens, you know, and I hope next day I will play better. But it just didn't work. Anything didn't work today. Didn't work the serve, didn't work the baseline. The volley wasn't great. But still, you know, I was there, 7-6 in the third. Third round still not bad.

Q. Does it concern you that you could have a great Grand Slam and then not quite put enough together?

MARAT SAFIN: But the Grand Slam, I play much better because I think is five sets so I have time, you know, to get into the match and I have more chances to win the match. Five sets, is long way to go. And here is you have one break and you are basically down a set and you have to be careful in the second set. So, it's very difficult for me to play three-set matches than the five sets.

Q. Tell me something about your new coach.

MARAT SAFIN: The guy is, you know, we're working. We just started to work. So maybe it will not work, maybe it will work. So who knows. But I have to give him some time, you know. And if it's not working, is not a problem because he's still my manager and it's -- I will stay friend with him. But I need to give him some time, you know, to get to know each other better and see if it works or not. For the moment, I don't think it's working. But I have to give some time.

Q. Did Mats impart some mental things to you during your time with him?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but you have to understand by yourself that what you need in your game, that what you would love to be in the future. Because I don't think that when I am going to be 26 or 27 I would love to run in the sun like when it's 30 degrees and just play from the baseline. So I have to improve my volley. So at the end, I would definitely change my game, you know, to more serve and volley. It's gonna be difficult to play from the baseline, definitely, when you're 26, 27. You don't have so much energy anymore. You want to play fast points. So, I would have to change.

Q. Pete Sampras, throughout his career, narrow focus on tennis, nothing but tennis. Can you possibly be like that?

MARAT SAFIN: No. No way. No way, no way. No way. I love tennis, but not like, you know, I like to enjoy my life. It would be a pity to spend my best - probably best years of my life just living with tennis. It would be the biggest mistake in my life. And I like to enjoy my life. I'm having fun on the court. I love to play tennis. I love to practice, you know - not much, but still, I am trying to do my job, and I like it. But only tennis, definitely not.

Q. How important are Grand Slams to you weighed against the other things in your life?

MARAT SAFIN: Grand Slams is the biggest thing that can happen to you. If you win the Grand Slam, you are just -- it -- anything can't be better. The Grand Slam is the best, the best feeling when you're winning a Grand Slam. It just give you so much confidence and you're having great time because it's two weeks. And it's like five sets, and every match is like, you know, big-time. Because you're on your way to win a huge, huge price, being a Grand Slam champion.

Q. There are so many good players out there, like this young player today, that maybe unless you focus all your energy into your tennis, maybe you can't win anymore Grand Slams. What do you think?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't think so. I don't think so. I don't think that you have to destroy your life just because of tennis. I think it doesn't make any damage living your life and doing your job on the court. Because your job you're doing, it takes how many days to practice? Two, three hours, okay, yeah? Definitely. You cannot practice a lot during the tournament because it's very hard, because you have to play the next day. So you play one hour, one hour and a half, you go to the gym, make it two hours, I don't know. Two to three hours. Let's put it this way, three hours a day. The rest of the day, what you are doing? You have to stay at home. Watching stupid TV? That's it? That's all the thing can give? Is boring. It's very boring. I am 22 years old. I want to enjoy my life. I am living right on the beach, Miami Beach. I am having so much fun. So why I have to change my way of life? I like it. I love it. Sorry.

Q. What else do you love to do? Beside tennis, what do you like the most?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, it's my personal. It's too personal.

Q. Too personal?

MARAT SAFIN: Too personal.

Q. Is there anything you wouldn't be embarrassed about telling us?

MARAT SAFIN: No, because I don't think that everybody has to know what I like to do. That's what I'm telling you it's something personal. I don't like to share it. That's it. Sorry, I like, like everybody, I go to cinema, do things. But there is something that just secret. Confidential.

Q. Probably next, Pete Sampras.

MARAT SAFIN: I would love to. I'm doing everything as possible to get there. But also to live my life.

Q. Want Pete to stay on the court this time?

MARAT SAFIN: We'll see.

Q. Would you rather play Pete or would you rather play Gonzalez?

MARAT SAFIN: I would love to play Gonzalez, but Pete, I think he's -- with him I have quite good results. In Indian Wells he make some finals I think? Or semifinals, no? Indian Wells? Indian Wells, I don't know what he make. But I think semifinals, so he's in good shape. Is a tough, tough player. But you never know. Last time I beat him in Australia, so we'll see. I don't know. Whatever it comes.

Q. Marat, if you play Pete, the match is probably 7 o'clock, Stadium Court, lights are on, TV cameras. Is this what you crave, one of the things you live for, big moments like that?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, you have to live this big moments, you know. It's very nice to go out of the court so probably we gonna play in the evening, I think so, no?

Q. Will you play better under those conditions?

MARAT SAFIN: I think it's better also because it's gonna be full stadium I think. It's gonna be a lot of people, right? It's probably good match for the spectators. TV, you know, it's gonna be great atmosphere. So it helps you - a lot - the atmosphere on the court helps your game definitely. Is not boring, it's gonna be fun. It's playing against big guy. You have to play well. It gives you a lot of motivation.

Q. What about today. The crowd wasn't big, but it was very lively for your opponent.

MARAT SAFIN: Today when I went into the court, it was like ten people maybe? So it was like, you know, you working at 11 o'clock in the morning. But then it's -- it was much better, the time. So third set it was quite a lot of people.

Q. Can you hear the crowd rooting for your opponent? Does it help -- does it bother you or does it help you when it roots for you, or do you block it out?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean when the people are coming to watch tennis and they are enjoying it, you enjoy it also. You know, it's just -- because I am playing for the spectators. If they're having fun, it's great. I'm feeling much better. I'm playing much better. And also when they are cheering for me, then it's too good. It makes your game easier.

Q. Marat, because you have, you know, this well-rounded life , were you able to put the Australian Open loss behind you quickly?

MARAT SAFIN: That's what I'm trying to do, I'm trying to forget. It's a bad lose, not a good memory. It's not a good memory to lose on your birthday, being the favorite. It happens. I'm just 22. I have many years to play, many chances to win a Grand Slam. I think I will forget about this quite soon.

Q. How much does Davis Cup mean to you?

MARAT SAFIN: This year, too much. Because first of all, we are playing everything at home. Every -- match is going to be in Moscow. Yevgeny wants to retire. He wants to retire only in the case we gonna win Davis Cup.

Q. He told you you have to play your best all year?

MARAT SAFIN: Yes. Yes. I am responsible also for this.

Q. You're going to drive him into retirement?

MARAT SAFIN: I will give him a present.

Q. Don't you think he's too young to retire?

MARAT SAFIN: He's done a great career, ten years? How many years has he been in Top 10? Since he was 21. He's 28. He spend seven years Top 10, two Grand Slams winner, Olympic champion, 21 tournament singles titles, no? 21 singles titles? 21 doubles titles. That's quite good. He's from old generation, and it's really, really good. I would love to have the same career like him. It's good. And I think it's the perfect way to retire, being in the still up in the Top 10, and you're just retired. That's going to be perfect. Winning the Davis Cup.

Q. Your philosophy about life in general, do you think it applies to most Russian tennis players?

MARAT SAFIN: My philosophy of life? If I am thinking like typical Russian? What do you mean?

Q. Yeah.

MARAT SAFIN: No, I don't think so. Because I spend too many years -- I am more European, I would say. I would say. I would say so, because I spend eight years in Spain since I was 14. So, I cannot be typical Russian. And I am proud of it, that I am not typical Russian.

Q. You might have talked about this, because I came in late; I apologize.

MARAT SAFIN: That's okay.

Q. The difference today in the match and how you think you did, talk about the tiebreaker. Unless you did already.

MARAT SAFIN: I played bad. I think you noticed this. And just it wasn't my day. But I was there, I fight. I try to do all my best. I try to do serve and volley, even if didn't work at all. But still I was there and I had opportunities at 4-3 serving, 6-5 serving for the match. And I lost them. I just start to play really good the tiebreak. I'm not satisfied with my game, but I'm satisfied with my win, the way I fought today. Definitely.

Shadow
12-24-2003, 12:31 PM
2002 NASDAQ-100 OPEN
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

March 27, 2002

M. SAFIN/F. Gonzalez
6-3, 6-3

An Interview With:

MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: First question for Marat, please.


Q. Goran Ivanisevic often talks about there being two Gorans. He comes on the court with two Gorans. People are beginning to think there are two Marats, one who plays great one match, who comes out and plays poorly the next. Are there two Marats out there?

MARAT SAFIN: I just think there is some days that you are not playing really well, and some days that you are just feeling in the right way and you are feeling in a good mood and you want to play. You're enjoying and you're feeling well. Two days ago I was feeling horrible. I couldn't put one ball inside the court in practice. I couldn't feel my game. Today I was feeling great. Just I played good today. Just changing, I don't know. I don't know. I would have to find out. I'm pretty happy that I can change my game in one day.

Q. Is it possible you had a good dinner last night?

MARAT SAFIN: I have a talent in this.

Q. Can you tell from practice the same day that it's a good day for you?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I think, yeah, you can find out. You can find out really quickly, you know. Just practice, the way you're playing, the way you're hitting the ball, if you have timing, if you are doing well, if you are moving well, if you are happy, you know, with everything. These days you can feel that you're not hitting the ball well, just you're not feeling well, so these days you have to fight and you have to leave everything on the court even if you are not playing very well. Today on the court, I could do everything and everything was just perfect. And I played well, and I played smart, I think. Quite smart way.

Q. Lleyton Hewitt.

MARAT SAFIN: Tough match. The score is 2-all. You know, we respect each other I think. He's playing great. He made great results last week. He beat some great players in Indian Wells. He's been playing great here. But, too, you know, I am playing well. I am quite confident. I would love to play against him, and I think it's gonna be great match for spectators. We both trying to win, because it will go into the semifinals and it's great chance to win the tournament.

Q. Gambill seemed to have the key. He came out hitting for the lines from the backcourt, but also getting to the net a lot. Could that be the key that Safin's going to use?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, of course. Because definitely everybody knows that against Hewitt you can't stay on the baseline, just try to overpower him, just play his game. That's just stupid, you have no chance to beat him this way. You have to do something else, which is try to go to the net, try to push him from the beginning of the match until the end and not change your game. Just play your game and try to push him from the baseline, try to go to the net, just do something else. But nobody did. Quite impressive, no, guys (smiling).

Q. How do you think the surface is going to affect this match? Is it a rather slow hardcourt?

MARAT SAFIN: The courts are not really slow, but the balls are getting big because it's quite humid here. So it's gonna be -- the courts are slow. I mean, everything, together, the game is slower than last week and normal hardcourts. So it's going to be, you know, a lot of rallies, nice points, hopefully a great game for spectators, just having fun there. I think we're going to play a late match. It's going to be really nice. Really nice match. I would love to play it and I am waiting for it.

Q. Dinara received a wildcard into her next tournament. It's the first time she will play in the main draw at a WTA tournament. What do you think about that?

MARAT SAFIN: (Inaudible). I just -- it's already different season I think. Because the hardcourt season is finishing and everybody is trying to prepare themself for the clay court for Roland Garros. It's the next biggest tournament that everybody wants to win. Everybody's trying to prepare themself as much as they can and try to play as many matches as they can to get ready for this big event. You know, so they have big events like Monte-Carlo, you know, all this. So I need to prepare in the right way, and everybody's trying to win the tournaments and, you know, try to -- it's a great preparation. I think it's a great tournament to play to make matches.

Q. I mean, can you talk about the fact that she's playing first time in the main draw.

MARAT SAFIN: I played there . I played there two, three years ago in the main draw.

Q. Dinara, your sister.

MARAT SAFIN: AH, my sister. Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. My sister, it would be good. I would love to watch her first time in the main draw. It would be perfect, I think, for her. It's a great performance. I will be -- I will make coaching. Yeah, I would have to.

Q. Would that be helpful, do you think?

MARAT SAFIN: I hope so (laughter). I hope so.

Q. How tall is she?

MARAT SAFIN: I can tell you centimeters, but I cannot tell you in feet.

Q. How much shorter than you?

MARAT SAFIN: Up to here (indicating his shoulder). It's quite good.

Q. How would you describe Dinara? Is she different from you?

MARAT SAFIN: I didn't see her since long time, you know, the way she's playing, I mean, in a tournament. I saw her playing in a practice, but is two different things. So it will be good to see her playing some matches. And I don't know... If they want it, I can give her some advice. I don't think that she need, but still. I would love to watch her play.

Q. Her personality is different from yours?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. Last time I saw her play in a match was in Wimbledon. Long time ago.

Q. She doesn't break racquets.

MARAT SAFIN: No. Because has not enough power to break them.

Q. Does this tournament, the way you've proceeded in this tournament at this point, remind you of the US Open where you didn't play very well for a while and then you played very well at the end.

MARAT SAFIN: I think everybody's just -- is just -- you always have tough matches in a tournament. Everybody who won the tournament, big tournaments, they had really tough matches, you know, 7-6 in the third, just playing badly, and just playing horrible. But they fought and they won the tournaments. Everybody who won this tournament or any other, they had the tough matches. So I hope it will be -- two days ago my match against Horna is going to be one of these matches that will bring me to win this title. I hope so.

Cris
12-24-2003, 12:44 PM
So many interviews! Nice read! :yeah:
Thanks! :kiss:

Shadow
12-25-2003, 05:17 PM
yeah, i always love to read old interviews :)

maratski
12-26-2003, 04:54 PM
So famous girls don't interest him particularly....There is a God :woohoo:




;)

Catsou
01-05-2004, 02:34 PM
Ilhame kindly did a report form a interview she watched on eurosport during the Hupman Cup....Here it is thank you so much Ilhame:

There was a 15 minute show on Marat in Monaco. I think I missed a few seconds though. He hired Walt Landers as his fitness trainer and Denis was there too. Marat was really practising very hard. He said he wants to do well this year so he's putting in the hours. "Nobody likes to practice hard, but you have to", said marat.

Denis seems confident. He speaks good english by the way, easier to understand then Marat ;)

Walt was surprised about how serious Marat is. They trained 5 times a week, 4 times to the gym and jogging once a week. This is how Marat wanted it.

Marat likes Monaco cause it's three hours flying from Moscow and only 3 hours by car from Milan. He likes the place, there are good tennis facilities and there are many players to practice with.

On December 27 he went to Moscow cause he bought a loft in Moscow and on 1 January he left for Australia. He said that they don't celebrate Christmas in Russia, but only new year's eve. The way you spend new year's eve says something about the succes you will have in a year. When he goes back home he'll throw a big party for his friends. It'll be a new year's eve party and housewarming party in one.

Marat believes that everything that happens in life is ment to be ( I detect some muslim influence there) and that's how he looked at 2003. He liked his time off court, but missed tennis too. He talked about his trip to Yosemite park. Fishing, eating the fish with potatoes and have good wine.

He drove away in a silver Porsche and went to the marina. He was standing there in front of a boat where they finished the interview. He likes to play Hopman Cup and believes it's good pactice. When he went off he signed something for a girl and said: "It's good to be famous". LOL!!

He said goodbye, wished everyone a new year and that was it :)))))

He wore a red shirt and when he went away he had that navy blue sweater on. He was in between clean shaved and having a few hairs on his face. His hair was not too long, not too short.

These 15 minutes have made my day!!!

Cris
01-05-2004, 02:48 PM
Thanks Ilhame and Alex! :kiss:
He seems great! Nice to know he's training so hard.
After his win today, he's even more motivated. :)

Tennis Fool
01-05-2004, 03:29 PM
Great report!
Suprised he mentioned Xmas as he is Muslim :confused:
Sometimes its the injuries that make you realize what you have...Still needs a coach, I believe.
Can't wait for Marat to show up in Roddick's reality show, kicking @ss (no, Roddick will probably edit that out! Lol)

Lady
01-05-2004, 03:46 PM
Yeah, we don't celebrate Christmas much in Russia, still no big tradition about it ;)

But New Year's Eve is really huge

And Marat mentioned our famous Russian expression "How you meet new Year (spend this night), that's how you'll spend the whole year"
We always say it in Sylvester ;)

Shadow
01-05-2004, 03:51 PM
did you see it also, Lady? COOL :)

Jessi
01-06-2004, 12:58 AM
Thanks Ilhame for the report. What a fantastic day.. first Marat's win and now your wonderful report. I feel giddy all over, lol

MisterQ
01-06-2004, 01:17 AM
Thanks for those interviews. I enjoyed reading those, especially revisiting the Sampras USO2000 match!

Marat is without a doubt the best player at giving interviews. He comes up with the funniest quotes, with his quirky combination of silliness and wisdom. :)

MisterQ
01-06-2004, 01:19 AM
Oh, and congrats to Marat on his win over Santoro! his nemesis!

Shadow
01-06-2004, 01:26 AM
:wavey: MisterQ

Glade you enjoyed :)

Catsou
01-06-2004, 03:54 AM
Hi :wavey: Monsieur Q. :D nice to see you here...I always enjoy your posts!

MisterQ
01-06-2004, 04:27 AM
Oh, that's very nice of you Catsou! *blushes*
:wavey: to you and Knuddel!

MisterQ
01-06-2004, 04:29 AM
Also, Catsou, I like being called "Monsieur Q!" So much classier than "Mister!" ;)

Catsou
01-06-2004, 04:36 AM
Excellent Monsieur Q. ! I knew you were a classy man that's why I start calling you that way ;)

So I shall calling you Monsieur now since I know you liked it !

Please do not blush....it's true I always really enjoy reading your posts...you are always polite, respectful and seems really open to all the cultures and different ideas...I loves it !

Cheers

tall_one
01-06-2004, 08:34 AM
Sorry if this has been posted in a differant thread, there are so many new articles and interviews running around I hardly know what to do with myself! :p
------------------------------------------------------------------

This is Liz's transcript of Marat interview from Monday's match
---------------------------------------------------------------
*clears throat* Mmhhhm yeah I had a wrist problem for about six months, so I had to go from doctor to a doctor and try to, to see what is going on with me and my wrist because nobody could give me uhh any advice on what I should do and how I can recover, recover from this injury and uhh but with time it went away the pain and now I am fit. I was preparing my self for a month in France so it was good.

How frustrating was last year?

Uhh I try to forget about it, it was, it was really bad

Your down to #77 in the World you have been World #1 do you believe you cna get back there?

I will try see I mean I still have the year infront of me, I have no points to defend, but it depends how I start this year, I mean I need to get some confidence back and hopefully it will be ok

You have been described as brilliant and unpredicatble, how would you describe yourself?

*ponders* Same as you said

You think so?

Yeah I say compliment also! I take it

What about on court, sometimes, well you are unpredictable aswell

*scratches head* I mean, but it's *clears throat* That is just me, I cannot change myself. It's it's the way I'm playing, unfourtnately sometimes I have very big downs and then its uuhhhmmm, there is lots of ups and downs so basically you have to deal with it and try to look forward and try to forget about uhh uhhh bad losses and try to be more positive.

How much of tennis is a mental battle for you?

Basically it's uhhhh 75% the rest is just fitness and uhh thats it.

You've been through a few coaches in the last few years, who are working with now?

*clears throat* Since I try, since I started last year with a guy, he is my friend and I used to play before (something or other) so I decided to take him because he knows me very well and he can travel with me all the year, thats what I needed a person, someone with me full time. Before I couldn't get it because nobody, no ex-players they wont do it because it's really hard work, you know being a coach on the ATP tour you have to travel and you don't really have a family so basically it's difficult for them.

US Open, win, obviously a career highlight?

Yeah, but it was a long time ago, but I have to remem.....repeat this feeling so...

This year can we see a Grand Slam or is it to early?

Aahh I am looking forward, Australia is in 2 weeks so umm I hope I can start the year well I mean the first rounds will be great, to play some matches, some tough ones but with my running I can play any player, any seeded player

Now you always have your leigion of female fans, are we going to see the Safinettes at the Australia Open again?

NO NO NO NO NO NO, I am more serious, I am trying to focus on tennis, so no there will not be any no no

So the girls won't be there this year?

No NO No

But you made the final? 2 years ago?

*Marat stares at her clueless for a moment and sighs* But now I am a bit 2 years older and I am a little bit smarter so I can do it without the girls

What do you like to do outside of tennis?

Watch some movies, read some books, interested in music , you know try to have a great time. This week will be casino, try to spend some money or maybe if I am lucky I win some *grins* So you know, I try to have fun.

And your goals for this year?

Try to get back to where I was, where I was before, it's uhh a long way, it's a difficult one, but also the year is starting so I have to...to, you know it's time to wake up!

maratski
01-06-2004, 09:38 AM
Thanks for posting it here Nicki :kiss:

Cris
01-06-2004, 10:10 AM
:wavey: Mister Q
Thanks Nicki! :kiss:

Shadow
01-06-2004, 12:48 PM
just saw it was already posted :o

thanks Nicki :kiss:

Jessi
01-07-2004, 02:47 AM
Nice to see you here, Monsier Q! Welcome!

BelgianWaffle
01-07-2004, 11:54 AM
You have been described as brilliant and unpredicatble, how would you describe yourself?

*ponders* Same as you said

You think so?

Yeah I say compliment also! I take it

:lol:

Screencaps of the monaco interview are up on TGFR.
:eek: at Marat's feet.. I guess he's not perfect after all :o
;)

tall_one
01-07-2004, 12:00 PM
yeah, I saw that pic too.
Tennis players have such ugly feet http://images.bravenet.com/common/images/smilies/yuck.gif

BelgianWaffle
01-07-2004, 12:02 PM
It must be really painful to play with such blisters *ouch*

tall_one
01-07-2004, 12:06 PM
I imagine that it is something they get use to, because it seems like tennis players always have at least one blister.
I remember them showing Serena's feet at last years AO and her feet where even worse than Marat's.

maratski
01-07-2004, 12:07 PM
Serena's feet are the worst ;)

I've been drooling over Marat for quite a while now, but I've always known he has ugly feet ;)

Memories of Lisbon 2000 :o

tall_one
01-07-2004, 12:11 PM
it isn't like we have to look at his feet very often so this is a forgivable flaw ;)

BelgianWaffle
01-07-2004, 12:14 PM
lol..
hey I'd take him anyway with or without the feet :p

maratski
01-07-2004, 12:37 PM
me too ;)

Cris
01-07-2004, 12:47 PM
Agree with you. It's just a detail. ;)

Shadow
01-07-2004, 01:26 PM
who cares about his feet anyway ;)

Catsou
01-07-2004, 06:20 PM
I don't ;)

Ma. Estefania
01-07-2004, 06:22 PM
LOL@Knuddel......you're right.....that's the point. ;)

Shadow
01-07-2004, 06:24 PM
:woohoo:


you girls have the real clue ;)

tall_one
01-09-2004, 05:58 AM
Transcript - Anastasia Myskina and Marat Safin (Russia)
8 January 2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Marat, are you surprised at yourself – how well you’re playing?

(Safin) Yeah. Yes I am.

What mostly?

(Safin) The way that I can fight and that I found my game quite fast since that I’m not playing since almost a year. So it’s quite impressive for me to play so well.

Marat, how is your wrist; you had problems with it last year?

(Safin) Yeah, it’s getting better. Actually, yesterday I had some problems with the wrist again but now it’s gone so it was okay. During the match it didn’t bother me at all.

What problems did you have yesterday; was it sore?

(Safin) Same thing. Just the sort of same thing. It started to hurt a little bit in some shots from the backhand but now it’s good.

Were you surprised at how well he returned your 200 km serves?

(Safin) Umm, I’m not surprised – he’s number 13 in the world – he should do something. Of course he’s a great player, I mean he’s on tour since long time ago and he knows how to play the guys with the big serve and also he’s playing doubles. So one of his most dangerous parts of the game is the return.

Anastasia, a tight match for you…

(Myskina) Yeah, pretty…the second set especially. I think she started to play a little bit better and I lost a little bit of concentration. So it was a happy end for me.

Good to get that kind of a challenge at this early stage of the season to get you going.

(Myskina) Yeah, definitely. The second match was much better than the first one and we’ll see what’s going to happen this year, but (I have) many goals and look forward to this year.

Marat, do you think that’s the sort of match you could imagine yourself losing before your new philosophy of trying for each point and just see what happens?

(Safin) Yeah, he had opportunity, I mean, he was a set and a break up, but then I made the real break very fast so probably he just lost a little bit of concentration; I returned quite well. I had so many opportunities to make the break in the first set – in the beginning of the first set – and the second set I have a couple of 0-30’s, but I couldn’t make it because he was playing well. He had some…sometimes he hit the line, he played very good points, and I couldn’t push myself to do something else because I was just…I was worrying so important for me to make my break that I was a little bit under pressure, but then just I had opportunity and another chance and I did it. Then it quite much easier for me to return his serve and just stay in the match.

Do you think this might be a tactic that can really work in your favour, whereas in the past people, players might have thought “well, I’ll just keep it in for another few minutes and Marat will get crazy, or he’ll give up”…?

(Safin) It will not happen again, I think. I hope so.

Now tomorrow’s match with the USA is a virtual semi-final; how do you feel about that?

(Safin) Great; prepared. I mean, she’s playing well (referring to Myskina), me too. We’re trying and just we have the opportunity to get in the finals so it’s a big time match…it’s going to be tomorrow. I mean she has a chance to beat against Lindsay (Davenport). I will have to be tough against James Blake and I think we have a chance – we have a big chance.

Anastasia, how do you feel about it?

(Myskina) Umm, positive. We played good, really good today. Like Marat said, we really have a good chance to be in the final here and it only depends how we’re going to play I guess. Like, if we’re going to do our best on the court tomorrow we’re going to be in Saturday here also.

What are your plans for playing next week?

(Safin) Vacations.

It’s been a long year… (laughs)

(Safin) It has…it’s good enough to play a couple of matches; play well and you can rest.

maratski
01-09-2004, 08:52 AM
Vacations next week :haha:

Jessi
01-09-2004, 09:05 AM
its been a long year :haha:

Nice interview. Thanks Nicki!

Cris
01-09-2004, 09:57 AM
:lol:
Thanks Nicki! :kiss:

Shadow
01-09-2004, 12:55 PM
LOL Marat :lol: :D

thanks for the interview:)

Lady
01-09-2004, 04:08 PM
Transcript - Anastasia Myskina and Marat Safin (Russia)
9 January 2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Disappointing finish to the week, Marat?

(Safin) Why, why…why you so positive? (laughs)

Today, if you had won you’d be in the final…

(Safin) Yeah…but if, I mean we had our chance. I had my chance in my match; I couldn’t take it, but it’s basically it’s okay. The way I’m playing it’s…I’m satisfied and we just have to work on some things. I have another extra week before the Australian Open and she (Myskina) is heading to Sydney…so basically it’s for the great preparation. She had some great matches, so she has to work on some things also. I will not say that it was terrible. What’s the point? It’s okay….you have also to find out positive sides of these matches.

Will you just practice next week in Melbourne?

(Safin) Yeah.

If someone was needed at Kooyong, you might put your hand up?

(Safin) No, no – it’s enough; three matches for me.

What particular part of your game do you feel you need to work on?

(Safin) No, but just you know, you have to do some fitness…some, a little bit more fitness would be great and just because it’s going to be five sets. Play some, a couple of sets with other guys that they’re going to come to Melbourne to practice and just no more things…nothing special, but just get used to, because I’m not playing Sydney or Auckland…so I have to do the same…basically the same things – play some other matches with practice.

Anastasia, do you feel that you found your form as the week progressed?

(Myskina) I think it was a great week even that I lose two matches. I lose to Lindsay (Davenport) and Amelie (Mauresmo) and they’re great players, and I think I played pretty good. I mean, it’s okay. It’s the beginning of the season, it’s not that bad, so I’m really happy with this week. That’s the only bad thing; that we’re not in the final.

So do you go to Sydney tomorrow morning?

(Myskina) Yeah, I do….I do play Sydney.

Marat, how many are in your entourage – you have your coach, you have Walter for fitness…who else do you travel with?

(Safin) How many people are you wanting me to travel with?

Are there any others?

(Safin) No, no, no – it’s enough – two persons is enough for me. I have no more power for more people. No, I think it’s really enough.

What do you make of the Greg Rusedski drug test today?

(Safin) He’s not guilty yet so what can we say? Just some people accuse him and he said that he didn’t do anything wrong so basically we will see. There is a hearing, I don’t know, it’s in February or something like that, so we’ll see if it will be positive or not.

Is there, to your knowledge, very much drug use in tennis?

(Safin) I don’t know, but those of you have to understand one thing…it’s umm…because nobody actually knows but, for example, when somebody is buying vitamins or these kind of minerals that is not any drugs – you know what I’m talking about…whatever they write on…some companies, when you buy a bottle, they write outside what is the ingredients inside. And probably sometimes they mess it up and don’t write all the ingredients that there are inside. So basically then you discover that you are getting positive. So you have to be careful and you have to be, you know, really check. But it’s…it can happen to anybody. I don’t know in this case but it’s just one of the examples.

Anastasia, Marat – how many times were you tested last year?

(Safin) (i guess it's Nastya's answer ;) )All the time. Every grand slam and especially in the Fed Cup…even three times during the Fed Cup in two days. Yeah, and just they can take you anywhere anytime because before Olympics Games they really kind of pay attention right now to anybody…so they can come in when it’s your home and take you there.

Lindsay and James said about…at least 10 times each – would that be right for you two as well?

(Myskina) Yeah.

(Safin) Well, I was out…I wasn’t playing last year.

(Myskina) For me, yeah. I was given maybe ten times.

Jessi
01-10-2004, 11:31 PM
Thanks Lady :)

Kiara
01-11-2004, 06:46 PM
:lol:

Screencaps of the monaco interview are up on TGFR.
:eek: at Marat's feet.. I guess he's not perfect after all :o
;)

ugh that put me off dinner.....ick.... :speakles:...ick Im reliving lisbon. :eek:

maratski
01-11-2004, 07:01 PM
lisbon was nasty ;)

tall_one
01-19-2004, 12:21 PM
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. How did the first match go for you today? How did you feel?

MARAT SAFIN: It was good. I mean, for first match, win in four sets, it was okay for a long time off, being outside the court. It's the first Grand Slam since last year in the Australian Open. It was quite okay. I mean, the first match is always tough.

Q. How do you feel physically for this tournament?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, it's difficult to like make some conclusions about my fitness, about my physical conditions. It's just the first match. I will see how it's going in the future. A couple of matches more I hope I can play here, then I can see how physically I'm playing and what should I work on during this year.

Q. How about mentally, how confident are you?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, I played -- since the beginning of the year I played four matches; I won three and I lost one. So basically, I'm pretty calm.

I mean, it's going quite well but sometimes you get frustrated because you think you can finish in three sets and then you're losing the second set and basically the guy was taking me over in the third set.

But, I mean, it's still okay because I was still there in the match. I was playing my game, trying to do everything as possible, even in the tough situations.

I think I'm not too bad for the beginning. Not too bad.

Q. What are your expectations for the Australian Open? What do you feel like you can do here?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, I didn't come here for just make a couple of rounds and just being satisfied of being in the fourth round or in the second round or whatever I will do here. If I'm coming here, I will try to do all my best. I will try to win it, why not? I mean, I had a lot of months off off the court, but still I want to play and I have motivation. I want to do well.

For me, it's like a big opportunity, an opportunity to do well during this year, all the year, if I don't get injured.

Q. How frustrating was last year for you?

MARAT SAFIN: Quite frustrating, but was really good. I had some time off. It makes you think like a lot of -- you can think what are your needs, what you should do, and you see tennis outside of the court. You have completely different view. You can just -- you can get a lot of good advices for yourself, I mean, being outside. I had a really good time off. That's why I'm pretty - how you say - I want to be back and I want to finish the year No. 1.

Q. You have the hunger again?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's very important. When you're playing all the time, you have no time off, it's difficult to adjust to the side and see what you're doing on the court and outside. But you have time off, it's completely different story. You can see from both sides.

Q. You said you want to finish the year No. 1. What do you think you have to do to be No. 1?

MARAT SAFIN: Being consistent. There is no special formula for that. I mean, as you can see, you have to play well during all this big tournaments and try to make a smart schedule for yourself, try to work hard and not to lose, like, your matches, the matches that you have to win, and not giving any presents.

Because, I mean, there's a lot of guys competing and a lot of guys in a great shape and they will be in great shape during all the year. Who will be more consistent and who will be mentally tougher, then you're gonna end up in No. 1.

But, still, there is opportunity for everybody. I'm one of them. Why not? I have to give it a try.

Q. Do you think the Federers and Roddicks are afraid that all of a sudden you're back?

MARAT SAFIN: Hey, you have to ask them. I hope they are afraid (smiling).

No, it's too soon, I mean, to decide and see who is scared of who and who respects more and what they think about me.

But, I mean, with the time you will see, by the middle of the season. It will be like ups and downs, and more or less the picture will be more clear for like in the middle of the summer, especially this year, I mean, we have very tough schedule. So the players that are going back and forth to Europe and back, I mean, Olympics. Also the schedule is very important, not to play too many tournaments and just be fresh for the US Open and for the big tournaments.

Q. Have any players made jokes to you about, "Oh, you're back"?

MARAT SAFIN: No, not yet. Not yet (smiling).

Q. You have some good memories about your final down here a few years ago?

MARAT SAFIN: Good memories?

Q. Uh-hmm?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, could be.

Q. Or bad memories?

MARAT SAFIN: No, no, no. Always good. Come on. It's not like every day you're in a final of a Grand Slam. Let's be positive.

It was good, but already was two years ago. Long time away. I hope to repeat it and do better.

Q. Did you learn anything out of that experience?

MARAT SAFIN: Always, you always learn. You always learn on your mistakes.

Q. What kind of preparation did you have before you came here?

MARAT SAFIN: Just work, very important to work hard and physically because I've been out for so many months off. And when you're not playing, you lose the movements on the court, you lose everything. Basically all the footwork, all the conditions, you have to start from the beginning all over again, go to the basics and try to go step by step, I mean like all the preparation from there, from zero.

It's kind of tough, you know, to again push yourself and get the motivation back. But, finally, you get it and you don't want to let it go. That's why just you have to be focused.

I've been one months and a half doing hard work, and I hope I'll be paid somehow for this job that I did in running all over the mountains and just pump some weights and all these things.

Q. Which mountains?

MARAT SAFIN: December.

Q. Which mountains?

MARAT SAFIN: In Monaco (smiling). Is not the place to practice?

Q. You've got Jarkko next. What do you think of his game? How do you approach that?

MARAT SAFIN: He had a great win today against Massu. Great player, lefty, very talented, very fast game for the hard courts. He beat -- I think last year he beat Kafelnikov here. I played against him a couple of times, and last time I beat him in Barcelona, was just April last year. So his game probably improved.

But we'll see how it's going. But he's really, really difficult opponent.

Q. About Kafelnikov, do you have news of him? Do you think he's going to come back on the tour?

MARAT SAFIN: No, quit. Guys, he quit. You will not see him anymore.

Q. Really?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, finished.

Q. He didn't announce it officially?

MARAT SAFIN: That's okay. He's Kafelnikov. He doesn't have to announce it.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MARAT SAFIN: 105.

Q. Sorry?

MARAT SAFIN: 105 kilos. It's a lot of kilos, huh?

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

drf716
01-19-2004, 12:52 PM
hi! does anybody have a transcript of Marat Safin's speech in the finals of the Australian Open Finals 2001? Please post it...please!

Shadow
01-19-2004, 01:20 PM
thanks for the interview :)

maratski
01-19-2004, 01:51 PM
thanks nicki :kiss:

a nice one as usual :)

The aussies love Marat, they made that transcript fast ;)

Cris
01-19-2004, 01:56 PM
Thanks Nicki! :kiss:

allusion
01-20-2004, 11:28 PM
Thankyou muchly for the interview :)

Catsou
01-21-2004, 08:30 AM
Marat's interview on Australian teely is on the oz web site:

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/interactive/tv/index.html

Cris
01-21-2004, 08:32 AM
Thanks Cat! :kiss:

Cris
01-21-2004, 10:20 AM
Just saw the video... :drool: :drool: :drool:
Cat, now I'm awake. ;)

maratski
01-21-2004, 10:45 AM
M. SAFIN/J. Nieminen

7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

An interview with:


MARAT SAFIN

Q. Bit of frustration for you there today. What was going on?

MARAT SAFIN: Huh?

Q. Some frustration for you out there today.

MARAT SAFIN: No, I just got a little bit tired and had problems in my legs. I couldn't really, like, couldn't move. I felt a little bit like weak. So I started to get annoyed by that because I didn't want to play like four sets. I didn't want to get in trouble for the fifth.

That's why somehow I tried to keep it up and just keep the tension of the match.

Q. Is there any reason for why you're feeling so tired? Are there problems with your legs?

MARAT SAFIN: No. Because, I mean, it's obvious - it's difficult to come back, and it's difficult to play the same level as you used to play, especially if you been out for six months. Then your muscles definitely get a little bit weak.

So bring back the power in the legs is a little bit difficult. It's coming with the matches.

Q. It was a good win against a tough opponent, wouldn't you say?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I mean, it's a great win. It's great to beat Jarkko. He's a good player. He knows how to play big matches. He had some great wins. It's a really good match for me, especially to win in four sets. Even I had opportunity to -- I had a chance to stay in the third. I made him a break 5-4, and then I just lost my serve.

But I am satisfied. It's a great match to fight. I mean, four sets, I make four sets, so it's quite good for me.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

maratski
01-21-2004, 10:46 AM
I didn't notice him having problems with his legs :confused:

Shadow
01-21-2004, 10:48 AM
i also didnt, but he was stretching his legs several times.

Vass
01-21-2004, 01:33 PM
When you get tired it's not that visible from the side. I played a 3 hour match ones to win a prize of 10$, lol, I "pused myself" to run but it was difficult. On the video it was nothing special.

allusion
01-21-2004, 11:08 PM
Well I definitely noticed...he got so frustrated during the end parts of the third set he repeatedly smashed his racket when he missed the vital points until it broke, and then when he couldn't smash his racket he just punched his legs. :\

God, I really do hope he can go the distance with Martin.

Shadow
01-22-2004, 03:15 PM
http://www.atptennis.com/en/audio/

there is a short Marat audio after his match against niemienen

Shadow
01-22-2004, 03:27 PM
a Transcript of the Australien TV intervew made by Christine on www.Safinator.com

Interview For Australian Television
January 19 2004
Transcript typed by safinator.com

Q: How does it feel to be back in Grand Slam matches again?

Marat: Thanks. It's great to come back after a long time. I've been injured with my wrist and I had some problems with other... with.. I found a doctor who tell me what I have exactly in my wrist... so it's quite good. It's difficult a little bit, but it's.. I'm in the right way I think.

Q: Physically, how are you feeling at the moment?

Marat: I mean, it's tough to say because I've just started two weeks ago, and I've been making a lot of fitness, all December trying to be fit, and find the motivation to push myself.. doing all these things, and um.. I think I'll be ok... we'll see after this tournament how many rounds I can make and how it's going and how I feel.

Q: What was your goal for this tournament? How far do you think you can go?

Marat: As far as I can! But, I don't know.. it's a lot of players they uh.. they play well... and I just.. I have a tough draw. And I have Roddick on my part, I have Agassi, I have some other guys who just... they're not seeded but they're playing great tennis. So I have to fight match by match, and I have to play against the Finish guy Neiminen tomorrow, but.. if I win my first match we'll see if I can.. about the rest of the matches.

You were a finalist a couple of years ago. Does that give you the confidence, that you know what it takes to get to the final here?

Marat: Just it gives you a little bit of.. experience. You know what it takes.. you know what you need to do.. and how you have to play, and just sometimes you don't have to play great tennis but just do enough.. umm... spend enough time on the court just to win the match. I mean it's like.. sometimes you prefer to play much better, but I'm not in my best shape right now.. just the beginning of the tournament, so I hope to improve my game.

Q: Talk a little bit about last year.. what it was like for you.. how frustrating it was, you know, how you spent your time... did you follow the tour or did you..

Marat: It was really good actually to have some.. a few months off of the tour.. just to relax and just to... think about my life, and also how it... what I need to do to come back, and uh.. what really I need to become a great player. I mean, just come back and be number one.. just to try, at least try it and find the motivation, because sometimes when you travel all the time, during all the year, you have no time to think about it... so you travel.. you see.. and you have some other hobbies.. you try to do different things and enjoy your life outside.. so, it was really good, it was really fun, but of course in the end you miss it a little bit.. travelling on the tour, playing tournaments, and also... everything.. specatators.. because it's kind of.. it's part of your life.. and uh.. you miss it. You miss the winning matches because it gives you.. I don't know.. you enjoy it... it's your life.

Q: So has it, in a sense, given you a completely different perspective? Do you feel more motivated now than you were before?

Marat: Yeah, it's a different... you look at a different way in tennis. When you play.. when you go to the court, you play a different game, and you try to improve your game, you see what you need to.. to work on, to improve a little bit because tennis is changing, and it's like.. you need to improve a lot of things... day by day, and try to .. ahh.. try to.. I don't know, be more focused maybe, and try to just be stable, be more patient with things and.. be more consistent, during all the years. Because, I had the problems being consistent. I could play a couple of tournaments great, and then I had like, for months I couldn't win a match, so that's why it's just really important to.. if you wanna go back to the top ten you need to be consistent.

Q: Is that a physical thing or is that a mental thing?

Marat: Both things. Both, but sometimes you just get tired, because you're travel for a long time. You're travelling for 11 months basically, and it's difficult really to stop and to think, and it just.. takes a few weeks off because all the time you need to work on something. And you're not.. and mentally you get tired. That's why you get frustrated you get a couple of bad losses and then they just... it's just moving around because you're travelling all the time, week by week, and you have no time to stop and just say 'it's enough, I will take one months off', because you have all these tournaments that you need to play and be focuse, and be on the road so.. it's a little bit difficult, but it was good actually to not play for a couple of months.

Q: You're travelling a lot. When you come to a place like Melbourne, do you try to get out and see the city at all?

Marat: I mean it's not like it's my first.. this is not my first here.. I've been here five times before and umm.. it's a great place, but it's a little bit too far from everywhere.. and um.. it would be.. this kind of places in New York would be great. And I'm sure.. that all the players they love the city and so many things to do and just.. you enjoy it.. you come here.. every year and it looks a .. umm little bit far away but it's really fun to be here.

Q: Did you get a chance to go down to the beaches?

Marat: No, I will! I will, after I finish, I will have enough time.

Q: Your sister's playing here. She won this morning. Do you go, do you see any of her matches? Do you talk to her about your tennis at all or is it a very different..

Marat: Yeah but she has the coach and she has the mother. I mean the coach, the mother is the mother, and they take care of her, outside of the court, but she has a coach .. it's his job to explain to her and improve her game. I'm just I'm also playing and I don't want to be involved in these kind of things.. it's not the right thing to do. You have to give the respect to the guy who is working with her, right now so she will have to.. she will have to understand, and realize what she needs for her tennis, and she has to start thinking a little bit her way. And what she likes and what she wants and who she wants to become. Because she's in a difficult age, I mean she's gonna be 18 and she's really still young, and she has a lot of things to improve, but improve by herself. She has to realize that because, you cannot explain to the kid how she has to be and how she wants...how.. what she has to do. She has to.. day by day and week by week and then she will learn.

Q: You're her big brother and I'm sure she looks up to you...

Marat: Thank you.

Q: Do you give her any advice away from the court?

Marat: No, it's .. I leave everything on her. You have to make some mistakes by yourself. It's better to make your mistake by yourself than uh.. learning somebody's mistakes because it's difficult to learn somebody's mistakes, until you realize that by yourself um.. what you need and what mistakes you've done. Then you realize what you have to do. So, it's ok, it's ok if she's making a couple of mistkes, no problem. Everybody does.

Q: True

Marat: (laughs)

Q: Last time, a couple of years ago when you came here, you had a very colorful fan club, they watched all your matches. Will they be here again?

Marat: No, no more. I have all my family, and my team, a massuer and my coach and it's enough. It's ok.. let's try to focus a little bit on tennis. (smiles)

Q: I just wondered about your goals for the year. What did you set for yourself at the end of the year besides staying fit?

Marat: If I will be fit. If I will just stay off of the injuries, uh try to.. I don't know, I will definitely fight for number 1. I mean there is a chance. Everybody starts from zero points and it depends on my form and my shape. I think I can do it, at least I will try. And let's see how it will, how it's gonna go during all the year, because it's a tough schedule, we have Olympic games this year in Greece, so we have to travel to the States and then back to Europe, and then back to US Open, so also it's very important how to make the schedule... the results, being consistent, and be in shape, is the most important things. If I can manage to do it I will be there somewhere in the top five and we'll see how it's going.

Q: Good luck!

Marat: Thank you.

Cris
01-22-2004, 03:43 PM
Interesting interview, good to see him more ambitious. 'very colorful fan club' :lol:
Thanks! :kiss:

Ma. Estefania
01-22-2004, 04:59 PM
Yeah Cris, I agree it was funny. ;)

Btw....I love the way he speaks about her sister :kiss:

allusion
01-23-2004, 10:51 AM
:)
Thanks for putting the the transcript on here.

allusion
01-23-2004, 11:38 AM
From AO website:

M. SAFIN/T. Martin

7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5

An interview with:


MARAT SAFIN


Q. You said in Perth that part of your new resolve was to keep trying and not give up like you might have done in the past. Is this a match the old Marat would have lost?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I think I would have -- why you want to talk about old Marat?

Q. Tell us about the new Marat.

MARAT SAFIN: But it's another opportunity because there are opportunities everywhere and you have a chance even when you are losing. For example, like today, I lost two sets in a row and then he was playing really good tennis. I couldn't find myself. I was a little bit lost. I won 6-love. Even in the fifth set he was really serving well. I took my chances.

That's important to wait and then to fight and get your chances. If you are able to take them, that's good. But they can be good days or bad days.

Q. What were you saying to yourself at the end of that third set? You looked pretty disappointed with yourself at stages.

MARAT SAFIN: I little bit lost my game. I was little bit frustrated because I couldn't read his serve. I was a little bit upset with that because, basically, I had no chances to break him. I couldn't find the way. I was looking for the way for so many games, and I couldn't, I couldn't. And then I start to get frustrated.

But even then, when I lost the third set, fourth set I tried. I tried and I tried and I took my chances. That's what counts, basically.

Q. Does a performance like this help to persuade you the new Marat is the way to do it?

MARAT SAFIN: Yes, it's really good win for me. I really think for many guys would be a really good win. This kind of matches brings your confidence and it brings you, you know, to show you that you have to stay in the match till the end. Because even when you are losing and you are losing quite easily, you have some chances back.

Q. You played a pretty high level, too, at the end of the fifth set. That must have made you play at that level after all that time in such a pressure situation, must make you feel good?

MARAT SAFIN: Thank you. I was trying. I was try because against these kind of players, he has a lot of experience, he knows how to play, he knows how to play big matches and he knows how to play big players. He's been on the tour for many years. He also has a really difficult game, because he's serving, he is going to the net, like chip and charge. All the time he is trying to move to the net. He's also a big guy, so it's difficult to make him a passing shot. He has really good hands. Sometimes from the baseline he's putting you pressure. You never know, if you leave any balls easy, he'll go to the net.

So basically was really, really difficult to keep my serve in the fifth set. Because it's -- any small mistake could change completely the match. He will take his chance and just play a couple of good shots from the baseline and match will be over.

But luck was on my side, and also I played quite -- I tried. I was trying, you know, so it worked.

Q. You said it's hard to come back physically after so long away. Is a long match like that good for you for the hours on court, or is it...?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it's really good. It's just the beginning of the year. I'm not really tired.

But these kind of matches brings you back - how you say - the footwork. How you say, you make a lot of kilometers on the court. Legs are getting back in shape like they used to be. It's -- no matter what you doing off the court, the exercises, you need also to do the exercises on the court, the footwork, you know, small steps.

These kind of matches also helps to build a little bit the muscles and to make the legs a little bit stronger.

Q. In your slide in the rankings, where do you suppose your low point was in your feelings?

MARAT SAFIN: Again?

Q. The low point, when you were going down in the rankings...?

MARAT SAFIN: It's okay. But the game is still there. If you still have a game...

I could have used the protected ranking, actually. But I don't need it. The game was there. I'm not scared about the numbers; I'm scared about my game. I was scared little bit to come back on the tour and not be able to win matches because you lose the confidence, you didn't play for a long time, now you cannot find your game. Other players, their tennis is improving with the matches, with the months, because everybody's keep on playing the tournaments.

I was kind of afraid that I would not be able to read the game, just to see where it would be a little bit faster than it used to be before.

But once you in the tour, once you start to play tennis again, once you start to make long matches, then it's just -- it's coming back, the feelings.

Q. Looked right from the start you were as determined to get to the net as much as you could, as well.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. More than you used to?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but I'm trying. I'm trying to do something else. The baseline sometimes is not enough. You have to bring up something, something new to the game. So like this I can have a fast points, also. It's really important to change a little bit the pace of the game. Once you stay on the baseline, once you go to the net so the opponent has to think a little bit more on the return, he has more pressure. Any short ball that he will give me, that I will go to the net. Okay, maybe it will not work out now, my volley, but with time I hope it will get better also. It will be a little bit also easier for me to play long matches so I don't have to run all the time on the baseline and try to suffer and just struggle all the time.

Q. You obviously want to get back to the point where you're a major threat in every tournament. How far do you think you've got so far?

MARAT SAFIN: It's quite impressive, actually. For myself, I didn't expect that I will just -- I will win so many matches straightaway. I went through two matches in Perth, lost one match to Blake where I should win, and won here three matches against quite good players, against Nieminen, Vahaly, against Todd Martin.

So for me, it's really good. I'm really satisfied on myself. It could be worse. It would be really worse. Like I said, it's difficult to come back. It's difficult for motivation. The eyes are not the same, the shape, the feelings, all these things.

Q. At the start of the week you were asked whether the other players should be worried that you're back. Should they be worried now?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, I think they are not really worried but they keep in mind that I am still there, so, which is a good thing.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...


http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2004-01-23/200401231074845545731.html

Shadow
01-23-2004, 01:26 PM
thanks :)

the interview is also on video :yeah:

Cris
01-23-2004, 01:36 PM
:)
Thanks Lena!

Shadow
01-23-2004, 01:55 PM
new radio interview

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/interactive/radio/index.html#

Shadow
01-24-2004, 11:16 AM
new eurosport interview with Marat

http://www.eurosport.com/home/pages/V3/L0/multimedia_Lng0.shtml

marat_
01-24-2004, 11:36 AM
Thanks very much for all the transcripts and download links. Marat is always an interesting study in contrast - so temperamental and emotional yet mature and insightful about his game (and life!). Plus.. I want his accent. :p

Shadow
01-26-2004, 01:09 PM
M. SAFIN/J. Blake

7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3

An interview with:


MARAT SAFIN


Q.Could you talk us through that crazy backhand volley on the breakpoint. It was quite an incredible shot.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, was really important for me and really in the right moment. But it was just pure luck. I mean, it was not like I planned it to play. Just lucky shot. At the right moment, just pure luck, 100 percent.

Q. Was the racquet actually in your hand when you played it?

MARAT SAFIN: I think no. I think I just throw it, just, you know...

That's it. I don't know how it happened.

Q. James said that once you throw the racquet, it loses all its power. It's very hard to say it's not in your hand anymore.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but I just throw it. Because I was -- I thought that I will not get the ball so I just little bit -- maybe at the moment when I just throw the racquet, just touch. But doesn't matter. But normally it doesn't work this way (laughter).

Q. Just at Grand Slams?

MARAT SAFIN: Just, yeah. Just once a year.

Q. How frustrating is it to lose a season like you did last year, and how satisfying is it to be back again amongst top players?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't think it's -- like I said all the time, it's not frustrating actually. It wasn't really bad. I was injured. But also it's not like there is only tennis in my life. There is some different things.

Was really good. It was at the right moment, you know, that I had all this injuries because it also makes you stop to play tennis and you have enough time to think about just your career, your life. Makes you -- you analyze everything. Just you see what you want in your life or how you want to do it, who you want to be in the future. So also you rest from your work. Okay, not for so long. I had like for six months I been resting.

So it was really good. So that's why afterwards I could find motivation to come back. Really important. So I enjoyed it. Don't think that I just wasting my time. I was really enjoying my life.

Q. Did you play the guitar, painter?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I was fishing, I was camping, I was traveling. I was doing a lot of things. It was really good. Really good experience and really at the right moment also, everything happen.

Q. So you think you've come back hungrier than before?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it happens. I'm just -- I'm happy that it happened to me because I was like -- it's difficult to travel 11 months of the year and just not to think about, you know, what was going on. Because I'm sure that everybody has this problem -- not a problem, just this kind of thoughts during when they're working, right? You want to stop also a little bit to think a little bit, to analyze the situation.

I mean, in my case, when you travel 11 months of the year, just you get tired. You cannot find the motivation sometimes, you know, to do the job and to take the flight, another time to fly 11 hours to somewhere, like to the States, stay there for a few weeks and then come back home. You have to be like 100 percent each day. It's really difficult.

Also, you have the pressure, pressure from the situation because you have to win, you don't want to lose. Because if you lose and then you lose the confidence, all these things.

So you get a little bit stressed out. So it was really good thing, you know, just to stop and just to see how it's -- to manage a little bit and to enjoy the life and find a way to not stress out on the court and not to put yourself under pressure.

Q. So do you feel that all the pressure will be on Andy when you play him in the quarterfinals?

MARAT SAFIN: I hope so. But, I mean, still it's also nobody wants to lose in the quarterfinals. It's like it's really half way to the finals. Each match, each game is really important. Nobody wants to lose it. Everyone wants another opportunity of winning Grand Slam. It's also is some kind of a pressure for everybody, once they won a couple of four matches before, they don't want to lose it in quarterfinals because the next round is like -- you are getting closer to the finals.

So it's everybody's goal to win the tournament. So somehow, the players are getting better and better. The confidence is growing. The players are getting tougher. So that's why it's kind of difficult.

Q. Before you played your backhand, was the prospect of a fifth set sort of staring you in the face?

MARAT SAFIN: It was like I should have finished it in the third set, but I just a little bit was out of -- just I was following him. I was following his game. Just I was waiting for his mistakes in the tiebreaker. Couldn't make the decision of making myself a point.

And then fourth set, I was just a little bit -- I lost a little bit the game. So I was a little bit struggling and my legs were getting tired a little bit. Just was a little bit tough, you know, to come back, to find the motivation back, just to fight for a few games then just to close it in the fourth set, because the fifth set is a lottery, can go both ways. You don't want to experience that thing.

So just was really important for me just to make the break in the fourth set and I was lucky to come up with a shot, what I was looking for. I was looking. I was trying. I had three breakpoints before. Couldn't make it, and finally I did it. Thank you (smiling). Thanks, God.

Q. You live in Monaco now. Do you enjoy it? Do you like it?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I mean, I'm traveling. It's not like I'm living all the time full-time in Monaco. I'm going sometimes to Moscow to visit my friends, to visit my family, traveling around.

Whenever I have an opportunity to practice before the tournaments, I go to Monaco. When I have a couple of days, I want to see my family, my friends, I go to Moscow. Mix it up a little bit.

Q. Do you plan to play, you said 11 months of the year, traveling, traveling, traveling, are you going to change your schedule this year and play less tournaments so you don't get so tired?

MARAT SAFIN: Also, I'm in the kind of situation where my ranking dropped a lot. I need to come back really so I don't have these kind of -- I don't find myself in a situation where I'm not seeded in a big tournaments, because I don't want to play against big guys straightaway in the first rounds. Also, yeah, you can beat but you can lose. It's not really big fun to play against Agassi in the first round in Indian Wells or Miami, or against Federer. You can win, you might win, but you might lose.

It's better for me to play a couple of tournaments to play well so I get back to the place where I can just be seeded during the tournaments. Makes it a little easier. You have more confidence, you have like a couple of rounds, like you can have quite "easy" ones, but not what I'm looking for.

Q. James and Andy were here a couple moments ago. They were both telling us, the rankings, you've always been treated as a top player in the locker room and your comeback was only a question of time. How do you feel about that?

MARAT SAFIN: Thanks. It's nice to hear that, but also just for yourself, for your ego, to come back to the numbers where you have to be and where you want to be. It's really important.

But also it's important that -- as I said before, it's difficult, you know, you come to the tournament, for example, Australian Open, I could have played against anybody, against Hewitt, against Federer, against Agassi, against Srichaphan, against anybody. It's also this. I don't like this situation, you know, being like -- I'm not like scared, but just it's -- it's not the comfortable situation.

Q. How did you feel about the support that you get from the crowd? Everybody seems to be very happy to have you back here.

MARAT SAFIN: Of course it's important to have some crowd behind you. Just but if the people, they enjoy my game, I'm more than happy. I mean, everybody is here just is coming for, you know, to play the game, to win the tournament, but also for the crowd to enjoy. It's a part of the game. You have to try to do everything as possible to make the public happy. They are paying the money. I mean, they are paying to watch the matches. They want to see entertainment. If you don't see the crowd, it's not really...

Just couple of good points, great matches, you know.

Q. Last year you go with Paradorn Srichaphan to China. Do you have a chance to go to the Thailand Open?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, there was a chance, but I don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow. You asking me what's gonna happen in September. It's a little bit straight -- little bit long way from here.

But, yeah, why not? Great place.

allusion
01-27-2004, 12:08 AM
Plus.. I want his accent. :p

:) Gotta love his accent.

Shadow
01-28-2004, 03:16 PM
M. SAFIN/A. Roddick
2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4

An interview with:
MARAT SAFIN

Q. You called the trainer. What was wrong, and what did he do? Did you think about stopping right there?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I didn't thought about stopping. But I was so bothering the, how you say, abductor.

Q. The hip? Groin?

MARAT SAFIN: Inside the legs, on the left side (smiling). That was really bothering me at the beginning. Then just when I was returning the serves, I pulled a little bit. Then I took some painkillers, and that's it.
Q. This is the best birthday gift you could have, or you're still hoping for something else?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I can't ask for anything else. Is probably the best birthday I ever had, especially when it's like 15,000 people that's standing in there, you know, singing the "Happy Birthday." I mean, it's really nice. And after especially the win, beating No. 1 in the world, it's really nice.
I'm really -- it was really nice.

Q. This is your best performance since when?
MARAT SAFIN: On my birthday (smiling)?

Q. No. You lost here on your birthday two years ago. When is the last really terrific match you played?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't even remember. Probably when I won Davis Cup. That was 2002, December of 2002. And since then I didn't really play any great matches because of some circumstances.

Q. People who saw that final against Sampras almost describe it as a perfect game of tennis. Do you feel like you've got that game in you to pull out against someone like Andre Agassi?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but it's -- you cannot compare the tennis I played against Pete Sampras, because is kind of tennis that probably I'll never play in my life again, especially against these kind of players, like Pete serving and volleying.
But against Andre, you have to play a bit different game. For me, it was really nice to play a few long matches just to feel the pace of the ball, you know, a little bit. I was missing -- I couldn't read where the ball was going, a little bit of feeling of the points.
I mean, I would have to play much better than -- I can't play any better at this stage like I played today. I think it's probably my best tennis at the moment. But I think some things you can improve and just take, I would say -- if you really analyze the situation, I think I could -- I could play a little bit just better, difficult -- different, a little bit different. Different game you play against Andre. Not better; different.

Q. You were slowing down at the end, taking your time between points. Was it because you were feeling tired or was it deliberate?>

MARAT SAFIN: No. This kind of moments, you don't want to rush. Is the last thing you want to do, especially when it's fifth set and you've been running for three hours, and every point is really important at that stage because every shot basically, because you make couple of mistakes in one game and they cost you a match.
And the fifth set is like you need to take time, you know, you need to think little bit how you going to play the point and just be concentrated, you know, like a little bit slow down a little bit. Just think a little bit more before you do anything. You don't want to rush.

Q. How are you feeling physically?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, I could feel much better, I mean. But it's okay. I'm still young. It's not like I'm really getting old. I will have to be really fresh against Andre if I want to have a chance to beat him, because he played not even half of the time that I spent on the court. I mean, he's 33. But, still, you know, you need to run against him, you need to -- I don't know, you have to be there.

Q. What do you do when you have such a long match, not have much time? It would be tempting to sleep for 20 hours. >

MARAT SAFIN: No, just have a little bit of massage, you know, just sleep. You definitely need a few extra hours to sleep. Have some beers, you know, for the muscles to relax, and for myself also. You really need that. I really do.
But just, you know, nothing special. Have a treatment today, tomorrow, definitely tomorrow. And let's see how fresh I'm going to be against Andre.

Q. Will you have birthday cake?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I will. It's getting late actually.

Q. You played a great fourth set. What happened in the tiebreaker?

MARAT SAFIN: What happened? A few games before when I had a chance of breaking him. I mean, there was one game that I had a breakpoint, and I little bit rush. I rush it too much. Because I was feeling the moment, "Now is the moment to break him." And he was really missing a few balls, and I was feeling this is moment to take over him.
And I start to rush a little bit. And I had -- I tried to hit the winner from 10 meters outside of the court, into the fans almost. So basically these kind of moments, you don't have to let it go, because it can be only one moment in the whole match, especially against Andy. I mean, there -- every moment like this is really important.
And I was kind of thinking about this afterwards. I was like, you know, it really bothered me and really hurt me, these kind of things. Because it cost me so much, you know, to win these two sets and make him a break. It was really important. So basically I put a little bit too much pressure on myself.
And in the tiebreak, I just -- I didn't do anything, just to win it. I mean, I was just let him play. And it was the wrong decision. I should have a little bit gone for the shots, a little bit just try to do something else, just try to go to the net, you know, something. I was a little bit, you know, I don't know, I didn't do anything to win it. He deserved to win. That's why the score was -- he was really pushing. The forehand was working. He served quite well.

Q. You worked so hard to break him, then you go down 15-40, two breakpoints. Did you think you had lost all your thrust?

MARAT SAFIN: That's really, really, really -- I knew it could happen, and it happened actually. Because when I make him a break for me, it was real important to keep my serve and win the first point. 15-Love would give me extra confidence, you know, for the game. Then he make -- it was just, you know, too passive I play, and that's why he made a winner forehand, and then it started just didn't go my way.
But he went for the shot, I mean, 30-40. I mean, the shot would go through, over the net, then I would be in trouble. Then I was just kind of a little bit under pressure because I didn't want to lose this moment and I didn't want to start all over again. 5-All, 6-All, you know, it could go anywhere. It could go to Roddick or it could go to me. But I don't know, I didn't want to spend -- just start all over again, because is too much, too much pressure.
But thanks God, I served well at 15-40, and he went for the shot on the forehand, which I think was really good idea for him, but not at that moment, because it make a winner, that score is really difficult.
But I was there. Try my best.

Q. How did it feel on match point? Suddenly you approach, and the volley is in front of you?

MARAT SAFIN: You have to do something. You definitely have to do something. If you want to win, you have to create some kind of a situation to win it. You cannot just be passive and waiting for the mistakes of the other person. He's No. 1 in the world. I mean, he's there. He knows how to play tennis, and he knows how to hit and how to play the big moments. I mean, he won US Open.
So just you have to. You have to create the situation. You have to do something, extra something for him to make a mistake, or at least leave you a short ball or just something. You cannot wait. You can't. Can't. Is not my game. Is not the place to do these kind of things.

Q. Considering how much you played in the last eight months, are you surprised to be where you are?

MARAT SAFIN: (Inaudible) really surprised. I thought it's going to cost me a lot more to come back, after like so many months off, because you lose completely the game. You don't see anymore. You cannot -- you don't feel the moment, you don't feel when to go to the net, when to stay back, what to do, the serve, the returns, all these things, you basically have to start from the zero, go to the basics.
But I mean, I did a great job. I have to sacrifice a lot of things, and I sacrifice all my December just staying, working hard. Just day by day, you know, a few hours a day running and just, you know, make everything to come back, all the feelings, all the shots and, you know, everything you had.
You have to work it day to day. It's not like coming in like two weeks. It's not coming just like after the matches. The confidence coming after the matches, but all those feelings, you need to work on them. And it cost me a lot.

Q. Where did you go camping?

MARAT SAFIN: I went camping in Pinecrest, Yosemite Park in California.

Q. It's beautiful.

MARAT SAFIN: I know. I know. I had problems. I tried to come back in LA. I tried to play this tournament and I couldn't play anymore, so I was like a little bit upset because I saw so many doctors at the beginning of my injury, but nobody could tell me what I have, what kind of -- actually what I have, what kind of injury I have, those things. They had doubts and they had versions, but nobody could just tell me, "If you do this, you will be okay."
They help me out in LA, a few friends of mine, they took me to really good doctor, sports doctor, Dr. Feder (phonetic), which is taking care of the basketball players and the hockey players, and he is also doing -- he is also doctor for the movies. Yes, yes, because actors, they get injured also (laughter). I don't know. Somehow. Don't ask me how.
But he really explained to me what I had.

Q. What did you have?

MARAT SAFIN: I had small cut in the ligaments and I had problems with my meniscus and cartilage, and I also had some problems with the nerve, which is passing through here. So he just put me a cast. Was a simple thing because you cannot do operation, because everything is too small, the bones, the ligaments. You cannot sew it, you cannot do anything there. You can just destroy it. It is not something that needs operation.
So what I had to do is just, you know, wait, wait. It took me one month and a half. And I had to walk with the cast. I had nothing to do. I went to camping. I was a little bit depressed. So I went camping. I took a car and drove to the gas station by the map, see where is it, everything, you know, because my way was going to Oregon. It's too far away. I went to Yosemite Park. And I had really good time. And really just is good to think a little bit, no people.
You need these kind of things.

Q. You were all by yourself?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. Me and my coach and his girlfriend.

Q. In a tent?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. Where did you go fishing? Was it with Michael Chang and he taught you how to be patient?>

MARAT SAFIN: No. Fishing like was great. We were staying like eight hours a day on a boat, you know, just sitting with our beers. We had everything. Whatever you catch, we cook and we eat.

Q. Was it hard to cast?

MARAT SAFIN: You manage it.

Q. Cast was on your left wrist?

MARAT SAFIN: Yes. But the problem was I couldn't swim. Was great weather. But was okay. We had wine at the night, you know, with the dinner. So it was really, really good. Just make your mind a little bit relax. Just chill out. What else you can do?

Q. How are you going to commemorate your birthday?

MARAT SAFIN: What is mean?

Q. Celebrate.

MARAT SAFIN: Not much I can do about it. Not much. We'll see.

Shadow
01-28-2004, 03:17 PM
you can also see the video interview -->

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2004-01-28/200401281075263788140.html

Ma. Estefania
01-28-2004, 04:16 PM
Thanx Andrea. :)

Cris
01-28-2004, 05:25 PM
Thanks!! :kiss:

allusion
01-29-2004, 05:07 AM
I'm reading that interview now. Thanks!

tall_one
01-29-2004, 02:47 PM
M. SAFIN/A. Agassi

7-6, 7-6, 5-7, 1-6, 6-3

An interview with: MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think about the match?

MARAT SAFIN: I feel great. It couldn't go any better because, I mean, it was a great match for both of us. Like Andre said, it could go both ways. He had chances in the second set, to win the second set. So I did it in five.

For me, it was a great experience for me to win the first two sets, lose the third and fourth, come back in fifth. I was fighting. I was there. Even when I was getting tired a little bit in the fifth set, and I had the moment, I had the chance, and I took it. For me, it's a really important thing. I just couldn't feel any better because, I mean, you have to play really great against Andre to beat him, and to beat him when he's playing well, yeah.

Q. Midway through the fourth set, were you already preparing mentally for the fifth set?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, when he made me a break. Then I just lost a little bit the feeling of the game, and I just -- and I also was getting a little bit tired. Just I decided to, you know, just leave it because I felt like I couldn't win the fourth set because he was playing pretty good, and just I lost a little bit the concentration. So I tried to leave the fourth the way it is, you know, just like finish the set and start all over again in the fifth.

And I did great. I mean, I could concentrate myself from the beginning, and I could stay for all the way, all the fifth set, and take the chance, you know, the only chance that I had to break him, and I took it.

Q. How far were you tonight from your best tennis?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, you can't compare match by match. I mean, it's completely different. It's a great match for today, I mean, because it's a little bit different players, different matches. You know what I mean?

Against Pete Sampras you can play great tennis, but just returning. Here, you have to do a little bit different style of things. You have to move a lot, you have to serve a little better because Andre is probably the best returner in the game. And to have a great baseline.

So you cannot compare the matches to another matches. But I think I played one of my best matches, you know, in my whole life probably. But, just like I said, it's a bit different.

But I managed to stay with him on the baseline. I managed to serve 33 aces. For me it's a big thing, you know, especially against him. And be there all the match, that's what counts for me especially.

Q. Is it more satisfying to win that match in that way when you looked like you might be gone than to beat Pete Sampras and blow him off the court?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, for me it would be better to win in three sets, it would be much better. I mean, the way it was, yeah, I'm satisfied. For me personally, it gives you a lot of -- much more confidence when you play in these kind of matches. Doesn't matter five sets. Doesn't matter how many hours you stay on the court. A five-set match is a five-set match, and especially against these kind of players, you have to be there. It gives you much more confidence than to beat Pete in three sets, because I had the best day of my life.

That's tough.

Q. When was the last time you haven't done one double-fault in five sets?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm not like -- actually, I'm not surprised because actually I never did so many foot faults -- sorry, double-faults.

Q. Zero.

MARAT SAFIN: No, it's okay, I'm not surprised with that (smiling).

Q. How important is the extra day's break on your semifinal opponent going to be given the amount of tennis you've played?

MARAT SAFIN: For me, I mean, counting the hours and counting the players that I played with. It's also pressure. It's a little bit -- mentally I'm a little bit tired. I mean, tough matches, they take a lot of energy. And then you make a lot of kilometers, a lot of hours on the court.

So basically an extra day for you, it's really, really helpful. I mean, like tomorrow I'm definitely not going to play tennis. I will take a day off and then I will try to hit a little bit on Saturday, just a half an hour. It's enough, I think. I've been playing a lot of tennis during these two weeks. It's not like I'm going to forget tennis, how to play tennis in two days.

Q. Will you have a few beers just to loosen the muscles?

MARAT SAFIN: Of course. I deserve it, no?

Q. How tough was Walt Landers in Monte-Carlo in November on you?

MARAT SAFIN: Couldn't be any tougher. He did a great job. He took good care of me. Because after a while when you don't play tennis, you just lose everything. You lose the fitness. You lose, how you say, the muscles are losing completely their power. He somehow in one month and four weeks managed to bring everything back and make me play probably my best tennis straightaway, which is very important, because my tennis is all about fitness. If I'm physically well, then I have no problems with my tennis.

And it's really important for me to keep myself in shape. It's also difficult to stay focused for one month. I mean, staying in one place, doing your job from the morning till the night. And I managed to do it. And I'm getting -- I'm getting a lot of confidence from that also.

Q. After your first-round match, you said you weren't here to make up the numbers. Did you believe when you made that comment that you would end up playing in a final?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, like I said before, even before the tournament, I said I'm not coming here just to make a couple of good matches and to lose in like the fourth round, in the quarterfinals. People tell me I will try to play not bad, but like it little bit. I didn't come for that.

Like I said, I came here to try to win it. And I'm almost there. Just one left to go. So, like I said, everything is going my way for the moment.

Q. Is there any things you might have learned from the final two years ago, or is this a completely different experience?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, I might learn a little bit. But is like a completely different final. It has nothing to do with like two years ago. It wasn't my best tennis. I had problems with myself. I couldn't -- just I couldn't get over myself in that final. I just lost -- I couldn't play my best tennis. I was too nervous, too much under pressure. That's why I couldn't pull my best weapons in that finals.

But coming right now, I'm playing -- I beat so many good players, I'm full of confidence, and it's completely different story. Going to be, I hope.

Q. Was it important for you to be the first server in the fifth set?>

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I was happy for that, because it's really important because it's like you go one game over, you know. I mean, he's always under pressure because he knows that it's makes a big difference, I mean, psychologically for the guy who is serving second.

Q. Considering your good record against Juan Carlos, would you prefer to play him in the final? >

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, it doesn't matter anymore because, I mean, one of them going to get to the finals, means they're better player than other ones. And also they're going to play really good, I'm sure about that. Because they're going to be full of confidence. They will try to win it and have a lot of - how to say - a lot of confidence and they will go for it, no matter who wins.

I mean, Federer, he has a great talent. But Ferrero is also there. You have to be careful with both of them.

Q. What will you do tomorrow?

MARAT SAFIN: Day off completely. Come on, it's too many hours I spend already. I have to rest.

Q. Will you watch TV all day? Go for a massage? What will you do?

MARAT SAFIN: Do something. I mean, spend a lot of hours sleeping, try to make a couple of massages tomorrow, I mean, one or two. Just try to recover, my legs, start to prepare myself for the final. Just do something. Go for a walk, for example. Enjoy the sight-seeing. I will find something.

I went two days ago in the zoo. I had so much fun. I will find out something to do.

Q. What has been the role of your mother throughout these two weeks?

MARAT SAFIN: Just a mother. I hope she's enjoying. I don't want her to like suffer or give me any advices. She's here just to enjoy the tennis of her son, just to be proud. I hope she's proud of me and what I'm doing.

I mean, she gave me the basics in tennis, definitely. But then since I'm 14, I'm traveling by myself, I'm improving myself, and I'm living by myself. So she's here just basically to enjoy what I'm doing.

She's enjoying, I'm more than happy. I don't want her to suffer, for her to get crazy in the matches because I'm losing, not winning, not playing bad or good, no matter results I will get. She has to be happy.

Q. Has that affected your behavior, to have her here?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I just don't want her to suffer. It's not painful, but it's really bothering. It's really bother, the kids, you know. There just to enjoy it, just be cool. I would love to watch my kids, you know, doing something. If they're playing, I come to watch. No matter what they do, they win or lose, but at least you see is your kids, and they are playing in a semifinals against Andre Agassi. I mean, what else you can ask? I mean, a few years ago she would never think about it.

Q. Does your mother make you behave yourself off the court?

MARAT SAFIN: Come on, I'm 24, man. A little bit too old to take care of.

Q. Did you have any doubts about yourself in the fifth set when it began?

MARAT SAFIN: No, but, like I said, the fourth set, I didn't care about anymore because when I got the break, I felt like I'm losing a little bit concentration. I try a little bit to forget about the fourth one and start to thinking already in the fifth, just tried to be focused straightaway from the beginning.

I had -- I was trying to, because also was good for me that I served first, and I was waiting for my chances. For me, it was really important to keep my serve and just hang in there, and definitely I would have a chance, because for me was not a problem basically to return his serve. I mean, it's difficult to read sometimes, but it's really good, you know, because he's under pressure all the time, so always he'll give you the opportunity to break him.

And I was waiting. I was waiting. I had my chance and I took it straightaway.

Q. Where did your serve go? You let the set go?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. Because I knew that he will not let me get back into the match, you know, because he knows what he is doing and just it's enough, it's the fourth set, it's okay, it's finished. And also my energy was like I had no more. My fitness was just -- my power was going down, so I just decided to forget about it, forget and just start -- try to give the last push in the fifth.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

tall_one
01-29-2004, 02:58 PM
The video of the interview is up too--->Link (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2004-01-29/200401291075386566571.html)

Ma. Estefania
01-29-2004, 05:00 PM
What a good boy he is :angel:

Cris
01-29-2004, 05:08 PM
yeah, he is! :hearts:
Thanks Nicki! :kiss:

allusion
01-30-2004, 09:52 AM
Thankyou for the article & the link :)


Eeee...I'm so glad he won!

LiHui
01-30-2004, 11:46 AM
Ohh,i like this video!!Thanks a lot!

Aurora
01-30-2004, 12:03 PM
Nothing like 15 minutes of face-time with Marat!! :D

love the red shirt btw

allusion
01-30-2004, 12:31 PM
Blah, if only I had cable internet!

Shadow
01-30-2004, 04:22 PM
new video interview on eurosport.com

http://www.eurosport.com/home/pages/V3/L0/multimedia_Lng0.shtml

Vass
01-30-2004, 06:41 PM
There's an interview with Denis too, on eurosport.
Funny, but Denis has the same accent!, same tone of speaking, same word selection as Marat!

Shadow
02-01-2004, 10:57 AM
R. FEDERER/M. Safin

7-6, 6-4, 6-2

An interview with:


MARAT SAFIN


Q. I think you probably summed up what we all felt, just one match too many for the energy, you ran out of gas?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I was a little bit -- a little bit too tired to keep up with him with the same rhythm. And I had to be there from the beginning to the end. And I felt that I was missing just a little bit - just a little bit. I didn't need much, but a little bit more, something more, some extra energy to stay there.

Because basically it went like this. I had a chance in the first set. And if I would won the first set, it would be a little bit different story. But still, you know, after I lose in the first set, then it was a little bit difficult because he became confidence and it was difficult to keep up with him.

Q. What has this done in terms of giving you confidence for the rest of the year?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, for me it's still great. I would never think that I would be in the finals this week, I mean, after what happened before.

But I'm happy. Doesn't matter. I mean, like finals, okay, could be much better. I should have won, all these things. But if you look realistically at the picture, I think it's great for me. Great two weeks. I beat great players. I will have other chances to beat him in the finals.

But for me, for me personally, it's great. It's good to start the year this way.

Q. What was wrong with your serve?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, just energy. Because also with the serve, the legs are making most part of the serve because I need to, you know, bend your knees and all these things. And I couldn't. My legs were just too tired to do all this job. And without serve, is difficult.

If I would have served better, I would have a higher percentage of first serve, then probably I would have more chances. As I said, energy.

Q. Did you spend less on the practice courts than you would normally because of the rest you needed?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, what do you mean, in the beginning, before the match?

Q. The two days between the semi and the final. Did you try to take it easy?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I tried to take it easy. I didn't play two days ago. I played yesterday and a little bit today. But it's just -- it's a different story. It's different story. I mean, when you go into the court, you have to play, it's already final. I think I played too many sets, I spent too many hours on the court. And there's nothing you can do.

And especially against these kind of players, like Roger, you have to do better than that.

Q. Can you get any fitter? Is that what it comes down to?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but you have to look also -- of course, you can. But it's timing, it's not coming like this (snapping fingers). You play one day, you don't know how to play tennis, then straightaway you learn how to play tennis. It's not like this. It's coming with time.

I was out for eight months. I mean, of course -- of course, you still need to work, you need to still to do a lot of fitness. And I mean, for me, it was the first tournament that I played since Australian Open last year. And I didn't play for one year so many matches in two weeks.

So, I mean, I cannot complain. I mean, physically, I'm okay. But just it wasn't enough. I missed a little bit. It's not like it's a big problem with the fitness. I've been playing against Roddick and against Agassi five sets.

So it's a little bit difficult.

Q. How frustrating was it, in your terms, to run out of gas today?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, you cannot just look at the bad part of the story. You have to look also for the positive parts, you know. Yeah, you could say, "Okay, I played bad, I should have played better, this and that." You can find a lot of excuses.

But realistically, I'm happy. I'm satisfied. I don't want to push myself down because I lost a match against Federer. It's not like I played against a yo-yo, a guy who doesn't know how to play tennis. You know what I mean?

Let's give him some credit. He is a big player. He's No. 1 in the world, sorry to tell you (smiling).

I mean, you need to be really prepared. You need to be really fresh because he spend -- he didn't play -- he played only I think one match in four sets. He's fresh, he's fit. You know, he doesn't have problems -- he didn't have problems all these two weeks. So he's fresh. It's not a big deal. He just was fresh; I wasn't.

Q. How good a player is he?

MARAT SAFIN: He is a great player. He has all the shots. He has volley, he has serve. He's most complete player on the tour.

Q. Can you compare him to Pete Sampras?

MARAT SAFIN: No. It's a little bit different story. Yeah, they have some kind of same things. But I think Federer, he has better -- he a little bit -- I don't want to take anything from Pete. I mean, mentally, he was the strongest player on the tour. He has the biggest serve in the world. He has an unbelievable forehand and very good hands in the volley. But sometimes he was missing a little bit the backhand.

So Roger, he has -- he has everything and a backhand. Probably he doesn't have enough volley like Pete Sampras. But he is really good. I mean, he can volley. It's a little bit different story.

But Pete, as you can see, he won 14 Grand Slams. And he has a really good -- he was really, really tough.

Q. Do you feel unfortunate to beat Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi in a tournament, and not to win a title?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't care. For me, it was really important matches. For me, it was -- for me personally, I'm satisfied it was even like this. Because for me to beat Roddick and to beat Agassi, it was really important.

I mean, I always thought that Agassi was unbeatable for me, and I beat him. So it's like, okay, you cannot -- that was great matches, great matches. I'm happy that I won them. But, unfortunately, it took me a lot of energy.

I wish I could win the final, but it's okay. I can survive that moment.

Q. Was there a sense you were already satisfied before you got to the final?

MARAT SAFIN: No. You cannot be satisfied if you have a chance to win a tournament. You always go for more. You cannot stop at some point. You always want more, all right? You win one match, you want another one, another one, another one. And, of course, you want to win. Especially when you have one match left, you want to win all the tournament, all the event. And there's a lot of reasons to win it - a lot of reasons.

Q. When did you know you didn't have enough gas today?

MARAT SAFIN: Just at the practice in the morning, I felt that it was difficult, really difficult, for me to move. And I tried to -- that's why -- I tried to -- I was -- maybe I put myself too much pressure in the first set because I wanted really badly to win the first set, because it would be different story for me. Because even if I don't have so much energy, but I could stay, because he will be under pressure, I would have more chances.

Q. You said last week one of the things you want to aim for this year is to get up back towards the top. You played the No. 1 player. Do you see what the gap is, and how close you are, how much you still have to do?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm really close. It's not like I'm really far away. It's not like I will not have any chances to beat him. I will have a lot of chances. I beat Roddick when he was No. 1 in the world here still.

So basically I made a present to Federer (smiling). No, but, is not so much difference. It will be changing a lot of times, No. 1, during all this year and next few years. Tennis is very equal between a lot of guys, like in Top 10. Like five, six guys who can be No. 1 in the world, and they can be there.

Q. What was going through your head when you walked up to serve on the wrong side of the court?

MARAT SAFIN: I thought, " It's okay." I was in my mind trying to just -- that was -- I was looking a little bit for solution, try to do something. So I was like it was not important this point, it was really important how to -- you know, I was looking for something to come back, at least to have a chance to come back.

I made a mistake. It's okay. It could happen to anybody.

Q. Have you ever gone ahead and served to the other side of the court?

MARAT SAFIN: No.

Q. Do you think anyone can win a calendar-year Grand Slam these days in men's tennis?

MARAT SAFIN: All four of them?

Q. In one year.

MARAT SAFIN: There is a chance. But I don't think so. I don't think so. Tennis is too equal, and everybody can beat everybody. I don't think so. Maybe two a year, yeah, but not all four of them. It takes a lot of energy and it takes a lot of -- it's too difficult. Too many tough matches.

Q. How do you feel about your generation being really in control of tennis with Agassi going to retire, 20 year olds?

MARAT SAFIN: What I'm feeling about the new generation basically?

Q. Yes.

MARAT SAFIN: I think it's great. There's nothing wrong with that. There's a lot of new guys, a lot of good players. Federer, Roddick, me, I'm there somewhere, Grosjean. There's a lot of players. But just very young. We'll be famous in five years. We'll be -- it will be the same Agassi, Sampras, McEnroe like a few years ago. It's going to be the same thing.

But it just takes time. You don't have to hurry up. It will come, everything. It's evolution of tennis (smiling).

Q. Was it offputting to have people yelling out in the stands?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, they paid the ticket. They paid the ticket for the final. One guys is half dying, another one is playing his best tennis, so basically they want to see a little bit of entertainment, right?

And also it's a little bit frustrating when they start to cheer you. They try to help you, but then when you're on the court, you realize that you have a lot of pressure. You know, it's a little bit difficult to play. And it's really -- it's really sad because you can't do anything. They really wants to see, and they really want you to win. You can't. You feel you can't do anything.

Q. What about the music, could you hear that?

MARAT SAFIN: No, no. I didn't hear the music, no.

Q. And your racquet, you fairly well smashed that, then you threw it to someone in the crowd. A lucky guy.

MARAT SAFIN: Is that a question?

Q. Have you ever flattened a racquet that much?

MARAT SAFIN: I broke one year 68 racquet.

Q. You broke two racquets today, right?

MARAT SAFIN: Yes.

Q. First one, then you change, afterwards?

MARAT SAFIN: Yes.

Shadow
02-01-2004, 10:58 AM
video interview -->

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2004-02-01/200402011075617319349.html

LiHui
02-01-2004, 11:08 AM
Got it!Thanks~

allusion
02-02-2004, 06:06 AM
68/year isn't too bad.

Catsou
02-02-2004, 06:51 AM
Hi guys :wavey: i just found that old interview with Marat from le Journal l'Équipe ...sorry it's in french....... hope you'll enjoy!


(Article recopié dans l'Equipe du 27 octobre 01 par Aurélie Ziane... merci !)
Ah ! Marat…il vous fait poireauter deux heures dans le hall de son hôtel à Lyon, puis il se confond en excuse et devient une crème d’homme. Le Russe enchaîne les sourires, les réponses et, quand la question ne lui convient pas trop il se moque de lui même, fait rire l’interlocuteur. Le vainqueur 2000 de l’US Open et de Paris-Bercy, dont l’édition 2001 commence lundi, ne flambe pas autant sur les courts que l’an dernier, mais il est toujours aussi adorable qu’insupportable.



Pour venir disputer ce tournoi de Lyon, vous avez fait le chemin en voiture depuis Vienne, en Espagne. Ce n’est pas la première fois que vous préférez rouler pour vous rendre dans un tournoi…
Je le fais pas aussi souvent que je le voudrais. Ca peut être fatiguant. Cependant j’aime beaucoup rouler. Je loue une voiture, et voilà. C’est tout simple.

Qu’est-ce qui vous plaît dans ces longs trajets ?
Je suis tranquille, j’écoute de la musique, je pense à des milliers de choses. Je traverse aussi de beaux paysages. C’est très apaisant ! A vrai dire, c’est un des rares moments où je peux me retrouver vraiment seul, sans être dérangé.

Avez-vous toujours eu cette passion de la route, des voitures ?
A 5-6 ans, j’étais déjà un grand collectionneur de petites voitures . On ne pouvait pas me faire plus plaisir que de m’offrir une pièce qui manquait à ma collection. Dans la rue, je m’amusais à reconnaître des modèles, j’étais imbattable. Aujourd’hui malheureusement (sourire) je ne possède pas autant de grandes voitures que de petites de mon enfance.

Quelle est votre dernière acquisition ?
Une Jeep Cherokee…M’acheter des voitures c’est mon grand plaisir. C’est aussi mon point faible, car cette passion coûte cher, trop cher.

En ce qui concerne votre passion « première » le tennis, quel souvenir gardez-vous de votre victoire à Bercy l’année dernière ?
J’étais sur la vague de mes victoires commencée à l’US Open, pas fatigué un instant, avec une confiance intacte et indéfectible. Je gagnais tout et il me semblait que ça ne pouvait pas s’arrêter.

Vous vous sentiez invincible ?
Totalement. C’est pour cela que, lorsque est venue la première défaite, je n’ai pas compris. On a du mal à analyser ce qui se passe quand ça ne doit pas arriver.

La fatigue, la lassitude, vous ont-elles pris pas surprises ou progressivement ?
Je ne sais pas trop. Physiquement et techniquement, ça allait. Mais, dans la tête, à la toute fin de saison, je me suis senti très las. Ensuite ça a commencé à mal aller ! Dès le début de l’année 2001, j’ai enchaîné les déconvenues, je ne sentais pas les coups, j’étais de mauvaise humeur…Bref, j’étais cuit mentalement, et, quand la tête ne marche pas, les jambes ne suivent pas.

On dit souvent que, pour réussir, il y a des sacrifices à faire. Dans votre cas, on a l’impression qu’il y a eu un prix à payer après, sorte de rançon du succès ?
Ca, c’est de la philosophie, de la formule. Qu’est-ce que vous voulez que je réponde…Avant ça, ce n’était pas facile non plus. Rappelez-vous mon début de saison 2000. Combien ai-je perdu de matches, combien de 6-0 j’ai encaissé…J’étais profondément déprimé. Ca ne fonctionnait pas. Et ça me paraissait complètement irréel, car je savais de quoi j’étais capable. Je voyais ces types qui gagnaient, engrangeaient les succès et je les enviais. J’étais vexé. Ce n’est pas qu’ils ne méritent pas leurs victoires, mais je me devais d’être parmi eux, naturellement. Ensuite, ça a changé, j’ai prouvé mon rang. Mais je crois qu’une carrière est faire ainsi, de hauts et de bas.

En vous sentant invincible, en étant flatté de toute part, il était probablement inévitable de prendre un peu la grosse tête ?
Je pense que, malgré tout ce qui s’est passé, je reste un homme normal. Je sais encore où se situe la réalité. Ce qui se passe après un titre, c’est que vous êtes très sollicité et que vous ne pouvez pas contenter tout le monde. Parfois ça peut être plaisant. Les gens comme vous aujourd’hui, viennent me voir et veulent discuter avec moi, savoir ce que je pense. C’est flatteur et ça peut-être intéressant. Peut-être allez vous me faire réfléchir sur moi-même (sourire) !On échange des idées…j’espère surtout que ça intéressera celui qui lira (il rit) .

Est-ce à dire que la victoire isole ? On voit des joueurs, comme vous ou Gustavo Kuerten, se fermer de plus en plus aux autres…
Avec le succès, vous avez soudain un nombre incalculable de nouveaux amis. Depuis ma victoire à l’US Open, combien ai-je eu de discussions avec des gens que je fréquente à peine, mais qu’ils me disent qu’ils me connaissent parfaitement et qu’ils savent ce qu’il me faut comme entraîneur, comme style de jeu…Ce sont généralement ces gens là que je n’écoute pas ou qui sont déçus par moi. Je le suis également par eux. Je crois que le type est un pote, et il vient m’expliquer la vie pendant deux heures. Il se sent soudain investi de la responsabilité de ma carrière. En revanche, je reste le même auprès de mon cercle d’amis, de proches, finalement très restreint. Et eux, je les écoute, je reste ouvert à leur opinion.

Vous reconnaissez donc être un peu moins extraverti qu’avant…
Certes. Mais c’est aussi une question de moment. Quand tout va bien, c’est plus facile d’aller vers les autres. Je ne suis pas ravi de ma saison et, dans une période comme celle-là, on se referme un petit peu, pour se recentrer sur soi, sur ce qu’on traverse.

Vous écoutez les conseils de vos amis, mais les suivez-vous ?
Pas toujours, il est vrai. Mais j’ai 21 ans et je dois parfois expérimenter mes propres erreurs, trouver moi-même les réponses.

Justement, il y a un an vous étiez celui qui gagnait tout. Aujourd’hui, ce n’est plus le cas. Est-ce un enchaînement de circonstances ou le fruit de vos propres erreurs ?
J’ai fait des erreurs assurément cette saison, nombreuses et énormes (il a de grands gestes puis se tait longuement)… Comment savoir, prévenir ?...Je ne sais pas, je ne contrôle pas tout. Je vous l’ai dit, il faut que j’apprenne par moi-même, que je vive ces choses pour comprendre ce qui m’arrive et ce que je dois éviter par la suite.

Pouvez-vous être plus précis sur vos erreurs ?
Oh non ! (il rit) la liste est bien trop longue. Ce n’est pas une heure mais trois que durerait cette interview.

Soit, en tout cas, pouvez-vous expliquez les conséquences, les moments difficiles que vous avez traversés ?
Mais des moments difficiles, je n’en connais qu’un, toujours sous la même forme : la défaite. On ne peut pas s’y faire. Surtout si on se sent en bonne forme. On cherche les solutions, la sortie et rien ne marche. Après, vous avez l’impression d’être dans un trou noir…Mais là bas (grands gestes,mimiques, il fait le pitre), il y a un petit scintillement, qui devient plus éclatant, se transforme en lumière (il tend le bras) et vous retrouvez l’espoir (il fait mine de se lever, les bras tendus).

Comme lors de l’US Open cette année, où vous parvenez en ½ finale ?
Oui, c’est exactement ça. Sauf que, très franchement, je peux vous dire que je n’aurais rien parié sur moi une semaine avant le tournoi. C’est venu naturellement, comme une belle surprise, un cadeau.

Depuis vos blessures, êtes-vous plus attentif à votre corps et avez-vous changé quelques habitudes ? Je me souviens vous avoir observé l’an dernier, à Moscou, après les entraînements, vous ne faisiez pas plus de trois minutes d’étirements, quand vous en faisiez…
Je vieillis. Mon corps ne réponds pas. Comprenez-vous, je me ménage.

Mais bien sûr…Plus sérieusement, quelle est votre « routine » en dehors des tournois ? Vous n’avez pas la réputation d’être un gros bosseur…
O.K. ! Sérieusement. Ma philosophie, c’est que, dans la vie, il faut faire ce qu’on aime. Ma vie c’est le tennis O.K. ! C’est aussi un business, un boulot. Mais moi, je me dois d’avoir du plaisir à jouer, m’entraîner. Car je sais que viendra ensuite le bonheur de gagner, que les gens seront contents pour moi, que ce sera la fête autant pour eux que pour moi. Voilà, je marche ainsi. Alors, je m’entraîne quand il le faut.

C’est à dire ?
Je joue une heure au tennis et je fais un peu de préparation physique. Une fois que c’est terminé, je vais au cinéma, je roule en voiture… Je fais ce qui me plaît. Ce n’est peut être pas typique mais, à trop s’entraîner, à trop jouer, on tue l’amour du jeu. Il faut arriver sur le court avec « l’envie », la tête libre.

A propos de trop jouer, on dit souvent qu’Evgueni Kafelnikov n’a gagné que deux tournois du Grand Chelem parce qu’il a trop jouer pour engranger les primes, ce qui serait une caractéristique des joueurs russes. Vous-même avez été critiqué au printemps dernier parce que vous jouiez blessé pour ne pas louper votre bonus…
Je me suis déjà largement…trop exprimé sur les raisons qui m’ont poussé à faire cela. Vous voulez que je redise la même chose. Non, ce n’est pas la peine.

Vous ne voulez pas parler d’argent ?
Mais si, bien sûr, mais sur ce point précis, j’ai dit et redit les mêmes choses…L’argent est quelque chose de bien utile et d’intéressant. Et le rapport qu’on a avec dépend du passé. Il suffit d’en avoir manqué un petit peu pour vouloir se rattraper une fois qu’on a la chance d’en gagner. C’est aussi un cercle vicieux qui fait que, plus on en a, plus on en veut. Il faut faire attention à ne pas se créer en permanence de nouveaux besoins. Ce n’est pas simple (silence)…Maintenant, concernant Evgueni, je crois que c’est sa façon de voir les choses, de voir sa carrière, sa vie d’homme, de joueur. Ca lui appartient. D’autres effectuent des choix différents, même radicalement, comme Sampras ou Agassi.

Mais justement, ça a mieux marché pour eux…Entre les aspirations boulimiques de Kafelnikov et celles plus ciblées de Sampras ou Agassi, où vous situez-vous ?
J’espère du coté d’Agassi…l’avenir nous dira si j’ai tort de penser ainsi.

Parlons technique : Quel compartiment du jeu travaillez-vous le plus et comment voudriez-vous évoluer ?
Si je voulais jouer comme j’en rêve véritablement, il faudrait tout changer. Moi, les jeux qui m’épatent, ce sont de Goran (Ivanisevic), de Krajicek, de Larsson…L’attaque est véritablement une belle attitude de jeu. Vous savez, je n’ai finalement rien à voir avec ce que je voulais devenir sur le court. Mais la vie en a décidé ainsi.

Vous donnez cependant l’impression d’un joueur très complet, dont le potentiel technique est énorme. Il semble que votre problème soit surtout mental…
Oui, mais je crois que ça concerne tous les athlètes. Je vous le répète : quand la tête va mal, le corps lâche. C’est imparable.

Est-ce pour cela que vous travaillez avec un ancien vainqueur de tournoi du Grand Chelem, qui a donc prouvé sa vaillance à ce niveau là ?
Oui. J’ai changé d’entraîneur pour apprendre de nouvelles choses. Avec Mats Wilander, je travaille beaucoup sur la concentration et le mental.

Ne se comprend-on qu’entre champions ?
Connaître ce qui se passe dans la tête d’un individu quel qu’il soit, ce n’est pas facile. Un champion, c’est forcément encore plus compliqué, parce qu’il traverse des émotions, des états -haut et bas- qui ne sont pas partagés unanimement. C’est pour ça que celui qui est passé par là vous comprendra mieux.

A force de parler de la tête, j’aimerais savoir comment va la vôtre ?
Aïe ! (Il se marre, puis se tortille dans son fauteuil.)Vous savez, ça peut toujours aller mieux. Vous ne croyez pas, vous aussi…qu’un jour ça ira mieux ? C’est vrai ça, on ne va pas se laisser faire par l’adversité !

Suivez-vous les progrès de votre sœur Dinara Safina ? Essayez-vous de la conseiller ou au contraire de ne pas vous mêler de sa carrière afin de ne pas la perturber ?
Oh ! ma sœur, je connais sa situation par cœur ! Mais autour d’elle, il y a pleins de personnes qui pensent détenir la vérité sur ce qu’elle doit faire et ne pas faire. En fait, elle subit de la pression parce qu’elle est ma sœur. Je ne suis pas immodeste, mais si je n’étais pas le grand frère, ce serait une talentueuse junior parmi d’autres. Alors, surtout, mais surtout, je ne veux pas m’en mêler. Je la laisse vivre. Je crois qu’en plus à 15 ans , elle doit commencer à se prendre un peu en charge, à faire des choix par elle-même. Il ne faudrait pas gâcher ces moments-là.

Elle a, de toute évidence, un début de carrière très différent du vôtre, puisque vous étiez un peu livré a vous même. Auriez-vous préféré débuter comme elle, dans un univers plus protégé ?
Je n’ai pas été si malheureux. J’ai été envoyé en Espagne, car le temps à Moscou ne permettait pas de s’entraîner dans de bonnes conditions toute l’année. Une fois en Espagne, ce n’était pas si terrible.

Mais, tandis que votre mère est souvent auprès de votre sœur, vous étiez seul, livrez à vous-même…
Ouais. Mais je n’avais pas trop d’état d’âme. J’avais 14ans, on ne m’avait pas tellement demandé mon avis et, quand bien même je l’aurai donné, ça n’aurait pas changé grand chose. J’ai fait ce qu’on a décidé pour moi et il se trouve que les gens ont prises les bonnes décisions, qu’ils m’ont aidé à devenir ce que je suis aujourd’hui.


Quand vous dites « les gens », c’est votre mère. Il semble que ce soit elle le fort caractère de la famille ?
(Hilare). Vraiment, vous croyez ? Que dis-je, vous doutez ? Mais bien sûr, c’est évident ! Elle décide de tout, et c’est insurmontable de lui expliquer qu’elle pourrait éventuellement avoir tort. Quand elle a choisi de m’envoyer en Espagne, mon père lui a simplement dit : « Oui, d’accord, comme tu voudras ! »

Vous avez vécu une partie de votre adolescence en Espagne avant de beaucoup voyager. Vous sentez-vous toujours russe ? Etes-vous toujours en phase avec votre pays quand vous retournez là-bas ?
Je suis russe d’abord. C’est ce qui m’identifie principalement. Mais je ne le suis pas à 100% dans le sens où je tiens à garder les yeux ouverts, à être attentif à l’extérieur. Parfois, j’ai l’impression qu’il y a une manière spécifique russe de penser et je ne veux pas y adhérer. Je ne veux pas réfléchir à travers ce prisme-là. En ce sens, je me sens parfois décalé.

En dehors du tennis, des voitures, qu’est ce qui vous procure le plus de plaisir : faire la fête ou dormir ?
Dormir, je crois que je mets dormir en premier…C’est de ma nuit que dépend le bon déroulement de ma journée du lendemain. D’où le dilemne (sourire)…car s’amuser est également important ! Disons que c’est pour cela, que parfois, certains jours « on n’existe pas », vous voyez ?

Euh oui…C’est à dire ?
Les lecteurs m’auront bien compris ! (il rigole). Disons que certains « lendemains », on n’existe pas…Tout le problème vient de l’âge, de l’organisme. Alors, il faudra savoir doser. Je sais que je n’arrêterai jamais de m’amuser, mais je sais aussi que, dans 10, 20, 30 ans, il faudra que je dorme beaucoup plus que je ne ferai la fête, si je veux tenir le rythme.

(http://isuisse.ifrance.com/floriane/entretienmaratsafinpart1.html)

Vass
02-02-2004, 09:31 AM
Thanks! It'll take me a year to translate, but I'll submit it as my French Project at school.

Jessi
03-08-2004, 10:10 PM
great little interview from Liverpool 2001

MARAT SAFIN :"I DON'T LIKE BREAKING RACKETS"

Actually, to tell the truth, my first meeting with Marat Safin was at the end of 1990 in St Petersburg. Back then Marat wasn't well known. But this took place a long time ago, in what is now the last century and neither of us remembered that. And therefore it was necessary to get to get reaquainted.
Our friendship began again in the nice city of Liverpool where Marat had arrived for the Liverpool Tennis tournament. And it turned out that Marat and I were the only Russians present, so we became good friends during the week, seeing Liverpool together.
We even had football in common and played together. One of the players, being bored while waiting for his match to start, found a ball and started to play with it in the players area. There, I got to know Marat as we played together. It's quite a feeling, playing football with the best tennis player in the world. I talked to Marat quite a lot and managed to ask him the following questions:

-By the way, Marat what did you think of Russia's loss in the football world cup?
-Well, I hope, one day we will be able to play as well as the English.

In spite of the fact that Marat spent a lot of time abroad (his parents sent him to Spain to study tennis when he was child), he stayed a Russian at heart. I was pleased to see he didn't behave like a 'super star' the way I've noticed many Russian sportsmen do.

-Marat, it's your first time at the first tennis tournament in Liverpool. What's your opinion of it and how are you feeling?
-It's not bad for a first attempt. It's got a pleasant atmosphere, the organizers have tried their best; these people have done an enormous amount of work. Plus, it's an excellent opportunity to prepare for Wimbledon.

-Do you think that tennis in Liverpool has a future ?
-Well, if they carry on in this spirit, then why not? It will be tough, though, to tell the truth. Liverpool is a city of football, and everything is based on it here.

-And it seems to me, everything is about the Beatles here...
-Yes, it's difficult not to agree. Actually I have great respect for their music. Yesterday I passed in front of where they played...

- The Caven club?
-Yes, I think so, yes...But it was too busy&ldots;&ldots;.

-But what do you think of Liverpool in general?
-It's healthy ! A very hospitable city. I'm very fond of the nightclubs here, but I'm not a party go-er it's part of my nature.

-Is it that you don't see yourself as a sociable person?
-It depends with whom. It's always interesting to communicate with an interesting person. But on the other hand I'm only really myself with my friends.

-If they ask you, will you come again to Liverpool?
-Why not? Here, it's not like Wimbledon, where you are constantly under pressure. Here, I can simply enjoy the tennis. Even if I don't like this surface. I don't like grass.

-Concerning Wimbledon, ( our conversation was held on the eve of the Grand Slam) are you ready for victory?
-Certainly, it wouldn't be bad, and I won't turn down the extra money.

-You don't recognize the proverb "Happiness is not found in money"?
-Quite simply, money gives more opportunities to a person. It's like that nowadays.

-This time you don't have broken rackets or anything...
-Yeah, but you see this time I won. It's just that I don't like to loose and so I breaks rackets. At Wimbledon it's necessary to be more cautious, it's necessary to contain your emotions constantly. It's generally strict there. For example, it's necessary to be dressed all in white.

By the way, when we went to a night club, he was dressed in black a leather raincoat, and black from head to toe.

-Marat, all these constant travels on the world don't deduce from a track, you see exhausting piece?
-Yes but I've got used to it already. Although, if you're not careful, you can be late for your match, but it rarely happens.

-Where do you want to go to have a rest?
-In Scotland. And in the Dominican Republic.

-And by the way our Urals [In Russia], are as good as Scotland, which I have traveled up and down this summer. So, Marat, come to us to have a rest.

Shadow
03-09-2004, 12:18 PM
wasnt it 2002?

thanks very interesting :D :)

Jessi
03-09-2004, 09:30 PM
nope, 2001. They didn't have the tournament in 2002.

Shadow
03-09-2004, 09:37 PM
ah okay

i thought the interview was from the 2002 Liverpool tourney, but that was a non atp event... he won it.

Jessi
03-09-2004, 09:57 PM
my bad, sorry. You're right, it is from 2002.

helena
03-13-2004, 04:34 PM
nice interviews:
http://www.telesem.ru/tv_week/tv_week.php?publication=1272

rafael mensua interview (http://www.tennisplus.ru/nomer_article.asp?AID={EB7BCA3F-3C94-476D-AFB5-D8C56E31656F})

+ a good on line translator :
http://www.online-translator.com/srvurl.asp?lang=en

Shadow
03-14-2004, 12:28 PM
thanks a lot Nelia!

GREAT interview! :D

and that Mensua interview is just soooooooo sweet! :)

Jessi
03-14-2004, 07:48 PM
Merci helena! Are those interviews recent?

Jessi
03-14-2004, 07:51 PM
Andrea, where is the quote in your sig from?

Shadow
03-14-2004, 07:51 PM
yep, the first interview is from somewhwat after the Aussie Open

and the Rafael Mensua interview from 2003.

both a must to read! :)

Shadow
03-20-2004, 12:53 PM
Sex, dollars & angry outbursts


Interview for the German magazine "Focus",October 2000.

The Russian Marat Safin, shooting-star in the tennis-circuit, give us his (successfully) secrets away.

Focus: You was the first Russian who had won the US Open and on the occasion beat the American long-running winner Pete Sampras in three straight sets. Have you allowed yourself some luxury goods from the $800 000 bonus afterwards?

Safin: First of all I paid 30% taxes and then my coach and manager. And when you subtract the travel expenses, maybe $200 000 dollars were left. That's still a lot of money, I know…
All right, I had bought a 600er Mercedes which is now custom-built in Stuttgart. That was my dream, life is short and I'm only one time 20 years old.

Focus: After your rapid ascent, you moved from Moscow to the tax haven Monte Carlo. Have you as a man coming from a country with big economical problems, especially desire for luxury?

Safin: When I look at a dollar note, I only see a picture of George Washington on a piece of paper. Money is only money. It makes the life easier, but I don't feel sexy or mighty because of that.
Two years ago, when I didn't had a cent in the pocket, it was a little bit different. At that time I often thought, how nice it would be, to have heaps of money. Particularly when I moved as 14 year old boy to Spain. There had to managed with $15 in a week from my sponsors for three years. $15 were enough for the bus tickets to the training - there was no think of a cinema visit…
Now the mechanism is similar at me as at the others who work successfully: Had you made $200 000, you aimed the $400 000 mark - and then the million…

Focus: Tennis is certainly not a folk sport in Russia. There are barely courts - but still over and over again top-class players. How can someone become in your homecountry a tennis pro?

Safin: I began as a six-year-old with football at Spartak Moscow. I wasn't interested in tennis, but didn't knew what to do with my feets, too.
In that way my mother said, that tennis will be better for me. She was a tennis trainer. Then I tried it. We had 13 courts and the better I got, the more I liked it.

Focus: Your meteoric rise astonished the experts also that's why because you can only hardly control your emotions on the court. As a token of weakness was interpreted that you break narrowly 50 rackets in a season because of fury.
Are you at least happy that the ATP-Tour will now display the rules concerning to manners more easy-going to improve the entertainment value?

Safin: You bet, occasionally angry outbursts belongs to me. After all I'm not a robot, from time to time I have to work off.
And the ATP properly recognized, that interesting blokes are good for the circuit, so letus be, as we are. However I couldn't hardly change myself even with severely rules. Angry outbursts are part of my character. I have to let out of my body the negative energy. Otherwise it builds up and sometime I get ill.

Focus: How popular are you in your Russian home and somewhere else?

Safin: After I had won the US Open, my recognizing value climb up.
Unfortunately the funny things don't happened to me now - such as last new-year's-eve in Moscow. I wanted to go to a famous club and they didn't let me in. I liked it. When today somebody don't recognize me and ask me what I do professionally, I always answer that I'm a poor student. That's more interesting and funnier.

Focus: With such little diversions you can't be now successfully as a hero of the Russian sport in your home…

Safin: Right, the club had actually sent me a VIP-Pass and I received a greetings telegram from our president Vladimir Putin after my victory in New York. Sure, that were big news, the first Russian who had won in New York…

Focus: Who had you met as a result of your Grand-Slam-win?

Safin: Kevin Costner. I only knew him from movies. I asked him for an autograph, he didn't knew me. Bill Clinton I also met during the US Open. It was very pleasant. I felt like a little child in the presence of him, I said that I play tennis and if he can give me an autograph. A friendly man. It must be hard to be so famous.

Focus: You only think about tennis on the court?

Safin: Oh no, you think about dinner, your car, playing golf and sometimes I thought about sex… But these thoughts don't have to get out of control, otherwise the point, the set or the match got lost very fast.

Focus: Apart from mental aid programs - are there dopings in the tennis-circuit?


Safin: No, on no account. In my early years I was suspicious, too. I couldn't believe how the top-players can play over three, four hours on the highest level.
Today I know that only tough trainings can make that possible. I had won the US Open and even didn't took my vitamins. Since 6 months they were lying in my suitcase. I drank tap water on the court. That was my doping.

Focus: The ATP-Tour invest many millions in their new publicity campaign "New Balls Please" and you're an important face of this PR-Tour. Nethertheless it seems that the women tennis would rob the men at the moment the show. Would you agree with the former stars Becker and McEnroe that the men tennis is lodged in a crisis?

Safin: Crisis is too far-reaching. There is only a small problem with the changing of the guard: The public don't know the new boys enough, but only the old troopers Sampras and Agassi.
In women tennis are at the moment a lot of nice girls. The spectators want to see it. With it I have to break a lance: We, men, have many good-looking boys. The women have to look exactlier at Enqvist, Rafter, Haas or Philippoussis…

Focus: Your countrywoman Anna Kournikova haven't won a tournament, but get so much publicity as no one other. Is show and image more important than substance?

Safin: Perhaps are performances and results not so important on the women tour to cause a star cult. Of course, Anna belongs to the best players in the world, she was also in dozens of finals. But her fame stir rather because of she looks good and that she exploit herself shiny.

Focus: What do you think, how would end a match between Anna Kournikova and Nicolas Kiefer?

Safin: 6:0, 6:0 - of course for Kiefer. Anna wouldn't win a point, unless, Kiefer would think: Goodness, she looks pretty - and because of that lose his concentration.

Focus: The US Open winner Serena Williams was seriously thinking about that she can take part with the men…

Safin: She would lose against our N° 1000. No chances.

Focus: What would you chang as the chef of the ATP-Tour?
Abolish the second serve?

Safin: And the next time we have to play on the beach with a 2 meters high net? Tennis exists for now 100 years in this type and no one hadn't object something. Now the surfaces are too fast, the rackets too pressurely, the balls too light and too small. That's nonsense.

Focus: What do you expect from your new manager Ion Tiriac?

Safin: Ion Tiriac is Mister Tennis and I admired him when I was a small boy how he ran through the tennis-circuit with his giant moustache. I hope that he can show me the way . He had formed Becker and Ivanisevic and nobody hadn't complained about him. I didn't wanted to be a small fish in a big firm, but to have somebody who have time for me, too.

Shadow
03-20-2004, 12:57 PM
Interview of Marat Safin to Russian "Sport Club" magazine.
December 2000

Marat I came to you with a claim.
I listen attentively to you.

To what you want listen now? You have quit m foreign trip.
Sorry. I didn't want it.

So why didn't you said "yes" to an interview somewhere in the sunny Spain? The editing was ready to pay for the trip, but your agents said that Safin is only ready to talk with the russian press in the capital of your home country, Moscow, the city of our hero.
About the city-hero I didn't say anything, that was added by you, What concern Spain, I dodn't live there anymore. Months ago. Almost one year.

Where did you live now?
In Monaco. I had bought there a flat in Monte-Carlo.

Also not a bad place. I would also have accepted to travel to that place.
Done! Next time we will do this in that way.

Seriously, Marat, it seems to me that you avoid meetings with russain journalists abroad, so that we can't interrogate, if you're still our or not.
What does it mean? Russian or not? Sure. How it can be otherwise?

Really, Marat, it can be otherwise.
I lived many years not in Russia, but I play always for our team and that with a big pleasure. You can say that I'm proud of to be part of it.

You can say it or are you really proud?
As if you suspect me of something…
Here, in Russia, are living my teachers, friends, I play for them too, can you understand it? When the Sport Palais get full and they start shouting your name or chanting "Russia!Russia!" every cosmopolitan person would became a patriot. No, there was never a question before me to change my nationality.

Are you ashamed sometimes of your country?
It can be also differently. It gripped me with anger, when I see on CNN or BBC reports about the russian mafia. They still tell stories, in the west, about homeless persons and boozers in the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg. As if in Russia people freeze to death in the backyards and have nothing to eat. As if you can think, that no one suffer from hunger in the west, that there is no crime and no problems with alcohol and drugs. I was few times in New Yorck and I know very good what Bronx and Harlem is.

Do you go for a walk?
I'm not an enemy of my own health, right? I saw enough out of the window of my car… You understand, if you have the wish, you can do a terrific report about every town, even of the most beautiful one. However, in the west they prefer to show their life from the parade side, but penetrate to us through the cellar…

Doy you were asked about the "Kursk"?
I don't have the right to answer to such question, when foreigner ask me. Who I am, to talk about these themes? You have to have information, to know what is really happened with that ship. Who does give that information? I only make use of information catching in the newspaper or on television. That's why I can't give a censorship.

I'm not a foreigner, Marat, share it with me.
I don't have my own oppinion. My relationshipto the happening is exclusively on an emotional level. Certainly, it was a terrific tragedy. It's even horrible to think about, what the survivors felt in the iron grave. Most of them were the same age that I'm of. Terrible death, I don't wish such anybody. It's hard for me to talk about it.
I don't want …

Was there anybody who wants to put you in politics?
I don't need it. Even don't ready. Even if such a crazy idea would come to my mind, when I should occupy with politics? You had asked me, where I live now. Mainly - on the way. The whole year journies, that's why I moved to Europe. Mor comfortable. First I settled down in Valencia, I left there a flat, now there are living my mother and Dinara, my sister. Then I moved to Monte-Carlo. I can't say that were regularly there. Rather, drop in from time to time. For me it's very comfortable there. Good place, place where I can train, the beach is not far. By the way, I doubt, that I can live in Monaco the whole time. It's all the same to me, whether in Moscow in the Gorkyi street… Or how it is called now? In the Twerskoyi street. I received in Monaco the status of residence, but many sportsmen/women do it in these way not wanting to pay to much for taxes. I think, there is no criminal or patriotic in it.

Without any doubt, but it's sounds very rational. But you don't seem to be a person leading by his arguments of the reasons.
If I would only live with emotions, I wouldn't have reached such a success in tennis and then our meeting wouldn't take place. We would nothing have to talk about.

Who knews? Maybe you would shine in something else.
Out of question. Only on courts. Nothing else has shined to me, nowhere. And even here could all come about differently. You know, probably, that at the beginning of that season I had a line of misfortune. I was seriously thinking about to stop to appearances and to leave tennis. Fortunately I got over this crisis. I won one tournament, a second, a third…

Yes, yes, became N° 1 of the world… To be honest, I don't even want to imagine how many people there are now around you. Especially after the win of the US Open. Certainly there are a lot of thirsty people warming themselves in the sunbeams of alien fame. Do you learned to filter your contacts, seperate the unless?
You ask me questions with a philosophical subtitle…
Sometimes it's hard to differ sincere feelings from benefit. I don't come to people with a warning, don't expect from them meanness. That's why I sometimes come in awkward situations. There were situations when someone made use of my openness, familiarity and maybe naivete to doublecross me. Yes, I had burnt my fingers sometimes. Can't do anything. I'm learning.

Do you began to blew on water afterwards?
To fresh the insurance? No. I know who my friends are. They've stayed with me when I was N° 40 in the ranking and not waited that I climb up to N° 1…
What concerns the others… Quite honestly, I don't want to chang myself, to become suspicious and cautions.

Inside you can still be yourself, but outside it's better for you to put on a mask.
I had tried it. Doesn't work. I know that it is necessary and useable in life, but…

I'm a person from whose face you can read everything.
Are you able to say "NO"?

No… I said it right now to you, but in that situations where I have to say it, I am usually embarrassed. You don't have to explain it, I know it myself: that's not correct. Few times I got burnt because of that, nethertheless I can't do anything against that. Sometimes I see: someone want to ask me something, probably for money and instead of sending him immediately for away, I start to get confused inside to invent reasons and forms for a concellation. That's my money, so why I have to hand them over to unknown persons?
Many have the impression that we, the sportsmen/women, don't know how to spend our fees. That we only sit and wait until an unlucky person come to us, tell us his terrific story and we ahve a good cry and start to stuff their pockets with dollars. I'm not heartless and cruel, but to help all poor people is not in my might.
I can't explain everyone that I have to pay current issues, food, hotels, flight, taxes from the fee and from the rest I have to pay my trainer. If you start to explain, you are considered to be a miser.

Especially when you bear in mind that you had eraned from the beginning of the season $ 2 million on the courts, after official information.
Ask me where this money is?

Good question. Where is this money?
Sometimes I would like to understand it myself. Yesterday I still had the money, today neither more. Certain something left, but people should understand that I want to live now.

You have the right.
You think so. Sometimes you sit in a restaurant, dinner, suddenly an unknown guy come to your table: ""isten, brother, split with me. Give me $5000. It's not money for you, you earn them again". I always get lost in such situations. How can I explain, that no one give me money as a present. I ran for this $5000 2hours on the court. And maybe not 2hours - but even more.

Was it only an example or does it really happen?
Oh my god, no. Is here somewhere timber?

Do you make use of security service?
No, I don't like it. The "Galantwagens" before and behind annoy me.

Sorry, who is before and behind you?
"Galantwagens"

What is it?
That are square "Mercedes" using by the securities as cars for company…
I don't need them. I don't like it when somebody breathe me in the neck and pay attention on my every step. Alone it's more comfortable and calm.

You steer the car?
Yes. I love to drive a car. Sometimes I even curse. Good that nobody is by my side hearing me.

Do you drive fast?
Which russian don't love it? Further in the text.

With which car do you tear along?
With "Mitsubishi". On a small one.

Don't you have a bigger?
No.

How can you without a "Mercedes", "Jaguars" or "Ferrari"?
On our streets with such cars?

And not on ours?
Yeah… I have a "Mercedes" 600-er in Moscow.

Thank goodness! I start to get worry. Without them?
I love cars. And I don't hide it. I had spent masses of money for it. I had driven in my life the best cars of the world. That's cool.

It's interesting to understand the psychology of a person taking the liberty to do all in a sound dimension. That's the same when you don't know the word "NO" and can carry out every material wish.
Til the moment when you get your statement of account. After that the eagerness quickly disappear, to throw out in all directions when money vanish. Although, you are only one time in your life 20 years old.

And 21 years old and 22 years old…
Yes. I want to try everything in time.

You don't need everything. Clever people say, that you only have to try the best.
That's right. That's why I try to spend my time…

… so that it wouldn't be only too tide?
Of course! Free times are rare, so you estimate them , try to utilize them maximum.

I can't remember any scandals with your participation. How does you succeeded not to attract attention?
Very simple, I don't search for troubles. I communicate with all refined and polite, don't show that I'm a cool guy and don't take them by suprise.

Do someone try to tap you the forehand?
It happens. And even proper. A lot thinks, that I grew up as a spoilt boy, as a golden boy, that's why they try to put me on the right place: Hey you star! Are you cool, or what? Listen, millionaire? I say it to you!"
I feel in such moments very unpleasant. It's stupid to justify, to say that I'm not a cool one, but a quite normal one. They wouldn't believe it yet.
In reality nobody rolled out the red carpet for me, I had to struggle through by myself. I don't tell every bystander how I lived in Spain when I was 14 years old and my parents had send me away ordered to lear to play good tennis.

How did you lived there?
Poor! I received a scholarship of $15, on which I had to live one week. And so it was during all the 3 years. I still don't know how I could bear. I only know that I always wanted eat.

And you wanted, certainly, to your mother and father?
Very much. Up to tears. I had written letters: "Fetch me from here". Try to imagine yourself instead of a hungry 14 years old boy ending up in a strange country. You don't know the language, around you all people are strange…
That's why it is horrid, that bystanders thinks I always drive around in chocolate.

Maybe the people maintain themselves on your calculation.
Why on my? They should fight with their own complexes without the paricipation of bystanders. I don't put off my problems to other persons trying to cope them by myself.
When I collide with such a roughness, it boards me up the desire to talk with alien persons and so you have to stay in tennis circle. But our circle is ample narrow, inside prevail the own and special relationships.

That's right, tennis - a typ of sport for individuals, when not for individualists. So it was even more stranger to discover, that you stood up for Kafelnikov on the Olympic Games, on who the President of the russian team went for.
Really, there wasn't nothing remarkable. And it wasn't, strictly speaking, a supporting. Evgenyi didn't needed lawyers and translators to had it out with the management of the russian team. I only went to Smirnov to say him my oppinion.

Do somebody ever stood up for you in such a way?
Never before. I said to you that periodical people turned up thinking that it is their duty to "reprimand the stuffed tennis player shoveling the money".

Do you think about tomorrow? About to put apart a sum for bad days?
I'm more worried about today's results than about tomorrow. If everything will be normal in tennis then in everything else, too.

But you understand, Marat, that you can't run endless on the courts.
Right, that's why I go to the sports institute. In my oppinion, knowledge hasn't interfere anybody. In an emergency, I would work as a trainer.

There is a sum, after which you stop to feel the real value of money.
I don't recognized something in this way. If the dollars would fall from heaven on me, then i would behave indifferently. But when you slave away on the courts, then you wouldn't forget how you earned the fee.
Incidentally, I won't be an unselfish person. I'm also interested in the price money of a tournament and I fight for advantageous contracts with the sponsors. How many years can I still play? Five years with all might. That means that I have to commite the maximum supply of money for the future. Can you understand? My hole life - 5 years.

That's, Marat, not a life - it's a job. Afterwards it first begins. After the working hours.
But first you have to carry out the plan, to give all you have to tennis.

And to take all with you? Within the meaning - all the price money?
Sure, I want to earn a little bit more. I don't want be persistent, it's stupid, in each job are preparation, mind and experience very important.

Let's say, had someone of the clever persons suggested you to move to Monte-Carlo?
Absolutely. With me are working Managers, Agents giving me recommendations how it is better to handle with the received money , in which bank to invest and in which country. Sometimes I don't like it, that they interfere too considerable in my things, but then I calm down and understand: that's all right and only so, you have to act after the tips of more experienced and well-versed persons.

Are you touchy?
I'm still young… It's important to have enough intellect to understand who is right.

You earlier told us about your first years in Spain. Roughly, you was threw into the water and it was said to you :"Swim!" Could you drown?
I knew the aim standing before me. Sure, I complained and felt sorry for myself, but at the same time I understood: when I step now back, there wouldn't be second chance. That's why I wriggled with my last power. How you can see, I had saved me.

Have you acquired foreign languages?
Spanish I know respectable, English a little bit worser, but also completely normal. Without it you can't . If you know the language, you feel completely differently abroad, you stop to feel foreign
.
Main point, that you don't feel foreign in Russia.
I thought that we had discussed this theme?

I just thought, how it is to come back to Russia and to hear that your flat was robbed…
It wasn't a real robbery. A prank, vandalism. They stole three jackets.

Yours?
Definitely. I hadn't asked my parents…
Probably, the robbers were prepared for rich spoils, for that, that at the Safins would be something to appropriate and had miscalculated. They thought that our home is made out of gold. They found the idiots… You can hang up an announcement: "Don't woory, nothing to rob!"

I'm trying to look at your watch. I heard that you are collecting expensive makes. To go by appearances , this one looks inimaginative.
Yes, normal "SWATCH".

Really? The price on the blacket market is $100, certainly.
That's that. Why? You assume, that I have only to wear Rolex for $100? In my life it can be, that I can forget the watch after a Training or break them accidentally. That's why I manage with a simple "SWATCH". I got used to them, I like them. On the other hand: when I lose them it will not be so regrettable. Though… Already here, in Moscow, I got it done to lose them, searched 2 days, almost cried. Turned out that I had forgot them in my bed.

Is there a thing, without you are like without hands?
Mobile phone. Without him I will get lost. In the last 3 years I don't give it up. That's my connection with the world.

In which country is your number?
Spain.

And you said: patriot …
I'm a patriot, but… a economical. In Spain the charges are lower. Believe me, we spare our money, too. You know, it's more harder to earn them, than to spend them. Suddenly - there's nothing in your pockets. That means, that you have to go out on courts again, hit the ball, win matches…

You was certainly asked that few times before: which motivationhas a person achieving the highest step? You was already the best tennis player in the world. What can you force to sweat again in the trainings, to spread on the courts? Not money, right?
Not money. You know that it is hard to stay on the top, then go to the top. That's my motivation: show everybody and myself, that you are not accidentally there.

But you can't climb further. Every way let downwards.
Please, don't remember! If you look downwards - you can fall deep. A 50 ranked player climb upwards, a 100 ranked player fall downwards… Both of them don't play so bad tennis and maybe not even worser than me.

Evgenyi Kafelnikov went through all this. Does he adviced you you were to hide matches?
To be honest, I didn't asked him: terrible. Evgenyi would say only one thing: to hold out. There is no way back. Sure, now it is harder until all the victories. But I knew, to what I went. Sometimes I catch myself thinking: further 5 years such a torture? Better die.

That, Marat, you don't have to do. You are young, rich, likeable. Live. Get married, have childs…
Thank you for the nice words! Married me! Did I do to you something bad?

After your words marriage is a dammed thing?
It's too early to think about this. First the beard should grew.

So, let it grow!
It doesn't grow! I still don't shave.

Please?
So. You can touch my chin, smooth, no bristles. I say it: I'm still young, even start to become a man.

Have you got at least a razor?
At the moment I don't need one.

You are economical, Marat.
Carefully…

Shadow
03-20-2004, 01:00 PM
Interview of Marat Safin to French "Tennis" magazine.
January 16th, 2001


Tennis Magazine : How do you feel at the beginning of this new year ?
Marat Safin : Good, very good actually (smile). I came to Australia with the only idea to start the year well. That's all. Despite all what happened to me at the end of the year, I fell fresh. I'm expecting some tough matches and I know it won't be easy to get back to it. I'm optimistic. That's how I am. (smile)

TM : Despite you elbow injury that you felt a few days ago ?
MS : It was not really an injury, it's a pain I already felt in the past, especially in Roland Garros in 1999. Back then, I had stopped during 4 or 5 days, and I didn't serve during this period. But here, it's impossible to take some rest or not to serve 100%. It's the Australian Open, the 1st Grand Slam, and I don't want to miss it. We'll see. If I break my elbow, I would have been wrong to play. I do what I can. Between 2 matches, I work with the physio, make ultra-sonics, and cross my fingers (smile).

TM : How did you spend your holiday after the Masters in Lisbon ?
MS : First, they were very short. I can't even say they were holidays because they were very short. I had to prepare 2001 to go to Australia and play the Hopman Cup in Perth. After Lisbon, I went in Austria during one week, in San Anton, to ski. Unfortunately, there were no snow when I got there. So I did the only thing I really wanted to do : sleep, a lot… I had fun with my friends who were with me. The last 2 days, it snowed, so I could learn to stand on skis. (smile)

TM : One week of holidays, obviously it is short after the long season and the big emotions you felt in 2000. Aren't you afraid of paying the price of this infernal season ?
MS : (apparently surprised) No, why ? Come on, I'm 20. I'm young, I recover fast. If I don't have energy now, I will never have some. It's better to stop now. A new season is starting, and I have to forget all what happened last year. It belongs to the past. So it's better to turn the page and start something else. Now, I want to concentrate on the present and future. My goal is to be in the top 5 at the end of the year and to win another Grand Slam. That's what I'm thinking of today.

TM : Let's get back to the end of the season and the Masters in Lisbon where Gustavo Kuerten became number 1 instead of you. Did you feel deep sadness ?
MS : Sadness ? I don't think it is the right word. Disappointment, yes, but not sadness. That's life. There was nothing I could do. Tennis is a business like the others. It's show business. At the end, there is a winner and a loser. I lost and the only thing I could say is congratulations Kuerten.

TM: If Andre Agassi had beaten Gustavo Kuerten in the final of the Masters, you would have been number 1. Did you watch the match on TV?
MS: I watched it in Valencia, in Spain. But I already knew the result. I knew that Kuerten was going to win.

TM How did you know?
MS: Because it was inevitable. I couldn't seize the opportunity, but Kuerten did it. It's my fault. Too bad for me, even more if I never get to be number 1 at the end of a season.

TM: So you didn't trust Agassi to beat him for you?
MS: No, because I never trust anyone. As he had beaten Pete Sampras in the semi-finals, I knew he would beat
Agassi. I cant explain you, but that's the way I felt it. I was supposed to stay in Lisbon in case I would be number one, because I would been given a trophy on the court, but I left. I already knew the result.

TM: Did you watch the match until the end?
MS: Of course. I watched it from the beginning to the end. Not because I was hoping something, but because it was the final of the Masters, and I would have watched it even if I would not have been involved. Believe me: I was not praying in front of my TV so that something happens for me this day. I knew it. It was inevitable and that's the way it was. I had to accept the result.

TM: What did you lack at the end of the season to become number 1?
MS: A little bit of luck, that's all. He had a little bit more luck than me. During the 3rd set of the semi-final against Sampras, he managed to save 4 break balls that could have changed everything for me. If Pete had score a point, I would be number 1, I'm sure of that. In fact, I relied more on Pete that on Andre. The only regret I can have is that I was tired when I came to the Masters. My victory in Bercy (Paris) took me a lot of energy.

TM: But still, you were number 1 in the world, the youngest ever, during 2 weeks (…) Do you think that you were number 1 during these 2 weeks?
MS: I think nothing (smile). What do people will remember? That Kuerten was number 1 in 2000, that's all. I was number 2, that's all I will remember. I'm not satisfied with it believe me. I won't feel better telling me that I was number 1.

TM: Even if the holidays were short, did you take time to think of what you did in 2000?
MS: What I did was unexpected, above all if you remember how I was few months before. It's extraordinary. I won a Grand Slam, I was number 1 in the world, whereas I was nothing nine months before, it's not that bad (smile).

TM: Let's get back to the beginning of your trouble, during the Australian Open 2000, when you lost in the 1st round against Grant Stafford, and when you were fined for tanking. How did you feel back then?
MS: It was a good lesson for me, even if I think that the umpire exaggerated. I was not feeling good, I was lost. I was fighting against myself. Actually, I was still very young. It was like a kick in the backside, and maybe it helped me to move on. It was a lesson of intelligence, that's all.

TM: The beginning of the 2000 season was a disaster, that's the least we can say. What do you put this bad start down to?
MS: I don't even know. One year after, I still don't know I had no motivation .I was 20, it's not normal. I was playing without knowing how to play and it was a real disaster.

TM: Where the rumors about early retirement true?
MS: It was serious. I didn't like tennis anymore. I told my manager that if I was not in the top 100 at the end of the year, I would stop. And I meant it. What's the point of losing your time and money?

TM: Back then, did you ask your mother, who was your coach at the beginning, for advice?
MS: (sharply) There were no reason for me to ask her anything. I'm responsible of what I'm doing. It matters little what people think, especially my mother.

TM: In Monte-Carlo, it seemed that you had conceded a more important defeat than all the others. Why?
MS: I had the feeling that it couldn't be worse and that I had to do something to stop it. So I decided to change my coach. I had the courage to take that decision because it was hard to take, but I did not regret it.

TM: Back then, did you feel sad about your game?
MS: Sadness, again!! (energetic). I'm not a woman: Sadness is for woman. I was irritated, but not sad. I realized that I was going in the wrong way and I managed to get back to the right one. I knew that I made the right choice because I won in Barcelona the week after.

TM: Rafael Mensua have been your coach since you came to Spain when you were 13. Wasn't it hard to tell him that it was over?
MS: It was not a nice moment, but we had to go through it. He was not surprised with my decision because everything was going wrong. I told you : tennis is a business. When things don't work, you have to say stop, even if you have to say it to people you like.

TM: Then you had 3 others coaches: Andrei Chesnokov, Tony Pickard, and Alexander Volkov. What did you learn from them?
MS: Chesnokov taught me to think and work better. He told me I had to fight, and above all to listen to him. It was like in school. I started to listen to him because I respected him, and I realized that what he said was true. To prove it, I won the tournament in Barcelona. He didn't change my technique, he just gave me good advice and my career started again.

TM: It was a surprise that, despite your good results with Chesnokov, you decided to stop working with him after Roland Garros. Why?
MS: He didn't want to travel. So it was impossible to go on with him. But I respected his decision. I understood it. He has a family and enough money so that he does not travel from one country to the other with me.

TM: After Chesnokov, there was Tony Pickard until Wimbledon…
MS: It lasted 2 weeks, but it was a great pleasure to work with such a coach. He taught me 2 or 3 important things to play on grass. He could not travel either, but we call each others sometimes. He watches some of my matches on TV, and we exchange information.

TM: During the US Open, you were with Alexander Volkov…
MS: With Volkov, there is nothing to learn. You just have to watch him. His tennis is from another planet! When he was in the circuit, he was not a player like the others. During the training, it was the same. You watch him and try to understand if you can. He does what he wants with the ball. And you just have to try to do the same (laugher). But he has his business in Russia, and we couldn't go on together. Like for Chesnokov, I understood. I understand he has other priorities than me.

TM: Why did you get back with Rafael Mensua and leave him again after the Masters in Lisbon?
MS: It was my decision, it didn't work. I wasn't respecting him as a coach. During the years, he because like a 2nd father for me, that is not what I needed As I said, in business, you don't have feelings. I thought that it was stupid to go on with something that was not good only because I was working with someone very close.

TM: How is Marat Safin's ideal coach?
MS: But I'm not looking for a coach! Everybody talk to me about it because everybody think that when you are 20, you need a coach. I don't think so. I think I know what I need and what I have to do, even if I'm wrong. People are trying to give me a bad reputation. People think I'm wearing out coaches the one after the others. In my life, I only had 3 coaches: my mother, Rafael and Chesnokov. All the others were friends that wanted to work with me. I'm here in Australia with Andrei Merinov. He is here because he is my friend. It turns out that he plays good tennis and that he can hit the ball with me. I'm not asking for more.

TM: Do you still listen to your mother's advice?
MS: (seems disgusted) No, I left home too early. Far from my family during all these years, I grew up faster than the other people of my age. She can give me advice if she wants, but I don't listen to her. I know that I owe her a lot for the beginning, but now I have to take my own decisions, even if they are bad.

TM: Does she still live in Valencia not far from you?
MS: She lives in Valencia with my sister, but since 5 months, I've been living in Monaco. I still have a place to live in Valencia to see them sometimes.

TM: When do you think about your victory in the US Open, what are the images that you have in your mind?
MS: It was nice, but I have already turned the page. And it's not enough. It's only the beginning. There are a lot of other tournaments to win during the next 10 years maybe. That's past. Make way to the present and future.

TM: Did you watch your final against Pete Sampras?
MS: No, I don't like watching videos of my matches. And I know this final by heart. I could almost tell you what were the points the one after the others. (pointing his finger on his head). It's in here!

TM: What about your trophy? Where is it? In Monaco or Valencia?
MS: It's in my manager's office in Monaco. I didn't take it because it is too heavy. It's better this way.

TM: Bill Clinton called you after your victory in New York. What about Vladimir Putin?
MS: He sent me a telegram. He didn't have time to meet me. He has more important things to do. But I kept the paper to show it later to my children.

TM: You often say that Roland Garros is the tournament you absolutely want to win. Why?
MS: It is my goal this year, it will be my goal until I win this tournament. I love this place. I think it is wonderful. Everything is beautiful in Roland Garros. It's like a "big party". The public knows the game very well. They know what a good point is, and they are quiet when it is necessary. And I love Paris. It is a beautiful city with very good restaurants (smile). For me , Roland Garros is like Disneyland. And it's where my career started.

TM: It seemed that you were doing good last year. But you lost against Norman in quarter final. What happened?
MS: There were too much tennis for me the weeks before the tournament. I was exhausted. In quarter final, I didn't react the way I should, but I couldn't do anything. My legs were telling me that it was over. Against Norman, I was playing without knowing what to do. My brain exploded. This year, I promise, I won't play so much before Roland Garros.

TM: On the whole, you played a lot in 2000. Do you think it will be the same this year?
MS: The problem is that last year, I didn't know that I was going to play so many matches. Who could have told it? For sure, I couldn't. My goal was to be in the top 20, not to fight to be number 1. During the 3 first months, I only won one match, and suddenly, I couldn't stop winning. Excluding the Davis Cup, I played 30 tournaments. It's too much. In 2001, I will try to play less. Reduce quantity to increase quality. And because of all these tournaments, sometimes I felt less pleasure . I don't want this to happen again.

TM: Is tennis still a game for you?
MS: It was a game when I was 9 or 10. Now it's my job, but I like it. Thanks to my parents to have pushed me as they did when I was younger, otherwise, I would have had no future in this game. I've never liked my life so much than today, all this pleasure is thanks to tennis.

TM: Do you think you will win Wimbledon one day?
MS: Last year, I learned a lot thanks to Tony Pickard. I think that one day I will have a chance, but I need time. It's possible, I m' sure.

TM: Where is the Davis Cup in your priorities?
MS: Very high. Russia deserves to win the Davis Cup. But the draws are awful this year. First, we have to play in Slovakia. Then, if we win, we have to do to Sweden or Czech Republic. It couldn't be worse. To win the Davis Cup, we need luck. Look at Spain last year. They played all the matches in Spain on clay. But with Kafelnikov, we can win in 2001.

TM: What kind of relation do you have with Yevgeny Kafelnikov?
MS: Everything is fine. We both like casinos (laugher)

TM: Is it easy for you to walk in peace in the streets of Moscow?
MS: No problem! We're not in America! In the USA, people can become crazy, with Agassi for example. In Russia, it's more relax. You're a person just like the others.

TM: In the United States, you often complain about the question you are asked about Russia. Why?
MS: In the USA, they always exaggerate. They talk about Russia without knowing what really happens in the country. Russia is bad. What's so bad? They show people in the streets, who only have one leg. Why not showing New York and the Bronx? It's not better. That's America!

TM: How do you explain the good results of young Russian players?
MS: More and more courts are built in the country. People like tennis. Just see the success of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. There have already been a boom with Chesnokov and Volkov. With Kafelnikov and I, everything is going faster. The Americans are not the only ones to play tennis (laugher)

TM: Among the good players, there is your sister, Dinara, that you watched in Roland Garros last year where she played the junior tournament. Where is she up to?
MS: I'm surprised but also scared by her tennis. She can play very well. But I think she takes things too seriously. She is a little bit too professional She is only 15 and she should see it more as a game.

TM: Do you still give her advice?
MS: yes, but she doesn't listen to me (laugher)

TM: We know that you love cars. How many cars do you have?
MS: 3!

TM: No accident yet?
MS: No!! (burst of laugh). I'm really cautious (seeking for a piece of wood to touch)

Shadow
03-20-2004, 01:03 PM
An interview with Marat Safin for the Russian newspaper
"Arguments and Facts" No 18, May 2nd 2001


Last year was pleasantly surprising for Russian tennis player Marat Safin but this year, the season started badly for him. On the tournament in Dubai he got a back injury. But apart from that, Marat is one of the race leaders being 2nd in the entry system.


Q- Marat, after your poor performance in Bratislava, you promised to make up for it in Sweden. Don't you have the feeling that you took your Davis Cup team for a ride?

M- Of course I wish I could have shown them what I'm capable of. Normally I can defeat the Swedes. But professionals don't ask for their injuries. Most of all I lost a lot of money and ranking points because of it. Everybody can see I'm injured and my opponents want to beat me, want to finish me off, want to crush me psychologically. In these cases you have to think about your future, not force the situation, and wait until you are totally healthy. That's why, unfortunately, I had to refuse to play Davis Cup.

Q- Some people say that you lack tact/patriotism.

M- If their back hurt to the point that it was driving you up the wall, they wouldn't have said that stuff.


BUT VERY SEXUAL


Q- After you said in your last interview for "AIF", that you'd like to thank your (female) fans with chocolate medals bearing your face, many girls contacted us, saying they longed for such a present. Perhaps you should start a chocolate business?

M- I concern myself with tennis, and at the moment I don't want to do anything else.

Q- After the scandal, when Mike Tyson bit his opponents ear, in the USA a chocolate ear was put on the market. The boxer earned a lot of money from that. Wouldn't you like to put your heart, torso or some other chocolate body part on the market?

M- No, I don't. When a sport idol gets into trouble abroad, then the people try to support him and get him out of his depression. But if you get in trouble in our country, the people try to hurt you even more. They write fairy tales about you. I can't understand it.

Q- Do your female fans bother you?

M- Associating with my fans is part of my job. But of course I would like to get some peace. When you can't concentrate totally on your tennis, sometimes it's really difficult to play.

Q- If you look at the rankings, Russia is at the moment the strongest team, it's also called the "Dream team". Would you say yes if somebody offered to clone you? And "Double Safin" would shine on the courts;

M- I don't agree with that. In England they cloned Dolly the sheep, but had to kill her because of the foot-and-mouth disease. I'm sure that between the epidemics and scientific 'magic tricks' are some profound consequences. And besides, why should we experiment, if there is a much pleasanter, healthier and much more interesting way to breed? Everything should happen in a natural way.

Q- Now, you are such a beautiful, strong, young man, would you consider being a sperm donor for a "Sperm Bank" and improving the Russian gene pool?

M- You think I'm some kind of factory? I think there are many men in Russia who would like to sell their sperm for money. If I need a child, the girl I love will give birth to it.

Q- Are you careful that nothing happens to you like it did to Boris Becker? Russian Angela Ermakova gave birth to his child and demanded $3 millions as a result. And Boris had to pay.

M- Fortunately this hasn't happened to me. (He spits and knocks on a table). I try not to make mistakes, especially this kind, they're very expensive. And Becker is the best example of it.

Q- You have come to glory like Vyisotzkiy (a Russian singer, actor & poet) and embodied his phrase: "Lots of women and lots of wine". Is this true?

M- I think the people who think this up have no lives of their own. And by the way, I don't want to justify myself anymore. I'd like to see them go out on court and try to play after they've drunk all night, like they say I do. They would be in heaven already.

Q- Sex and sport, is there a connection?

M- Of course! First of all, the hormones are stimulated. Secondly, it removes the nervous excitement before a match. And I read somewhere, that when a person is very sexual then he's also very ingenious.


THE DIVA SYNDROME


Q- Marat, why did you have so much success last year, but only failure this year?

M- Many tennis players have ups and downs. Let's take Agassi for example: he was number 1, but after that he wasn't even in the Top 100 anymore. In the last 5-7 years only Sampras and our Kafelnikov stayed in the Top 10.

Q- At the beginning of last year you wanted to retire altogether from tennis. Do you still think about that?

M- No. I've achieved a lot, and now I don't have to run after results or prove to people what I'm capable of. I'm satisfied with what I've achieved. I have my plans and my obligations to the ATP. I would like to win the French Open, if not this year, then next. But I will do it someday, definitely. I promise that I will be in the Top 10 for many years.

Q- Is it hard to stay on top of such a strong performance and have so much glory?

M- As the saying goes, you can't spend money on drink and still have a masterly performance. And about the glory - although it is a temporary thing, I don't worry about it, because I'm not a vain person.

Q- Some people think that you get "star fever". You can't control yourself, you become explosive: at the beginning of the year in Milan you broke 7 rackets in the locker room. Why do you do that ? - childishness, a surge of emotion?

M- Ok, this crime happened. I was just very disappointed because of my incompetent loss. I know it's not the rackets fault. I'm old enough to understand and I criticize my actions. By the way, to connect my broken rackets with "star fever" - it's just unfair.

Q- Some people also say: "Safin is a star? He's, at most, a flash-in-the-pan"

M- It doesn't bother me what people say about me. If my behaviour doesn't please someone, let them be offended, let them curse me - it's their problem. I have the right to live my own life.

Q- Undoubtedly, you believe, like the saying: "it's my loo, I'll put it down where I want to". But after your victory over the great Sampras at the US Open, you've become the property of Russia, and you don't belong to yourself in some cases anymore.

M- But I can't please all the people all of the time, and I can't be a role model for everyone. Life is short, and I want to live it the way I want. And by the way, I'm already tired of defending myself.

Q- Why are so many people in Russia unfair towards you?

M- I was given alot, and I achieved a lot. If they had worked as hard since the age of 6, like me, they'd understand. Perhaps they are jealous.

Q- Is there a point when you will collect your thoughts and start winning again?

M- It can happen in a week, a month, a year. Time will tell. I'm not in a rush, I'm not late. I think that everything will be ok someday.


PROFESSOR OR SHOWMAN?


Q- Apart from your injury, are there any other reasons why you are losing?

M- Everyone, not only sportsmen, has ups and downs, but our downs are more noticeable because our lives are in public. It's just impossible to be on top all the time both physically and psychologically.

Q- What percentage do you consider yourself professional?

M- You can't be 100% professional. You can strive for it, but to give your all for the game, in my mind, - it's a big mistake. It's just a game, it's not life. Also tennis players who get closer to the reputation of "the perfect player", need freedom. For example Sampras: he's probably practising more than others, but Pete is not obsessed with tennis. Last year he preferred to celebrate his marriage and not take part in three big tournaments. The pleasures of his honeymoon and his new wife are more important for him then any honours and prizes in sport. It's a wonderful thing, a wonderful feeling, why should you rob yourself of this? Sampras did everything right, and I support and respect him.

Q- Who else do you respect?

M- We all respect Kafelnikov, he did a lot for tennis.

Q- Marat, has anybody offered you a career in Hollywood?

M- I'm not interested in it. And I just couldn't live in America. It's not for me. I'm not ready, not able and I wouldn't want to be an actor.

Q- Anyhow, you said, that tennis is a big show. That means, you work in the entertainment business?

M- Yes. And it's nothing special. When thousands of people come to the matches, then it's interesting for me to be a part of the show.

Q- And is it interesting for you to entertain Luschkov, to practice with him, to play doubles with his wife - is this not also a clown show?

M- What are you saying?! He's the mayor of Moscow, a city with a population of ten million people, you can count him as the head of the whole country. He must be supported, he really likes tennis. Why not play with him? I was really surprised, because our mayor is a very agile and athletic person. A few times he hammered the ball so well that even I couldn't return it.

--------

read this interview in Russian

Shadow
03-20-2004, 01:05 PM
Transcript of the chat with the 2000 US Open champion Marat Safin
on Thursday 23 August by CBS SportsLine.com



Marat Safin: Hello everyone! I am ready for your questions!

Question: Are you looking foward to the U.S. Open?

Marat Safin: Yes. I plan to try to win it again!

Question: Marat, how is your back feeling? Are you at 100% health wise?

Marat Safin: Yes, my back is fine. I am feeling ok and am ready to play.

Question: Do you still wear the necklace your sister gave you? Does it still give you luck?

Marat Safin: Yes, I do still wear it. But lately I haven't had much luck.

Question: Who's your best friend in tennis?

Marat Safin: My best friend is Golovianov. He plays challenger tournaments. I used to sponsor him.

Question: Has your family remained a big part of your life since you moved to Spain?

Marat Safin: I see my family about every month.

Question: Marat, are you a party animal? Do you enjoy parties and clubs?

Marat Safin: No. Not really anymore. In the past, years ago, when I was younger (haha) I liked parties.

Question: What did you do at the Playboy mansion? Did you like it?

Marat Safin: Yes I liked it. Meeting Hugh Hefner was a big honor for me.

Question: What is the most memorable fan experience you have had?

Marat Safin: I am still waiting for the most memorable one!

Question: Do you already have a name for your future bar?

Marat Safin: The Balcony Club

Question: Have you got a ritual before going on the court?

Marat Safin: I always try not to forget to go to the bathroom before going on the court. That is my ritual.

Question: Marat, what do you do in your spare time?

Marat Safin: I try to have as much fun as I can. I like soccer and taking walks. I like to travel.

Question: Hi Marat, do you feel any pressure knowing that so many people are watching you everyday, and so many children around the world idolize you?

Marat Safin: I love what I do and I like my life and the person that I am. I appreciate the fact there are people who look up to me and like me the way I am. Because of that I try to do my best, on and off the court, to make people happy.

Question: Do you often go on the internet? Do you ever visit the sites for you?

Marat Safin: I just started spending time on the internet. I just got connected. Yes, I have seen some of the sites. But not too many yet.

Question: Do you have any plans of marriage?

Marat Safin: I think I am too young to think about that right now.

Question: If you could take all of us to one place to play tennis, where would that be? Why?

Marat Safin: I would bring you all to New York to play on the courts at the US Open.

Question: Is there a moment in your life that you will always remember ?

Marat Safin: I would pick the 2000 US Open Championship. It does not get any better than that.

Question: Marat, how has tennis impacted your outlook on life?

Marat Safin: I love that my talent in tennis allows me to make a living at something I love and am passionate about. Outside of that I try to live a normal life.

Question: Marat, what was your best match of the year? Your most disappointing match?

Marat Safin: My best match of the year I am waiting for. The worst was against Johansson, a fellow Dunlop Tour player, at Dubai

Question: What is one thing you'd like to tell all your fans?

Marat Safin: I appreciate all of your support. I hope you will be cheering for me at the US Open.

Marat Safin: I appreciate you all coming and waiting around to chat with me. Thank you for being patient. It is really great having you all supporting me. I will do my best in the upcoming Open. Goodbye!

Shadow
03-20-2004, 01:06 PM
Safin expects no more jealousies from Silvia

The boy, who we see in the court is always filled with anger, is persisting in his love life. Marat Safin, the 'Russian Love-saint', told us his 4 years-relationship with his girlfriend Silvia last night and expects her regards by return.

R = The Reporter; S = Safin

R: You seem to us that you are always filled with anger in the court. Why's that?
S: It is because I hate to be defeated. I want to win every match I play, I want to be number 1. Maybe I am really angry just because I desire to win so much.
R: So that's why you broke 48 rackets in a year?
S: (aloof) I just don't care. All the rackets are sponsored.
R: Do you think you are a rebellious or a revolutionary tennis player?
S: These are what the media term me and I'm not going to think how I impress people, I just care playing games in the court.
R: You are however taking much love care of pets. It is said that Silvia and you bought a little rabbit in December 1999?
S: It's gone.
R: Think to buy another one?
S: No. Keeping pets is troublesome.
R: Can you tell us more about Silvia?
S: We have been together for 4 years. She is very good and always shows much support and care behind me.
R: Being a sexy and good-looking man in today's tennis ... oh no... in the world, you must always be surrounded by many many girls-fans in the public. Has Silvia ever been jealous of this?
S: Tell me what to do then! (a little bit unpleasant) I don't want to go to those situations neither and she should understand that these are parts of my job. I hope she can trust me, try to understand me a little bit more... but both of us know (calm down), no matter what, we are still loving each other so much that we will settle many conflicts between us.
R: Want to marry her yet?
S: Haha... no. I'm still too young, maybe a couple years later.
R: Do you still enjoy having your night life?
S: Not at all... sometimes.
R: What do you drink in the bars?
S: I like everything, but I usually drink beer. It feels so good especially when you drink with a group of friends.
R: Want to open your own bar?
S: Probably after retired. I have already discussed this with my friends.
R: What will it be called? Your name?
S: No. We have decided to call it 'The Balcony'.


Safin saw the lions-dancing for the first time at the opening ceremony of the Salem Open 2001 yesterday. The drums recall his childhood and Safin reacts with his dance and whistle. Marat looks kinda happy when wearing the Chinese over-coat given by the promoter as he said he and Silvia have found nothing size-fitting during their shopping in Hong Kong.

Shadow
03-20-2004, 01:08 PM
Interview with Marat Safin in Lyon 2001 (L'Equipe, Le magazine, by Virginie Sainte-Rose).


October 2001

Ah! Marat it makes you wait two hours in the hall of his hotel in Lyon, then it merges in excuses and becomes a cream of man. The Russian connects the smiles, the answers and, when the question is not appropriate to him too much, it makes fun of himself, made laugh the interlocutor. The winner 2000 of the Open of Paris Bercy, whose edition 2001 begins Monday, does not flame himself as much on the courts that last year, but it is always as adorable as unbearable.

To come to dispute this tournament in Lyon, you drove from Valencia , in Spain. It is not the first time that you prefer to drive to go to a tournament....
I do not make it as often as I would like it. That can be tiring. However, I like that much. I rent a car and there we are, that's simple.

What do you like in these long ways?
I am quiet. I listen to music, I think about thousands of things. I cross also beautiful landscapes. It is very soothing. To tell the truth, it is one of the rare moments when I can really only find myself, without being disturbed.

Always had this passion of the road, of the cars?
With cinq-six years, I was a large collector of small cars. You could not please me more than by offer me the part which was missing in my collection. In the street I had fun has to recognize the models. I was unbeatable. Today, unfortunately (he smiles), I do not have as many large cars the small ones of my childhood.

Which is your last acquisition?
A Cherokee Jeep.... To buy cars, is my great pleasure. It is also my weak point, because it's expensive, too expensive.

Concerning your " first " passion, tennis, which memory did you keep of your victory in Bercy last year?
I was on the wave of my victories started with US Open, not tired a moment, with an intact and indestructible confidence. I was winning everything, and it seemed to me like if it could not stop.

You you felt invincible?
Completely. That's why, when I started to lose again, I did not understand. That's hard to realize, to analyze things when they should not happen.

Tiredness, lassitude, they took you by surprised or gradually?
I do not know so much. Physically and technically, that was okay. But, in the head, at the very end of the season, I felt very tired. Then, it started to get wrong. Since the beginning of the year 2001, I connected the disappointments. I did not feel my shots, I was in a bad mood. I was cooked mentally and, when the head does not go, the legs do not follow.

It is often said that, to succeed, there are sacrifices to make. In your case, I have the impression that there was a price to pay afterwards, kind of ransom of success?
That is philosophy, a formula. What do you want me to answer to that... Before, that was not easy either. Take a look at the beginning of my year 2000. How many matches did I lose, how much 6-0 I boxed.... I was deeply depressed. That was not working. And that appeared completely unreal to me, because I knew what I was able. I saw those guys who won, garnered successes and I envied them. I was upset. It is not that they do not deserve their victories, but I had to be among them, naturally. Then, that changed, I proved my row.

By feeling you invincible, while being flattered of any share, it was probably inevitable to take the large head a little?
I think that, despite everything what happen, I am a normal man. I still know where reality is. What occurs after a title, it is that you are very solicited and that you cannot satisfy everybody. Sometimes that can be pleasant. People, like you today, come to see me and want to discuss with me, to know what I think. It is flattering, that can be interesting. Perhaps will you make me reflect on myself (he smiles)! Ideas are exchanged.... I hope especially that it will be interesting for the one who will read it (he laughs).

Is this with saying that the victory isolate? players like you or Gustavo Kuerten,seems to close themselves more and more to other people....
With success, you suddenly have an incalculable number of new friends. Since my victory in the US Open, how much I had discussions with people whom I hardly attend, but which say to me that they know me perfectly and who know what I need, as trainer, as type of play.... That's generally this people I'm not listening. This people who are disappointed by me. I am it also by them. I believe that the guy is a friend, and comes to explain me the life during two hours. He feel suddenly invests of the responsibility of my career. On the other hand I'm still the same with my close circle of friends, of close relations, finally very restricted. And, I listen to them, I stay open to their opinions.

You thus recognize, being a little less extrovert than before....
Admittedly. But it is also a question of moment. When all is going well, it is easier to go towards the others. I am not delighted by my season, and, during times like that, we are getting closed again a little bit, to centre on oneself, on what we are going through.

You listen to the consulting of your friends, but do you follow them?
Not always, it is true. But I have twenty one years old and I must sometimes try out my own errors, to find the errors by myself

Precisely, one year ago, you were the won who won everything. Today it is not true anymore. Is this a sequence of circumstances or the fruit of your own errors?
I have make errors undoubtedly this season, many and enormous (it makes great gestures then he keep silent lengthily).... How to know to prevent?.... I do not know, I do not control all. I have say it to you, it is necessary that I learn by myself, that I to live these things to understand what's happening to me and what I must avoid in the future.

Could you be more precise on your errors?
Oh not! (It laughs). The list is well too long. It is not an hour, but three which this interview would last.

That is to say. In any case, can you evoke of them the consequences, the difficult moments that you crossed?
But some difficult moments I know only one of them, always in the same form: the defeat. We can't get used to it. Especially if you feel in good form. We are searching some solutions, the exit, but nothing works. After you have the impression to be in a black hole.... But over there (great gestures, mimicry, he makes the clown), there is a small flutter, which becomes brighter, is transformed into light (it tightens the arm) and you find the hope (he gets up, the tended arms).

As at the time of the US Open this year, where you arrived in semifinal ?
Yes, it is exactly that. Except that, very frankly, I can say to you that I would not have bet anything on me one week before the Tournament. It came like a beautiful surprise, a gift.

Since your wounds, are you more attentive with your body and changed some practices? I remember to have observed you last year, in Moscow, after the practice, you did not make more than three minutes of stretching, when you made some....
I get old. My body does not answer. Do you understand ? I spare myself.

But, of course.... More seriously, which is your "routine" apart from the tournaments? You do not have the reputation to be a large hard worker....
O.K.! Seriously, My philosophy, it is that, in the life, it is necessary to do what you likes. My life, it is tennis. O.K.! It is also a business, a job. But me, I must be pleased to play, to practice. Because I know that then happiness will come to gain, that people will be happy for me, that it will be the festival as much for them than for me. That's how I work. Then I involve myself when it is needed.

What does it mean?
I play one hour with tennis and I do a little physical preparation. Once that it is finished, I go to the cinema, I drive car.... I do what I like. It's not typical but, with involving too much, playing too much, you kill the love of the play. It is necessary to arrive on the court with "the desire", the free head.

In connection with playing too much, one often says whom Yevgeny Kafelnikov gained only two tournaments of the Large Slam because it played too much to garner the premiums, it will be a characteristic of the Russian players. Yourself were criticized last spring because you play wounded for not louper your no-claims bonus....
I already largely.... Too much expressed myself on the reasons which has pushed me to do that. You want that I repeat the same thing. Not it is not worth it.

You do not want to speak about money?
Yes, of course, but on this precise point, I have say and repeat the same things.... The money is something very useful and interesting. And the relation you have with it depends on the past. It is enough to have missed some a little bit to want to catch up some every time you have the chance to get some. It is also a vicious circle which makes that, more you have some, more you want some. You should pay attention to do not create new need sall the time. It is not so simple (silence).... Now, relating to Yevgeny, I believe that it is his way of seeing the things, to see his career, his life of man, his life of player. That's belongs to him. Some other carry out different choices, even radically, like Sampras or Agassi.

But, precisely, that went better for them.... Between the huge aspirations of Kafelnikov, and those more targeted of Sampras or Agassi, where are you located?
I hope on the side of Agassi.... The future will say to us if I am wrong to think that..

Let us speak technical: which compartment of the play are you practicing the most and how would you like to move?
If I wanted to play like I dream, I would have to change everything. The plays which impress me it's those of Goran (Ivanisevic), of Krajicek, Larsson.... The attack is truly a beautiful attitude of play. You know, I do not have finally anything to see with what I wanted to become on a court. But the life had decided for me.

However you give the impression of a very complete player, whose technical potential is enormous. It seems that with you the problem is rather mental.....
Yes, but I believe that that concerns all the athletes. I repeat it to you: when the head is not fine, the body doesn't follow.

Is that the reason why you work with an ex winner of a Grand Slam tournament, who has proved what he can do?
Yes. I changed my trainer to learn some new things. With Mats Wilander I work a lot on the concentration and the mental.

Does it include that only champions can understand the champions?
To know what occurs in the head from an individual whatever it is, it is not easy. A champion, it is necessary even more complicated, because he crosses emotions, states - tops and low which are not shared unanimously. It is for that that somebody who passed through there will understand you better.

We can't stop talking about head, I would like to know how is yours?
Aie! (He laughs, then he wriggle in his armchair). You know, that can always go better. You do not believe, you also.... That one day that will be better? It is true that, we will not let make by the adversity!

Do you follow the progress of your sister Dinara Safina? Do you try to advise her or on the contrary to not interfere you in her career in order to not disturb her?
Oh! my sister, I know her situation by heart! But around her, there is a lot of people who think holding the truth on what she must do, and what she musn't. In fact, she feels a lot of pressure because she is my sister. I am not immodest, but if I were not the big brother, she would be a talented junior among others. Then, especially, but especially, I do not want to interfere me. I let her live. I believe that and even more at fifteen years, she must start to have some responsibilities, to make choices by herself. These moments would not have to be wasted.

She has, obviously, a beginning of career very different from yours, since you were left on oneself. Would have you preferred to begin like her, in a universe more protected?
I was not so unhappy. I was sent in Spain, because time in Moscow did not make it possible to be involved under good conditions all the year. Once in Spain it was not so terrible.

But, while your mother is often with your sister, you were alone....
Yep. But I do not have too many moods. I was fourteen years old, people had not asked me so much my opinion and, even I would have given it, that would not have changed large thing. I did what people decided for me and it seams the good decisions were made, that has helped me to become what I am today.

When you say "people", it is your mother. It seems that she is the strong character of the family?
(Hilarious.) Really, you think ? What do I say you doubt? But of course, it is obvious! She decides on all, and it is insurmountable to explain to her why she could possibly be wrong. When she choosed to send to me in Spain, my father simply said to her: "Yes, okay,like you want! "

You lived part of your adolescence in Spain before traveling much. Do you feel always Russian? Are you always in phase with your country when you go back there?
I am Russian initially. It is what identifies me mainly. But I am not 100% Russian, because I want to keep opened eyes, I want to be aware on what's going on outside. Sometimes, I have the impression that there is a specifically Russian manner to think and I do not want to adhere to it. I do not want to reflect only through this prism. In this direction, I'm feeling sometimes shifted.

Apart from tennis, of the cars, what gives you the more pleasure: to have fun or to sleep?
To sleep, I believe that I put to sleep in the first place.... That's on my nights that belongs my days. From where the dilemma (he smiles).... Because to have fun is also important! Let us say that, it's the reason why some days, "you does not exist", you see?

Euh yes....What do you mean?
The readers will have understood me well (he laughs). Let us say that some "following days", you does not exist.... All the problem comes from the age, of the body. So that's important to take care. I know that I will never stop having fun, but I also know that, in ten, twenty, thirty years, it will be necessary that I sleep much more, that I will have to stop partying all the time, if I want to hold the rhythm.

Shadow
03-20-2004, 01:09 PM
Interview with Marat Safin (taken from 'L'Express', by Alyssa Malitor).
December 2001

Alyssa Malitor: Hi Marat. Happy new year.

Marat Safin: Hello... let me see... Alyssa! (laugh) Happy new year to you too, and, by the way, happy new year to everyone! And all my fans all around the world.

Alyssa Malitor: Well, tell us your resolutions for 2002!!

Marat Safin: Hard working... I really want to play well this year, to show people I'm still here, ready for the fight with Guga etc. I'm still ranked 11th, it's not so bad. I'll try to do my best in Auckland, then Aussie Open, and play a great clay season, like I did in 2000. I really wanna have pleasure on the court, and win, again and again... Also, I'll train more.

Alyssa Malitor: With Matts Wilander, right?

Marat Safin: Yeah, he is coming with me in Auckland and Melbourne of course. We hope our association will work, I think last year it was pretty good. I mean, last year I had a bad injury, it wasn't JUST with my mental and my confidence!
Anyway, for a new year, confidence is not important at all. It's a new start. A new season, a new Marat (smile) with Matts, of course. I hope we'll colaborate for a long time, at least 'till the end of the year.

Alyssa Malitor: What did you do for Christmas holidays?

Marat Safin: I was with my friends and my family, sometimes in Monte Carlo, sometimes Valencia, then Moscow lol. But I didn't celebrate Christmas yet, in our Russian calendar, Christmas is on January 7th. I needed rest, and I trained a bit, with Matts. Actually, I am training pretty hard for 1 or 2 weeks.

Alyssa Malitor: You are still one of the best player in the world, what is your goal for the Aussie Open, in 2 weeks?

Marat Safin: I wanna win! Win, win, win, and nothing else! I don't care if I spend 4 hours per day on a court, if I win my matches on 5 sets, I don't care, the score isn't important for me. I have to be in the mood, and I am now, I wanna win this tournament, I want to start this year the best as I can. I want to impress. (smile) But it can take a long time, I'll work progressively during this Oceanians tourney.

Alyssa Malitor: All right Marat, we trust you very much. Thanks a lot for our discussion. Enjoy your day and good luck.

Marat Safin: Thank you, if I win the Open, I call you. (laugh)

Shadow
03-20-2004, 01:10 PM
March 10, 2002
PACIFIC LIFE OPEN , Indian Wells, California
An interview with: MARAT SAFIN


MODERATOR: Questions for Marat.

Q. Looking back at last year, can you evaluate your decision to play with your back? You played at this tournament when your back was hurting, through other tournaments. Can you evaluate, was that a good thing to do, looking back at it a year later?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I think it was the right thing at that moment, to play all these tournaments, because I had no other solution. I already spoke about this. I think everything is clear. I think for me it was the right decision. That's it.

Q. Tell us about how you're feeling at the moment, your tennis, everything. How do you look at this tournament?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm good. You know, I played well in Australia. I won the last match in Davis Cup. I played only one tournament after Australian Open. It was in Rotterdam. Unfortunately, I didn't do very well, I lost second round.
But I'm just trying to play less, and I try to do better in the tournaments, than to play a lot of tournaments. Some of them you'll not do well. It's just less tournaments, better quality.

Q. When you were going around playing with your lame back, had you been advised by medical people that you could not make it worse by continuing to play?

MARAT SAFIN: No, no, no.

Q. You could have made it worse?
MARAT SAFIN: No, I couldn't made it worse because I spoke with my medicals, with the people that I know. They said is not a problem. Just, you know, you have to wait and you have to take a rest during one month, three weeks, then it's going to be okay.

But I couldn't make it because I had no other solution, so that's why I had to play all these tournaments. That's why I couldn't do very well actually here. Basically I spoiled all the year. Like I said, I had no other solution.

Q. Why did you actually decide to play less?

MARAT SAFIN: Because anyway, if you're playing a lot of tournaments, it's difficult to do well in all of them, and the quality of your game is going down with the time because your fitness is not so well, you're not fit after two or three weeks of playing tournaments in a row, you know. It's not good for the spectators, it's not good for me, because I'm also losing confidence.

I think it's better to prepare well, play less tournaments, do better results and have more confidence. You are more satisfied, have you more time to enjoy your life actually. You have enough time to enjoy it, to spend the money as well (smiling).

Q. Can you give us an update on your coaching situation?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I'm traveling with a guy, his name is Amit Naor. He's my manager. We're trying to work with him. I'm trying to work with him. For the moment is going well. I don't want to change anything. I'm satisfied with the work we are doing.

Q. What happened with Mats? Is that finished?

MARAT SAFIN: Mats, yeah, I think everybody understands that Mats is playing tournaments, Senior Tour, and he has a family. It's a little bit difficult to have a coach for all the year. That's what I need, a coach that he can spend with me like 30, 40 weeks a year. He could not make it for these reasons. He's playing tournaments and he has a family, which I respect.

So I think the right solution was, you know, just to finish. I'm still having contact with him. We are good friends. That's more important than to have a business together, I think.

Q. Can you go through details of what you've been doing between Rotterdam and here?

MARAT SAFIN: I have my vacations, you know, because after the trip to Australia, you need a few days to recover because it's a long trip. You have to celebrate anyway because it's not many times in life you will make the final of Grand Slam.

Then, yeah, I played Rotterdam. I had like also two weeks, so I had time to rest. I had ten days of preparation before this tournament, and I'm fit. I'm looking forward. I want to do well here because I have nothing to defend. I think I'm ready for this.

Q. After the US Open, do you remember where you were, how you heard about the terror attacks?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I heard this when I left. I left New York on Sunday. The planes crashed I think on Tuesday morning. So basically, yeah, I was lucky that I lost to Pete, so I had time to get out of there.

Q. Where were you?

MARAT SAFIN: I was in Tashkent. I was really shocked. I think it's too much. It was too much for me. Too much for everybody.

Q. Do you think a lot of things have changed in the world?

MARAT SAFIN: It will be more difficult to get a visa to the States, that's the main thing, especially for Russians (laughter).

But, no, it's okay. It's more important for you guys, you know, you just recover from all of this. I think it's very difficult and really scary what happened here. I hope everything is okay, everything is in order, and everything will come back, just live the normal life like you lived before.

Q. How long have you been practicing here in Indian Wells?

MARAT SAFIN: I came here on Wednesday night, so since Thursday I'm practicing twice a day, doing my footwork, fitness, and getting ready for a tournament. Not much to do actually here. But it's really nice, nice and easy, enough time to concentrate for the tennis.

Q. Have you heard from any of your entourage in Australia, your friends in Australia?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't think. They're just friends and that's it. Not many words I can say about this.

Q. It was in the paper every day.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but it's okay.

Q. At the stage where you are now, tennis-wise, what do you think you are happy with and what do you think you still need to work on?

MARAT SAFIN: You have to improve something. I have many things to improve. The year is just beginning. I have a lot of time. I'm just wondering, you know, like that I can play for all the year and keep the confidence that I'm having right now, just to play my best game is the most important thing, just keep in the same shape during all the year.

Q. You seem much more serious than when I've observed you at the US Open where you were laughing.

MARAT SAFIN: I'm growing up. I'm 22 now, so I have to be more serious.

Q. Is life less fascinating for you at 22?

MARAT SAFIN: No. You know, I'm trying to be serious and try to do my business as best as I can.

Q. When you play a tournament where you have a lot of points to defend, then where you play a tournament like here where you don't have much to defend, what is the difference?

MARAT SAFIN: The difference actually is the same. When you're playing a tournament, you are trying to defend the points. When you have nothing to defend, you're thinking to get as many points as you can so you can go up in the ranking. So also you're under pressure all the time. It's like difficult sometimes.

Q. How is your confidence level? Is it back where it was once?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, you know, I'm getting better. I didn't play very well in the last year. But I'm coming back, I'm playing very well right now, looking forward that I can play the same level like I play in 2000.

Shadow
03-20-2004, 01:11 PM
Interview With Marat Safin

July 19, 2002
Atptennis.com

Marat Safin is currently ranked second in the ATP Champions Race. He's preparing for a busy summer schedule which begins for him at the Tennis Masters Canada. He then follows that with the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, and the RCA Championships in Indianapolis.


Q. You once said a few years ago that you loved women more than tennis. Is that still the case?

MARAT SAFIN: You cannot compare pleasure with the business, my friend. It's two different things. So you have to dedicate yourself to the business or to the pleasure. Sometimes you have to choose between business and pleasure; you choose business. This is my case.

Q. Is tennis for you then a means to an end? Are you actually enjoying when you're on the court? Are you having a good time?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. But, you know, sometimes is difficult because for some reasons you don't -- it is not something just playing tennis, it's more like psychological game. It's not only passing the ball, just hitting the ball as hard as you can, just serve and volley. It's more than that. Sometimes you are using your head. Sometimes it's very difficult for some reasons, because you're not playing well, or you're playing well. So it's sometimes difficult. It's difficult sometimes to win matches for some reasons. Is what happened to me in Wimbledon and semifinals in Paris.

Q. I would like to know whether the Toronto experience two years ago, history may repeat itself, do you have a sense it would repeat itself, win here in Toronto, go on and win the US Open? Do you have a sense it could happen again?

MARAT SAFIN: Yes, of course, for me it would be great because now, as you can see, it's a little bit difficult to fight with Hewitt because he's playing great and he's like 150 points maybe ahead of me. Definitely have to do well in the tour of America and try to win one Super 9. If it would be Toronto it would be, you know, big thing for me, you know, to come back there and win it one more time. Of course, to prepare myself as much as I can for The Open because it's there where going to decide basically who is pretending to be No. 1 and who has more chances. I definitely want to be there and I definitely want, you know, I would like to try to finish this year still No. 1. It would be big honor. I want it but, you know, a little bit difficult. But I'm preparing myself. I'm preparing myself mentally. I'm working hard.

Q. What do you remember about that Toronto experience, winning the tournament two years ago?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it was great. It was just -- I never expect that I'm going to win a Super 9. You know, there I was playing great tennis. I beat Pete Sampras. I beat a couple of guys that, you know, you have to work hard to beat them. And I'm happy that I won. That give me a lot of confidence to win the US Open, definitely.

Q. When you talk about preparing yourself mentally, do you find that sometimes your temper gets in the way of your performance on the court? How do you control that temper?

MARAT SAFIN: You know, you're not the first one who is asking me this question, and I don't think you're going to be the last one. You know, for me it's tough to explain what the person he has in the head. Every person is different, as you can see, you know, in the experience of your life everybody is thinking different way. It's impossible to find two persons thinking the same way. It's very difficult because everybody has own style of life and just, you know, they're different. In my case, a lot of people, they think that it's kind of easy for me, tennis. You know, I have a lot of talent, that I have potential to win a few more Grand Slams, I have a big talent, but I'm just not focused enough, I'm not working enough, I'm not into it anymore. All the time they find to put me down all the time. It hurts. Of course, it hurts. But, my friend, is not so easy to, you know, just be with the talent. I think that is what they say. Is not enough. You have to find yourself like a player, what you want, how you want to play. Is not easy to play, especially when the tennis is more equal than before, and everybody can play tennis basically. Is not only Top 10, now is top hundred can play great tennis. You have to prepare every match and every match. This year, just I had a couple of bad loss, you know, like 7-6 in the third against Moya, a few other ones. 7-6 against Hewitt in Miami. So as you can see, I'm fighting. But I cannot make this small step that I need. It would be different story. For me, it's difficult. You know, I'm looking for it. I'm looking. I want to win. Of course, I want to win. Of course, I want to play tennis. Of course, I want to win a lot of Grand Slams. But it's not so easy. It's difficult to explain. It's not only tennis; it's more psychological game. I'm trying, but for me it's not so easy like for other persons.

Q. On that same subject, do you believe in sports psychologists? A lot of people believe in them. Do you use any?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I don't. I don't know, maybe. I never tried. I don't think I want to do it because - I don't know. Me, I'm not different, not completely nut case. I'm just different. Just don't know. People, they see what I'm doing on the court. Some people don't understand. But is not so difficult to understand. I don't know. I have to push myself sometimes when I'm losing. I have to push myself. I have to break racquet, whatever, just throw the ball out of the court. At the end it helps me. The way I played in 2000, you know, getting upset on the court. But this way I only can just push myself to work hard and to fight on the match. I liked it. It's good in this way, and it's bad because I'm showing too much that, you know, I'm too - how would say - I show too much on the court my emotion. I'm too emotional. So it doesn't help me. Of course, it helps me. It's just the way I am. I cannot change myself when I'm 22.

Q. John McEnroe used it to a great success. Do you see any comparisons between your temper and John McEnroe's? Maybe it helps you in some situations.

MARAT SAFIN: I would love to be like, you know -- to be in a way like him. But, I mean, you cannot compare me to John McEnroe. I mean, sorry, but he won 77 singles titles and 77 doubles titles. Me, I won one title and one final, so I don't think you can compare me to him. He's too good - too good. But is also different time, different tennis. I don't know. As you can see, nobody -- for example, this year, Johansson and Costa won the tournaments, so nobody can make. I don't know, like Hewitt or Federer going to win five Grand Slams or six Grand Slams, you know, something like this. It's very difficult because is too many people who are playing too good tennis.

Q. A lot of people like to see athletes show emotion like you have. People complain that tennis players don't show enough emotion. Do you find that you're more appealing to tennis fans because of your willingness to show emotion? Do you think more people should show emotion like you on the court?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. It's the way I am. It's nice actually to hear a lot of people, they like watching me play. It's very nice. But just, you know, the tennis stars, you don't have to forget at the end of the day it's a beautiful sport. I don't know, it's a gentleman's sport, whatever you can say. But is entertainment for the people, for the spectators. And they don't have to forget this thing. We are just entertainment.

Q. You talked a little bit earlier about the year end No. 1 and all. I wondered if that motivated you as much as Grand Slam titles? Is that something that still is as important as -- to be the year end No. 1? Does that motivate you as much as winning Grand Slams?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, you cannot be No. 1 in the world without winning a Grand Slam. It just like doesn't work. But just it's going together. You have to. I mean, if you can win one Grand Slam in the year, then it means you are fighting for No. 1. So it's coming together. Of course, I'm motivated to be No. 1. Of course, I'm motivated to win. I would love to win a lot of more Grand Slams. You know, it would be great, but it's not so easy. Is not so easy. But you have to fight. I'm still fighting. I'm trying. I'm looking for myself. I'm looking for my game. Just sometimes it doesn't work, but you have to keep on trying.

Q. Do you see yourself, when you're out there on the court, have you been playing at the same level as 2000? People know your game more and it keeps getting more and more competitive to play at that high level week-in and week-out as you did that 2000 summer hard court season.

MARAT SAFIN: No, 2000 I think I played amazing tennis. I had so much confidence. I was playing just great. I was impressed myself that I could play such great tennis. I was surprised actually that I can be -- I mean, I can be good, I can win a Grand Slam, I can win two Masters Series tournaments, win in one year seven titles, is not so easy. I was playing great. I was playing with so much confidence. And this year, yeah, I can. I'm trying. But is not. I'm still far away. But, you know, I'm trying to get there. I'm trying. I'm looking for it, trying to. But is already half a year passed. Not many months is still left so I have to hurry up (laughter).

Q. What you were just talking about, does the beginning of the hard court season in North America help you out because you have had success in this part of the tour before?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I mean, I always like to play in the States. I always played good tennis. Is what the question was, this question?

Q. Yes. Like you were saying, in 2000 you played so well.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, yeah, but, you know, I was make quite good results in US Open. I don't know. I'm feeling comfortable, very comfortable, playing on the hard courts. So it's basically the tour of States. I like. I don't know, I like the courts, I like everything. For me it's easy to play good tennis there.

Q. Is there, do you think, a clear No. 1 in men's tennis right now?

MARAT SAFIN: No, not at all, at all. I don't think there is clear No. 1. You can be a little more lucky, a little bit unlucky. But there is not a one, you know, No. 1 like was Pete Sampras, this kind of guy. No, no, no. Everything is too close and everybody can beat everybody, so is basically ... Of course, we have Hewitt. He's a great player. But still, you know, he has some problems with other players, I mean, on clay courts. Playing against him, we have a chance. We know we have a chance. We know if we are fighting, we can beat him. Against Pete Sampras a few years ago when you were going on the court with him, you knew that you have no chance to beat him. It has to happen something, I mean, that he will not feel great, he will miss a couple of volleys, he will not serve so great, you know.

Q. Is the fact that there's no clear No. 1 a good thing or a bad thing for the fans, do you think?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. Let's see. Let's see how it will work. I mean, it's just -- you know, the tennis is changing. It's still some more young people are coming. Already the Top 10 is already young players. It's Ferrero, it's Hewitt, it's me - I consider myself a young player - Federer, Grosjean, Haas. They're young. You know, like my generation, '78, '79, '80 and '81, these year. I think in one or two years we'll see who is. Something going to happen, I think. Somebody will take care of No. 1, a real No. 1.

Q. Tennis doesn't really have a season. The tour runs pretty much year-round. How hard is it to avoid burnout and to keep yourself engaged in the game?

MARAT SAFIN: Can you a little bit explain the question, a little bit? You went too far with this thing. Just make it for me a little bit more simple.

Q. Because the tour runs year-round and doesn't really have long breaks, how hard is it to not burn out?

MARAT SAFIN: Okay, okay, I get you. It's difficult. I can tell you that how you can -- basically it's traveling 11 months a year. Can you believe it? 11 months? And it means that we are changing basically every week from tournament to tournament or we're trying to go for practice, you know. All the time it's airport, car, hotel, court, home, hotel, tournament, all the time like this. I think for me it's difficult because I'm also scared of flying, yes. I have this paranoia. But, I mean, we are trying. Everybody has the bad periods of the year, you know, when you don't want to do nothing. You are just tired of traveling, you are tired of playing tournaments, and you need to rest. So then you take two weeks, three weeks off, you know, just go out, just enjoy your vacations, to be able to start again and start to playing well because you cannot play well during 11 months of the year. So you have one month you're playing great, another month you're not so great, then you have bad losses. But you have to work on it, and it's very difficult sometimes to find the motivation to play. But also you have to see it's a job. It's quite a great job. It's nice work to do. But, of course, everybody -- I mean, everybody is taking even vacations, like make sessions of five tournaments, take two weeks of vacations.

Q. Have you ever wanted to do anything else besides play tennis?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, to quit tennis and to do something else?

Q. Or when you were growing up, did you want to do something else?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. But, you know, you have to see from other side. Of course, you can find work to do, like not only tennis. But it's difficult. It's difficult to push yourself because you are already playing tennis since you are six, and I'm already 22. So it's like I'm playing for long time. And if I want to learn to do something else, I need to go back to school, I need to study, I need to spend the time with the lessons. I need to, you know, start again, start over, start zero, from the beginning. So I think it's better to keep on playing and do whatever I can do, and do whatever I like, which is play tennis. Yeah, but I like it. You know, just it's nice game. I think it's great.

Q. I read somewhere that your parents named you after the French revolution figure Jean-Paul Marat?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it's just a Muslim name. I think you know that I'm Muslim, you know, this religion. Yeah, that's why they call me because is Muslim name.

Q. Does the name mean something in Muslim?

MARAT SAFIN: Somebody told me, but I forget. I don't know. I don't know. Freedom. I don't know, something good for sure (laughter). Not French revolutionary. But I hope also because of him. Maybe because of him also. Maybe something it's a royalty (laughter).

Q. You mentioned that you're afraid to fly.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. Does that affect your game at all?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it affects me. Not tennis, it affects myself. Every time I go in the plane, sometimes I'm too scared.

Q. Just added stress to the travel.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, is difficult. But I'm taking sleeping pills, so is okay.

Q. Tell me what Lleyton Hewitt is doing right now that he's established himself as the No. 1, even though he's not a dominant No. 1. What have you seen change in his game over the last couple of years?

MARAT SAFIN: Just that he's a big fighter. He's more - how would say - you know, during the year his average is very high. He doesn't have bad losses. Every tournament he plays, he makes something. Instead of other guys, we can play great tennis, but sometimes we have such a bad losses, for example, I don't know. You have like second round a few times in a row. And he doesn't make this. He's very stable during all the year. That's what he has.

Q. Tell me about his groundstrokes and so forth. Is his game consistency?

MARAT SAFIN: Consistency, yeah, yeah. You are right.

Q. Are his groundstrokes the best in the game? Are Agassi's better?

MARAT SAFIN: Can you bring it again?

Q. His forehand and backhand, do you think are they the best in tennis or is there someone better?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I think -- Hewitt, what is good, his complete game. He has everything, you know. But he doesn't have the best forehand. The best forehand, I don't know who has at the moment. Ferrero maybe. Federer I think is the best forehand. One-hand backhand type thing is Kuerten. Tommy Haas is great backhand, one-hand. And two-hands backhand I think Kafelnikov, Agassi. And how to say this one? The Russian one, doesn't have a bad one also. What is his name, the young one, the tall one? This guy, you know (laughter)?

Q. I'm not sure which player that is.

MARAT SAFIN: The one not playing too bad. He beat once Sampras in the finals of US Open. Do you know him (laughter)? Safin, maybe Safin? I mean, I don't know, I consider myself I don't have a bad backhand. Not super, but I'm working on it.

Q. What do you think about the fact that there isn't a dominant player in tennis? Some people would say the game is as balanced now as ever. What do you think the reasons for that are? Why isn't anyone able to dominate nowadays?

MARAT SAFIN: Because everybody can play tennis and everybody just -- everybody can play, everybody. Means not only Top 10 players, they can play tennis. Means that the level of the guys like out of Top 10 is very high. That is the reason.

Q. Do you foresee anyone could get to a level where they can do what Sampras did for five years in a row?

MARAT SAFIN: I think now is a stage of being more -- the tennis has to be more equal. Of course, is going to be the guy that come up with something huge. I mean, it goes by times, you know. So I think it will be a few years like this, then it's going to come back the big guy going to come and he going to kick our ass big time.

Q. Could you be that guy?

MARAT SAFIN: I will be too old already for this (laughter). But I'm trying. I'm trying. But it's difficult. I'm trying hard, believe me.

Shadow
03-20-2004, 01:13 PM
"Stalking Safin"
Interview of Marat Safin to the UK tennis magazine "ACE" (November 2002)

By Dominic Bliss
ACE magazine


What's the matter with Marat Safin? Does he even know? Dominic Bliss tracks down the elusive Russian around Tashkent, at last pinning him down for some serious talk.

There are snipers on the tennis roof. Armed police are patrolling both sides of the tournament venue. And plain clothes security guards are mingling with the spectators, on the look-out in case someone tries to assassinate President Islam Karimov while he watches the single final. Welcome to the President’s Cup, an ATP International Series event held every year in Tashkent, the capital city of the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan.

Security is not always this tight. But for the opening ceremony and the final, when the president is in attendance, no one is taking any chances. In 1998, a series of devastating bombings in Tashkent by Muslim fundamentalists led to government crackdowns on the Islamic resurgence. Since then a wall of protection has been built up around the president, whose secular politics have meant he has been picked out as a target by devout Muslims.

No surprise, then, when all the roads from Karimov’s presidential home to the Yunusabad Tennis Stadium are closed so that his cortege can proceed unhindered. All cars have been removed from the streets, pedestrians aren’t even allowed to walk on the adjacent pavements and there are armed police lininig the entire length of the route, facing away from the road in case someone tries to attack the president’s convoy from the adjacent buildings.

First to appear are the police cars. They clatter through at 60 mph with their sirens on. Then at the same speed come a tight group of three huge, black Mercedes with tinted, bullet-proof windows. During the journey they continually switch positions. The president is in one of them but no one can be sure which.
Politicians have to be cautious in this country. With Afghanistan and Iran to the south, Kazakhstan to the north and Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and the China’s wild west Xinjiang province to the east, it’s a region of ever-changing politics and growing Muslim fundamentalism. Violence has never been a stranger tot his part of the world. In the 13th century even the infamous Genghis Khan set up a bloody base here for a wile.



But nowadays Uzbekistan is probably the most stable of all Central Asian notions. Nearly twice the size of the United Kingdom, it lies on the old Silk Road that for centuries connected Europe with China. Its capital has always been a major communication centre. It was annexed by Russia in the late 19th century and gained independence in 1991 when the Soviet Union baroke up. The President’s Cup was first held in 1994 as a Challenger and upgraded to Tour status in 1997 (Tim Henman won it the first two years). It is an attempt to use world-class sport to raise the country to international prominence.

The event is a labour of love for President Karimov. A huge fan of tennis, and a keen amateur player (apparently he has got his own indoor court at his residence and hits every day if he can), he has thrown tons of money at the event and ensured that it is now one of the best run tournaments on the circuit. End the players love it. Why else would they travel halfway across the world the week after the US Open?

I’m in town to interview Marat Safin. A President’s Cup stalwart, he has won the title for the past couple of years and is here to contest both singles and doubles, and hopefully profit from Russian support in the crowd.
Tashkent is a mishmash of races. Most people are ethnic Uzbeks and look like Mongolians. But there are also many Tatars, Kazakhs, Tajiks and Koreans. Ethnic Russians are in a minority. After the break-up of the Soviet Union many of them returned to Russia. The exodus is still running at a rate of about 60,000 a year.

A disproportionate number of faces in the crowd watching Safin’s matches are white, Russian ones. Tickets for the tournament are expensive, and with the average wage in Uzbekistan running at about 15 pounds a month, tennis is a luxury that most Uzbeks cannot afford. Of course the players have no idea of the hardship surrounding them. Cocooned as they are in their comfortable world of first-class flights, top restaurants, courtesy cars and luxurious hotels, they can barely imagine the poverty in the crumbling houses and dirty streets of Tashkent’s old town, just a couple of miles from the tournament gates.

Perhaps all the luxury has gone to Marat Safin’s head. I have arranged to speak to him for half an hour, but whenever I accost him he gives me the brush of.

It’s the Wednesday of the tournament and the Russian no. 1 is through to the second round thanks to a straight sets win over Frenchman Gregory Carraz. I follow him from the practice courts into the players’ restaurant, but he wants to eat. He doesn’t want to waste precious food time with a journalist.
Sat at a dinner table for four, he is holding court. Opposite him are his coach Alexander Volkov and his coach’s good-looking girlfriend. To his left is the tall Swiss player Marc Rosset.

Waitresses hover near his table, ready to attend to his every whim. They nudge one another and giggle, half-pointing. Safin is the best thing on the menu all week. Other players and ATP hangers-on regularly approach his table. Safin jokes with them. He seems completely at ease and comfortable to be the center of attention.
Suddenly the restaurant band march in, set up their instruments and strike up a slow but loud tune from the musical My Fair Lady. They position themselves on a little stage just three inches from Safin’s right ear. “Time to go”, Safin whispers to Rosset. Stuffing the remnants of his dessert in his mouth, he makes for the door, but not before the band’s violinist buttonholes him briefly for a few words and a firm handshake. It’s not just me who wants a piece of Safin.

Then it is upstairs for the players’ lounge. A huge expanse of sofa chairs surround the TV, which is piping through the second match of the day – a clash between Tommy Haas and Sargis Sargisian. Safin flops down on the sofa, slings his huge bag on the floor and starts to digest his meal. “Now I’ve got him,” I think, and for the second time that day I request an interview. But he wants to relax. He doesn’t want to waste his precious rest time with a journalist.

There are other players in the lounge, too, all of various nationalities. Dutchmen Reamon Sluiter and Sander Groen are there, as are Slovakia’s Karol Beck, Finland’s Tuomas Ketola, Denmark’s Kristian Pless and fellow Russians Mikhail Youzhny and Andrei Olhovskiy. Even Yevgeny Kafelnikov drops by for a few minutes.
The higher-ranked players occupy the seats next to Safin, while lower-ranked, late arrivals lean on the chair backs, conscious that this champion needs his space, but also keen to prove that they are not so in awe of the guy that they can’t hang out with him.

Safin is oblivious, though. With one eye on the TV monitor and the other eye catching some sleep before his evening match, he’s happy just to be left alone. My interview will have to wait until later.
Night has descended on Tashkent. The neon from Yusanabad Stadium’s floodlights casts a hazy glow into the sky, attracting the city’s biggest and baddest insects to flutter round the now empty outside courts.

On the stadium court Safin is battling against Slovakia’s Karol Beck. It’s one set all and the spectators are strangely mute, worried that the Russian top seed might not actually make it into the quarter-finals.

The 6ft 4in right-hander lopes and mopes around the court, his gait slow and listless, like a Neanderthal with carbohydrate deficiency. If you could’n see the scoreboard, his body language and downcast face would suggest he was about to lose. He commits a third successive unforced error and slams down his racket onto the surface of the hard court. The umpire tuts, but decides not to give the cantankerous player a warning for racket abuse. The Head i-Prestige lives to see another set. Hundreds of its predecessors have not been so lucky.

I finally pin Safin down at lunchtime two days later. After three days of virtually stalking the man, he agrees to be interviewed. And racket abuse is one of the subjects he’s happy to talk about.

“On average I break about two rackets a week,” he admits in his strong Moscovite accent. “No… one a week. Maybe when I’m playing good I don’t break rackets. But when I’m playing bad I break lots.”

I remind him that in January 2001 he told "ACE" he had already broken 150 throughout his career. With one a week since then that would now put his total at around 230. At 160 pounds a racket, his sponsors must surely have started complaining by now.

“But they knew since the beginning of my contract that I am this way,” says Safin, obviously quite proud of his trademark habit. “So what can I do? I cannot fight against myself. I think the people at head watch tennis and they watch TV. So they know how I treat the rackets. But it is OK. I don’t think it’s a major problem for them.”
Nothing much is a problem for Safin. He’s a very cool character once off the court and despite the obvious beefed-up security at the tournament, the armed guards patrolling the grounds and the police car escort he and all the other players have from hotel to stadium, he doesn’t feel he’s in any danger.

He laughs when asked if he needs security guards in Tashkent. “Of course not,” he says. “What for? We are just tennis players. Who cares about us?”

In fact he is something of a fatalist. “Anyway, you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, so it’s OK. One day I will die. I don’t mind. I cannot wait for something bad to happen all the time. I cannot be scared in case something’s going to happen to me tomorrow. I live my life. I like the way I’m living. I don’t need a bodyguard. I’m not the president. I’m just here to play tennis and make some money. I try to win a tournament. I try to make the people happy and see them smile. That’s my job.”

Life on the ATP circuit all seems pretty simple when he puts it like that. But here in Uzbekistan, just outside the tournament gates, life stops being so simple. This is a country of complex politics and a population who are struggling to make their way in the world.

“I don’t know,” he says, obviously very reluctant to get involved in the local politics. “I'don’t really care because I don’t know what the situation is. Seriously… I don’t care. I have my own problems to worry about.”
But Safin does know that life isn’t easy in Uzbekistan’s stagnant economy. “They live in a different world, the people here,” he observes. “Some people choose to go from here to the United States because life is better for them there. But then they will tell you after one day that they want to come back. They like it here. They like the way of living and they enjoy it.”

It’s hard for Safin to criticize a government – albeit a dictatorship – which has bent over backwards to make his short stay as enjoyable as possible. He knows which side his bread is buttered and he knows it’s ineffective and perhaps inappropriate for him to interfere. He just wants to get on with his job.

Outside the tennis he says that he never really has time to do anything but practice, eat and sleep. “Anyway, where can I go? I have no time. Today I woke up at 11. I came here to practice. Then I played a match. I finish the match at 11 o’clock at night. Then what do I do? I go back to the hotel, I have dinner and that’s it. I have to go back to sleep. Because another day is coming and I have to wake up and go to practice.”

That, for many players, is the monotony of the ATP tour. But what Safin rarely mentions is his extracurricular activities with the ladies. He has no steady girlfriend and so, if he wishes, he is able to enjoy the attention of the numerous female fans who grace the various tournaments on the circuit.

“Of course!” he blurts out, when asked if he considers himself a ladies’ man. “I’m not gay! Find me one normal guy who doesn’t like women’s company. I think it’s good. It’s natural. You cannot fight against the nature, right?”



That’s all he chooses to divulge about his private life. He does agree to talk about his apartment in Monaco, though. “I go there quite often,” he says, conscious that it is actually quite unusual for a successful professional tennis player to spend time in his home. “It’s a beautiful place, by the sea, I like it very much. It’s so relaxing. You can practice, you have courts, you have the gym, whatever you need. You have a beautiful airport at Nice, you can fly anywhere you want without any problems. It’s the centre of Europe, basically.”

It’s also a handy little tax haven. By living there he is, like dozens of other ATP player, able to avoid paying tax in his home country. “I’m not living in Russia. I’m never there. I’m not spending money there. I’m not bringing money there. I’m not making money in Russia. So for the moment there’s no tax.” He says, explaining his rather convenient fiscal avoidance. “But one day I will live there. It’s actually very good taxes we have in Russia. Only 13 per cent.”

I tell Safin how much tax we pay in the UK. “Go to Russia,” is his immediate retort. “I organise you a Russian passport.”

Despite spending his teenage years in Spain and now living in Monaco, Safin is obviously very proud of his Russian roots. He was born into a tennis dynasty. His mother and first coach was a top 10 Russian player and his father ran the famous Spartak Club in Moscow where she worked. Little Marat first started playing aged three. Ten years later his parents packed him off to a tennis academy in Valencia, Spain. He has always maintained that having to fend for himself taught him valuable lessons in how to deal with the ATP tour.

“I think as a guy you need a little bit to be on your own from an early age,” he told a journalist a few years ago. “You need to start to live your own life and try to understand what is going on around you. You have to be able to survive.”


Safin’s 16-year-old sister Dinara Safina has done the opposite and stayed under the tutelage of her mother. Despite the fact that she had already won one WTA tournament (Sopot) and four ITF events, big brother doesn’t see the wisdom in this. “I don’t think it’s good idea. I tell you why,” he says. “First of all, parents are parents. So you don’t treat your mother with respect if she is your coach. She will always be your mother, she will never be your coach. So it never works. Because one day you will fight with her. All the time you fight, fight, fight, fight, fight and that’s it. It’s finished. Family is family, business is business. You can’t put it together because it doesn’t work, by nature.”

Yet family and business aren’t so detached that Safin wouldn’t consider playing mixed doubles with his sister. “Yeah, I would love to,” he enthuses.

Marat’s advice to Dinara is that she should stop trying so hard to win. Easing off the pressure is something that helped in his own game. “I don’t think it’s good when somebody wants something really badly,” he says. “You need to be more relaxed, because if you try too much you have a lot of pressure. This year I wanted too much and I put too much pressure on myself. I cannot play tennis like this.”
His see-sawing results certainly reflect this inability to perform under pressure. Back in 2000 he won seven tournaments, including the US Open, and finished the year ranked No. 2 in the world. This year, with everyone expecting him to do great things again, he has reached two finals, but hasn’t added any silverware to his trophy cabinet.

“When I was ranked 40 in the world, nobody cared about me,” he says, looking back fondly on his days of virtual obscurity. “I started to win matches because I had no pressure. Now everybody’s expecting things from me. Every time I have to win, I have to win, Safin has to win, Safin, Safin, Safin, Safin, Safin, Safin, Safin! Then one day I sat down and said no, no, no. If it’s going to be like this I cannot play. When I have so much pressure I don’t enjoy tennis and I feel bad. So I tried to calm down, tried not to make such a big deal of it, even if I don’t win a tournament this year.”

Before his marvelous 2000 run began in April that year, Safin considered giving up the game for good. There was a report that he contemplated running a wine bar in Spain, but this seems unlikely.
“I had a little bit of money, so I could have lived for a few months and thought about my future,” he says. “But then I decided, where could I work instead of tennis? What could I do? I don’t know how to do anything. It’s like most tennis players. What are we going to do? We are playing tennis since we are six. When you are aged 20, if you give up tennis, are you going to go back to school? It’s really difficult to start from the beginning again and try to make a career.”

Tashkent’s Yusanabad stadium is again awash with policemen. Most of them are skinny 18 and 19-year-olds in baggy dark green uniforms and kepi hats pushed back on top of their heads. Individually they look about as fierce as the pre-pubescent autograph hunters who have been hounding Safin and Kafelnikov all day. But put them all together and you wouldn’t mess with them. They, of course, carry guns.
On the stadium court Safin is playing doubles with compatriot Denis Golovanov against the Dutch tem of Reamon Sluiter and Martin Verkerk. Things are not going well. Safin and Golovanov win the first set but go down 3-6, 6-7 in the second and third. Just as the umpire is announcing the final score, Safin smashes his racket onto the court.

A loud crack reverberates around the stadium as it splinters apart. There goes racket number 231.

Shadow
03-20-2004, 01:14 PM
" I am not Sigmund Freud "
Interview of Marat Safin to the French Newspaper "L'equipe"


Tennis-Davis Cup – L’Equipe - Wednesday , November 27 2002.
Marat Safin interview by Dominique Bonnot


Marat Safin little concerned the introspection, evokes his life, its differences and its ambitions
A t almost 23 years, Marat Safin is one of the most charismatic persons of the professional circuit. At the same moment talented, modest, ambitious and captivating, he cultivates the originality by asserting preferring to give priority to its life rather than to its profession. He wants to be allowed free above all and, whatever is approached subject, he leaves with the others the care of judging.

Remember your Davis Cup's first meeting, face Andre Agassi and Jim Courier, in Atlanta in 1998. It seems that you finished completely depressed ?

"Not depressed" . Word is too strong. It is a little bit hard because it was necessary to reconstruct a team after Volkov and Chesnokov's pensions. As Andrei Cherkasov was not in shape Chamil Tarpichtchev had decided to launch a small new, I, by thinking especially in future. I was 18 years old, I was 190° world and I was afraid. I was afraid of being in this team. First week one got ready in Miami, in the "Fontainebleau" , and that was great. Big luxury. I had a personal room, not need to share with whoever, and I trained well . Then I began less well to feel because you have no right to take 6-0,6-0 , 6-0 against Agassi when you represent your country ! Finally I managed a little to relax. I lost but without making a bad contest. Agassi played too fast for me.
In double (with Kafelnikov), one did not wait big for matter of me considering my lack experience, and they were right because I managed to serve and to return. Finally, the third day arrived, in front of Courier for the decisive match. I knew that Courier played although in the past and, for the first time of my life I said myself that I had a chance to beat a lad as him. I win first set 6-0, then I lead 4-1 , 40-30 in the second; and there I feel at one go completely oppressed by striking a smash. I was formed in Spain, on clay, and volley is not my strong point. At the time, as soon as I went to the net, I failed, or I took myself a passing or a winning lob. It is like that, that I lost 6-4 in the fifth set. But it was a big experience, and rather positive, because I realized that I would have been able to win this contest. I became aware at the same time of my gaps and my possibilities. I did not cry, even though I was a little bit sad. For the first time, I received some money in Davis Cup, and especially from this meeting, I began really to trust me. Right after that, I reached two finales of Challengers. I obtained a wild card in Barcelona where I beat Larsson and Novak et cetera until Roland Garros where I beat Agassi then Kuerten, titleholder.

You had a desire for revenge against Agassi ?

Then, because I had tried such a feeling impotence in front of him as I wondered : " How can you make to manage to resist to him? " I did not have anything to lose, then I ran, ran, I held all that I was able to and I eventually won.

Do you think that this meeting Atlanta was the beginning of a history of which you go to know outcome this weekend in finale against France ?

Not really, at the time my dream was to go into the top 100. It was that priority objective, not Davis Cup. I didn’t care about it at all, in fact. I thought just of progressing, and of living my life, by knowing that if I arrived there it would indeed be for the team but consequently.
It was the first time in Atlanta that you are next to Yevgueni Kafelnikov...
Yes the first time. But in fact, one had not enormously spoken. I was shy, I didn’t know anybody, and I had no money to follow the others. I stayed in my hotel but it was nice all the same.

You spoke about some money that you had had the occasion to win in Davis Cup. You play today Davis Cup only for the honor either also for the money ?

It is not at all question of money in this finale of Davis Cup. We want to win it, and it is my unique motivation. One plays for our country, and for ourselves. Of some money one has many other occasions to win it. Davis Cup, it is something that you can not buy. If you want it, it is necessary to win it.
" Kafelnikov has his friends I have mine "


Did you make a pact with Kafelnikov because it will withdraw later finale ?

No, at all ! He has his life, I have mine. We are not so close as that one of the other one. We haven’t the same age, or the same past. We are two persons diametrically opposite. That is why, it is difficult to communicate. We make the same job, it is Davis Cup, it would be fantastic for the tennis in Russia which one wins, and one is both to give our maximum. But when business is ended, one says himself "ciao" and one leaves each of our quoted. One always greets itself, if one has the occasion to meet itself in the same evening no problems but he has his friends, I have mine.

Are not you afraid that after the pension people focus even more on you ?

No, I don’t think. I hate being the centre of all the attentions and to play " the new star of Russia " does not tempt me at all. Evgueni, it is really he the star !

>And for ever, considering what he carried out. I want to continue to play tennis, to take what it is possible to take and it is all ! It isn’t only " tennis, tennis, tennis ". When I shall stop, people will forget me.

A lot of people tries to get involved in your life. Do you accept it more easily now than you are more ripe ?

Yes but people spend time all the same sending me to the face all that I should not make my life and my career. They explain to me at what time I should to go to bed, at what time it would be necessary that I wake up, how to get dressed, what to eat, how to improve my forehand, how to change my backhand, to rise, not rise... That tires me! Then, I try simply to live my life, to make my work of the best possible, by choosing that I consider the best for me, and here is.
" I did not see for anybody that for myself "

But you live it better than in the past ?

Yes because now I answer. That does not please everybody moreover. But it is my life, and I make it of it whom I want. I did not see for anybody that for myself.

You produce of the big tennis when you succeed in disregarding besides. Of what do you need to create this absolute state of concentration?

What I need? I don’t know about it anything... If, you need to be satisfied with you. You have to fell who you are, and how is your game... On what you can lean and what you have to improve. You must know exactly what your game looks like. And it is everything. Later you have only to be allowed go. To avoid putting itself too much pressure. Because if you feel too much pressure, if everybody repeats you that it is necessary that you win 5 tournaments Grand Slam and at least 15 Masters Series, automatically, you put yourself pressure and you can not play tennis any more. You try, you re-try, but that does not work any more at all. Then you get excited even more. Not really best, to reach this state of concentration it is to manage to be relaxed. Then only you play well and victory is in the rear and you are happy.

Have you the inmost conviction to be a world number 1 potential ?

But I’m not the best player of the world ! I was but it was long ago, two years ago. It is not any more of current events, I am number 3.

But imagine sincerely you to be able to become again n°1?

(Bothered, he sigh for a long time) Mouais ! I believe it. But it is hard to judge itself. Well on, I hope for all my heart. But if I say : " yes I believe that I can become again n°1 world " and that I’m not him in the next months, the fellows are going to spend time wondering " Well, then that comes ? " And I shall feel a shape of pressure. All that I can say, it is that I have the feeling that my best years are in front of me. That I intend really to make all which is in my power to seize all the occasions which will appear to become again n°1. And if I do not arrive there that will not be the end of the world. It would be pity, obviously, but it is necessary to know how to be satisfied with what one has. And I shall add a thing : it doesn't much matter the number of tournaments of the Grand Slam which I shall take away. Because anyway, everybody will say that I would have been able to win much more! Nobody of it thought that I would be capable of winning an only Grand Slam. But since I won the US OPEN, everybody writes that I should have it to win the others.

It is maybe because of Open of Australia this year. You played magnificently and then in finale against Johansson, more anything...

You can’t play a tennis of dream every day like that to order. I put myself too much pressure. Everybody did not stop repeating me: " You have to win " , " You have to win " all day, from morning till night. Then I eventually believed in it and I have to begin to repeat : " I have to win "... But I had an opponent, Thomas Johansson. It is a great player when he is for the top. He beat Agassi in finale in Montreal, it isn’t a bad. In front of him this day there when I entered on the court, I was super stretched out. Because it was my birthday and because I did not want to lose the day of my birthday. I had full of tricks suck it and I am been supposed to be in quoted. Here we are, and there, I was really depressed in the end. It is the biggest stupidity that I committed of my life : the fact of being put in me so much pressure hard shoulders. But at the same time life continues. All this belongs henceforth to the past and I can not more make anything for it, at the really, I am on that one day this experience will serve me. It is the lesson that I learnt in my expense but an important lesson.
" We the Russians are different "

When you had beaten Pete Sampras in finale of the US OPEN, you had entered on the court the skin of a winner...

Yes I know but there that did not work. What may I make for it? To be more relaxed. OK but how ? " Be more positive " OK ? And what of the other one ? " You get excited for nothing " OK. You can say itself these things there on the court there are without unverifiable things. Agassi when he loses against Gomez in Roland Garros's finale (1990) it is not a question of tennis, it is because he was not mentally prepared.

But, 10 years later, he is still all the same the best player of the world, one of the best at least. Not really only solution consists in not taking too much itself and to work conscientiously.
Physically also...

But when shall I be able to work physically ? I have no time ! Since the US Open I did not stop ! Normally I had to make before Open of Australia, but with Davis Cup, it is not going to be possible. Because I need at least two weeks of holidays : to put the racket, to relax me, to take advantage of the life. I shall have no time to prepare 2003. I shall work between two tournaments, my physics, my technique and all which I need to be capable of becoming again n°1 world (big smile).

Can you explain why while you obtained very good results with Chesnokov, who led you hardly, you prefer henceforth fellow travellers to inflexible coaches?

In this time of my life, I was at the edge of the abyss. I had no more the other solutions to take out me of it that to execute orders. But I am two years old more, I travelled a lot, I acquired a lot of experience, I understood how's that worked. Then business it is well but priority in my life. I know what I need, at least, not of somebody who says to me permanently what I have to make. Regrettably we are to leave with Andrei and since it's true, I watch to keep a certain autonomy. I find that to have somebody on the back permanently on the back it is stressful and tiring.

How it was case with your first coach Rafael Mensua ?

No, with him it was different. We had become too close. He was as my brother. I knew him since very for a long time, and it is a little of my fault if one separated ; I had grown, I wanted to steal my own wings.

Tell us about a little of experience Wilander....

We, the Russians, have really a very special mentality. As human beings we are "different" . It is because of the communism. One had a childhood which has nothing of common with those of the others. One did not see the same cartoons.

Even you, you feel it so ?

Yes, I was 10 years old all the same when the country changed politics. It is the reason for which one has so much evil to be worked with foreigners. Kafelnikov knew success with Larry Stefanski, but most of the time, they do not understand our mentality. They do not understand our necessities. That works one moment, and then there is as a small grain of sand which puts itself in cogs, and which makes that that doesn’t work any more.

Could you describe us this Russian "difference"?

No I’m incapable of it. I know how in no way to analyze phenomenon in the detail. I know that that arrives all the time, it is everything. Various mentalities, various lives, various manners to react. How to explain it ? I am not Sigmund Freud !

You often say that it is necessary for you to choose between the business and the pleasure but which pleasure do you find in the business ?

I have really a beautiful life. I travel from a city to the other one by playing tennis. I return happy people, I have friends everywhere. Tennis, I see it as a sort of small world, rather nice. I make a profession by dream which is not maybe as easy as people imagine. They think that as soon as you stopped playing, you it steal sweet. It is not completely case. There is full of thing around the contests people of which have no idea : gym, massages, interviews, movements...

On the court you like sharing your feelings with the public. You make it spontaneously or because you feel that people wait for it ?

Generally, I make it naturally, by pleasure, for myself. But sometimes when there isn’t anything, when a contest is a little bit boring, I make a small funny trick which a little wakes the public. People paid to come to see itself, it is all the same the least things to give them something in exchange.

Aurora
03-20-2004, 01:51 PM
Jeeez Andrea, so much to read!

Shadow
03-20-2004, 02:12 PM
worth reading :p

Catsou
03-26-2004, 07:36 PM
http://www.nasdaq-100open.com/news/2004/interviews/0325b.html

MARAT SAFIN


THE MODERATOR: Please go ahead for Marat Safin.


Q. How do you feel coming here after last week?

MARAT SAFIN: It's another chance to win a couple of matches, to get the confidence back, and another try.


Q. Where is your confidence now?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, I didn't had the really good results for a couple of weeks, but I had also difficult draws. And also this week I am having a really tough first round, it's Blake or Spadea.

So I'll try to get over it and try to see if I can move on and I can play the same level as I played in Australia. I just need a little bit of luck, and I think is another great chance for me.


Q. Do you think you are in a good way?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I'm feeling good. Just circumstances are not really good for me. I'm just little bit unlucky with draws. First round against Federer, second round against Roddick. I was a little bit out of confidence.

If we go other way around, probably I would be in the same position as Federer right now.


Q. So you think you can beat these guys at least?

MARAT SAFIN: No, but it's not like I'm losing quite easily. That's what I'm saying, 7‑6, 7‑6 against Federer, it could go also my way. It's like lottery. The score 7‑6, 7‑6 could go any way.

So, unfortunately, didn't go my way. But there is always another chance.


Q. You trained in Valencia with Juan Carlos, right?

MARAT SAFIN: Not exactly.


Q. Not exactly?

MARAT SAFIN: Not exactly. One is from the same place, but different cities. I would live like around 60 miles away from each other.


Q. You know him pretty well?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, yeah. We been playing, I mean, we been traveling together in the same tournaments since we are 14.


Q. He doesn't seem to be a particularly popular champion here in the States. He's not in this tournament, but do you have any idea why that might be?

MARAT SAFIN: Who, Ferrero?


Q. Yes.

MARAT SAFIN: You asking me why Ferrero is not popular in Miami or in USA?


Q. USA.

MARAT SAFIN: Because, guys, I think that you have your own players and you like very much your players, the American ones. Nobody really cares about the Spanish players, especially here. Nobody cares about it.

Exactly also for the players from other countries. At least there is a lot of people, they know only Agassi, Roddick and Blake. I think it's normal.

Also, he is not also popular in Russia. Nobody knows him. Nobody cares about him. The people from Europe, yes, they know him, because he's traveling and he's playing in Europe.


Q. There have been players from Europe who have been very popular here ‑ Becker, Edberg. Do you think he hasn't won enough, or is it his style of play, his demeanor on the court?

MARAT SAFIN: We are talking about little bit different things. For all the respect for Ferrero and a lot of other guys, including me, who didn't achieve the same things as Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker. So this is probably the main reason.

Also, you have to see that lately, nobody should know ‑‑ I cannot even watch tennis on TV. Nobody shows tennis. And the way they show, there is some matches that nobody cares about them, so who's gonna watch? So how do you want to promote the players? How the people, they gonna understand who is who? They don't know who is who and they don't really care who is who because it's not interesting, because it's boring, and because you cannot even see them on TV.


Q. I guess I would still argue that you won one Slam; Juan Carlos has won one Slam.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. But, sorry, where you can see me on TV in the United States? Where? You think that they really care about Safin in a match in Indian Wells first round? Nobody cares.

For the same reason. Tennis is so ‑‑ they don't promote it very well. They don't get enough hours to show on TV because it's not entertaining anymore. That's the main reason. That's the main reason that the people like us, like Ferrero, Federer and Safin and Roddick ‑‑ okay, Roddick, because he is American, but normally, nobody really knows the players and not really interested to watch these kind of matches.


Q. So it's the media's fault?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know who's fault but definitely not mine. It's somebody who has to deal with ‑‑ for example, here's a person from ATP. You can blame them for that, for not promoting the tennis the way it should be promoted and not getting enough hours on the TV. It has to be either certain hours, so at least the people can see sometimes tennis.


Q. I guess I would still argue...

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's okay, you can argue. You don't have to tell me.


Q. You're more popular than a Ferrero. Spanish players in general have never been that popular, if you go back, in the States.

MARAT SAFIN: And? What's your point?


Q. I don't know.

MARAT SAFIN: But make your point. You don't know.


Q. Just wondering why. You lived in Spain. Is it something about...

MARAT SAFIN: It's nothing in particular about Spanish players. I mean, the Spanish players, they are quiet, famous enough in Europe. Maybe because their tennis is not really unbelievably attractive, could be one of the reasons. Could be.

But also, everybody has different character. But this kind of character that the Spanish people have, maybe they're not ‑‑ the people from the States don't like it; they want to see something else. They want to see like maybe a John McEnroe, they want to see Boris Becker, or they want to see big names, more interesting game. They want to see little bit serve and volley and some nice shots. You cannot see that from the Spanish players. Could be this is the reason.

I'm not taking away the achievements they had for the last past ‑‑ a lot of like, 10 years. Spanish tennis grew up a little bit ‑ quite a lot actually ‑ they have already 10 players in the Top 100. But somehow it's not that attractive for the people. Not for me, I don't really care.

But for me, they are tough opponents, but we are not talking about the issue. That's not the issue. It's about how attractive really is it or not.


Q. Do you like to watch the Spanish play?

MARAT SAFIN: I will not even watch tennis if I'm not playing. I had enough with my own problems, and I have enough with my own tennis. I won't go to see the match of... I don't know...


Q. Why did you choose Estoril for the clay court season instead of Valencia?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, because the people from Estoril, they wanted more than the people from Valencia.

I don't know. I choose it. It is my decision that I actually choose Estoril because it's ‑ I don't know ‑ it's nice place. Nice people. They always treated me well there, even though that I didn't play really well. And they want still me to come back and come back.

So I have to give them ‑‑ at least I feel like I have to try my best, you know, to improve my game there and to show the people that if I am coming there I want to play and I want to win the tournament. Because really I am coming for ‑‑ it's gonna be my fourth time there, and the maximum I got is quarterfinals. I definitely can do better than that.

It's also great preparation for me to, you know, to get the confidence, get the confidence and move on to the clay court season. It's a great, great, great tournament and great people. That's why main reason I am going there.


Q. What are your expectations with the European clay court season coming up?

MARAT SAFIN: It's difficult. Is one of the most difficult months that we have, because we have three Masters Series almost like in a row. So it's really difficult because the schedule is not really great for the players.

Because we have no time to rest and to get ready for another Masters Series. So basically you play Monte‑Carlo, you have Barcelona, you have Rome, Hamburg, and you are already end up in Roland Garros. So it's also too much frustrates for the players. It's really difficult to get focus on every particular tournament during this months because everything comes together. That's a little bit difficult, so you have to be mentally prepared.


Q. You were just talking about Andre before. Can you imagine playing as long as he is playing?

MARAT SAFIN: No. No.


Q. Why do you think he's having such success?

MARAT SAFIN: Because it's not like because he is Andre Agassi and he's the best of all times, blah‑blah‑blee, blah, blah, blah, I can move on like this for a long time. Just because he loves tennis, he feels like playing, he's really enjoying it, even at the age of 33 years old, and he's playing since he's 16. So calculate how many years he's on the tour. Still, to be in love with tennis as he is, I don't think that there are many players ‑‑ you cannot even count on one hand, not many players like this that will stay for a long time and really enjoys tennis and gives his best and try and try and try every year and be fit like he is fit, and beating most of the guys quite easily.

And even when he loses, he still continues to play and still continues to work. And he is a great professional athlete.

But, in my case, I don't think I'll be able to play against ‑‑ till the age of 34 because it's my character. But his character is completely different than most of the people. That's why he's one of the million.


Q. You were saying that you are really, really close to that top level. Where would you say in your game is the little, slight difference that you have to make to be there, exactly there, with those four or five names that are the ones that maybe sometimes make a problem for you?

MARAT SAFIN: But you cannot ‑‑ it's just ‑‑ every person has different mentality, okay. I have my own ‑‑ everybody like ‑‑ it's really difficult.


Q. Would you say is it confidence? Is it technical difference? Adjustments you have to make in your game?

MARAT SAFIN: But, okay. Very simple. The answer is really simple because the way that the level grew up in the past let's say five, six years, the way they improved, it's unbelievable. It wasn't like this when Becker used to play, when Edberg used to play, when Agassi started and Sampras and McEnroe was there.

It was like Top 10 ‑ let's put it this way, Top 20, and then the rest of the guys.

So that's why, because now tennis is more competitive, and it's more equal between the guy who was No. 1 in the world to like 99 in the world, even 100.


Q. I would agree you are there, in the top level.

MARAT SAFIN: I am there but also...


Q. What would be the difference that you have to make in order to achieve the next step?

MARAT SAFIN: There is no "another step." There is no another step. Because before, for example, take Roland Garros of '96 or beginning of the '90s when Becker used to play. First three rounds he is winning 6‑1, 6‑1, 6‑1, 6‑2, 6‑2, 6‑1 basically.

Once he has a tough match because he felt like he doesn't want to play this day and he was bored, because he fight with his girlfriend, for example, and he make a difficult match.

But at the end, he is winning so easily until semifinals. Semifinals he gets the match against Edberg. Then starts the tournament basically for him.

Then he plays against Edberg, then the finals against McEnroe.

Now, try to win the first match. I have match against Blake or Spadea. They are unbelievable players. Then if I win, I have to play against Nalbandian. If I win, I have to play against another like ‑ I don't know ‑ Roger Federer, for example. I'm not even in the quarterfinals. So I have to work my ass off just to get to the quarterfinals.

It's also difficult to maintain this level because it's like it's physically it's much tougher than it used to be. Every day, it's every day. Why do people, they get injured so fast and so much? Everybody's injured. Everybody suffered like the ‑‑ they have to go to make surgeries.

Tommy Haas, he was out for one year and a half because of the schedule, because of the level of the game, and because it's really competitive. You have to give every time 100 percent. If you don't give 100 percent, you are out.

And for how long, how many weeks you can ‑‑ your body is able to compete on the same level? If you make two, two weeks in a row, you are unbelievable strong. Three, you are amazing. But no more than three.

But, for example, that's what I'm talking before. In May we have three Masters Series. Try to play the same level, try to win all three of them ‑ no chance.


Q. Not possible?

MARAT SAFIN: For sure you will make ‑‑ okay, if you win one, you will lose...


Q. If you make it, you will be bad the rest of the year.

MARAT SAFIN: I think we're playing not ‑‑ we're playing the same level of Becker and Edberg.


Q. But not every day?

MARAT SAFIN: But not every day.


Q. It's impossible to maintain that every day?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, because like you have a tough match. The next day you have another tough match. The third day your body cannot do anymore, no matter how many hours you spend in the gym.


Q. When were you in Spain? What years did you train there?

MARAT SAFIN: From '94 to 2001.


FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

Shadow
03-26-2004, 07:51 PM
lmao! Hillarious! :lol: speaking of "expressing your opinion" ;) gotta love him.

just one thing: stop with the lottery and luck thing :p

Aurora
03-26-2004, 08:28 PM
I screamed against my comp screen, jeez someone has gotta get that luck-thing out of his head. ok, you can put too much weight on a tiebreak and crucial points, but he's exaggerating the other way around. but I'm still hoping that's just press-talk and in his head he's willing to give his all without thinking too much lotterystuff.

Just because Fortune is a Lady you shouldn't think she's always on your side, pretty boy!

Jessi
03-26-2004, 09:07 PM
this talk about luck is getting really annoying. Anyway, i take it as a sign that his confidence is low.

Jessi
03-26-2004, 09:11 PM
The rest of the interview is great though. I especially love how he puts idiot journos in their place.

Q. I guess I would still argue...

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's okay, you can argue. You don't have to tell me.


Q. You're more popular than a Ferrero. Spanish players in general have never been that popular, if you go back, in the States.

MARAT SAFIN: And? What's your point?


Q. I don't know.

MARAT SAFIN: But make your point. You don't know.

:clap2:

Kiara
03-26-2004, 11:14 PM
I sense that Ferrero is not loved! :( hmph!

Kiara
03-26-2004, 11:25 PM
"I don't know who's fault but definitely not mine" Im totally taking this out of context and I know that it's terrible but ....hehehe :devil:

Cris
03-27-2004, 02:22 AM
Very interesting reading! :D Thanks!

Agree with you, Marat should stop with this talk about luck and work hard to reach the top.

Aurora
03-27-2004, 11:47 AM
:confused: I don't know what Ferrero has gotta do to get more love and credit, a Grand Slam? Stop being so damn cute and hot? Get an even more attractive accent in English? A hotter girlfriend? Really, it's beyond me :shrug:

BelgianWaffle
03-27-2004, 01:08 PM
BLAH-BLAH-BLEE BLAH BLAH ?!
:haha:

Vass
03-27-2004, 02:00 PM
Q. I guess I would still argue...

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's okay, you can argue. You don't have to tell me.

:haha: :haha:

Vass
03-27-2004, 02:02 PM
I screamed against my comp screen, jeez someone has gotta get that luck-thing out of his head. !

Do you think that we as his carring fans should consider shock therapy?

Kiara
03-27-2004, 03:41 PM
:confused: I don't know what Ferrero has gotta do to get more love and credit, a Grand Slam? Stop being so damn cute and hot? Get an even more attractive accent in English? A hotter girlfriend? Really, it's beyond me :shrug:

he's adored in Spain and most parts of europe as well so it's not like he's ignored everywhere he goes, but it wouldnt kill him to brush up on his english ;)

Kiara
03-27-2004, 04:02 PM
hee :D ! Thanks Dream, happy birthday to you too, hope you have a good one :kiss:

:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

Shadow
03-27-2004, 10:14 PM
V. SPADEA/M. Safin
7-6, 6-7, 6-4

An interview with:

MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat, please.

Q. Even if you lost today, did you play a pretty good match of tennis?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but I'm not satisfied definitely with my performance today. I should have won. Unfortunately, wasn't my day today. Luck wasn't on my side. I had chances; I couldn't take them.

So that's why Vince, he was all the match there, and he deserve to win.

Q. When you woke up in the morning and you saw such a strong wind, what was your first reaction?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it's the conditions that you have to accept. I mean, if you want to win. There might be a big change in the weather. Like it's not gonna be so windy for the rest of the week. Also the draw is different. Nalbandian, he withdraw.

So it's a little bit open. You have a lot of chances. This kind of matches, you just have to win no matter what, the way you play, even if you play bad.

Q. What did Vince do that really bothered you? It seemed like you were not passing him well at the net. Was that more you or him?

MARAT SAFIN: It's not like he was serve and volleying. He was just playing on the baseline, try to be solid. I couldn't take my chances. That's the problem. I had my chances in the first set on the tiebreak, a lot of breakpoints, and whenever he had the chance he took it so...

Q. Now that the match is over, the overrule on matchpoint, you're standing right over the ball. In or out?

MARAT SAFIN: It was in. But is the same way, it could be on his side and could be overrule. So it's nothing. I have to give him point. It could be other way around, right?

Q. You had a play on the ball as well?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, I'm not shouting at the umpires to say that the ball is out. I was playing and I was like, I was there. I didn't make anything just to show that the ball is out, so...

Q. When you get into a tight situation in the third set, because he had a three-setter already, does Vince have an advantage?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it has nothing to do. Is just the situation. It's who gonna take the first advantage, you know, the first two points of the game. And if it's 30-all, so of course I'm gonna be a little bit tight because it's like two points away from -- one point away from matchpoint and I can lose it. He knows this, he knows that it's like very important point. So you have to concentrate as maximum as you can. And with a little bit of luck, with a decision that you make, sometimes you have to go for it. He went for it, and he deserve it.

Q. Does Vince return your serve as well as any player?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. But sometimes he was like -- a few games he was returning well and then sometimes he was trying to defense. So basically, it's okay. I mean, you can play with him. It's not like he making winners all over the court without giving you a chance and he doesn't put too much pressure on his serve.

On his second serve, yeah, but it also depends the way he serve, how short he can serve, and also with these conditions, for one side the ball is -- the wind is blowing. So it's gonna be -- the ball's gonna be shorter. And then he attacks.

But also he went to defense straightaway.

Q. Do you have any recommendations to Patrick McEnroe as to whether Vince should be playing Davis Cup?

MARAT SAFIN: He's old enough to decide by himself (laughter).

Q. What do you need to reach your best level?

MARAT SAFIN: A little bit of confidence, a little bit of luck. I take my chances that I didn't take the past four weeks. I had chances in all my matches, and I just couldn't take them. Something is missing. Maybe is a little bit of luck, maybe is a little bit of decision in my shots and be more aggressive or be more sure. Confidence.

Q. Your shots...?

MARAT SAFIN: The backhand is okay, forehand. But it also matters when I get to the point you have to make the shot, when you have to make down the line or when you have to make short cross-court, you need to have the confidence to do that shot.

Q. Do you think it also could just be the winning feeling, because you come into tournaments and have to play great players right away, so you have no time to build up?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, I cannot blame anybody to the draws they have. Of course I don't have the best draws of my life, but this is the situation. But also it happens to them. I don't think they would really like to play against me. But somehow they are beating me. So we are both in the same situation.

Q. You're playing doubles with Mark Philippoussis. How did that pairing come about? Have you ever played with him before?

MARAT SAFIN: I never played with him. I was looking for my partner because I was supposed to play with Nicolas Escude. He got injured. I was looking around for somebody who was gonna play doubles. He was looking also. So we decided to play, no.

Q. Do you play doubles more for practice, for fun?

MARAT SAFIN: It's kind of a practice. It's also -- it's more than practice. Of course if you win, it's more than a practice. But it's great. It feels great.

But mostly, it's because you can practice your volleying, you can improve serve, return, so just not to forget how to play tennis.

Q. So at one point you went to throw your racquet because you're angry, then you didn't. The next point, you said, "The heck with it," is that something you felt like you needed to do?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah... Just sometimes you need to do it because you cannot -- because you are boiling inside and you really feel that it would be maybe - I don't know, just improve something. Because you cannot, because you are making mistakes and have the mistakes and you are really trying your best and it's not working this way, your way.

So you cannot anymore. I couldn't. So that's why I had to throw the racquet. In a way, it helped me.

Q. You were down 3-0 in that second-set tiebreak. It seemed like...

MARAT SAFIN: No, I come back. I come back. But didn't do anything special for me.

Q. Was there anything that surprised you about his game since it's your first time playing him?

MARAT SAFIN: No, nothing surprised. I was expecting him to play this way, be solid from the baseline, aggressive on return, serve not bad but not really unbelievable so they cannot giving you any chance on his serve.

But he's very solid player. He has a lot of experience. He knows how to play. He knows where to be at the right moment, the right place, the decision he is making. He's a clever, clever player.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

maratski
03-27-2004, 11:20 PM
:rolleyes: Marat

Jessi
03-27-2004, 11:25 PM
gosh, he sounds like a broken record :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Jessi
03-28-2004, 07:29 AM
lol Tangy. Marat has a "coach". *cough* What he needs is a psychologist.

Aurora
03-28-2004, 12:51 PM
can't we like "blank" some parts of his mind? or maybe turn his head off during matches? I don't know :shrug:

merle
03-29-2004, 12:41 PM
gosh, he sounds like a broken record :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Well, it would be funny if it wasn't so sad! :sad: :sad: :sad:

Kiara
03-29-2004, 02:27 PM
lol Tangy. Marat has a "coach". *cough* What he needs is a psychologist.

No,he doesnt have a coach, he has a dependant that likes to eat yoghurt and chew gum during his matches. ;)

He needs a qualified coach badly, Denis barely gets through challengers, as kind as Marat is to give Denis a job and pay for his plane tickets and food and clothes and etc etc etc what he needs is someone who can help him work out strategies and come up with a game plans, I doubt Denis would know a game plan if it fell on his head.

Regardless, I do think it's wise to have D tagging along, Marat needs a friend and no doubt he finds that in Denis.
Plus it's fun to tease them about being lovers, and Denis is OK to look it ;)

Why does Alex Volkov need to have a family and a business to take care of anwway :rolleyes: ;)
That what he needs someone he respects and looks upto, and as a former top 20 Volkov knew his tennis.

maratski
03-29-2004, 03:51 PM
Am I dreaming or have I already read that post elsewhere? ;)

BelgianWaffle
04-02-2004, 04:50 PM
No,he doesnt have a coach, he has a dependant that likes to eat yoghurt and chew gum during his matches. ;)

He needs a qualified coach badly, Denis barely gets through challengers, as kind as Marat is to give Denis a job and pay for his plane tickets and food and clothes and etc etc etc what he needs is someone who can help him work out strategies and come up with a game plans, I doubt Denis would know a game plan if it fell on his head.

Regardless, I do think it's wise to have D tagging along, Marat needs a friend and no doubt he finds that in Denis.
Plus it's fun to tease them about being lovers, and Denis is OK to look it ;)

Why does Alex Volkov need to have a family and a business to take care of anwway :rolleyes: ;)
That what he needs someone he respects and looks upto, and as a former top 20 Volkov knew his tennis.

don't care if it has been posted somewhere else, it's true :p
well said :)

Shadow
04-20-2004, 06:54 PM
An interview with:

MARAT SAFIN
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. There is a difference here between this tournament and the other one, the balls and the..?
MARAT SAFIN: It's a little bit different because the balls are flying a little bit more, courts are little bit faster, and of course there's less wind. It's little bit better conditions, but it's also very difficult to change from one courts to another courts. It takes a little bit of time.
Also, I don't like to play against Olivier Rochus. It's little bit tough for me. He has very good hands, is very fast. He knows how to play. So for me, it was very important and very tough first round. It's just a big win for me.

Q. Were you tired at all?
MARAT SAFIN: No, I wasn't tired. I just was a little bit frustrated in the first set because I couldn't take my chances, because I had a lot of breakpoints and just I couldn't make any of them.
So then I thought that in the second set he would play with little bit more of confidence and would be very tough. But I stayed there, and made the break when I need to make. And I was all the time there, was doing well and playing good tennis.

Q. You're a very all court player. Do you think you have on clay the same chances you have on hard court? Do you feel the same?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I really like and I really enjoy to play on clay. I think it's still my best surface to play on.

Q. What are your goals for this year?
MARAT SAFIN: Still try to be more consistent as I can.
Then there's the hope that I can be in the Top 3, fight for No. 1. Federer, he is playing well, but also is just the beginning of the year. Still is a few months to go, three Grand Slams to play, a lot of Masters Series still to come.
But try to be consistent, and we can see at the end of the summer.

Q. Do you think that of all your opponents Federer is definitely one step up above everybody else?
MARAT SAFIN: I don't really think so. With all the respect, he plays great tennis. I know everybody knows that he's very talented, very good, and on all surfaces.
But also, other players also can play, but they're not used to play against him. So until they will discover how to play against him, it will take time. But I think that in this at this level, there is everybody is playing more or less equal. But because he has the confidence and he won the Australian Open, so he is playing on the confidences he got from there.

Q. You have a new coach. Why did you take this choice? What do you expect?
MARAT SAFIN: Because with Denis, it got to the point where you cannot just business and friendship does not go together at all, because I don't want to lose him as a friend. He's more important for me as a friend than as a coach. Every lose, you take it very personally, you get a little bit down, you know, like he is not really good not communication , how you say? Feelings. We playing little bit with the feelings of each other.
Peter Lundgren, he's a professional tennis coach. He been traveling with Rios, he been traveling with Federer. He knows how to deal with it. Also, he can put me in he can explain to me a couple of things that probably I should know.
And I want to try, I want to try to work. And if it will help me, it will be great. I am going to try until Wimbledon.

Q. How about Mirnyi, is he going to be tough for you?
MARAT SAFIN: Very difficult. Because the courts are little bit fast. He has a kind of game that he doesn't let you play, without rhythm. He serves well. No baseline, basically, and very good volleys. Anticipation, quite good. He chooses the ways that the game all of a sudden, you're playing from the baseline, you can find him at the net from out of nowhere. So this kind of game you have to be focused on the return and try to fight for every ball and just give everything back, and so he will see that it's tough from the beginning and he has to be very, very focus to beat me.

Q. Are you going to the football tonight?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. What do you think about the match? Give us your preview.
MARAT SAFIN: I'm for the football, I don't care who gonna win. I want to see beautiful football. But it's one of the matches you go to the stadium and the score is 0 0. So I don't think it's gonna happen tonight, otherwise, I will be really frustrated.
But I hope they can show really good football. Of course Monaco has to win, but I got the tickets from the Chelsea so I have to support them also (smiling).

Q. From Mr. Abramovich?
MARAT SAFIN: Yes.

Q. Do you know him?
MARAT SAFIN: No, not personally. Friend of the friend of the friend of the concierge of the hotel where he is staying (laughing).

maratski
04-20-2004, 07:54 PM
I love the end :haha:

Vass
04-20-2004, 10:11 PM
I love the end :haha:
Me too! :lol: I didn't laugh for quite some time on his interviews, and was afraid that the only thing that changed in him form before is the sense of huimour. Ha! That was just bad mood from loses. Keep the humour up Marat!

PennyThePenguin
04-21-2004, 02:00 AM
i love that last part too... the sense of humour's still working quite well. and the journalists... :rolleyes:

junekidd
04-21-2004, 02:27 AM
I agree with you, a perfect end! the sence of humour is the same as ever before! :)

Billabong
04-21-2004, 03:29 AM
Thanks Knuddel:)!

Shadow
04-21-2004, 08:30 PM
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat.

Q. You were feeling that you stepped it up from yesterday's match?
MARAT SAFIN: It was completely different kind of matches, but this kind of match is the most difficult one. Yesterday, I could play tennis and I could just lose it because I was missing or because the other guy was better.
But these kind of matches, the guy is completely destroying your game. He has no rhythm, he goes to the net, he serves well. (He/you) can lose very easy the confidence. Or if you lose the concentration, you are out of the match and you cannot come back.
For me, it's like it's a really big step, a huge win. These kind of matches you have to really focus and really win. Otherwise, if it goes three sets, you never know how it's gonna end up.

Q. What did you think of him today?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, you already know what you gonna expect from him. He's gonna change the game, he's gonna play on the baseline and start to make rallies. He plays everywhere the same - on grass, hard courts, indoors, clay.
When he has good days, he can serve well. You just have no chance to break him. He take chances on the serve.
But I think he played whatever he could, I mean...
I don't think he can play any better on clay because just is not his game.

Q. Your motivation now is to show Safin to somebody, to yourself first for sure? You have any goal? What do you have in your mind, just to win, what you want to win, to become something?
MARAT SAFIN: No, just I have another week of matches I'm trying to play. Just match by match. And I can easily can say I have a very good draw, I play next round against Devilder or Arthurs. You cannot just throw away these opportunities to get little bit closer to the final.
And take the points from here. That's my goal, to take them and be and stay in the race, in the Top 3 in the race, and be consistent - as consistent as I can be. I don't want to do miracles. If I win this thing, it will be great for me. If I don't, I lose, but at least I keep my game, score the points, and move on. That's it.
Be consistent, is the most important thing for me right now.

Q. Have you discovered a new way of life? You talk a lot about fishing.
MARAT SAFIN: No, life. But it's like -- it seems like for the people is a miracle whenever we're talking about life. It seems like that there is only tennis and there is nothing else outside of the court. But it's not like this. Everybody knows this, and everybody's enjoying doing other things rather than tennis. I know, I had one year of vacations, I could do whatever I want and I was enjoying, like a normal guy of 24 years old - 23.

Q. Do you think it's more difficult to play and to focus in a place like this? Like he said, is it more difficult to...
MARAT SAFIN: Sometimes it's difficult to find motivation in the first rounds just because of the -- sometimes it's difficult just to push yourself to win the tough matches like, for example, today and the match of yesterday. You have to find the extra motivation to win these matches.
So of course when you get to the quarterfinals and semifinals, it's very interesting because you're playing a big time, you're playing for the points, you're playing for the crowd, the crowd is coming and you have big matches. That's where you enjoy more. For example, me. The first two rounds, nobody enjoys. It's hell. So you need to fight and push yourself just to give an extra something to win and just go through in and take the confidence out of these two matches.

Q. If there is a big crowd, there is a big difference for you?
MARAT SAFIN: For everybody.

Q. You need the atmosphere? Some players couldn't care less.
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, sure, whatever they can say. But I'm sure that they are not really happy to play in an empty court when even the courts doesn't want to watch this match. I am sure they are happy about this.
Whenever people, they tell you they don't like the spectators to watch, it's a bullshit, completely bullshit.

Q. What did you think - changing the sport - what did you think of the game yesterday, Chelsea football?
MARAT SAFIN: Oh, okay. It was great. I mean, I was surprised for the players, they like to simulate a lot. They're falling and they're fighting, he almost broke his leg and after two minutes he is up and he runs again.
But it's really interesting. It's really good to see life. But the seats that we had were not really good. But it's okay. It was good atmosphere. I am happy for them, for Monaco, that they won against -- 10 guys against 11. Even if I got the tickets from Chelsea, so...
I'm happy for them (smiling).

Q. Did you see the match until the end or you left before?
MARAT SAFIN: No, five minutes before. Otherwise...

Q. They were leading 3-1?
MARAT SAFIN: 3-1, yeah. Good fight.

Q. How much do you like when people says, "Oh, we are very happy because Safin is back"? I mean, your friends, your colleague, players, what do you think it means for tennis if Safin is back and everybody is happy? Because you are good character, because you are nice guy?
MARAT SAFIN: This is the things that is most annoying, actually.

Q. Really?
MARAT SAFIN: Of course. Of course it's annoying. Of course like everybody's happy, sure, "Marat comes back, he's playing great tennis, I'm really happy for you." Come on.
Seriously, whenever you are losing, like, "It's his fault." Whenever he is winning, "that's us." That's the team, the people. And whenever the guy is losing, whenever he has two, three, four matches, bad matches, "It's his fault," "He doesn't want to practice," "He doesn't want to do this," "He doesn't want..." "He doesn't want..." "He doesn't need..." "He doesn't care..." He doesn't whatever they want to say.
But then when everything goes well, everybody is like -- all of a sudden there are coming friends from out of the -- from behind the stone and they are saying, "Oh, my God, he's back finally, and I was there to help him out."
So it's a little bit annoying, and also it's annoying when the people, they come to you and they try to explain to you, "But maybe you should have a little bit -- you will be more calm, you will be much better..."
Yeah, but normally - is also another thing - is all the time who says this, they're normally losers. Because they don't know how much time, how much dedication, how much it takes to be where I am right now.
And of course there is not such a thing as a perfect player; it doesn't exist. It has to be a balance. So of course if you take out of my serve, would be with me, so maybe I would have better head. But because I have a serve or because I have this kind of game, that's why I have this head, and I have to deal with that. I know that's my problem. I cannot change it. Nobody can change it. I can improve it a little bit. But it's my head, it's the way I am. It's how I am. It's no chance I can be different.
So whenever they start to teach you and explain to you...

Q. Yeah, but it's good. But so much people, they are happy you are there. They are not happy if there is no Kafelnikov, maybe. But if you are there, maybe they are happy.
MARAT SAFIN: Okay, good for them.

Q. Who cares? For you is not important?
MARAT SAFIN: Not important. But just, you know, don't get too excited when I am winning, and don't get too depressed when I am losing. Just, you know, keep it cool.

Q. Do you think the way you are in your head, it can work for you at one stage?
MARAT SAFIN: How I am in my head?

Q. In your favor, yes. I mean, being a little different.
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but, darling, come on, I have quite decent career. For me, for myself, I had very good career. Of course, it's of course -- better is better than good.
Yeah, I could be better if I will be improve, and I will be...

Q. That's not what I mean. Do you think it can work in your favor at one stage?
MARAT SAFIN: Of course. It's working. It's working. If I will be in different case, maybe I will not be where I am right now. Just I am there because how I am.
I would not be better than I am, for sure. It's impossible. That's the maximum that I could achieve.

Q. You cannot be better than you are now, that's what you think?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, at the time, of course if I will have more years of playing, of course I have more chances of winning Grand Slams or winning the other tournaments.
So at the end of the day, I will be who I am, and I will win how much I could to win. I will never win -- like, for example, people, they come to me and they say I should have won already five Grand Slams. Yeah, but, sorry, but... I couldn't. For some reasons, I couldn't.
I wish also, but it doesn't work this way.
And also it's No. 1 in the world from outside, watching from the TV. I could be even coach of football team. You know what I'm saying? Everybody is smarter from outside of the court.
But in the court, is little bit different. It's little bit different. You see different, and you feel, and you play sometimes against yourself. And it's really -- sometimes you are little bit, you know, you have to fight against yourself. It's really sometimes difficult to push. Sometimes you are scared, sometimes you are choking, sometimes you are not feeling confident, sometimes you are too confident, which is also bad.
It's sport.

Q. What are you feeling now? What is your current...
MARAT SAFIN: Just I want to keep it cool and just go match by match. I have long, long, long months. Long months. We have a lot of tournaments. If I get too excited right now, maybe I will be burned out by the time it's French Open.
So try to get as much confidence as you can, and go strong in the French Open.

Shadow
04-21-2004, 08:55 PM
http://montecarlo.masters-series.com/1005//audio_rx.asp

audio clip

Vass
04-21-2004, 09:12 PM
This is such a funny interview! He cracks me up again! "bullshit" , "come on , Darling," :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

His swearing isn't vulgar at all.

maratski
04-21-2004, 09:28 PM
Q. Who cares? For you is not important?
MARAT SAFIN: Not important. But just, you know, don't get too excited when I am winning, and don't get too depressed when I am losing. Just, you know, keep it cool.

:rolleyes:

PennyThePenguin
04-22-2004, 02:53 AM
ooohhh... that statement's for us...

and besides...who's he calling depressed! we get pissed off! just like he probably does anyway! :)

Vass
04-22-2004, 06:54 AM
ooohhh... that statement's for us...

and besides...who's he calling depressed! we get pissed off! just like he probably does anyway! :)
LOL!! :D

Vass
04-22-2004, 07:10 AM
Q. Who cares? For you is not important?
MARAT SAFIN: Not important. But just, you know, don't get too excited when I am winning, and don't get too depressed when I am losing. Just, you know, keep it cool.

:rolleyes:
NO WAY MARAT! WE like you more than you do, and we are more interested in tennis than you are.

Shadow
04-22-2004, 12:00 PM
LOL!

He might not understand why we are so passionate about him winning or losing.
Marat, its not easy to stay cool with a guy like you in both ways, hehe.

Shadow
04-22-2004, 12:03 PM
He did pointed out, that if he didnt have that head he has, he would probably not have that game. Oh well, its upsetting tho.

Shadow
04-22-2004, 08:20 PM
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's always strange to play a guy like Arthurs on clay?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, a little bit. Very difficult, is very difficult for me to play against him - actually, for everybody to play on hard courts, indoors, grass. But on clay, it's completely different story.
He really serves well. But for him, here, it's too slow so he cannot play.

Q. You were playing some good variation shots in the second set. Were you happy with your shot-playing?
MARAT SAFIN: You try to do everything. You try to get all the balls back so it doesn't get complicated. So basically you do whatever you want. If it becomes a good shot, great for me.
But you try to put all the returns back, let him play from the rally, because it can get very complicated and then it's difficult to play.

Q. You're surrounded by Argentinians in the top half of the draw. What do you think, is it more difficult than the lower part?
MARAT SAFIN: But I don't know.

Q. You have Calleri, Coria...
MARAT SAFIN: Calleri beat Martin?

Q. Martin's winning. Martin was serving for the match. Sorry.
MARAT SAFIN: Still, I have one match to go to meet the -- they gonna have a difficult match, still.
Nalbandian, I don't know if he gonna beat Santoro. Then Coria has to play against the winner of them. So still long way to go.

Q. You played Mirnyi and now Arthurs, different kind of players. Now you have to adjust to the clay.
MARAT SAFIN: Different kind of players?

Q. Very different.
MARAT SAFIN: From each other or from other players?

Q. No, from the other.
MARAT SAFIN: It's good. It's better to get through this way than making a lot of kilometers against Argentinians or Spanish.

Q. You're starting a new tournament now.
MARAT SAFIN: Yep. I hope it will be successful.

Q. Are you surprised about the results of Davydenko? I mean, he's beating everybody very easily.
MARAT SAFIN: This guy is very, very strange. I mean, he can play great tennis but then all of a sudden he can lose to anybody. But I think he has great hands, very fast. I mean, he's very skinny, but he's really, really fast guy and he really plays well. I mean, he beat very easy Corretja. He beat very easy Ljubicic. So he must be playing well.
Who he plays next round?

Q. Either Moya or Chela.
MARAT SAFIN: Well, it's tough match, Moya or Chela. He can give trouble to any of them. It's gonna be interesting match tomorrow also.

maratski
04-22-2004, 08:24 PM
I was about to post it lol

PennyThePenguin
04-23-2004, 01:40 AM
This is such a funny interview! He cracks me up again! "bullshit" , "come on , Darling," :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

His swearing isn't vulgar at all.

like you vass, i'm sure he has a vulgarity filter :haha:

maybe he saves his best for the locker room.

PennyThePenguin
04-23-2004, 01:41 AM
"Still, I have one match to go to meet the -- they gonna have a difficult match, still.
Nalbandian, I don't know if he gonna beat Santoro. "

is it me or does he sound a little scared of santoro? anyway, no worries there, santoro lost didn't he?

Shadow
04-23-2004, 01:18 PM
Q. How much difficult is it to watch the beautiful sea and don't go there, don't take a boat?

MARAT SAFIN: Don't worry. I will have many years afterwards to enjoy it (smiling).

Q. But today.

MARAT SAFIN: It's little bit -- in the summer, in the summer. Now, I have to separate little bit pleasure with the business. I choose business these couple of months, work hard. After Wimbledon I take a few weeks of vacations, and I will enjoy it.

Q. You like to go on the ship, I mean...?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, go fishing. Just one week on a boat. I don't want to see anybody.

Q. On your own?

MARAT SAFIN: Not on my own, my friends. Somebody has to cook, right (laughter)?

Q. Only cook?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. What else I need?

Q. I don't know.

MARAT SAFIN: You are hot temper, like hot Italian man. You always think about one thing.

Q. The Italian and Russian are not very different.

MARAT SAFIN: No, because we have already too much of this. So already we get to another stage where sometimes you need to rest even from this (smiling).

Q. You become older, but he is not.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, he becomes younger (laughter). Is good...

Q. I have more appetite, you know.

MARAT SAFIN: Appetite coming with the food.

Q. Have you discovered a new way of life? You talk a lot about fishing.

MARAT SAFIN: No, life. But it's like -- it seems like for the people is a miracle whenever we're talking about life. It seems like that there is only tennis and there is nothing else outside of the court. But it's not like this. Everybody knows this, and everybody's enjoying doing other things rather than tennis. I know, I had one year of vacations, I could do whatever I want and I was enjoying, like a normal guy of 24 years old - 23.

PennyThePenguin
04-23-2004, 01:48 PM
fishing... fishing... cooking...eating... hmm... anyone who didn't know the guy would think he was a mild, placid man.

of course, we know otherwise.

Shadow
04-23-2004, 07:10 PM
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat, please.
Q. From the seats, it was a strange match. You looked in control of the match when it first started, then everything went bad, then you came back. What happened exactly?
MARAT SAFIN: No, but just a little bit difficult for me to play after the matches that I played against Mirnyi and Arthurs, then to go and completely change the game, to switch and to play also great match against Martin. Because, yeah, you can play one set, but then he start to get used to the fast, fast rallies. So the only thing he could try to do is to make me play an extra ball. So it also is, for me, is difficult to adjust myself.
So I little bit had the match in control. I breaked in the second set, first game. But then he start to play better. He started to miss less. I was trying maybe to go for too much. I start to rush a little bit.
But then by the time I realize it, it was already the end of the second set. I tried. He played well.
And the third set I just had to hold my serve and wait for the opportunity and take it.

Q. Towards the end of the second set you were touching your back. Did you have problems or..?
MARAT SAFIN: No, just a little bit of recharge. Because for two weeks, a lot of matches. So it's kind of...
No problem.

Q. You stay in Monte-Carlo? You live in Monte -Carlo?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, whenever I can.

Q. Where exactly?
MARAT SAFIN: Upstairs, in Park St. Roman.

Q. So you just walk from there?
MARAT SAFIN: No, but I stay in the hotel.

Q. Yes? Why?
MARAT SAFIN: Because the hotel room is bigger than my apartment (laughter).

Q. What is most difficult for you on clay, to adjust to clay? You played a lot on clay when you were very young. What is it?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but it's, for everybody, is a big change. You have to play an extra few balls. You have to prepare more the point. You cannot just play fast shot and go to the net and whatever, and wait for the short ball.
Here, we have to play. You make him run, and you have to wait, wait, wait. You cannot just make winners all over the court because it's a little bit slower, the bounce is little bit higher. The serve doesn't work this way like it works on the hard courts. So you have to play, you have to be consistent, you have to be focused a little bit more and wait for an extra ball, because it's always coming back. You have to finish the point, like, properly.

Q. What is difficult for you? Is it the concentration more than the physical part or technical part?
MARAT SAFIN: Just be, you know, be focused during all the match because the match is very long and the other opponent has a lot of opportunities to come back because it's very slow, so he also thinks. And, you know, it takes time.
On hard courts maybe it's very fast because it's just fast, fast, and two points and one bad return from him and just one double-fault and I play a good shot, and that's it, the game is over.

Q. So next - Coria or Nalbandian. What can you say about that?
MARAT SAFIN: They're pretty similar players. They're playing the same , all the same game. They attack whenever they can, they like to control the point, they don't like to be dominated. And of course they are running fast, they have very good -- well, good legs, good hands.
So you have to be -- but it's a kind of similar Spanish style. You have to push them and be in control of all the match from the beginning. Otherwise, it's a little bit difficult. Because once they start to be confident and then it's difficult to turn the other way around.

Q. Are you ready physically?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. Semifinals, it's a great motivation for me to get into the finals.

Q. First time?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, so it's good. So I hope I have a little bit of luck tomorrow, I'll have more opportunities that I can finish in two sets. But just have to be really, really focused for that, have to really play well, have to serve well, be consistent to not make a lot of unforced errors, be there all the match.

Q. Do you get the feeling, Marat, that this could be a very good year for you? Are you beginning to feel in yourself that this could be a good time?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, well, just...

Q. You give that impression.
MARAT SAFIN: You cannot be so sure, you know, the year is gonna be really good for you. Because once you start to feel this , once you start to have this feeling, you have bad luck or you're not playing -- you start to play not really well, you have bad draws. So you never know.
For example, me, I had -- for all the months of February, I had Federer first round, Roddick I had, and so it wasn't like really they beat me, it was just a matter of two points - 7-6, 7-6 against Federer. Roddick was a little bit lucky in the first set, so in the second set I felt a little bit frustrated so I didn't play.
These kind of matches, they cut your motivation.

Q. Yeah.
MARAT SAFIN: But once it's starting all over again, played well in Estoril, playing well here. Will try to have a rest next week, then Rome, Hamburg and French Open and then slow down a little bit, prepare for the grass, a big tournament in Wimbledon, and we'll see how it's gonna go.
Then I will take a few months -- a few weeks off before the big -- before I go to the States.

Q. It seems as though you're enjoying it, you're getting a lot of enjoyment out of it.
MARAT SAFIN: You have to prepare. You have to prepare a little bit. It has to be -- of course if you don't enjoy it, it's really difficult for me to play. Just it's really difficult. Otherwise, sometimes it's a little bit boring. So you have to make it very interesting for yourself not to get bored, because it's really difficult job and it's really difficult thing to travel around the world and living in a -- traveling with a suitcase and living in hotel rooms.
So you have to make it interesting.

Q. You have to be motivated?
MARAT SAFIN: Of course. If you are winning, it's great. But whenever you have two big losses, then it's like everything goes down and you have to really push yourself a little bit to work on something. It's tough, but...

Q. Do you think that you take losses harder than most?
MARAT SAFIN: Not anymore. Not anymore. Yeah, I'm get frustrated on the court whenever I'm losing; everybody does. But outside the court I am taking very easy right now because my time will come. Whenever I have the opportunities, I will take them. Everybody will lose some day. There's no chance to win all the time. There's no chance that you're gonna play great tennis during all the year.
Sometimes you have really bad losses to the people that you shouldn't lose in a thousand years. It's gonna happen. It's gonna happen to everybody for some circumstances. So you have to accept this. It's a part of the job.

Q. You talk a lot about frustration. For someone young and with a great potential like you, is a word important. Can you explain to me the difference between the frustration of losing or not being able to play, to win, against someone you think you are better than; and playing against someone like Federer or Roddick, you feel you are the same level, and you lose for one ball, two balls. What is the difference between the two situations?
MARAT SAFIN: You can...
No, because against Federer, Roddick, it's kind of -- is a big player, and you gonna play well, you know that. Because it's just it's a kind of a challenge. It's already motivate you, it's already giving you extra power, and you want to beat him. It's a kind of a challenge.
But once you play against the players you think you have to win, you have to find this thing in case something goes wrong. For example, today, for me, it was -- I beat him five times. And for me, it's like I knew that I have to win - I mean, that I have to win. So once you are winning 6-3, 1-0 and you really want to finish it, just make it short, make it two sets, "Thank you very much, Bye-bye," then comes the problems when he start to play better, and you are keep on going faster and faster, you know, to finish, because you really want to finish. You don't want to stay here for three sets, you don't want to suffer in the third set, in case he gonna play well, you gonna miss a few shots, he start to play unbelievable shots. You don't want to get to this point.
So you get frustrated with yourself. You see it, and for some reason you cannot get it. You miss by a little bit, you miss little bit there, little bit there. He played well one ball, and it's, like, unacceptable sometimes from my mind but...
But that's really difficult, because you have to understand that other people, they know how to play tennis also.

Q. He was playing well.
MARAT SAFIN: He played a great match. But just this kind of tennis, it just make you a little bit nervous.
Because really, I understand -- I started to understand better the game over the years. And you know what's gonna happen, you see it coming. And when it comes, you get frustrated by that because you see it coming.

Q. What is the way to cope with that? Is it to stick to the basics, say, "Move your feet, watch the ball, hit cross-court..." Things like that?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but sometimes, you know, like you go, because it's your nature. You don't fight the nature, you know. It's like nature, you don't want to go down the line, but you go. It just like automatically calls for it. You miss it. Then you say to yourself, "I shouldn't have done that."
But once you don't miss it, so that's normal. But once you miss it, that's not normal. So these kind of things.
I also speak to guys like Henman or Costa, and I say, "Is it true once you are young, you have no fear, you are playing the matches and you don't understand anything basically about tennis. You are playing and you don't care about the score."
But now you start with the time, you start to...

Q. You start to lose your innocence?
MARAT SAFIN: No, but...just, yeah. You lose your virginity.
Once you start to know, understand tennis really good, you see, you can predict what's gonna happen. So that's why sometimes you choke, sometimes you start to be scared, that's why when you only play against the young guys you don't play really good tennis, and then you start to play and win ugly. But it's like this.

Q. Then you win if you take some risk? So it comes again.
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's all coming back.

Q. It's like life.
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, exactly. There is nothing... Don't fight the nature. Don't fight it.

Q. So you're not surprised, then, that Henman is playing the way he's playing at the moment? It's not a surprise to you how well he's playing.

MARAT SAFIN: He improved. He improved really much. I already told him that he's playing really good game. Before, I told him, he was really bad on clay. Yeah, few years ago, he didn't know how to play on clay. Now, he really improved. He can play from the baseline. He can, you know, do rallies, and also to play. That's why he's in the semifinals -- or in the quarterfinals. He has a big chance to win today.

Q. You said you have to make it interesting if you want to stay in tennis. How do you make it interesting except talking to us (smiling)? What is the way to make it interesting?

MARAT SAFIN: I need to -- depends. Everybody has own hobbies or own philosophy of life. Maybe it's just -- I mean, sometimes when you are too many weeks on the tour, too many weeks, you just have to just have a few days off, just not to go to the courts, walk around the city - wherever city you are - I mean, there's some cities you cannot go anywhere because there is nothing (laughter). But these cities, you try to practice as hard as you can just to kill the time. But it's really difficult. Sometimes you need a couple of days just to forget about everything, just enjoy it, and not coming to the courts, don't even touch the racquet. Then when you come back, it's little bit easy for you to start all over because it's not anymore physical, it's not anymore about -- it's more mental, more than nothing. Just whenever you have the brain is like free and it feels comfortable, then it's much easier to play.

Q. So how can you explain a situation like Agassi and Navratilova? They still there, they still doing practice and moving and doing...

MARAT SAFIN: That's what I'm saying. Everybody has different mentality. I'm not -- I'm really surprised that he can push himself at the age of 34 - running, playing five sets in Grand Slams, and be there and play great tennis. Probably that's -- he really can't live without it.

Q. Maybe because in Las Vegas there is nothing to do (laughter)?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, otherwise, you gamble or...(laughter).

Q. Lose money.

MARAT SAFIN: So it's better to make money than to lose money (smiling).

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

Aurora
04-24-2004, 10:02 AM
So I little bit had the match in control. I breaked in the second set, first game. But then he start to play better. He started to miss less. I was trying maybe to go for too much. I start to rush a little bit.
But then by the time I realize it, it was already the end of the second set. I tried. He played well.
And the third set I just had to hold my serve and wait for the opportunity and take it.
Good analysis and learn from it!

Q. You stay in Monte-Carlo? You live in Monte -Carlo?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, whenever I can.
...
MARAT SAFIN: No, but I stay in the hotel.
Q. Yes? Why?
MARAT SAFIN: Because the hotel room is bigger than my apartment (laughter).
:rolleyes: what is it, a really tiny one-room-appartment? :shrug: Yeah right.

Q. So next - Coria or Nalbandian. What can you say about that?
MARAT SAFIN: They're pretty similar players. They're playing the same , all the same game. They attack whenever they can, they like to control the point, they don't like to be dominated. And of course they are running fast, they have very good -- well, good legs, good hands.
So you have to be -- but it's a kind of similar Spanish style. You have to push them and be in control of all the match from the beginning. Otherwise, it's a little bit difficult. Because once they start to be confident and then it's difficult to turn the other way around.
ok. Try to start well then. (and don't rush, going for big shots if the beginning ain't good)

Q. First time?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, so it's good. So I hope I have a little bit of luck tomorrow, I'll have more opportunities that I can finish in two sets.
Noooooooooooooo :smash: no lucktalk!
But just have to be really, really focused for that, have to really play well, have to serve well, be consistent to not make a lot of unforced errors, be there all the match.
oh, ok then. :ignore: :angel:

MARAT SAFIN: But once it's starting all over again, played well in Estoril, playing well here. Will try to have a rest next week, then Rome, Hamburg and French Open and then slow down a little bit, prepare for the grass, a big tournament in Wimbledon, and we'll see how it's gonna go.
Then I will take a few months -- a few weeks off before the big -- before I go to the States.
:dance: Man, it seems he cannot wait till his months/weeks off. (and some big plans afterwards... dreaming of 2000 again Marat?)

I also speak to guys like Henman or Costa, and I say, "Is it true once you are young, you have no fear, you are playing the matches and you don't understand anything basically about tennis. You are playing and you don't care about the score."
But now you start with the time, you start to...
Q. You start to lose your innocence?
MARAT SAFIN: No, but...just, yeah. You lose your virginity.
Once you start to know, understand tennis really good, you see, you can predict what's gonna happen. So that's why sometimes you choke, sometimes you start to be scared, that's why when you only play against the young guys you don't play really good tennis, and then you start to play and win ugly. But it's like this.
:haha: Lost your innocence, huh poor boy? aaawww :awww:

Shadow
04-24-2004, 10:20 AM
Q. What about Safin? Safin is a giant. But on this surface, is it more important to be powerful like Safin, or to be quick like Coria?
GUILLERMO CORIA: It depends how he will play tomorrow. But when he plays well, he's a very difficult player to play. He has a very big serve, his returns are very good, his forehand is good, and his backhand also. So when he plays well, I consider him the best player on all surfaces.
Tomorrow I'll have to be very much aware and concentrated and very fast, and I will have to raise my game to a higher level than normal. It's going to be a difficult match.

Shadow
04-25-2004, 08:23 AM
2004 TENNIS MASTERS SERIES
MONTE-CARLO

April 24, 2004

G. CORIA/M. Safin
6-4, 1-6, 6-3

MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Marat, you asked for the trainer, I think, in the first set. What was the problem?

MARAT SAFIN: I have a big -- not a big, just a blister that was bothering me. So I take painkillers and antiinflammatories so it doesn't bother me.

Q. Was it a problem during the set or..?

MARAT SAFIN: No, but just I started to feel it because I didn't take before the match, so I had to take during the match so I just don't think about it.

Q. You are very used to play clay courters. I mean, you trained in Spain. Why is Coria different than the others, or is he a typical clay courter?

MARAT SAFIN: No, doesn't do anything like just make the difference between the Spanish and Argentinians. He plays pretty similar tennis. He is full of confidence, that's it. I had my opportunities today. I was a little bit unlucky in the first set, the third set. But also for me it's difficult to play against these kind of guys. I have to step in on the court, and when it's like the courts are not really in conditions to -- I don't feel secure, you know. Every time I had to play the ball fast, it come back down. So for me it's difficult. So I have to go back and play a little bit longer rallies with them, and it's difficult for me to beat them. So just the only chance you can beat them is just inside, playing inside the court and playing fast.

Q. Do you have to improve your net game a little bit to know you can volley more?

MARAT SAFIN: No, but just because you have to look for the net. I mean, it doesn't matter if you make mistakes because also, you know, is a kind of a player that you have to place it really good, the volley, otherwise he can pass you very easily. But also, in order to look for the net, you need to like to play a fast game. Couldn't just make rallies and all of a sudden go to the net. You need to prepare. Today just I was a little bit upset because I couldn't, I couldn't do it, I couldn't play faster. Because every time I tried to step in and play fast, it was a bad bounce so it was like the ball wasn't -- I could not control perfect. And I was feeling a little bit insecure, you know, in my shots. For example, on backhand and on forehand. Every time I have it like ball in the middle of the court, just suddenly, you know, I make a -- so we have to place it really good, really close to the lines.

Q. The last two or three games, the ball was coming off your racquet, it didn't seem like you were going through totally confident with those shots.

MARAT SAFIN: That's the thing, because the bounce. Because every time, you know, you expect for the ball to come normally, just have a strange bounce. Or basically every time I saw the short ball to come to him, just was far away.

Q. Is it the particular ball that they're using this week?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it's just the courts.

Q. Just the courts?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I can blame easily the courts. Everybody's complaining and everybody's like having really difficult time. Me, particularly against these players in the semifinals, it's really bothers me because of that.

Q. At the start of the third set, was that where you were having..?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it was the first set, you know. Like for example in the second game when I had Love-40, twice it touched the line and didn't bounce. Third time it was just -- so it's just like all the time it's coming more and more. So once you get too many of them, you get little bit upset.

Q. What did you say to Guillermo at the end? You seemed to have a chat with him.

MARAT SAFIN: No, just I said, "Well done," and "Congratulations," and "Good luck in your next round." He said something about, "Sorry I was waving my hands..." I don't know. I don't know what he was talking about.

Q. You didn't know what it's about?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know, but it's okay (laughter). No, we behaved really good on the court, no problems. We had no problems. He was quite fair. It was nice to play against him.

Q. You had three net cords went against you as well fairly quickly - one from him that deflected, and then two that hit the top of the net and went back to your side. Did you feel things weren't going your way then?

MARAT SAFIN: No, was just I had an opportunity, yeah, like, in the third set when I was on a deuce. So I went to the net, and all of a sudden he pass me and touched the net. So basically the ball was mine. Again it was deuce, and I tried, I went for the backhand shot. That touched the net, didn't go on the other side. So it's like little bit frustrated but... But at least I tried. It's not like -- if it would go my way, so it would be the same score but on my side.

Q. Not a bad start to the clay court season?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's great. I can't complain. It's really a pity to not be in the finals, but the way I'm playing is great. He was a little bit luckier today than me. But I'm satisfied. I will catch him another time (smiling).

Q. If you weren't playing against him, is Coria the sort of player you'd like to watch? Is he a good player to watch, entertaining?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, is not for me to judge, you know, if he is entertaining or not. I mean, if the spectators, they like him, then it's great for me. But I'm not really a spectator, I'm his business partner (laughter). It's little bit of a different story.

Q. What do you need to do to be at your top for the French now?

MARAT SAFIN: No, keep continuing like this, and I will have more opportunities to win one of the next two Masters Series tournaments. And if I continue like this, I think I'm really playing very well. I can work on some things, just to improve a little bit. But it's -- I'm getting really, really in shape. And then the French Open, it will be -- then it's five sets, and I'll play five sets, I'll have time. It's enough time to correct the mistakes in a slow match. You have a lot of opportunities to come back.

Q. What about him in five sets? Do you think for Roland Garros, because, you know, he is a small one...

MARAT SAFIN: Well, for him, I think it's a little bit difficult, while he is really in shape. He doesn't serve big, really good. It's not like a powerful serve. He doesn't get really free points, a lot of free points. He has to work every point, and he has to run a lot. He has to build up very much. But he's in really good shape. He'll be interest. But in five sets, I think it will be -- in this case, I would be the favorite.

Shadow
05-05-2004, 06:24 PM
2004 TELECOM ITALIA MASTERS
ROME, ITALY

May 4, 2004

M. SAFIN/S. Pescosolido
6-4, 6-3

MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat.

Q. Did you know anything about Pescosolido?

MARAT SAFIN: I played against him in '97, so really no.

Q. How do you feel in your game and your mental, physical?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it was quite good, but conditions are little bit tough. It's windy and the courts are not really in great shape. There is not enough -- a lot of bad bounces, not enough sand, so you slide a lot. So it's -- you have to get used to it, these kind of conditions. For the first match, it was good so... Just to get used to it.

Q. As soon as the clay season starts, do you immediately have the French Open in the back of your mind?

MARAT SAFIN: But still it's two big tournaments - this one and Hamburg are the main goals for me. Try to get as many points as I can to -- for the Race and also for me to get back into the Top 20 and also try to be seeded in last 16 in the French Open so that this year I will have more or less the draw will be okay, you will not get any surprise. So it's basically everything that you do here, it's very good for the French Open. Also to play more and more matches and get a lot of confidence and move on. And the French Open is already different story. It's five-set matches. And if you can manage to get -- to play well here, you will definitely play well in the French Open.

Q. Comparing Rome with other Masters Series, if you had to point out one good positive point about Rome and one negative, which one would you say?

MARAT SAFIN: About the tournament?

Q. Yeah, the tournament, the location, whatever you find, whatever is particularly good compared to other Masters Series and what is not good compared to other Masters Series.

MARAT SAFIN: Well, tough one... There is many, many -- could be many, many positive things. I mean, great city, the crowd is getting great. I can continue this way. But the negative thing is only that the courts could be much better. Only thing that is like -- everything is great. Organization is very well. But the courts are a little bit...

Q. Bad?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. What kind of things did you change in your preparation now that you work with Peter?

MARAT SAFIN: No, no, we cannot change anything, just continue doing what I was doing. Little bit small tips. But just you first you are in the stage to know each other - what we like, what we don't like, try to feel comfortable, you know, try to see what kind of person I'm working with. He also wants to learn a little bit about me. And then you can try to do something. Already knowing the person, it's easy to communicate and to improve some things

End of FastScripts….

PennyThePenguin
05-06-2004, 03:38 AM
why's it so short? :sad: they must have butchered most of it... geesh.

junekidd
05-06-2004, 08:32 AM
I 'm surprised too at the first sight of it. I read it with a good appetite as before...and suddenly, the article interrupted! maybe there is little to say about the match. it's apparently a easy match to marat.

Aurora
05-06-2004, 09:37 AM
top 16 before RG? that's some goal... oh well, better aim high indeed!

PennyThePenguin
05-06-2004, 10:06 AM
it's possible. i think. i'm not sure how the calculations work exactly, but he hasn't got any points to defend, so anything he gets will push him up the rankings. so...erm.... maybe if he wins everything between now and then.... he might get there.

Shadow
05-10-2004, 08:09 PM
Q: I guess it was nice to get that one in straight sets?

SAFIN: Yes, these are the kind of matches which you have to finish in two sets and make them really short.

Q: Is he a frustrating player to come up against?

SAFIN: No, but he hits the ball very well. It’s just a pain in the arse to … It’s a nightmare to stay in this kind of tennis. Just, it could go the other way round.

Q: You were down 5:2 in the first and then 5: 1 in the tiebreak. How do you think you managed to come back?

SAFIN: I thought I’ll just do it. I decided that if I win or if I lose this set it doesn’t matter. I played some fast points, I was lucky and put the first serve in. He missed some easy balls and I came back. I don’t know why. He should have won the first set.

Q: Are you happy with your performance today?

A. Yes, for me it was great. I was lucky I stayed there. I had to do my best.

Q: How do you feel on clay so far?

SAFIN: I had a couple of great tournaments. Monte Carlo, Estoril went really well. Then Rome against Massu, he’s a great player. I played a terrible match and lost completely my confidence. Now, I have to gain my confidence back by winning this kind of matches.

Q: Do you think Grosjean is far from his good level?

SAFIN: You always have a couple of ups and downs through the year. He doesn’t play well, but for sure he will go up. Probably in the French Open. He will have one really tough match, he will win it and then he will play well. He just needs some confidence and the only way to gain it is this kind of matches, like against me. It’s just play ugly, win ugly (laughs).

Q: Could you say the same about yourself?

SAFIN: Yes, I’m there. Winning ugly.

Q: Didn’t your standard go up though in the second half of that first set?

SAFIN: Well, I couldn’t do, but I didn’t want to lose. I saw that he wasn’t playing really well. And he was also struggling. He was making some abnormal mistakes. So, I thought if I hang in there, I will have my chance.


Q: Can you tell us something about your work with Peter?

SAFIN: It’s a little early. We’ve just been together for two weeks. We started in Rome. We have to get to know each other, but it’s going well – slowly but surely. To make sure that we understand each other, that I don’t bother him, he doesn’t bother me and by knowing what kind of person he is and what kind of person I am. Then we can do something and wait for the results. We plan to work until Wimbledon. We have goals and if we are comfortable with each other and there are results, we carry on.

Q: So you won’t have to pay him a 150$ fine for every smashed racket?

SAFIN: No, he doesn’t work like that (laughs).

Shadow
05-11-2004, 01:45 PM
audios after the match

http://www.atptennis.com/en/audio/

Vass
05-11-2004, 05:39 PM
his interview is funny. One's more.

Shadow
05-11-2004, 08:31 PM
that one about peter not bothering him and Marat not bothering Peter is classic :lol:

PennyThePenguin
05-12-2004, 07:58 AM
hmmm...wonder how they're supposed to work together if they're not supposed to bug each other... :haha: typical marat.

alita
05-13-2004, 02:29 PM
here is the interview:

Melzer – Safin 6:4, 6:4



Q: You didn’t look that comfortable out there?

SAFIN: No, I didn’t feel like playing today.

Q: The weather conditions?

SAFIN: No, I just didn’t feel like being on the court. The hour they put me and all that together took over my motivation.

Q: What’s the remedy now?

SAFIN: Nothing. I will go home and enjoy my life a little.

Q: Did you talk about the organisation about the schedule?

SAFIN: No, they make the schedule the way they like. I have no right to say anything to them or blame them. They decide who they want to see in the first match.

Q: You were saying before that you were looking forward to this season.

SAFIN: Yes, but suddenly the weather conditions have changed, the balls are no good, the courts in Hamburg are soft. You get a lot of bad bounces. The balls are ridiculous. Everybody is complaining, but the ATP doesn’t do anything about it. It’s not only me who is complaining, I talked to several other players, also Haas is complaining. But the ATP doesn’t care.

Q: This debate started in Monaco.

SAFIN: Yes, because the balls are not satisfying the players. For us players who have a big serve, we can’t play with these balls. Then you have no confidence in your shots. You start to play, you hit a great shot and the ball just goes into the fence.

Q: Is it the same ball at Roland Garros?

SAFIN: No, it’s different.

Q: How long do you think it will be to have your motivation back?

SAFIN: I don’t know. Hopefully it will be back for the French Open. I’m not motivated at all. After such a match, you don’t want to play and go on the court. You have no reason to fight.

Q: With the prospect of a Grand Slam coming up …

SAFIN: First, Grand Slam is only a name. I also have to play tennis there. Hopefully, the conditions are better there. But the stage I’m playing right now is too low.



Q: Is there a little chance you will not play the French Open?

SAFIN: I will decide the last moment. If I don’t feel good, I will not go. I will not just go because I have to go. I’m not this kind of person.

Q: So, if you will not feel like going, you will not go.

SAFIN: No, I won’t go.

Q: Is it the same balls here like in Estoril?

SAFIN: No, it’s different. It’s only Monte Carlo, Rome and Hamburg. The balls are a real nightmare?

Q: Can’t the players do anything?

SAFIN: Yes, the players complain. But the ATP doesn’t do anything. What can we say. It seems the ATP doesn’t care about it. We are not allowed to speak this way, but it’s a fact the alls are not good. It’s not just because I lost today. Also other players complain. From the top 50, it’s 99% who are not happy with the balls because you can’t fee the ball. You don’t feel your shots. If I go the ATP, they’ll fin a thousand reasons and you are the bad guy because you complain. You really have to struggle to win my matches and have to change my game.

Q: What do you have to do differently?

SAFIN: If I go for my shots and miss because I didn’t hit the ball properly, I know that. But with this ball, you hit the ball twice, once it is o.k., the next time it just goes into the fence. It’s not stable. As if something was wrong with the air inside the ball. They are like very light stones. Of course, the ATP gets money I think from Penn. But the balls are not properly made. They have to change something. It can still be Penn.

Q: Where are you going from here? Back to Moscow?

SAFIN: Yes, I’ll go home and relax. And if I feel like playing I might go to France on Wednesday.

Shadow
05-13-2004, 03:03 PM
Marat :confused:

whats happening with him? what a weird interview. OMG, he sounds like he doesnt want to play anymore at all.

Shadow
05-13-2004, 03:05 PM
He is so depressed and sad.

PennyThePenguin
05-13-2004, 03:12 PM
tell me about it....most negative marat interview EVER. did some alien kidnap our marat and replace him with someone else? http://smileys.******************/cat/540.gif

Shadow
05-13-2004, 03:13 PM
you can see marats WHOLE press conferrence On Video here

http://www.root3dtb.de/live/pk.htm

Shadow
05-13-2004, 03:14 PM
well, i wouldnt take his comments on RG too seriously, its just pure FRUSTRATION now, but he will definetly not miss RG.

But he really needs to do something about getting the motivation to play.

alita
05-13-2004, 04:11 PM
You are right, Marat need motivation to play. He seems that he doesn't want to play anymore...But, maybe he really need some rest, he is tired, I think.

Vass
05-13-2004, 06:00 PM
The worst interview in quite some time...

Safin_Henman
05-13-2004, 09:09 PM
his interview got me really upset!
he made such a negative atmosphere, making me worrY!

drf716
05-15-2004, 05:27 AM
yeah... why can't i just like someone like federer...that way i will always be happy for my idol... but no i had to love marat and be in heartbreak...

maratgirl
05-15-2004, 03:30 PM
I think that he was just upset about his lose and that he will think twice before he ever sais such thing, it's make no sense at all for a player to say such thing. he will play a grandslam when he feel likes it?? that's stupid a grandslam is the most important tourney and I thought that he wanted to win RG this year :confused:

Shadow
05-25-2004, 07:45 PM
Q. Are you happy you didn't stay home and maybe retire from tennis?>

MARAT SAFIN: I didn't say I'm gonna retire, I'm just -- I'm happy that I had to play all the match all the way through, because I was missing a little bit of confidence. I was absolutley tired. So now it's completely different story.



Q. Is there any chance this could be like Australia, where you come in and people don't think you're much of a factor, then you start playing better and better and who knows what can happen?>

MARAT SAFIN: That's always the best. Also it's very good to have a little bit quite strong draw so every match is important one and you don't lose today - how you say - when you have easy draw, you can lose to anybody. But once you have a strong draw, you motivate yourself. So you start to play automatically well. That's the case, because I have quite very tough draw. Calleri, Mantilla, then if I go through, it's Grosjean, so it's tough ones. So I hope it will be like in Australia, I will start to get better and better and I will have my chance.

Q. How far away do you think you are from your peak form?

MARAT SAFIN: How many times they ask me this question, far away. I'm far away. I'm far away. I still have to work on little things and I'm definitely not in the best shape right now. I'm missing a little bit of the confidence, but that's coming back. Just I totally can get better from now on.



Q. When you went home after Hamburg, did you ever think that you would not play here? Did you think you'd get a little bit of a break?

MARAT SAFIN: I need some kind of a -- just get out of tennis, because it was getting too much on my nerves and I was getting too -- I've been for a long time traveling from tournament to tournament, so I needed some time off. Took like five days off, I didn't touch the racquet, I enjoyed my friends and just did normal stuff that people do, and it helped.

So I come back here, I practice for four days, it was enough for me. And now I get motivation to move on. That's what I needed, you know, because it was a really difficult schedule. I mean all the months, we had like three Masters Series tournaments, then you have to make the preparation before the tournaments so it's a little bit too much of tennis for me.



Q. I think in '98 you beat Agassi and Kuerten, right?

MARAT SAFIN: Yep.



Q. Does that seem a long, long, long, long time ago?

MARAT SAFIN: Very long time ago.



Q. Marat Safin has changed very much since then?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, yeah. Quite a lot. But it's really long time ago.

But six years, but it was like for me was like it was yesterday. But I played so many years afterwards and I get more experience, I get much more, I think, clever. Of course if I would have the same brain as I have right now back then, it would be much easier, with the confidence that I got in that time, I was playing great. But I didn't know how to manage to win the tournament, and I was really playing well.

Great performance from me, great thing.



Q. You were briefly at the top of the world. In your generation, the top players have succeeded each other very quickly, Ferrero, Federer. Is it impossible to stay at the top for a few months given the demands of the game now?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, Federer, he managed to stay there for quite a long time.



Q. Months.

MARAT SAFIN: Months. He was there for much more. From January he became No. 1? Still not bad. He has the game, he has the power to be there. Like I said, because of the schedule and because of the tournaments are so tough and the level of the players outside of Top 10 and outside of Top 20 is much, much stronger than it used to be, so basically every match you are playing on the tournament, and any tournaments is a tough one.

Yeah, especially the schedule, the schedule is very tough. It's tournament after tournament. So if you have two straight Masters Series tournaments in a row, you can't play and win them all. You have to be really, really lucky with the draw and really, really full of confidence to do it, and also in great physical shape.

But now it seems like it's almost impossible.



Q. You won the US Open, you were at your peak. Do you have to do some more work to reach that level?

MARAT SAFIN: Of course I have to work, but that was probably a mistake to win the tournament. Probably if I would not win US Open, I would have won another Grand Slams and much more than one. So it's also -- it's two-side story.

But I was playing really well and I was just lucky to win the tournament.



Q. Do you have a court that you prefer? Do you prefer the clay or the hard surface?

MARAT SAFIN: I think at the beginning I used to like only clay because it was where I grew up. I spent several years in Spain and I learn how to play on clay and it was my surface. Now I like to play on hard courts. Hard courts and clay is my favorite ones. Grass, a little bit too difficult. And, well, indoors, indoors depends of the surface also.

Shadow
05-25-2004, 07:45 PM
+ video interview

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/interviews/2004-05-25/200405251085509326877.html

Shadow
05-28-2004, 04:52 PM
what an interview from Miss Marat :lol:

--------------------------------------------------------

Q. How did it go last night? Did you sleep? Toss and turn?

MARAT SAFIN: No, no, I was great. I had a good treatment (smiling).

Q. And today you didn't have much trouble.

MARAT SAFIN: No, it was a little bit more of luck, a little bit taking my opportunities. I was lucky. I went for it.

Q. Did you like seeing that crowd around there? I had to stand to watch you. It was worth it.

MARAT SAFIN: Okay. At least that's good.

Q. Are you a masochist? You could finish in three sets and go home, have a nice dinner.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I wish. But I couldn't. I couldn't. I really tried. I tried my best. Tried to make it short, but I couldn't just because he was playing great. I mean, I had to play all the time. I had to go a little bit for too much sometimes. Couldn't hold my serve a couple of times. That was a problem.

But I'm really satisfied that even in five sets I managed to win that match.

Q. In the history of Marat Safin crazy matches, this one is near the top?

MARAT SAFIN: Probably, yeah. The top one (smiling).

Q. Have you thought what would happen if you would have lost that match?

MARAT SAFIN: I didn't want to think about it. But it was kind of a weird situation because we both played well. Just it would be a pity, you know, to lose this kind of match with so many opportunities.

But the way the match went and the way the crowd was behind, I don't know, it was -- I didn't want to think about if I lose, what I'm going to do, how I'm going to get better, how I'm going to get my confidence back.

Q. No retirement in your mind?

MARAT SAFIN: No, not yet. Still a little bit too early.

Q. The incident at the net, I don't know if you touched the net or what happened there. It was one of the best.

MARAT SAFIN: When?

Q. The point at the net. You got a warning.

MARAT SAFIN: No, because I pulled my pants down.

Q. But you won the point. >

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I won the point.

Q. You always win the point when you pull your pants down.

MARAT SAFIN: That's two points for that (laughter).

No, but really for me it was a big -- I mean, it was a terrible thing to do, just Carlos, also the supervisor on the court, Mike Morrissey. They just basically destroyed -- they tried to destroy the match. Just Bruno come there and just show that they are there sitting, doing nothing, which they have no clue about tennis. Try to show that they're above the tennis players, they put me a penalty point, which is a thing that is ridiculous.

Q. But you didn't touch the net, Love-40 and then 15-30?

MARAT SAFIN: No, no. It was supposed to be like Love-30, and then he pulled the penalty point. And that's really, really pity that -- these people, they shouldn't be even there. They shouldn't be. It's really a pity that we have these people running this. Why are you laughing?

Q. Because you pulled down your pants.

MARAT SAFIN: I bring you the video (smiling).

Q. Was the reason for the penalty point because you pulled down your pants?

MARAT SAFIN: I really don't think so. Nobody complained. Everybody was okay. It wasn't like really bad. But I don't understand why. The people like the chair umpire, the supervisor on the court, they should to come and they should destroy this just to show that they are there. Really, they have no clue about tennis.

All of the people who runs the sport, they have no clue. It's a pity that the tennis is really going down the drain. It's really a pity.

Q. But the argument was about what?

MARAT SAFIN: About I pull my pants down. Can you believe it (smiling)?

Q. Why did you pull your pants down? What was the argument?>

MARAT SAFIN: Because? I don't know why. Because, because. I did it. It just happened.

Q. Some people play a point, stupendous point, raise their fist in the air. I don't think I've ever seen anybody pull their pants down to celebrate winning a point. What in your mind said, "Pull my pants down"?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, you see, that was the reason, so you guys will ask me five questions about the same thing, and I will give you all the time.

I don't know. I felt this way. I felt it was a great point for me. I felt like pulling my pants down. What's bad about it?

Q. Just confusing.

MARAT SAFIN: Confusing why? It's like, what, entertaining business. You try to make it fun. You try to make it -- you know, I am working my ass off on the court, it was full crowd, full stadium. We did a great job, I think. Was great tennis for four hours. Because of this incident, that's how we get treated by the people from ATP? You think it's fair? You think it's really fair?

Q. I'll have to think about this one.

MARAT SAFIN: You have to think about it, uh-huh.

Q. When you say that tennis is going down the drain, is that what you mean? That people don't like fun?

MARAT SAFIN: Because the people, they do everything is possible just to, you know -- just to take away the entertainment. You're not allowed to do that. You're not allowed to do this. You're not allowed to speak whenever you want to speak. You're not allowed to do many things. A lot of examples, I don't want to go into details.

But the way it's running, it's just a joke. It's really a joke. It's really a pity for me just to watch it from outside. I'm a tennis player, but I really -- I can sacrifice myself. Just for me to see how has been managing, it's just ridiculous.

Everybody loves this sport. I'm here. I'm really enjoying. I got everything from the sport, everything I have, and I give everything what I have. And that's how -- like the ATP, they really appreciate that. It's really bad that this has been managed this way.

And like every year it's getting worse, worse and worse. I don't know where we're going to end up like this. It cannot go like this anymore. It has to be a radical change, and I hope it will be really soon.

Q. There was a thing in Monte-Carlo about Schuettler taking a photograph of a line call. He got a point penalty for that.

MARAT SAFIN: Exactly. One of the examples. It's really a pity. It's really sad to see it, that nobody does anything about such a great sport. It's really, it's really bad, because nobody had power or courage just to do and to take it, start from all over again. Nobody can do it. Unfortunately, yeah, it's what happens.

Q. Both defending champions are gone, a lot of unseeded players are winning, a lot of upsets, pants are falling down, is this a crazy French Open or is it just exactly what a French Open is every time?

MARAT SAFIN: That's tennis. That's tennis. It happens. It can happen. We are playing the same sport. No matter what happens, tennis is still tennis. You can see a lot of great matches, a lot of new people. It's doing well.

Q. How do you feel about where your game is right now?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm trying to get over this -- these kind of matches to get the confidence, try to play better and better, and just looking forward. Let's see where I'm going to play next match. I hope I'll be more lucky and I hope I'll just play better and better and try to do well.

I mean, I'm looking -- I'm not looking for big results, but I'm just trying to play match by match and try to... I don't know, slowly.

Q. Sometimes you make a simple mistake, then you lose three points in a row. Don't you think you should be more indulgent with yourself?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but it's me. You cannot change me. This is the way I am. That's why I'm who I am. That's why I am where I am. I can't do anything about it. Probably I'll not be so successful if I will keep everything in myself inside of me.

Q. Tomorrow Potito Starace, do you know anything more about him than we do?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I heard a couple of times about him, I saw him in Rome practicing, and actually yesterday. He's really a great player, can do everything. He can play forehand, backhand, great serve. He has confidence. He beat Grosjean, which is a big win for him. So he'll give me a hard time tomorrow.

But I'll be there. I'll be there. I will have to play really good because he's full of confidence.

Q. During the match with Mantilla, did you have the feeling that Mantilla was taking some advantage, calling the physiotherapist in the fifth set? Were you nervous about it? I heard on TV you said also some words to him, is that correct?

MARAT SAFIN: No, to him I didn't. I have nothing against him at all. I mean, I said what I thought to the chair umpire. He heard everything. I said everything what I thought about. Yeah, he deserve it. He really deserve it.

Q. You talk about there being a need for change in the game. Are you planning on leading the coup?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm not leading anything. I'm just getting people to realize it, because nobody said anything before. I don't know, whatever I said to you, it will cause me a lot of problems, with the schedule, with the courts. They might. They might do everything. It's possible just to put me on the side. I don't care. I really don't care. Just it has to happen.

Also, the press, they deserve to be treated much better. I'm not only blaming the players, the players, the players are doing this wrong, that are do this things. Like all the time it's the players. But it's not always the players. The players are doing their job, and they're trying to do whatever they can. But if you don't have enough like knowledge, the people who are running the sport, at least give the opportunities for the players to do what they can. And they will really appreciate.

Nobody did anything stupid. Nobody did anything ridiculous on the court that is really like, you know, you have to put a penalty point or whatever. I mean, everybody understands the sport, and everybody understands what is good for the crowd, and what is not. They really respect it with the people. You'll never treat bad the people who are watching, especially when it's full stadium, and they really want to see a big show.

Q. The moustache and the beard, is it your tribute to the Musketeers because you're at the French Open?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I'm just trying to keep my luck. I will shave it after I lose.

Q. Did you talk to Mantilla in the locker room afterwards?

MARAT SAFIN: No. He wants to kill me probably, so...

About what?

Q. "Good match."

MARAT SAFIN: No. He said everything on the court. It was a great match. Unlucky.

Q. He said that to you?

MARAT SAFIN: No, he was unlucky. I told to him.

Q. What do you think the fine is for pulling down your pants?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't care. I doesn't really care. Has no price for this.

Q. No idea?

MARAT SAFIN: No price for this.

Q. Have you ever done it before?

MARAT SAFIN: Never. Never happen to me. But this point really deserve that.

Q. You're with your 373rd coach. Have you ever thought, "If I stay with one coach, I might have a more consistent time on the court"?

MARAT SAFIN: Probably.

Q. Why not?

MARAT SAFIN: Don't ask me. There's a lot of people that don't want to work with me, like Chesnokov, Volkov. A lot of people, they were there, I just had nobody to travel with. I always said there's Volkov, Chesnokov, I made which I used to travel before which is my manager, they are not coaches. Basically in my life, I had three coaches.

365 coaches is what you're trying to say?

Q. I can't remember the other 365.

MARAT SAFIN: No. So remember it next time.

Q. You say the officials are trying to take the fun out of the sport. I know you're a big football fan. You see it with referees, players celebrating, they get yellow cards, sometimes sent off. Do you think sometimes the officials are trying to be bigger than the players?

MARAT SAFIN: In our sport, yes, definitely.

Q. Why do you think that is?

MARAT SAFIN: You really have to ask them this question. They will probably give you really good excuses, which for me is a little bit ridiculous.

Shadow
05-28-2004, 04:54 PM
and the video interview

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/interviews/2004-05-28/200405281085757998142.html

Shadow
06-02-2004, 12:54 PM
“I REALLY SUFFERED”

Marat Safin, who suffers from blisters, couldn’t try his luck normally against Nalbandian (7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3) in the fourth round.

Safin looks at his bruised palms. One, two, three… nine, ten, eleven. It’s the number of blisters which prevented him from carrying on his venture. You can see disappointment in his face, but also this little amount of fatalism that makes the Russian be one of a kind.

- Who defeated you today: Nalbandian or blisters?
- All of them! I really suffered. I couldn’t concentrate to play normally. He has always been leading, and it’s really too hard against a man of his calibre in those conditions. Nalbandian has a great touch. He’s one of the most talented people on the circuit.

- After you lost the second set, one could see you were demotivated. Did you think you may give up?
- No, I was just a little bit discouraged but I tried to find other possibilities to beat him, because I didn’t feel hundred per cent good. He played well, but I had chances a couple of times, on break points. But every time I missed it, or he played the point well. The match would have been different if I had won the first set.

- Could you tell us how these blisters affected the way you played?
- They affected it a lot. My forehand for instance. The last four games I couldn’t play, I couldn’t hit a forehand. I couldn’t do many things.I had to have my hands retaped all the time.

“If everything’s okay, I’ll play Wimbledon”

- Is it due to an allergy?
- I have no idea. I don’t know what it is, or what it is due to, or why I have this problem. I’ve never had that in my life, even when I played very long matches… Maybe it’s because I’m getting old. It may be a sign of premature senility (laughs).

- The public behaved strangely. Sometimes they supported you, sometimes they booed you…
- They’ve paid their tickets. They can do whatever they want, they’re perfectly within their rights.

- Does it still hurt, even if you have no racket in your hands now?
- The hands, I don’t care about actually anymore. Because I’m just a little bit frustrated. It was another big opportunity for me to fight for a title. Just to waste this opportunity this way, it’s really a pity.

- In the second round against Mantilla you’ve got a penalty point for racket abuse and for having pulled your short down. Then you strongly criticized the umpires and tennis’s governing bodies…
- There a lot of problems inside the tennis organisations today. Nobody is responsible for anything, basically. And the persons suffering from it are the players. It’s a pity that tennis is managed so badly. There are too many associations, too many different stories. Everyone is trying to take all the credit. And the people upstairs sitting in their office just don’t know (what to do). You can not satisfy all 1,500 players, you should make strong positions. You should seat a couple of ex-players like (John) McEnroe, (Mats) Wilander, (Yannick) Noah would be good too, to discuss what we can do and start all over again, start from scratch.

- Are there too many rules?
- There is always something in addition to another… The game becomes too complicated because of that. But in reality it’s a simple game. I think we should favour the entertainment.

- What shall be done? Shall the umpires allow racket abuses, bad language, etc.?
- You have not seen the soccer players? I mean we’re pretty decent compared to them. And NHL, NFL, NBA players are using a lot of good words, good English too… Try to do your job and you’ll see how you react. You play four hours on court, and you get a penalty point from a person who never touched a racket in his entire life, who doesn’t have a clue about it. And he’s the one to decide? That’s stupid!

- In Hamburg you were discouraged and you were eve thinking about not playing in Roland Garros. And now?
- If everything’s okay with my hands I’ll play Wimbledon.

- By the way, you could have worn a glove, like golfers do…
- In another life maybe.

Vass
06-02-2004, 07:24 PM
tnx

moonlight
06-08-2004, 09:39 PM
Interview with Marat Safin (English)
After his defeat against Jonas Bjorkman

Dienstag, 08.06.2004

You had a match point in the third set, nevertheless you lost the match. Why that?
I don’t know, it is how it is. The win was one point away, second service. I’m not satisfied with the return that followed. This result is really frustrating for me. I had still some problems with the blisters on my hand, but all in all it was ok. Until Wimbledon it will be completely healed.

You lost the match, but could you get a bit confidence after this tough fight?
No, not really, I’m not. With that kind of results it’s hard to get confident. I’m really not enjoying playing on grass, also not in Wimbledon.

Did you expect the strength of Björkman?
Yes, he beat me four times, showed great tennis. I’m obviously a really comfortable player for him. Today he hit a couple of good returns, he served well and he made a lot of big points with which I did not have any chance to play. Also the luck was on his side.

Vass
06-09-2004, 10:47 AM
Did you expect the strength of Björkman?
Yes, he beat me four times, showed great tennis. I’m obviously a really comfortable player for him. Today he hit a couple of good returns, he served well and he made a lot of big points with which I did not have any chance to play. Also the luck was on his side.

Marat! When something happens one time call it a fluke/ luck, whatever. When something happens twice call it a coincidence. But when something happens 3 or 4(!!) times it's a RULE! You have to get this luck thing out of your stu... head and fight!

Shadow
06-09-2004, 12:44 PM
thanks for the interview.

_ _me_ _
06-22-2004, 09:30 PM
Marat Safin - Interview
Tuesday, June 22, 2004


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat, please.

Q. Was it encouraging to have Boris Yeltsin there, or did you feel pressure?

MARAT SAFIN: No, just I didn't felt like -- playing, I didn't felt like -- I couldn't -- I didn't any like -- I didn't felt comfortable there.

Like I said, I don't like to play on this surface. I don't feel like I'm moving. I cannot move there. Every time, I don't know how it's gonna bounce. So it's like a really nightmare for me.

So after a while, just I get bored. I lost completely motivation, and I give up.

Q. Have you played on that court before?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, a couple of times.

Q. You haven't lost?

MARAT SAFIN: No, because other people, they withdraw.

Q. Do you think you'll come back, or do you think you'll just give up on Wimbledon?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I give up on Wimbledon. Is definitely not the tournament for me. I give up on spending time on this courts. I give up on practicing before the tournament, just to prepare myself for better results.

I hate. I hate this. I have to admit it. I'm not really enjoying playing on this courts. So I just, you know, come like other people - Friday, Saturday before the tournament. Practice a couple of days, then I play. I'm not gonna spend my time, not gonna waste my time on that knowing, though, that I will not play well.

Q. Have you always felt this way about grass?

MARAT SAFIN: I never could move. That's what's my problem. Was always a problem for me. I was sliding. Bounce is very low for me. Just I hate also when it's like very low bounce, and sometimes bad bounces.

I mean, it's for everybody it's like this. But for me, especially for my game, I cannot adjust to this. You have to be really focus in your mind, but it's not my territory.

Q. Did you go out last night or anything? I mean, do you take a different approach here and just kind of say...

MARAT SAFIN: No, I try to be serious. I try to be serious. I came here one week before, and I was practicing quite a lot. I spend a lot of time on the courts. I didn't go out last night, and I didn't had fun. I was trying to prepare myself and try to -- I know -- give myself another chance.

But I think it's the last one.

Q. How has Lundgren helped you? What do you hope to get out of this relationship?

MARAT SAFIN: What do you mean?

Q. Just, your coach.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah.

Q. I mean, how has he helped you?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but what he can -- about Wimbledon or about what?

Q. Just in general.

MARAT SAFIN: Well, I mean, we didn't make any results yet, any incredible results. So we have to work on that. Unfortunately, I was prepared for Paris. I was playing good. But I couldn't finish that particular tournament.

Then here, which is second big tournament we're playing, is not like the tournament to show my best results.

But he's trying to support. He's trying to, you know, like put a little bit -- be a little bit motivated, be a little bit positive.

But not yet. The results not coming yet.

But I think it's good. It's really good for me. I don't want to speak about this tournament. But be seriously, be honest, like it's coming, second part of the year. I think it's gonna be much better.

He is pretty good person. He knows what he is doing. I trust him more than 100%, and the results will come soon.

Q. You had such a great result in Australia, so people should expect great things from you outside of Wimbledon.

MARAT SAFIN: Probably. Wimbledon, let's not talk about Wimbledon. It's not really the place to, you know -- is not my surface. Is not my territory. I just -- is like I didn't play that tournament.

Because it's still coming, like long American tour. That's what I'm trying to focus. Is two big Super 9s, then there is Olympics, then there is US Open. So that's what I'm trying to focus.

Q. Did your blisters heal?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, yeah. Perfect.

Q. Strange, wasn't it?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. Nobody knew what it was. I don't know.

Q. Could we see your hand?

MARAT SAFIN: No, it's perfect (showing hands).

Q. That's amazing.

MARAT SAFIN: Amazing blisters or amazing...

Q. No, it's an amazing recovery.

MARAT SAFIN: The recovery (smiling).

Q. Is there any chance this will be a very low moment and in the middle of August we'll see you with a gold medal around your neck in Athens?

MARAT SAFIN: Like I said many times, and I'm still insisting that the Olympics is not for tennis. Tennis doesn't need the Olympic Games. It's not my best -- it's not my goal in my life to win Olympic Games and say to everybody that I have Olympic gold medal.

We have four Grand Slams. We have Super 9s. We have a lot of tournaments. We have pretty tough schedule. And now we gonna have Olympics. I mean, of course it's gonna be -- it's every four years. But, still, it's little bit -- it's more like for amateur sports. Of course it's like for swimmers, for runners, it's great. Then triathlon, all these things that for them, Olympic Games is huge. They have World Cup once a year, European Cup once a year. There's not many tournaments they have. So they prepare basically for six months to go to this tournaments.

We are playing almost every week, and we are gonna have Olympic Games. We are professional sport. Let's see, like nobody from NBA basically playing. Because everybody says is student from the colleges, right? I mean, of course they gonna bring some big guys just to, you know, to play, just to make it more entertaining. But the tennis doesn't need this.

Q. So why are you playing?

MARAT SAFIN: Why I'm playing?

Q. Yeah.

MARAT SAFIN: It's not because -- because I have to play for Russia. Because I have to. I have to do it. But is not my goal in my life to win the Olympic Games.

Ask Marc Rosset. He will tell you the same. He won it. He is not really proud of it, and just saying, "I won the Olympic Games. It's great. It feels unbelievable," and it's the best thing that will happen in his life.

Q. What is your big goal right now?

MARAT SAFIN: For me, it's the Grand Slams. I think for tennis players, is nothing bigger than the Grand Slams. And nothing will be bigger than that, not even Masters at the end of the year. Of course it's huge. But you're most known for Grand Slams. That's how it was, how it is, and how it will be.

Q. Have you had chats with Yevgeny about this?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but Yevgeny is the same, probably the same. You don't get this special feeling. Of course you more playing for your country than you playing for yourself.

But just all they do is like different way. Are teams. So they change something. Because it's not -- I'm not excited. I'm not excited at all to go there.

But, first of all, look at the schedule we have. We have two Super 9s, we have to go to Olympics, and we have to fly back to the States. So it's also little bit not... not good.

And then they try to, you know -- then the players, they have to perform here and there, and they have jetlag also. If you gonna play well in Olympic Games, you might not play very well in US Open. And after two tough Super 9s, you have to fly to Olympic Games and then prepare yourself well there. It's really tough schedule.

Q. Is this why guys are getting hurt more often?

MARAT SAFIN: Of course. Because you have a very long years. Like, for example, Ferrero, he's basically finish for this year. Because he played -- he finish last year. What he played? Masters, and he had to fly in Australia for the Davis Cup. From there he had to come back and already he had no time even to rest. He has to prepare for next season. And that's why he got hurt. That's why basically he's suffering for this year, that he can't do anything.

Then the people, they wondering what happen to them. I mean, look at our schedule. We have no time even to rest.

And I think it's -- they have to change something, for sure. Think a little bit about the players and try to make the schedule a little bit shorter so the players, they can perform well.

Also, the people, they don't want to pay for -- in my opinion, every time -- you basically can see the person every week. So the people not excited to see Ferrero, to see Federer. Because you can see in Halle, or you can drive one hour and you already are in Rosmalen. So it's like it's not interesting anymore for the people.

That's why I see so many times there's empty stadiums. Grand Slams are huge. That's why they doing well.

Q. How disappointing is it not to be going further here?

MARAT SAFIN: Huh?

Q. How disappointing is it not to be able to keep playing here?

MARAT SAFIN: It's okay. Like I said, it's not my biggest goal. I tried and I tried, but it doesn't work. Really, is not my tournament where I can play well because I don't feel comfortable. I cannot move. For me, it's difficult to play my tennis.

So basically, I have to focus on play well in other surfaces, which is clay; I can play on hard courts, indoors. Basically, this tournament, not many people that can play here.

Q. Bud's favorite surface is grass.

MARAT SAFIN: Not for me (laughing).

Q. When you're playing Dmitry, are you playing a Russian or an American?

MARAT SAFIN: No, but he's from my club. He's from Russia and he will be Russian. It's just a little bit -- "Surfing Dude," we call him.

Q. You still love tennis, or do you tend to get bored with it?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I love tennis. I just don't like grass (smiling).

Shadow
07-17-2004, 09:36 AM
in spanish

http://www.tennis7.net/notas/27-0304_safin.html

Tennis Fool
07-29-2004, 02:15 AM
This includes the soon to be famous Story of the Hippo :yeah: :o :tape:



2004 Toronto Masters
Kiefer d Marat 6/7 (3) 6/4 7/6 (3)

Can you tell us how you felt coming into here, you know, after a few weeks off after Wimbledon, where you were disgusted with the grass last time?

A. I was happy to come back. You know, I was feeling like quite frustrated. And also just, you know, I wanted to play well. It's a big tournament and also to -- it was a long trip. All the month it's a very difficult one so I wanted to start well. I'm quite stimulated but, unfortunately, there was a little bit unlucky and not real good start.

Q. It was extremely close match. It could have gone either way. How would you assess your play and what do you think was the difference?

A. I think it was okay for me. Like, I didn't play for basically four months and it was quite good and I was little bit unlucky. At some points I lost in a tie-breaker. In second set I had chance, you know, to hold my serve and win a match in two sets, but he's playing pretty well. He's playing very good tennis and that I had to stay there and be focused until the end, but that was just lottery. It can go anyway. So, I'm not really disappointed with my loss.

Q. You won here in 2000 and now you've had a look at the new facilities. Kind of talk about what you -- about winning back over on the other side of the campus and playing on the new facility here.

A. Definitely, it's much bigger, better but I little bit not really lucky for me but, I mean, it's a great thing to do to make it a little bit bigger because the other one was a little maybe small, but still there was atmostphere and here we have to fill with the people. So, I hope you'll manage it.

Q. Do you feel eager to play at the moment?

A. Yeah. Yeah. I'm still there. You know, it's a long way to go and it's a difficult month. So, I have to be focused and, I mean, try to go for it. Why not? Still many tournaments left.

Q. Marat, have you changed your feelings at all about the Olympics?

A. No. I already said it's my decision. It's not like I'm going to change it because I'm feeling good right now. It's my opinion and I don't think it's -- I'm still with it. I mean, it's great to play in Olympics but I don't think it should be there but, anyway, it's not a problem for me.

Q. How motivated would you be for the Olympics compared to say the U.S. Open?

A. It's almost important tournament for me especially I'm playing for my country. It's a lot of points in a game and it's a great thing to win, but I'm still -- if you compare the Olympics to the U.S. Open, I prefer the U.S. Open.

Q. Wimbledon was such a bad experience for you. How are you feeling mentally and what have you kind of done since then to get over that, to get past that?

A. There was nothing wrong. I just don't like to play on grass and I don't feel like playing on grass. It's not because I hate tennis and I said this because I was frustrated. I just don't like to play on grass. And also you have to understand, like, I have preferences. I prefer not to play it next time. And also I don't have this pushing myself and trying to convince myself that I can play good there and try all the time and try and try and try and just be disappointed every year. So, I try to next year, I will take it easy. I will come there on Saturday, practice for two days, and then whatever comes, comes.

Q. This has been a really interesting year I think for you. I mean, you've gone deep in a couple rounds. You went all the way to the final in Australian Open but it seems like it's been another bit of a rollercoaster year. Is that how you would assess it a bit?

A. What do you mean?

Q. You seem to veer between tremendous success and then go through a stage where you get down on yourself or you fight through the injuries.

A. Yeah. But you have to also understand that it's very difficult to come back well after a year that you didn't play, basically. I mean, you're going to have a great tournament, which was the Australian Open, but still you have to pay the price. It's been now for such a long time because you cannot play, like, all of a sudden start to play and play amazing tennis. I mean, Haas, yes, but same thing it will happen to him. He can play a couple of tournaments well and then he has to pay the price because he wasn't there and also, you know, he lose the rhythm of the ball. You lose -- you lose a little the eye in a game. So, it's kind of small things that you need them but it comes with time. It can't just come all of a sudden like this in one tournament and everything is great and everybody forgets that I was out for a year. And it's a little bit difficult for me to play, you know, like some shots, you know, like to move on the court, anticipation, small things that makes a big change. So, it has to go I have to spend a lot of months working, practising and playing, playing and it will be better and better. Just it's like this. It's not a miracle.

Q. What's the difference between the guy that won here four years ago and the guy sitting here today?

A. Older, experienced, used.

Q. Used? How used?

A. How used? Look at me. I've been everywhere. I've been injured. I've been -- everything happen to me. But nothing changes. Just the same person but a little bit improved.

Q. And what was the treatment for in the third set?

A. I felt like I pulled Achilles, the thing, you know, the tendon here.

Q. The Achilles?

A. Yeah. So, it was a little bit scared, you know. So, that's why I called the [inaudible]. I'm not young anymore.

Q. Did you do anything special on your time off?

A. Yeah. I've been practising. I've been practising for three weeks, trying to work on my fitness because it's a long summer. It's not most of the tennis but to be fit and not to get injured and also I was working on just keeping on playing.

Q. Monte Carlo?

A. No. Some other place. Not only one place in the world.

Q. Marat, do you think maybe today's match is to the guy who has been in the final the last two weeks and you haven't played since Wimbledon? Do you think maybe that was the difference in the match? He was more matched up.

A. Could be. It's the confidence. It's the confidence. I mean, that he was -- that's the confidence. He played there for two weeks but also let's see how it's going to go because it's a long, long month, and I don't know if he can manage to stay there for all the months and be the same player. It's very difficult to because it's a lot of matches, a lot of stress, a lot of with nerves, and be tough until the U.S. Open. After U.S. Open it's very difficult.

Q. Kind of playing off Tom's question of how are you different from when you won here in 2000? When you're here in 2002 you seemed to be fighting yourself a lot. It didn't seem like there was as much of that today. You seemed a lot more playing within yourself. Where are you in relation to where you were then?

A. I'm not fighting with myself. Oh, my God. That's how I am. You know, the story of the hippo? The hippo comes to the monkey and said, listen, I'm not a hippo. So, he paint himself like a zebra. He said but he's still a hippo. He said but look at you, you're painted like a zebra but you are a hippo. So then he goes, you know, like I want be a little parrot. So, he put the colours on him and he comes to the monkey and said but, sorry, you are a hippo. So, in the end, you know, he comes and said I'm happy to be a hippo. This is who I am. So, I have to be who I am and he's happy being a hippo.

Q. I hadn't heard that story.

A. So now you know the story. I'm happy the way I am. That's me. That's my tennis. I'm not fighting anything and I'm just trying to play and I'm trying to have fun. Sometimes I have ups, sometimes I have downs. But I'm trying, you know, to make my life easier and enjoy it and it's a difficult job. You have to also understand it's not every day, you know, it's a great time and it's sunny and you play great tennis. You have difficult times. For example, today this loss, you know, it's like you run, you run for two hours and then in the end you lose. So, it's not so difficult and it really like makes you think, you know, like, what I have to improve and how to improve and if you five losses in a row, it's also difficult.

So, you know, you have to work on yourself. Of course you get pissed, you get frustrated because you're not winning the matches but also, you know, I'm here to for the moment to be -- to be there when I'm going to win, and I want to create this moment and I'm working myself and I'm getting pissed at myself, of course, because I want to improve and I want to be better and I want to win tournaments as well as other 128 guys who are going to be in the U.S. Open and 32 guys here right now. That's life.

PennyThePenguin
07-29-2004, 02:28 AM
interesting analogy. hahaha...

li'l red
07-29-2004, 02:59 AM
i think i haven't smiled since hearing the news that he lost...
but the hippo story made me laugh!... marat :lol:

PennyThePenguin
07-29-2004, 03:34 AM
marat the dependable...for smiles...

Vass
07-29-2004, 09:00 AM
I'm not satisfied with his answers of why he lost. Lottery all over again. I realy think that it would have been better if he thought to himself: I'm supposed to be the best in the world and if I lose it was me who was not playing well, not the other guy playing well". I don't honestly think that Kiefer can realy out play him, when he plays 75-80% of his abilities.

junekidd
07-29-2004, 09:43 AM
I am glad to see that marat still owns the confidence. that's very important! interesting story about the hippo. hope he could tell another funny story like this after a winning! :lol:

li'l red
07-29-2004, 10:24 AM
marat the dependable...for smiles...


yeah... and i hope next time the reason for the smiles and laughter would be his winning ;)

Shadow
07-29-2004, 10:44 AM
the hippo story is kind of nice. its funny he always comes up with some storys.

otherwise i agree with Vass. not looking too good for the future, i guess when he still thinks of luck an lottery :(

Bibir
07-29-2004, 12:21 PM
...yes, the hippo story is funny... he knows how to use methaphors or images to explain that this is the way he is and that he will never change...

sometimes he seems really focused, sometimes not...that's why he will always have up and downs.
In a interview Youzhny said that this is his choice, and he's happy the way he is...(not his fans of course).
Anyhow he doesn't seem really upset after all his losses, he only shows a kind of anger on court...so we don't have to be too upset and as he said it's a long way to go and it's a difficult month....who knows...

whaaaaooooo!!!! I'm new here and this is my longest post....sorry for my bad english

|-Safin_Coria-|
07-29-2004, 01:08 PM
:lol: i love that hippo story, he is such a character!

merle
07-29-2004, 01:34 PM
Welcome bibir, and don't worry about your English, it's fine! :wavey:

merle
07-29-2004, 01:38 PM
the hippo story is kind of nice. its funny he always comes up with some storys.

otherwise i agree with Vass. not looking too good for the future, i guess when he still thinks of luck an lottery :(

Oh Andrea and Vass, brighten up a bit, will ya!!!!! :hug: He HAS TO start winning some time!!

Lucie
07-29-2004, 02:16 PM
that hippo story is such a classic marat comment, i can just imagine everyone in the room thinking what the hell is this guy on about!

PennyThePenguin
07-30-2004, 02:29 PM
that hippo story is such a classic marat comment, i can just imagine everyone in the room thinking what the hell is this guy on about!

and then after they think that thought they'll all roll their eyes and think..."typical marat...classic headcase... the fans will love this story...and our editors will love us for reporting this..."

Shadow
07-30-2004, 02:35 PM
Oh Andrea and Vass, brighten up a bit, will ya!!!!! :hug: He HAS TO start winning some time!!

yes don`t worry ;) :hug:

Shadow
08-04-2004, 02:54 PM
WESTERN AND SOUTHERN FINANCIAL GROUP MASTERS CINCINNATI, OHIO

August 2, 2004

M. SAFIN/J. Novak 6-3, 6-0

MARAT SAFIN

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat.

Q. How did you feel today?

MARAT SAFIN: Well, it was good. It was, actually, for my first win in two months. So it was pretty -- I was pretty happy. I was a little bit nervous at the beginning, and then I started to feel better and better. A little bit I gain some confidence. And was good. Good win for me.

Q. Can you talk about your past few tournaments where you've had early exits.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, was like a little bit disappointing for me. I had chances, and I had I would say -- just I had a lot of chances. I couldn't take them. Even against -- last week against Kiefer I didn't play really my best tennis, but I was there, I had the opportunity in the second set. Like I had the set and 2-Love. I couldn't hold my serve. And then it started to be complicated, and then he started to play with more confidence. And he beat me. It was like third-set tiebreak is a lottery. So I was little bit unlucky. Also in Wimbledon was same situation, you know. So it's basically the first win from French Open.

Q. How important is it for this momentum?

MARAT SAFIN: Very important. Very important. Very important to win some matches and start to win, you know, to get the confidence back, and try to work on yourself, not to rush too much, and try to go for another one. I mean, it's so complicated to get the confidence back. So you have to, you know, to take match by match and go slowly because everybody's playing pretty well. And they have to be focused. It's tough conditions. So it might help me because I didn't play a lot of matches so, you know, I am a little bit more fresh than other players.

Q. It was a pretty quick win today. What was the difference?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, he didn't -- I played like I had nothing to lose, so I tried to do my best. I was running, I was fighting, I was serving well. So I didn't make big change in my match. And then he didn't really play well. I mean, I have to be honest. He didn't really felt comfortable on the court. So it was a matter of making a break in the first set, and things would be much easier. That's why it went so easy in the second set. He couldn't find himself on the court basically, and I took advantage of it.

Q. What do you think of the tournament here?

MARAT SAFIN: It's a Masters Series. Great tournament. I mean, even to -- in such tough conditions, not really a big city, you know, for Mason basically; is not Cincinnati. People are still interested in it. It's good entertainment for them. I hope they enjoy it. Because this tournament is here for a long time, so it means that it's doing well. And a lot of kids. So it's quite important. I mean, if the people still come and still interested in tennis, it means that we're doing well.

End of FastScripts….

PennyThePenguin
08-04-2004, 03:57 PM
hmm... they definitely cut the interview transcript. it's too short to be a decent marat interview. it's actually a REALLY BORING interview...i've a sneaky suspicion they censored bits of it. marat's never that boring...


anyhow, thanks andrea for posting it!!!

Tennis Fool
08-06-2004, 12:44 AM
Marat Safin d. Ivo Karlovic

Q. You had never played him before. How did you approach this match? You must have been a little bit worried to play him for the first time.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, it's a little bit tough opponent to play. No rhythm. I mean, he serves incredibly well. So I have to be really focused and wait for opportunities because ‑‑ for your chances.

So I had a chance in the first set. I had a few breakpoints. Then in the tiebreak just you have to be focus. There always will be one point if you will miss, or also the second serve, then you have to take advantage of it.

But it's kind of just one, two points makes a big difference in that match. So it was try to stay focus, try to hold my serve, and hang in there and wait.

Q. What are you the most happy of in your game?

MARAT SAFIN: That even that I stayed quite focused. I managed to return, I managed to have my breakpoints, quite a lot of chances to break him even though that he was serving well. I mean, five, six breakpoints, that's a big deal against him. And even though I couldn't take my chances, but I was there. That's a good sign.

Q. You had a bunch of breakpoints. We didn't see the point that you won, you got your break in the third set. I think he had already saved a couple. What happened?

MARAT SAFIN: Basically he made the double‑fault. But I don't think so. But they called it out.

Q. You seemed to have a lot of people cheering for you out there. Is that common for you in the early rounds, do you think?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't know what's common. If the people, they enjoy it, that's great. I don't think they're just cheering me they want me to win, they want to see also a good game. Must be like they like me, they like my game. I'm happy for them (smiling).

Q. Do the fans play a part in a match for you?

MARAT SAFIN: What?

Q. Do you find the fans play a part in a match for you?

MARAT SAFIN: It's kind of good to have some support. I mean, of course it's good. They are really into it. I heard some people, that they were.

No, it's good to have some supporters even though that there was a match on center court. And they were really, the people, they were really into it. I mean, not so many of them, but, still, they were really trying to help me and try to give some advices and supporting me. That's good. That's good.

Q. You play with some emotion and personality, obviously. Do you try to, to some extent, play to the fans and win them over?

MARAT SAFIN: Can you repeat that?

Q. Do you attempt to get the fans on your side by showing personality on the court?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I'm not trying. I'm just trying to win the match. That's my main goal. I mean, when you are winning, everybody's just ‑‑ they like it. I mean, the people, they really like the winners; they don't like the losers. So when you are playing well and your main goal to win, then you are kind of playing good tennis and feeling comfortable on the court and you have some great shots so the people, they love it. They always like to see some great shots. That's what it's all about, is entertainment. Is nothing else. Entertainment, sport. The people, they pay not just to see the boring match and just, you know, to kill the time. They're coming here and they want to see tennis ‑ great points, they want to see personalties, they want to see athletes fighting and all these things. So basically you have to give them.

Q. You've been up to No. 1, then you had some struggles and injuries. Do you sense there are a lot of tennis fans rooting for you to get back up there, they're cheering for you now?

MARAT SAFIN: Apart from that, also I'm doing for myself. I'm not doing for anybody else.

It's not so easy, though, to come back and try to come back strong and all of a sudden become No. 1 in the world. It takes a little bit of time. I've been out for quite ‑‑ almost for a year.

So I need to get used to ‑‑ you need to come back, first of all, to get the rhythm, to get the confidence back. Because sometimes if you are injured and you are a little bit scared, also it can break again, not just of the injury. So is little bit more mental, mental problem. Just, you know, like you have to get through this and you have to work harder because you lost already one year. If you didn't play for a year, you're losing that touch, you're losing the eye, you're losing the feeling, you're losing most of the things of the game.

And you need to bring it back, and then you can fight for No. 1 and try to do some great things on the court.

Q. What kind of things did you do to occupy your time during that year? Was it hard to find something that interested you?

MARAT SAFIN: Anything except tennis (smiling). Anything.

Q. Was it hard to come up with things that interested you?

MARAT SAFIN: Believe me, there are very interesting things in life except tennis. I mean, tennis is great. But also there is ‑‑ is not the only thing in life that can a person have. And, believe me, there is much more things than that. Tennis is a part of your life, a major part of your life. But if you are not playing tennis, there is plenty of things to do.

Q. Do you find motivation a little bit easier to come as you go along the week rather than first round?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, the motivation kills ‑‑ what kills motivation? Kills if you lose in the first round, it kills the matches that you are fighting and you are trying as hard as you can and losing 7‑6 in the third and then you are just like, you know, 7‑6, 7‑6. I lost to Bjorkman , for example, in Halle 7‑6 in the third. I lost in Wimbledon tough match. I had the opportunity to win in three sets and I lost it. Then I lost to Kiefer 7‑6 in the third. So how you can find the motivation?

I mean, motivation automatically goes away. Because you are trying and you are trying so hard that it's just killing you from inside.

So when you have the opportunity to win, then the motivation comes back ‑ I mean, with the matches and the confidence coming back. Once you have the confidence, you enjoy it more, tennis. You don't struggle any more on the court. You just go there and you play and you enjoy it because you can do things that normally you do playing good.

Q. Therefore, as you get to the quarterfinals, it's easier because you've got some wins?

MARAT SAFIN: Now we're talking about something. If you lose the first round, second round, it's not interesting actually. It's just basically you didn't achieve anything.

So if you're in the quarterfinals, it's already something that can become something bigger. Once you have quarterfinals, then ambitions, motivation, ambitions, they coming back. You want to achieve more and more and more.

Q. You don't know who you're going to play, but can you say a few words about Hewitt and about Henman .

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, it's gonna be tough match for both of them. I mean, Henman , he can play great tennis. Hewitt is always tough, he's always running, he's always fighting, and he gonna be there for as many hours as he need to be there.

I mean, against Hewitt it's little bit difficult just because he's all the time fighting, and you have to be there for 100 percent every game, every point, even though if you are winning he can come back from out of nowhere.

With Henman , the problem is that he can serve well, he has great volleys, and he has a very aggressive game. So you have to be pretty focused and take your chances ‑ basically like today.

There's one, two points that makes a big difference. He serves well. He improved a lot ‑ improved a lot. I mean, he can play from the baseline, he can go to the net. I mean, the volley, he's just one of the best now in these days. From the baseline, he improved. He can run with you. If you're not 100 percent, he will just ‑‑ he will beat you quite easy.

PennyThePenguin
08-06-2004, 03:30 AM
thanks bobby. nice long interview. nth funny though. i've been spoilt by marat's funny interviews...sigh...

Aurora
08-06-2004, 08:19 PM
sirius, bad boy, can't always expect crazy hippo! sometimes mr safin shows up at the office actually doing all the work without goofing around.

Tennis Fool
08-07-2004, 03:49 AM
Good news is no mention of "luck" anywhere in this article, only trying harder and staying motivated for the rest of the season. Hope that's Lundgren's influence.


Hewitt d. Safin 6/4 6/4

Marat Safin
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marat .

Q. You played a lot of good stuff but didn't quite get the result that you wanted. What do you think the main reasons for that were?

MARAT SAFIN: I didn't really felt today really good on the court. It was quite windy for me, and the balls became very small and they were flying, actually. I couldn't have ‑‑ couldn't put my game out. Like I didn't feel comfortable. That's why it was so many unforced errors.

For him was okay. I mean, his type of game, it suits this weather. I mean, he just have to put back and run. I mean, I have to create something, and today I couldn't. I didn't feel the grip, you know. Couldn't control the ball really well.

Q. What was the problem with your wrist?

MARAT SAFIN: No, just was a little bit too, you know ‑‑ taped too strong.

Q. Has that been a problem before with your wrist?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I'm just protecting it by putting all the time the tape, just protecting my wrist.

Q. You got a bad line call as well. Did that have much effect on the match?

MARAT SAFIN: No, not really. But just, you know, just any opportunity today would be great. I mean, 15‑Love, 15‑All, just something, you know. Just wait and wait and wait. It was actually mistake. The ball was out. It was quite obvious. Not even close.

But I'm not blaming him. I just want to prove my point that ‑‑ anyway he gonna see it now on the TV, and he can see that the ball was out. So he apologize to me. But he thought that he was right and the ball was in. So just it was bad but just something, you know, I mean, you never know. 15‑30, for me, it would be good today, some opportunity.

Q. Do you not feel that the match just hinged, as it often does, on one or two shots, the lob for instance that you made when you were about to break serve, just one or two points like that?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I mean, if will be ‑‑ if I could make a break back and it would be a little bit ‑‑ he will be a little bit more nervous on his serve because he knew that ‑‑ he would know that I can break him. But then he get the confidence, and he was serving pretty well.

Q. It must be frustrating to play him because he's just so solid, isn't he?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but that's his game. I mean, the best days, like when I'm playing well and the conditions are a little bit better for me and I'm more feeling like more ‑‑ I have little bit of more confidence, maybe less windy ‑ I mean, for me to play in the wind is little bit tough ‑ it would be different match.

But today for him it was a great weather, perfect conditions to beat me.

Q. What is it like for you? Was it frustrating out there?

MARAT SAFIN: Not frustrating. But just, you know, like I couldn't finish the points and the balls are flying. So when I couldn't have the grip from the backhand, from the forehand, just a little bit uncomfortable on the court. But that's it, just small things here and there that creates whole different picture.

Q. Despite that, you don't look far away from the top group. Do you feel that, and what would it take to get there?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm not focusing on the ranking, I mean, how far I am, how many points I have, and what I have to do to be in Houston and all this actually bullshit story. Just is not most important thing for me.

Just get back to ‑‑ get the confidence and hold the confidence for as long as I can. And just once I will get this, stay there for as long as you can and then squeeze everything what you can from this, you know, from the confidence.

And then if I'm playing well, the points will come. I will not be struggling, you know, being 7th, being 8th, being 10th or we're going to talk about different numbers already. That's my goal.

I mean, once I will start to play well, confidence, and then big tournaments is coming ‑ US Open , we have Olympics still, we have points there. Then we have two Masters Series in Paris and then Madrid .

Q. Do you sense there are a lot of people, spectators, media, who actually want you to do that because you're good for the game?

MARAT SAFIN: Thank you.

I'm also trying. I'm trying. Is not so easy. Is really it's just very complicated. It looks very easy from out of the court. It looks simple, but it's not. It's just day by day ‑ work, difficult times, not playing well, not feeling the ball, struggling, mental problems that you have no confidence and this kind of things.

When you can pull everything together, then you gonna have the results. But you need to work. It's day by day. But it's not really ‑‑ is not easy. It's just difficult to explain to the people how tough it is because they really think it's just you go there, you play your best tennis, that's it. That's how you gain points and confidence.

Q. Do you feel like you're going in the right direction, though, you're getting closer?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I'm working hard. I'm trying and I really want. Once you have motivation, once you want to do it, it's just a matter of just waiting for opportunity. Opportunities will come. It's not the last opportunity that I am having to get into semifinals or winning a tournament. There's still a lot of ‑‑ plenty of months to play.

And once I will have this ‑ and I'm sure I will ‑ there is no chance that you cannot have chances. Take it, and then the confidence will grow, points will come, and the game will improve and the result will come.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

PennyThePenguin
08-07-2004, 05:16 AM
sirius, bad boy, can't always expect crazy hippo! sometimes mr safin shows up at the office actually doing all the work without goofing around.

GIRL lilly my dear...GIRL.....

and yeah...i know he takes his work seriously, sometimes.... but... i did say i'd been spoilt! :angel:

Bibir
08-07-2004, 08:49 AM
thanks bobby for the interview...he 's not as frustrated as me...he's positive actually...not really down....cool....maybe his confidence is coming back :)

Tennis Fool
08-10-2004, 03:15 AM
This is the Sopot interview with Myskina. I don't speak Polish and have no clue what it says. Anyone willing to translate?


Myskina: Mam nadzieję, że to będzie dla mnie dobry tydzień. Jestem jeszcze w formie po zwycięstwie na Roland Garros. Nawierzchnia ziemna mi odpowiada, dobrze się na niej czuję. Być rozstawionym z numerem jeden to ogromna presja, bo ma się świadomość, że dużo dziewczyn gra dobrze i każda może mnie pokonać. Ale trzeba po porstu dobrze grać.

Safin: Racja. Zawsze najtrudniejsza jest pierwsza runda. Tutaj jest dużo Hiszpanów, specjalistów od gry na ziemi - w pierwszej rundzie gram właśnie z jednym z nich. Ale co ma być to będzie. Na razie dużo trenuję, aby się przyzywczaić do nawierzchni. Wcześniej grałem w USA w turniejach na twardych kortach. Czy to rozsądne wracać na ziemię przed Atenami, gdzie gra się także na hard-court? Wiele osób mnie o to pyta. Odpowiadam: dużo łatwiej jest wrócić z nawierzchni ziemnej na twardą, niż odwrotnie - to wszystko wyjaśnia.

Myskina: Każdy zawodnik ma swój plan startów. Ja zdecydowałam się zagrać w Sopocie, bo to fajne miejsce nad morzem i fajny turniej. Dobrze jest też przyzwyczaić się do europejskiego czasu po tych wojażach w Ameryce, gdzie grałam podobnie jak Marat.

Safin: Czy Dinara poradziła mi jak wygrać w Sopocie? Przypominam, że na razie ja wygrałem więcej turniejów, niż ona, więc to moja siostra może się uczyć ode mnie. Jestem tu, bo druga połowa sezonu jest dla mnie ważna. Trzeba grać w wielu turniejach, aby przygotować się do tych najważniejsyzch - olimpiady i US Open. Dlatego mówię, że to nieprawda, że nie zamierzam zabawić długo w Sopocie. Granie w tenisa to moja praca, którą staram się traktować poważnie. Oznacza to, że w każdym turnieju chcę grać jak najdłużej. Chciałbym też coś wreszcie wygrać, ostatnio udało mi się to w roku 2000. Do Aten więc mi się nie spieszy, zresztą połączeń lotniczych jest dużo - problemu nie ma.

Myskina: Do Aten lecimy razem, więc przypilnuję Marata. Nie wiem ile dostaniemy za ewantualny złoty medal, bo nie gramy dla pieniędzy. Może Marat wie...

Safin: Pewnie pieniędzy jest dużo, ale jak nie wygram to ich nie zobaczę i będzie to znaczyć, że nie zasłużyłem. Nie widzę związku między łamanymi rakietami, a wizytą u psychologa. Rakiet łamię rzeczywiście dużo, ale odkąd mam je za darmo nie przeszkadza mi to. Zresztą psycholog tak naprawdę nie pomaga ludziom - oni sami sobie pomagają. On dostaje pieniądze za to, żeby słuchał tego, co mówimy - słowa odbiajają się jak w lustrze i wracają.

Myskina: Skąd moja siła na korcie? Nie ma w tym żadnych tricków ani magii. Mam po prostu jedną rękę do forhendu i dwie do bekhendu. Zresztą i tak najważniejsza jest głowa. Ale ponieważ w całym cyklu dziewczyny odbijają szybko i mocno, ja muszę tak samo.

Safin: Polska kojarzy mi się z Lechem Wałęsą. A jeśli chcecie wiedzieć coś jeszcze, to także z kradzionymi samochodami, które tędy trafiają z Niemiec do Rosji. Pamiętam też mecz z Michałem Chmelą, przegrany gładko, choć wolałbym mieć inne wspomnienia. Ale zdaje się, że dla Chmeli to było jedyne takie zwycięstwo, po tym meczu jakby się rozpłynął...

PennyThePenguin
08-10-2004, 10:47 AM
we've got a translation on TGFR. it's under tournament threads...under sopot. all thanks to magda....ahhhhhh :worship:

maratgirl
08-10-2004, 12:27 PM
I think it's the same that I found http://inside-tennis.net/index.php?action=article&id=101 it's from an olga she did a great job :D

Aurora
08-10-2004, 12:32 PM
:o Ow i'm really sorry sirius!!!! I'm so stupid :smash:
With your name my old Latin reflex thinks "male". :banghead:

Shadow
08-10-2004, 12:36 PM
here is the whole transcript of the press conferrence with marat and anastacia

http://inside-tennis.net/index.php?action=article&id=101