12-13-2003, 12:56 AM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Re: Re: Marat Interviews
2000 FORO ITALICO
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….
Marat Safin - always the one and only
12-13-2003, 01:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Re: Re: Re: Marat Interviews
THE 1999 LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
March 20, 1999
M. SAFIN/B. Becker
An interview with:
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?
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....
Marat Safin - always the one and only
12-13-2003, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Re: Marat Interviews
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.
v vvvvvvv vvvvvv~Good Luck Marat in 2005!~ v vvvvvvv vvvvvv
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." ~ John Lennon
12-13-2003, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Re: Marat Interviews
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...
v vvvvvvv vvvvvv~Good Luck Marat in 2005!~ v vvvvvvv vvvvvv
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." ~ John Lennon
12-13-2003, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Re: Re: Re: Marat Interviews
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
Marat Safin - always the one and only
12-13-2003, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Re: Re: Marat Interviews
here we go Sis
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?
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?
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.
Marat Safin - always the one and only
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