The Safin's double "I"


Here is the translation of the article taken from the French sport Newspaper "L'equipe".
translated by Matt.

Hi there! Here's the translation of L'�quipe from yesterday. Sorry my very poor English!!

At twenty years old, the talentuous Marat search his stability, between his champion's statue and his party's spirit.

The Marat's Safin destiny definitely changes the 10th of September 2000, day of his victory against Pete Sampras at the final of the Us Open. Until there, he's only the most hope of the tennis's world. The night after the final, he becomes a superstar of the game. "Two hours after the final, I took him apart and said to him "Today, you still don't know, but your life has changed" He didn't want to hear about that and said "No, I will never change!" But I knew that he'd be in a vague which will be more stronger than him. The problem is that Marat doesn't want to be a superstar He always says me "Gerald, I don't want to be Agassi or Kournikova." But he doesn't have the choice. Today he lives better the situation because he has accepted it."

Safin is not the first to have staged, to pass from an anonymous life to the glory. One year after his victory, in 1990, Pete Sampras was relieved to abandon his title: too much pressions and solicitations. But the American hd an advantage which permit him to do the career that we know: he doesn't have interest's centers over tennis. Not Safin. As a good Russian influenced by the Spanish culture, he likes parties, sometimes until excess. "I don't know if it's because of his incredible physical, but in his personality, all is excessive, said Arnaud Casagarnde, the coach of Escude and a good friend of Marat. Whatever is his activity, I've the impression that he can't things in a half. When he does party, he completely does it. When he practices, he can works really too hardly. At the table, he can eats very very much. He's never between the two extremes."

The dilemma would be less difficult if Marat would not have conscious of his enormous talent. But in the Atp's world, all is believed. But from Bob Brett to Marc Rosset, everybody agrees: if the guy keeps his feet at earth, he's going to dominate exclusively the tour. A failure would be an heresy , an insult for his talent. Between his pendulum of his desires, the Russian search the Stability's point. "There's a sort of a conflict in himself, explains Tsobanian. On the one hand, he knows that to become the Number one, he must be concentrated on his job and more vigilant on his hygiene's life, and on the other hand, he wants to profit of the life, like all guys who are twenty years old like too. This conflict is difficult. 2001 was an adaptation's year. People found him a little bit arrogant, inaccessible, hard, less smilingly. It's more easy for him this year. He's now more focused on the Events. Between that he can becomes again the young guy that he'd like to be."

The Safin's picture with his blondes at the last Australian Open makes the round of the world. Nothing is better to fabricate a clich�. The truth is surely more finely stunded. " For me, Marat is the James Dean of the tennis. He loves life and can't refrain for profiting about it, even if it means that he burns his wings. He's got a beautiful face, he likes parties and women. But in the same time, he's not a gambler. The thing that he prefers is to be at the table with his friends, to be with with people that he appreciates. He's really nice and generous. There's fifteen days old when I went to Geneva to practice with Nico (Escud�), it's him who came to the airport. The evening, we went at the restaurant. Of course, he paid for everybody"

Best friend of Marat on the tour, coach-assistant until a new order, Marc Rosset confirmed these words. He even goes more far than Casagrande: Everybody believes that Marat likes to show off with models in the nightclubs. But the thing he hates the most, except the rules, is to go to the nightclubs and to be call out by everybody of "good advice's". Like me, he's in fact very shy. Since he's in Geneva, he didn't go out a lot. He prefers stay at his apartment, quietly. When I call him, there's nine chances about ten that he's reading on his sofa. In fact, the thing that he loves is to be with three or four friends, in a room, to remake the world. He'd immediately sign to be the number one and to be in the same time unknown."

But it's not easy to be unnoticed with an athletic physical overhung by a beautiful face, and when Marat likes to laugh, to charm his auditory. On the ATP tour, encircled by processionals with boring speeches, Safin stands out clearly by his sense of humor and derision. To a journalist who asked him in Estoril how was his stay in Moscow, he answers with a little smile "The weather was good. But it's normal: in Moscow, it's me who deals with the weather." The famous "B�te noire" of Marat, Fabrice Santoro, is not the last to profit of his retorts:" After my my fourth or fifth victory against him, whenever he saw me, he took his hands on his head and said "No, please, not him!". He teases me too: "So, Santoro, always there with your smile?" or " Tell me, it's a long time ago, that you're in the tour. Don't you believe it would be the good the time to stop now?". He's a nice guy, and I find that our matches gets closer us.

Even in competition, Safin has some troubles to let the clown who is in him: "I took my best crazy laugh with him, remembers Nicolas Escud�. We played a double in Rotterdam. I played with Rosset, and Marat with Kiefer. On a lob completely missed, Marc has search the difficulty in trying to do backhand smash, who finished at the deep of the net. I looked Marat, and we exploded of laugh. The problem was that it took 10 minutes to stop to laugh. It was impossible to play, so we asked "Cazou"(Arnaud Casagrande) to leave the court. Marat couldn't hit the ball."

The anecdote dates from one year and a half. Now, Safin seems to let his unconcern which was so endearing. "I met him the first time at the beginning of 1999 before he explodes at the high level, explains Tsobanian. It was one year before to work with him. The thing that I liked was his youth, his lightness. We noticed him, because he liked to have fun and to do the clown. That's which miss to him today. I think that he doesn't carelessness. The fact that there's a lots of money in the game, and that he feels to be observed for every facts and gestures blocks him. In private, he has kept this enjoyed personality. In public, he hides it. I think that he's got a lots of qualities that he hesitates to develop, like his charmer side, his sense of the communication. He could be more open. He has so much talent on his face, his smile and his eyes".

Tsobanian shares his time between Safin and Goran Ivanisevic. We can believe that he likes to care about difficult cases: " They have a few commun points. If there was someone who would come from an another planet, who would not know Marat but who would be Goran Ivanisevic, I would tell him :"You see, there's a man who looks like you!" It depends of his mood. One day , his spirit is perfectly aligned on the moon, Mars and Jupiter. Next day, something happens, it changes his universe and doesn't know in which direction goes. He's lost."

For his agent, the comparison with the hero of the last Wimbledon doesn't stop there. There's three years old, at the US Open, Ivanisevic spoke about the three or four Goran who were in himself, which took the power one after other. For Tsobanian, Marat is made by the same wood: "Goran noticed that there were three or four persons who were in himself. Marat still knows that he has two sides: the champion and the guy who likes to do party with his friends. But he will soon see that there' are another sides. And he will discovers them with the time..."

Now, we have to wait to know which of them will take the advantage. The future career of a dominator of the Tour costs that price.