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Discussion Starter #3
Marat and Tim are my faves on the men's tour and there's not much people supporting Tim so I went ahead and changed my avatar.
 

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the cat, Marat is playing 3 tournaments before the US Open. Toronto, Cincinatti and Indianapolis, and then he has a week off.

I hope Marat is able to win one of these events. It will give him alot of confidence going into Flushing Meadows.
 

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Marat Safin def. Juan Ignacio Chela 64 63!:D :D :D

Nice easy win from Marat

Go Marat!:bounce:
 

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It looks like he played a good match. I have it on tape at home, so whenever I get there Ill watch. :D and post some thoughts about it. Well done Marat. Now Im just praying for a match with Guga! :bounce:
 

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hitman, unfortunately there will be no Marat-Guga.:( Guga retired from his match with an injury. Not sure if its his hip or what. I hope its nothing serious and he'll be okay for Cincy next week. He was starting to play well again, and then this happens.:mad: So unfair.
 

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Here is an article about Marat's win from Toronto's official website:)

Safin Sails in Toronto

Second seed Marat Safin maintained his 100 percent record in Toronto by overcoming dangerous opponent Juan Ignacio Chela to move into the second round. Safin, who captured his first Tennis Masters Series shield at the National Tennis Centre two years ago, won his seventh consecutive match in Toronto with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Chela, the Argentine who claimed his first ATP title in Amersfoort earlier this month.



"I'm satisfied with my game," said Safin, playing his first tournament since Wimbledon. "I feel great. It's been a long time since I've felt this good."

Safin, who led the ATP Champions Race 2002 for seven weeks earlier in the year after reaching the final at the Tennis Masters Hamburg, took full advantage of Chela's second serve throughout the match. After breaking the Argentine's serve in the third game of the opening set, the 22-year-old Russian maintained his momentum and broke twice in the second before wrapping up his victory in 1 hour, 13 minutes.

Safin, who lost in the first round in Montreal 12 months ago, will now play defending champion Andrei Pavel after the Romanian was the beneficiary of an injury to Gustavo Kuerten just after taking the first set 7-5.

"Pavel is motivated as he is the defending champion," said Safin. "But if you want to win a tournament, you have to get through these tough matches."
 

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Another article. This one from tennisweek.com :)

Safin Slams Chela To Reach Second Round In Toronto


By Richard Pagliaro
07/30/2002

Fans seated in the 12th row felt the force of Marat Safin today. Sprinting forward inside the service line, Safin stopped suddenly then slammed an overhead with the sheer strength of a player intent on contorting the shape of the ball with a single crushing swing. The ball bounced into the stands as Safin strolled back to the net with the first set in hand and the ball fleeing the scene of its flogging.


The court can't contain one of tennis' most powerful players and neither could Juan Ignacio Chela as Safin scored a 6-4, 6-3 first-round win at the Tennis Masters Series-Canada tournament at the National Tennis Centre in Toronto. In his last trip to Toronto, Safin beat Harel Levy to take home the 2000 tournament title a little more than a month before his breakthrough in Flushing Meadows when he crushed 13-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 to capture the US Open.

Though he is ranked second in the world and was the Australian Open runner-up in January and a French Open semifinalist in June, Safin has not won a tournament title this year. The 6-foot-4 Safin played with purpose in pushing Chela around the court in pursuit of his deep drives today, but admitted afterward he's still chasing his confidence in the aftermath of his shocking second-round setback to Olivier Rochus at Wimbledon.

"Wimbledon was horrible for me, " Safin said. "I would love to win here get my confidence back. My confidence is somewhere else right now and I need to bring it back. I was on a long vacation in Russia after Wimbledon and I need to get it back."

The conviction in Safin's shots was evident from the outset as he broke Chela early and used a fearsome first serve to make the break stand up. Serving for the first set at 5-4, Safin faced double break point at 15-40, but hit a clean backhand volley winner and followed with a service winner down the middle to dismiss the break points and reach deuce. A Chela backhand return wide gave Safin set point and he secured the set with his emphatic overhead. Safin won 12 of his 16 first-serve points in the set.

Breaking Chela at love in the opening game of the second set, Safin won eight of the first nine points to take a 2-0 lead. Complementing his powerful play from the baseline with well-timed trips to the net, the 22-year-old Russian won 18 of 22 net points and always had an answer for every Chela threat.

Serving at 4-3, 30-all, Safin slammed consecutive aces to hold for 5-3 then broke Chela with a forehand return winner down the line to end the encounter and raise his record to 35-14 on the season. Safin will play defending champion Andrei Pavel in the second round. Pavel led Gustavo Kuerten, 7-5, when Kuerten retired due to pain in his right hip.

"I've been trying to win a Slam since I started the year," Safin said. "Hopefully, I will play well here and go to the US Open and try to win it again."
 

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Yes, unfortunately youre right Jessi. No Marat vs Guga. :(
I just watched Marats match on tape. He is the opposite case of Roger Federer. He is playing well enough in the majority of the match, but on the key points he steps up (like a 30-30 in his serve and he hits a serve at 224kmph and two aces in a row).
Very good match.
Another example, he won the match on a return winner with the forehand.
 
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