Safin seeks revenge for Moscow



Safin seeks revenge for Moscow

First round at Milan Indoors features a meeting between No. 1 seed and New Balls Please star Marat Safin battling Germany's David Prinosil, unseeded in Milan

. Their contest may prove one of revenge as Safin will seek to even the score against Prinosil in a rematch of the Kremlin Cup, where Prinosil shocked the Russian star in the Moscow semifinal.

Though Safin maintains a 3-1 career advantage over the German, Prinsoil's win denied the Moscow fans of an all-Russian showdown between Safin, and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, now a four-time winner of the event.

Safin leads Prinosil 3-1

In Milan, Safin, who won seven titles last year en route to a No. 2 finish in the inaugural ATP Champions Race, will seek his first victory of the new year. His first tournament appearance of the year, at the Australian Open where he was No. 2 seed, was cut short when he was ousted in the third round by Slovakian Dominik 'the Dominator' Hrbaty.

If Safin can make good on an early disposal of Prinosil, a possible semifinal rematch against 'the Dominator', seeded third in Milan, lies in wait for the Russian star.

27-year-old Prinosil, holder of three titles, likewise had his Australian Open campaign suffer an early dismissal when he was forced to retire during the third round. Heat exhaustion due to the roaring temperatures on court in Melbourne forced the blonde German to abandon the second set and concede defeat to eventual champion Andre Agassi.

Munich residing Prinosil has not had a good start to the year. Prior to the Australian Open he failed to make it past round one in both Doha and Sydney. 2000 saw Prinosil finish the year in the No. 37 position on the ATP Champions Race and earn his third title, in Halle.

With both players vying for success at the beginning of the year, the fans in Milan could be in for a fierce contest.