Marat Safin

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03/13/2001 Indian Wells, USA
Second-ranked Marat Safin, his sore back forcing him to hit soft serves and making it a struggle just to get around the court, was upset by Thomas Johansson on Tuesday in the men's Masters Series tournament.
Johansson, sending the U.S. Open champion scrambling side to side and tossing in an occasional drop shot against his slowed opponent, won the first-round match 7-5, 7-5.
Standing flat-footed rather then arching his back when he served, Safin hit many of his first serves around 90 mph, more than 48 kph (30 mph) slower than usual.
The 21-year-old Russian, afraid to make sudden movements that might aggravate his back injury, made 33 unforced errors and hit only 10 winners.

03/03/2001 Dubai, U.A.E.
On Saturday, at the Dubai Tennis Championships, Juan Carlos Ferrero scored a 6-2, 3-1 retirement victory over Marat Safin.
Marat Safin's best week of the season ended on a downer.
A back injury suffered on Friday forced the reigning U.S. Open champion to retire in the second set of Saturday's final against Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero at the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Safin hurt his back during his semifinal win over Sweden's Thomas Johansson on Friday, and said afterwards that he would not be 100 percent for the final. The injury obviously affected him as Ferrero raced to a 6-2, 3-1 lead before Safin decided he was unable to continue.

03/02/2001 Dubai, U.A.E.
Russia's Marat Safin and Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero pulled out three-set wins on Friday to advance to the final at the $1 million Dubai Tennis Championships.
Marat Safin, the reigning U.S. Open champion, overcame a back injury to rally past unseeded Thomas Johansson of Sweden, 6-7 (0-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, and move into his first ATP final of the year.
"For the final, I would like to be 100 percent, but I think it is impossible,'' Safin said. "I have beaten Ferrero three times quite easily, but he is playing very well in this tournament and is in very good form.''
Safin hurt the lower left side of his back during the fifth game of the third set. He was treated on court during a three-minute injury break.
"I hope it will clear up in a few days. ... My back is not very good and I can not serve fast or make fast movements,'' Safin said.
Safin prevailed in the last set after being taken to two tiebreakers, losing the first and winning the next.
"I was very lucky today as I don't think I had a good game,'' he said.
Johansson's play faltered after the injury break, and Safin apologized to him afterward for the delay.
Saturday's final will match two players who had struggled in the early part of 2001 before turning things around this week.
The 21-year-old Safin entered this event on a four-match losing streak, but has dropped only one set in notching four wins this week.
Last year, Safin won an ATP-high seven titles and will vie for his ninth career singles title Saturday, although he may not be at 100 percent for the final. He is expected to hire former tennis great Mats Wilander as his coach in the near future.

03/01/2001 Dubai, U.A.E.
On Thursday, at the Dubai Tennis Championships, Russian No. 1 seed Marat Safin overpowered the Ukraine's Andrei Medvedev with a 6-1, 6-2 victory, to secure his first semifinal appearance of the year.
Scoring his first-career victory against Medvedev, the Russian New Balls Please campaign star advances in pursuit of his first title of the year.
Said Safin afterward: "I said the first day that I need a few matches to get into my best shape, and I'm on my way. I'm playing better and better and I'm ready to win this tournament."
In the semifinals, Safin, who has yet to drop a set all week, will square off against Sweden's Thomas Johansson, in a first-time match-up between the players.
Topping his early-year quarterfinal finishes at Adelaide and Auckland, Johansson posted a straight-set 6-4, 6-4 victory over Belarus' Max "the Beast" Mirnyi to advance to his first semifinal of the year.
Johansson, who has also yet to drop a set this week, knocked off Safin's compatriot and No. 3 seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the second round on Wednesday.

02/28/2001 Dubai, U.A.E.
In the second round Marat Safin defeated Julien Boutter of France 7-5, 7-6 (7-5). Marat will meet Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine in Thursday's quarterfinal.

02/27/2001 Dubai, U.A.E.
Marat Safin, the top-seeded US Open champion, has made an unconvincing start at the Dubai Open championship. Safin beat David Prinosil of Germany 7-5 6-2, but had strong reservations about his own performance.
After the match on Tuesday he acknowledged that his lack of confidence was a problem he did not know how to solve.
"I haven't had good results for a few weeks and I don't know why - I want to do something to make it better," the 21-year-old Russian said.
Safin went a break down early on and indulged in several bouts of head-shaking. Safin announced on Monday that he has recruited former world number one Mats Wilander in an effort to improve his game.
The Swede will be Safin's fifth coach in a year.
"I will talk with Mats and see if we can work something out," Safin said.
"There are many reasons to choose him - he's a clever guy and he knows what my game is like, and it can work between us, I am sure."
But Safin admitted he did not know whether it will actually work.
"The trouble is he has a family and he doesn't need the money," he said.
"But he does want to be on the tour and to have fun.
"I want a few years more at the top and to try to make history in my country.
"But it really depends on him, because I am the guy who needs the help."

02/26/2001 Dubai, U.A.E.
Marat Safin is playing Duty Free Dubai Open Championship Location: Dubai, U.A.E. Date: February 26 - March 4 Surface: Outdoor, Hard Prize Money: $1,000,000 Singles Draw: 32, Doubles Draw: 16
In the first round in doubles Marat and Sander Groen (NED) lost to duo Tomas Cibulec /Leos Friedl (CZE) 6-4, 4-6, 3-6
Tomorrow in the first round Marat will play aganst David Prinosil (GER).

02/24/2001 Rotterdam, The Netherlands
In the 1/2 final Marat Safin and Nicolas Kiefer lost to duo P.Pala / P.Vizner of Chech Republic, 3-6, 6-7.

02/22/2001 Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Marat Safin and Nicolas Kiefer are playing doubles in Rotterdam.
In the first round Marat and Nicolas Kiefer beat duo from Australia J.Eagle / S. Stolle 6-4, 6-0.
In the 1/4 final in doubles Marat Safin and Nicolas Kiefer (GER) defeated duo N. Escude (FRA) / M.Rosset (SUI) 6-4, 6-4.
In the 1/2 final Marat and Nicolas will face duo P.Pala / P.Vizner of Chech Republic.

02/20/2001 Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Top seed Marat Safin was bundled out of the World Indoor tournament by Belarussian Max Mirnyi on Tuesday. Mirnyi won their first round match 6-7 6-4 6-3. Safin had the better of the early exchanges, edging a tight first set by winning the tie-break.
But with the Russian becoming increasingly erratic, a late break of serve in the second set saw Mirnyi draw level. Mirnyi, his confidence growing, was by far the more solid player in the deciding set. Safin said afterwards his slump in form was only temporary.
Safin has struggled to regain his form and his confidence.
"I didn't think I played well enough today," Safin said. "I had to fight, and I don't have enough confidence to beat guys like Max right now. I kept trying, but it didn't work. In the past weeks I've lost a few matches. It's not a disaster, I just need to win a few matches. Let's not forget that I lost to Rusedski in Milan and Hrbaty and Kucera in Davis Cup, so it's not like I'm losing to players that don't know how to play tennis. These guys want to beat the No. 1 player and have nothing to lose. But I'm sure my confidence will come back, it's just a matter of time."
The demonstrative Safin explained his expressions of anger on the court as a release of frustration.
"Do you expect me to smile like an idiot on court?" Safin said. "Nobody likes to lose, and I can't be relaxed when I see on the scoreboard that I'm losing and making stupid mistakes. That's just the way I am."
The U.S. Open champion is continuing his search for a coach who's able to travel with him full time.
"I'm trying to find someone who has been a top 10 player and who knows what it takes," Safin said. "But itпїЅs difficult to find someone that wants to travel."

02/16/2001 Moscow, Russia
In Moscow the coach of the Russian Davis Cup team Tarpichev gave a press-conference. According to him, during the coming weeks Alaxander Volkov will travel with Marat and in the beginning of March Swede Mats Wilander will become Marat's coach.

02/11/2001 Bratislava Slovak Respublic
Yevgeny Kafelnikov made an extraordinary recovery to give Russia a 3-2 victory over the Slovak Republic in the first round of the Davis Cup by NEC in Bratislava. The 27-year-old Olympic Champion fought off a two-set deficit to defeat Karol Kucera 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in the fifth and deciding rubber to secure Russia's place in the quarterfinals and an away trip to Sweden.
After Dominik Hrbaty had seen off US Open champion Marat Safin in straight sets, it looked as though the Slovak Republic might achieve a fairytale comeback when Kucera took the opening two sets against his higher rated opponent. However Kafelnikov raised his game from 3-3 in the third set to win 15 of the last 19 games of the match.

02/10/2001 Bratislava Slovak Respublic
Russia takes a 2-1 lead over the Slovak Republic into the final day of their Davis Cup by NEC first round tie in Bratislava. Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin withstood a fine recovery by Dominik Hrbaty and Jan Kroslak to complete a 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(7) victory in two hours and 38 minutes.

02/09/2001 Bratislava Slovak Respublic
In the first match Marat Safin lost to Karol Kucera 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 2-6.
But Yevgeny Kafelnikov beat Dominic Hrbaty 6-2, 6-3, 7-5.

02/08/2001Bratislava Slovak Respublic
Russia may be heavy favourites over Slovakia in their World Group Davis Cup first round tie this weekend, but don't tell that to Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin. Russia's top two players must overcome in-form Dominik Hrbaty, who thrashed Safin in straight sets at the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and is 8-0 against former world number one Kafelnikov on the ATP tour.
Russia's Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev said:"Theirs is probably the worst combination for us. Kafelnikov has an 0-8 record against Hrbaty in ATP tournaments and has only one career win against him, which came in the Davis Cup. "Safin is 4-4 against Hrbaty, but lost his last match to him.
Since Russia's 1999 triumph over the Slovaks, Safin has shone, winning the U.S. Open and rising to the number one position before closing out 2000 second in the rankings. But his Davis Cup performances have been somewhat lacklustre.
After besting Hrbaty and Kucera, he lost both of his singles matches in Russia's semifinal tie against Australia in September 1999 and then again against Spain last April.
Kafelnikov has fared no better, also losing all four Davis Cup matches against Spain and Australia, but he said that his record against Hrbaty on the ATP tour would not stand in the way of a Russian victory.
Friday: Marat Safin - Karol Kucera, Y.Kafelnikov - D.Hrbaty
Saturday: Safin/Kafelnikov - Kucera/Hrbaty
Sunday: Marat Safin - Dominic Hrbaty, Y.Kafelnikov - K.Kucera

02/02/2001 Milan, Italy
On Friday at the Milan Indoors, unseeded Greg Rusedski upset No. 1 seed Marat Safin 6-0, 7-6(5) to advance to his first semifinal appearance of the new year.
Attacking the net aggressively, Rusedski overpowered the New Balls Please campaign star, never allowing Safin to establish any rhythm in the first set.
Said Safin afterward: In the first part of the match I had no chance. I did what I could but I couldn't do anything in thesecond to change it. I can't be on top when playing like I did today."
Though Safin was finally able to slow Rusedski's charge, breaking the Briton in the third game of the second set, Rusedski continued to frustrate the Russian, mixing up his serve and volley game with strong powerful ground strokes from the baseline.

02/01/2001 Milan, Italy
On Thursday afternoon in Milan, Marat Safin, Greg Rusedski and Julien Boutter advanced to the quarterfinals.
Surviving a first-set scare by Xavier Malisse on Thursday at the Milan Indoors, No. 1 seed Marat Safin rallied past the Belgian qualifier 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. After a commanding first-set assault by Malisse, the Russian New Balls Please campaign star broke the Belgian early in the second set en route to leveling the match.
"It was a tough match. I had some problems to close it out. I am satisfied, but the level of my play in the first set was not good," said Safin afterward.
Though Malisse continued to play tough, Safin scored a decisive break of the Belgian at 5-5 in the decider, and then held his final serve to secure the win.
In the quarterfinals, Safin will face Britain's Greg Rusedski, who advanced over defending champion Marc Rosset, as the Swiss No. 8 seed retired from their match at 6-3, 1-0.
Though Safin owns a 2-1 edge over Rusedski, the Russian has a score to settle with the Briton. Last November, Rusedski derailed Safin's Tennnis Masters Series Stuttgart campaign in the third round. Said Safin of the prospect of facing the Briton: "It's difficult to return his first serve, so it's going to be tough."

01/31/2001 Milan, Italy
Top seed Marat Safin of Russia bounced back from his fourth-round loss at the Australian Open as he got past David Prinosil of Germany, 6-4, 7-5, to reach the second round.Safin, the reigning U.S. Open champion, avoided going to a third set with Prinosil by staving off four set points at 4-5 in the second set and rallied to win the final three games to improve his season record to 6-2.
In doubles, in the first round of Milan Indoors Marat Safin and N. Kiefer (GER) lost to duo JM.Gambill (USA) - H.Levy (ISR) 6-3, 4-6, 1-6

01/29/2001 Milan, Italy
Safin and Kiefer Meet with Soccer Stars + Safin celebrates birthday
At a sports fashion show hosted in the Casablanca Cafe in central Milan on Monday Marat Safin and Nicolas Kiefer met up with top soccer stars Alessandro Del Piero and Massimo Ambrosini.
Representatives from the AC Milan soccer club were present and handed Safin a soccer shirt from the Milan team with the Russian's name on the back. Safin, who turned 21 last Saturday, also seized the opportunity to celebrate his birthday at the show as he was presented a giant birthday cake by the organizers.

01/29/2001 Moscow, Russia
Russia have named Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in their squad for next week's Davis Cup world group first round tie against Slovakia.
Both players ended last year in the top five but the Russians are wary of playing Dominik Hrbaty and Karol Kucera in front of their home fans in Bratislava.
"I expect a very tough match, especially playing against Hrbaty and Kucera in their back yard," Russia's Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev told Reuters on Monday.
"Theirs is probably the worst combination for us. Kafelnikov has an 0-8 record against Hrbaty in ATP tournaments and has only one career win against him, which came in the Davis Cup.
"Safin is 4-4 against Hrbaty, but lost his last match to him."
A week ago Hrbaty crushed the U.S. Open champion, who finished last year ranked number two in the world, in straight sets in the fourth round at the Australian Open.
Tarpishchev said the outcome of next week's tie would greatly depend on how quickly Safin and Kafelnikov recovered from their grueling start to the year.
"Actually it turned out better for us that both of them didn't stay in Melbourne very long, losing their matches way before the final," he said.
"But this week they're playing again in Milan and I'm worried whether they'll be fresh enough next week."
In the only other Davis Cup tie between the two countries, Safin edged Hrbaty to give Russia a 3-2 quarterfinal victory in July 1999.
Hrbaty's younger brother was attacked in the stands of Moscow's Olympic Sports Complex by Russian fans during his opening day match against Kafelnikov.
Tarpishchev named three newcomers, Mikhail Yuzhny, Andrei Stolyarov and Denis Golovanov, to the Russian team -- but none of them are likely to see any action.
The Russian captain said he was confident his team would win the Davis Cup in the next few years.
"Having two players like Marat and Yevgeny on the team we just have to win it sooner or later," he said. "We have been unlucky not to win it in the last few years and it is just a matter of time before everything comes together for us."
"It has hurt us in the past that we only had two top players ... but I'm optimistic this is about to change. We will win both the Davis and the Federation Cups," said Tarpishchev, who also heads Russia's Federation Cup team.
"And speaking of the women, in three to four years our team will simply be the best, second to none, take my word for it."

01/21/2001 Melbourne, Australia. Australian Open
Marat Safin is out of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Slovakian Dominik Hrbaty defeated second seed Safin in straight sets 6-2 7-6 6-4.
The unpredictable Safin had a bad day, time and again misfiring or allowing Hrbaty to pounce on short offerings and put them away for winners to all corners of the court.
Safin had his chances, grabbing early breaks in the first and second sets, but he held his serve just once in the first setHe put up a better fight in the second set, fending off two set points on his serve at 5-6, and another three during the tiebreak, but eventually paid the price for a few too many loose forehands into the net.
His confidence sapped at two sets down, Safin felt like there was nothing he could do to turn the match because he was unable to move Hrbaty around. "I was afraid to hit the ball.
I was afraid to change the directions," said Safin. Hrbaty needed only one more service break in the third set to sew up the match as Safin hammered a backhand into the net on the final point. "I didn't make anything, absolutely nothing, to beat him today," Safin said.
"Actually, I didn't play today," Safin said. "It was something wrong with me because I couldn't move and just made too many mistakes. I cannot play this way, being No. 1, No. 2 in the world. This is not my tennis. It was a bit of a disaster."

01/19/2001 Melbourne, Australia. Australian Open
On Friday at Melbourne Park, No. 2 seed Marat Safin knocked off the Czech Republic's Michal Tabara in straight sets 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 to advance at the Australian Open.
The New Balls Please campaign star Safin capitalized on a total of 48 unforced errors committed by this year's winner at Chennai to break Tabara repeatedly in the rout, which lasted just 1 hour, 24 minutes.
Said Safin afterward: "For the moment it's working. It's getting better and better."
Advancing to the fourth round in Melbourne for the first time of his young career, Safin will square off against the No. 14 seed and winner in Auckland last Saturday, Dominik Hrbaty. Hrbaty also advanced easily on Friday, shooting down Belgium's Christophe Rochus in three straight 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

01/17/2001 Melbourne, Australia. Australian Open
Marat Safin is ignoring an old injury to his right elbow as he bids to capture the Australian Open.
The 20-year-old second seed has suffered from the ailment in his two matches so far, the second of which saw him prevail over Romanian Andrei Pavel, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).
The world number two will now face Michal Tabara of Czech Republic in the third round.
"Last week I started to feel the elbow and I was afraid it would worsen," said Safin.
"I had to stop and I didn't serve for four or five days, but now I have to play at 100 percent, it's a Grand Slam.
"I am going for full power and just try to take some rest and days off to work with the physio and have ultrasound. At the moment it's okay.
"Irrespective of his injury, Safin was given a tough battle by a man he has now beaten in their last three meetings.
"It was a difficult match for me because I was a little bit out of it in the beginning," he said.
"That's why I lost the first set, I didn't know where to return and what I had to do, and the guy was playing unbelievable tennis.
"I lost my concentration and was in trouble in the fourth set, but then in the tiebreak I made some good shots and won. I'm happy."

01/15/2001 Melbourne, Australia. Australian Open
Marat Safin appears eager to redeem himself for an embarrassing effort at last year's Australian Open, and eager to contend for a No. 1 ranking he came so close to claiming last year.
One year after getting fined for tanking a first-round loss here, the reigning U.S. Open champion from Russia began his bid for a second straight Grand Slam title with a gutsy 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) first-round win over Spain's Galo Blanco.
Nursing a sore right elbow, Safin managed to fire 11 aces but committed 59 unforced errors and lost his serve three times in the nearly three-hour battle. He prevented any further damage to the elbow by eking out the fourth-set tiebreaker.
"The elbow is injured. For the moment it is OK," Safin said. "I can serve and I'm really satisfied. I hope I will serve like this during the two weeks."
Seeded second, Safin rebounded from his humiliating effort in Melbourne last year to win an ATP-high seven titles and come within a match of becoming the youngest season-ending No. 1 player.
"It's like in every sport, you want to be the best," Safin said. "I wanted to be the best, but I made some stupid mistakes at the Masters (Cup) and that's why I'm No. 2. This year I hope that I will be more clever and I'm going to make all things the right way. I'm still fighting for No. 1 and I hope to for a few more years."

On Thursday, Jan. 11, ESPN announced the nominees for the 2001 ESPY Awards, which will be given out Monday, Feb. 12 in Las Vegas. The nominees for each category.
Men's Tennis Performer of the Year ESPY nominees:
Yevgeny Kafelnikov (RUS)
Gustavo Kuerten (BRA)
Marat Safin (RUS)
Pete Sampras (USA)
Marat is also in another category.
Breakthrough Athlete Of The Year ESPY nominees:
Daunte Calpepper
Rulon Gardner
Josh Huepel
Marat Safin

01/10/2001 Melbourne, Australia. The Colonial Classic
U.S. Open champion Marat Safin, slowed by a sore elbow, was beaten in the first round of an Australian Open tuneup Wednesday.
''I'm afraid of making it worse. I don't want to be out six months,'' Safin said after his 6-2, 6-1 loss to France's Nicolas Escude in the Colonial Classic.
In other matches, Spanish Davis Cup hero Juan Carlos Ferrero beat Pete Sampras 6-2, 6-4, and Olympic gold medalist Yevgeny Kafelnikov defeated two-time U.S. Open champion Patrick Rafter 6-2, 6-2.
Safin planned to see a doctor later Wednesday, and decide then whether to continue in the eight-man exhibition tournament.
''If the doctor says I can play, I will play,'' he added. ''You have to be careful. Simple things can change your life.'' He said six months would be the recuperation period if surgery were needed.
The Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam tournament, starts next Monday. Safin, who climbed to No. 2 in the rankings after a dismal start in 2000, was fined for not trying at last year's Australian. He has said he wants to show his true abilities this time. Safin said a similar elbow problem kept him out of action for more than a month 18 months ago.
The problem started flaring up again last week, he said. Safin said the soreness apparently indicated he was doing something wrong in his strokes, and would have to fix it. He also said he did not have a coach with him here. The 20-year-old Russian made frequent groundstroke errors, and occasionally bounced his racket off the court in frustration.
''It's difficult to play when you start to think about being sore,'' he said.

01/04/2001 Perth, Austrlaia, Hopman Cup
New coach of Marat Safin will be Andrei Merinov. Andrei is Russian and he is 29 years old.

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