Australian Open - January 16, 2002 Melbourne, Australia
Marat Safin Withdraws
An interview with: MARAT SAFIN

MODERATOR: Questions for Marat.

Q. What's the reason for your withdrawal?

MARAT SAFIN: My wrist is bothering me, and I decided not to play.

Q. Disappointed?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, kind of.

Q. When did you feel the pain for the first time?

MARAT SAFIN: In the first match. I fall down, and then I hit the backhand a little bit too late, and I felt some pain here. Afterwards, for the second match, they put me injection, so I didn't feel in the second match. Afterwards, at night, I had my wrist really big. Just I couldn't move it. So no reason to play.

Q. Is there a diagnosis?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, is a cut in the ligament.

Q. A what?

MARAT SAFIN: A small cut.

Q. In the ligament?


Q. Do you know how long you will be out?

MARAT SAFIN: The doctor says two, three weeks. Vacations (smiling).

Q. When you say you're kind of disappointed, are you looking forward to a little bit of rest now?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. Yeah, some time off, because of long season last year, I have a few weeks now off. It will be good. Is good for me.

Q. Will you be ready for Davis Cup?

MARAT SAFIN: I'm not sure. Not sure. I will see. I will check every week. I will try to do something to help to recover and we'll see. But I'm not sure for Davis Cup will be ready.

Q. What sort of treatment do you have to get for this sort of injury?

MARAT SAFIN: Not much you can do. Ice, laser. Doctors, they know.

Q. Mostly rest?


Q. Do you feel like you've been very unlucky in Australia this year? The shoulder in Sydney, now this wrist.

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but I'm unbeatable in Australia (smiling). Yeah, actually was very bad luck. I started to play well in Sydney, I got injured with problems with my shoulder. Here, very first match, just got injured. Because I'm already in second round, I start to play better. To fly 24 hours here, you know, leave from here without any success is not really good. That's life. What you can do?

Q. You've talked a lot about the long season, more time off. I'm wondering if you're going to reduce your schedule this year? Do you think these injuries are a result of playing too much last year?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, because everybody's getting injured. As you can see, tennis is becoming too physical. Everybody's trying to play tournaments and everybody -- because level of tennis is so high, the bodies of the players, they cannot anymore. So that's why you need to take a few weeks' rest. Every time you play two, three weeks, you also need to take a few weeks off, otherwise you cannot, because the body is getting tired really fast.

Q. Will you play less this year, do you think, than last year?

MARAT SAFIN: Even if before I played like around 35 weeks a year, so now if you're playing 25, is more than enough. I've been playing last year not so much actually. Play 25 weeks. You cannot play less. In the Masters Series, with Davis Cup, with Grand Slams, it's becoming already 19 weeks. But you also have to play a few tournaments, some other tournaments. So it's already 25.
And the schedules, we don't have rest at all, the tennis players. So it's difficult.

Q. I know you're no longer in the tournament. Who do you think might get through your quarter of the draw, Blake or Federer? Who do you think might win the title?

MARAT SAFIN: I didn't even see the draw. I don't really care. Definitely the best one who's in the best shape right now. The same people like Federer. But everybody can play tennis. Everybody can be in the semifinals. I don't need to just say the names. Everybody can be there, even the people who are not seeded can also play great tennis. We'll see. I really don't know.

Q. You've spoken about drug testing. Do you still feel the same way, that you're not in favor of it, it's too invasive in players' lives?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but the people, they're not taking anything, so they don't have to be scared. I'm not scared. I believe, and I still believe, the player to be able to play great tennis, you don't have to take -- you don't need to take drugs, you know. Just to play a tennis match, you can have the vitamins, all these things, but you don't need to take drugs to be able to play a match of the year.

Q. But you don't think it's necessary to do testing?

MARAT SAFIN: Of course, why not? We've been doing test like every year since I'm playing. We are doing drug testing, so why not? They don't have to go too deep. That's their decisions. I'm not scared. Just whatever the people, they say, we do. If it's good for tennis, that's great. If it's a great idea to make drug testing, I'm okay with that.

Q. Have you been selected at random this week for any blood testing?


Q. Did the doctor advise you to not play?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I asked. I can feel myself I cannot just hold the racquet. I spoke to the doctor. He said, "Just don't do that."
Still a long time to go. The year is just beginning. Just one tournament, why would I destroy all my season? I prefer to stop now, even if it's a Grand Slam. Still the health is more important than the rest of the things.

Q. When do you go back to Russia?


Q. If you cannot play Davis Cup, what will be your next tournament?

MARAT SAFIN: I will try to come back for Rotterdam for indoors, play a few weeks before the Masters Series, Indian Wells, Miami, play a few matches. I'm not sure I'm going to be ready for Davis Cup. I'll try to do my best. But otherwise Rotterdam, Dubai.

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