Safin smashes bogeyman Santoro (article) [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Safin smashes bogeyman Santoro (article)

Tennis Fool
01-05-2004, 01:52 PM
Safin smashes bogeyman Santoro
Mon 5 January, 2004 13:27

By Ossian Shine

PERTH, Australia (Reuters) - A fully-fit Marat Safin has conquered a personal jinx and hauled Russia back into their Hopman Cup clash against France, whipping Fabrice Santoro 6-3 6-3.

Having missed most of last year with a wrist injury, not too much was expected of the Russian former world number one in his first match of 2004 on Monday.

But he proved beyond any doubt that he is back to his powerful best by smashing his bogeyman in 76 minutes.

It was a first victory in nine months for Safin who was clearly delighted with his performance.

"It feels great to be back," he smiled courtside. "I am happy. I mean, playing Fabrice is not so nice for me... he was leading 7-1 in matches we'd played, so I am happy to be back and to win.

"I have been resting for six months so it is time to play some tennis again -- I want to be back.

"My ranking has dropped to 77 so it is a difficult time for me but I will be trying my best to get back into the top 10," the former U.S. Open champion added.

On Monday's form, that return should not be too far away.

Safin will team up with Anastasia Myskina later on Monday to take on Santoro and Amelie Mauresmo in the mixed doubles to decide the tie.

Mauresmo had earlier got her season off to a great start when she beat world number seven Myskina 6-2 7-6.

Kiara
01-05-2004, 01:54 PM
Ah they lost the doubles.....Myskina :rolleyes:

maratski
01-05-2004, 01:58 PM
TF get in the Marat forum for a nice little story by me ;)

Tennis Fool
01-05-2004, 02:20 PM
Ilhame, I looked, but didn't see it :confused:

maratski
01-05-2004, 02:21 PM
It's in the interview thread, I forgot to mention that ;)

Tennis Fool
01-05-2004, 02:32 PM
Ok :D

Kiara
01-05-2004, 04:23 PM
nice to see him back....it been a long wait!

Chloe le Bopper
01-05-2004, 05:40 PM
Adidas really needs to drop that fugly outfit from their line. Man. Black, fluroescent green, and white? What is this, 1991?

MisterQ
01-05-2004, 05:55 PM
Adidas really needs to drop that fugly outfit from their line. Man. Black, fluroescent green, and white? What is this, 1991?

No, THIS is 1991! :lol:

MisterQ
01-05-2004, 05:56 PM
Btw, was anyone able to watch this safin/santoro match? How was Santoro playing? He seemed to have figured marat out in the past.

Ma. Estefania
01-05-2004, 06:03 PM
LOL :haha:

I hope Marat can change already that t-shirt.....

But good win. :yeah:

maratski
01-05-2004, 06:52 PM
I never liked that Adidas shirt, but compared to the other shirt I love it ;)

It seems that Fabrice was playing well, as usual, but Marat was better. Big serving, playing lobs, passing Fabrice left and right. I guess he just beat him at his won game today and Marat was calm, so he didn't let Fabrice get to him.

Sjengster
01-05-2004, 07:02 PM
Interesting, so it wasn't Santoro just playing below-par as, say, Nalbandian did against Federer in Houston... very promising indeed, and the article declared he was completely injury-free, but I'll wait until the other two matches are played before I decide whether he's really back in form. Should be interesting, he has an equal record with Novak and has never played Blake - now that's going to be an explosive encounter...

maratski
01-05-2004, 07:17 PM
They practised together this week so he might have seen some stuff of him ;)

star
01-05-2004, 07:19 PM
I see Safin as beating Blake easily if he is playing up to form.

Novak is a much tougher character. :)

maratski
01-05-2004, 07:23 PM
Marat will beat Blake I assume, but indeed Novak is a tough opponent. Let's hope Jiri is rusty at the start of this season ;)

MisterQ
01-05-2004, 09:40 PM
an article from Tennis Week:

Photo By Cynthia Lum By Richard Pagliaro
01/05/2004
In their past meetings the sight of the Cook on the other side of the net was about as appealing as the prospect of food poisoning for Marat Safin. Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, affectionately nicknamed "Le Cuisinier" (the cook) for his varied style of play, mixed a steady diet of deft drop shots and scintillating slices into a recipe for success that completely confounded Safin in their past meetings.



The crafty cook had served up a French feast in winning seven of his eight career matches with Safin prior to today's showdown at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia.



Famished for his first victory in nine months, an inspired Safin shredded Santoro as quickly as a cookie in a cuisinart, scoring a 6-3, 6-3 triumph in the International Tennis Federation's eight-team exhibition event. French woman Amelie Mauresmo beat Anastasia Myskina, 6-2, 7-6 in the women's singles and partnered with Santoro to score a 6-3, 6-4 win over Safin and Myskina to lift unseeded France to a 2-1 victory over fourth-seeded Russia at the Burswood Dome.

Though the Hopman Cup is an exhibition event, the victory was meaningful for Safin, who snapped his winless drought in emphatic fashion. It was Safin's first victory since he stomped Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero, 6-4, 6-3, on red clay in the Barcelona semifinals last April.

The former No. 1, who was sidelined for half the 2003 season with a wrist injury that plunged him into a period of self-doubt, has an optimistic outlook on the 2004 season. Safin has set his sights on returning to the top 10 and contending for another Grand Slam championship and was thrilled to finally beat his long-time nemesis.

"It feels great to be back," Safin told Reuters writer Ossian Shine. "I am happy. I mean, playing Fabrice is not so nice for me...he was leading 7-1 in matches we'd played, so I am happy to be back and to win."

The towering, talented, temperamental Safin remains one of the only professional players on the planet capable of dominating a match with both his serve and return. Safin's gift for the game is undeniable, but his commitment to crafting a championship career was questioned even before his injury when Safin seemed to take a page from the Yevgeny Kafelnikov manual of minimizing results by overplaying an extensive schedule rather than pacing himself to reach peak form in time for the majors.

A little more than three years ago, Safin looked utterly unbeatable in crushing 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras to win the 2000 U.S. Open — one of seven tournament titles he won that year — but he has seemed completely clueless on the court for sustained periods of play in winning only three tournament titles since.

Safin's Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpischev said in the past the former No. 1 has all the qualities necessary to be a great champion — except for one essential element: desire.

"There's no doubt about that. He could be as dominant as Michael Jordan was or Michael Schumacher, Tiger Woods, you name it," Tarpischev told Reuters last April. "Unfortunately, he has the talent but not the desire to be the world number one."

Over the past two years, the 2002 Australian Open finalist has produced a 68-37 record, won one tournament title, reached four finals and has seen his ranking plummet to No. 77.

Convinced he has regained his commitment and health, Safin said today his time away from tournament tennis has left him hungry to regain a spot in the top 10.

"I have been resting for six months so it is time to play some tennis again — I want to be back," Safin told Reuters. "My ranking has dropped to 77 so it is a difficult time for me. But I will be trying my best to get back into the top 10."

lizabeth..*
01-05-2004, 09:52 PM
Ohhh that was such a GOOD match!!! It will be a huge confidence booster for Marat going into the AO and of course for this year.

:bounce:

Action Jackson
01-06-2004, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by MisterQ
Btw, was anyone able to watch this safin/santoro match? How was Santoro playing? He seemed to have figured marat out in the past.


I saw the match, and watched the parts I missed in the replay. There are definitely promising signs for Safin fans. Santoro wasn't playing badly at all, and had his usual bag of tricks but Safin never looked like losing this match. Safin was moving very well and his overall play was excellent, hopefully he has been doing some extra fitness work he needs it.

J. Corwin
01-06-2004, 01:31 AM
That's good news for Marat. It's about time he has a comfortable victory over his nemesis.

rogicomel
01-06-2004, 02:09 AM
Good win for Marat! Keep it up!

Jessi
01-06-2004, 02:42 AM
:woohoo:

azza
01-06-2004, 05:46 AM
he didnt smash him :rolleyes: if u watched the match it was a close encounter :rolleyes:

Action Jackson
01-06-2004, 05:48 AM
It was the journalist who said that Safin smashed Santoro? It was a good match like I said, but it was one Safin didn't look like losing which makes a change against his mate Santoro.

WyverN
01-06-2004, 06:15 AM
Good win for Safin by being a exhibition he would not be affected by his mental demons.

He got called for a large number of foot faults and I think he would have gone absolutely nuts (sort of did in the mixed doubles) had this been the Australian Open.

maratski
01-06-2004, 09:00 AM
Santoro Le cuisinier???

Le Magicien!!!!!!

He almost didn't make it to Perth since his passport has been stolen AGAIN :haha:

Jazzy
01-06-2004, 09:13 AM
his passport been stolen again!!! :haha:

Action Jackson
01-07-2004, 03:58 AM
I thought it was a problem with the visa, then again if it was the passport being stolen I am not surprised either.

maratski
01-07-2004, 07:35 AM
the visa was in there ;)