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Old 12-13-2003, 09:25 PM   #16
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Thanks Andrea! Great interview!
Love his comments. Those about women, his stolen BMW and "stars" are amazing.
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Old 12-13-2003, 09:28 PM   #17
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Thanks Andrea

There are two different translations of this interview.. i have the other one
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Old 12-13-2003, 09:42 PM   #18
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I love that interview..Marat is SUCH a quote machine lol!every line in there is a gem! Thanks Andrea
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Old 12-22-2003, 05:19 PM   #19
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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….
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Old 12-22-2003, 05:20 PM   #20
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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….
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Old 12-22-2003, 05:22 PM   #21
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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….
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Old 12-23-2003, 06:21 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 12-24-2003, 06:00 AM   #23
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Ah.. what memories! Thanks Andrea!
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Old 12-24-2003, 11:27 AM   #24
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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.
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Old 12-24-2003, 11:28 AM   #25
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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.
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Old 12-24-2003, 11:30 AM   #26
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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.
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Old 12-24-2003, 11:31 AM   #27
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Marat Interviews

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.
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Old 12-24-2003, 11:44 AM   #28
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Default Re: Marat Interviews

So many interviews! Nice read!
Thanks!
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Old 12-25-2003, 04:17 PM   #29
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Default Re: Re: Marat Interviews

yeah, i always love to read old interviews
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Old 12-26-2003, 03:54 PM   #30
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Default Re: Marat Interviews

So famous girls don't interest him particularly....There is a God




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