Through after Ferreira Retires
Wednesday, 23 January, 2002
No.9 seed Marat Safin has advanced to the semi finals, after
his quarter final opponent, the unseeded Wayne Ferreira, retired
injured during their match on Rod Laver Arena, Wednesday.
Safin, the 2000 U.S Open winner, was leading 5-2 in the first
set (after breaking the South African's serve twice), when Ferreira
waved the white flag and stopped due to an abdominal strain.
The match lasted 28 minutes, which Safin wasn't complaining
about. "I think it's great for me. I don't have to spend
too much energy on the court and I can save my energy for the
"I just ask (Ferreira) 'What is going on? What is the reason?
I feel sorry," said the big Russian. "He couldn't
run anymore. He was too tired, played two five setters.
"I'm feeling well and I want to have the opportunity to
win. I'm doing well, so I would love to win this tournament
and I am closer and closer to the final," said Safin.
30-year-old Ferreira, the oldest remaining player in the singles
tournament, had played two consecutive five set matches coming
into this quarter final clash with Safin, who at 22 years of
age, is the youngest player left in the men's draw.
In contrast, Safin's first real test had come in his fourth
round encounter with former world No.1 Pete Sampras, which he
won in four tight sets. It was the first set he'd dropped all
tournament. "Sometimes you have to work a little bit more
than normal, like I did against Pete. It was a great match and
I deserved to win. So today (winning so easily) was a present,"
Ferreira later admitted that the injury was a recurring one,
but denied it was because of his age. "It's not because
I'm older. I've had this before. I tore it about nine years
ago, and there's a lot of scar tissue in there. It's the same
spot that keeps flaring up. It's telling me something, my body
is not used to playing this much. I just abused myself."
Ferreira added that he had twice withdrawn from the French Open
with a torn stomach muscle.
"The way I'd been playing I felt I had chance, so it's
a little bit disappointing. The thing about today is not really
the fact that I've hurt myself and pulled out, it's the fact
that I couldn't go out there and really fight hard. I don't
mind losing as long as I know that the other guy has to fight
"It's disappointing to give it to him. He probably could
have beaten me anyway, but I like to go out fighting,"
said Ferreira, adding that Safin "has a great chance to
win. If he plays at his best he's almost unbeatable."
The South African then gave an insight into his game plan today.
"For him, the mental side is his weakest. I was hoping
today - he had such a good game against Sampras - I think he
concentrated so hard and focused so hard that I was hoping he
wouldn't be able to do it twice in a row."
Safin will meet the winner of the Tommy Haas v Marcelo Rios
match, scheduled for Wednesday evening. "Everybody knows
that he (Rios) is very talented. But he doesn't like to run
- so you have to move him a lot and just to stay with him. Against
Haas is the same thing. Just to stay and fight and run, and
just take your chances," said Safin.