Marat Safin



"New Balls Please"
ATP Calendar 2001


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12.06.2002 Moscow, Russia
President Vladimir Putin welcomed Russia's victorious Davis Cup team to the Kremlin on Friday, praising it for bringing the country its first title in more than 100 years of the competition.
"It's a great achievement by all of you," Putin told Marat Safin, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Mikhail Youzhny and team captain Shamil Tarpishchev during a private ceremony.
"Our country has taken part in the Davis Cup competition for 40 years, but only now did we finally manage to win it."
Russia came from behind to beat France 3-2 in a thrilling three-day final at Bercy sports hall in Paris last weekend.
Tarpishchev replaced Kafelnikov with Youzhny for the decisive fifth rubber, and the 20-year-old newcomer beat Paul-Henri Mathieu in a dramatic five-setter to clinch Russia's first Davis Cup title.
"Winning is always fun but winning such a prestigious competition as the Davis Cup, in such a dramatic fashion made your achievement even more significant, more meaningful," said Putin, himself a judo black belt.
Tarpishchev said the team was planning to take the Davis Cup on a seven-city tour of the country.

12.06.2002 Moscow, Russia
Russia's Davis Cup heroes were the toast of Moscow Monday as tennis, once ridiculed here as a decadent, capitalist sport, brought a splash of good news to an otherwise bleak prospect.
After unheralded Mikhail Youzhny had supplied the finishing touches to a magnificent Russian comeback to defeat France in the final in Paris, President Vladimir Putin took time out in Moscow to celebrate.
"This is a great, brilliant victory for Russian sports," said Putin of Russia's first Davis Cup triumph in the competition's long history.
Yet he seemed only to be following the thoughts of Boris Yeltsin, Putin's mentor and predecessor, an aged and often ailing man who broke from his reclusive ways to go to Paris and cheer the Russians on over the weekend.
Tennis and Yeltsin have become synonymous in Russia - the post-Soviet Union's first democratic president was also the first to make tennis an acceptable, perhaps a bit posh but still honest, sport.
After watching Youzhny being tossed into the air in celebration by his teammates, Yeltsin told reporters in Paris that the Russians won because their grit and sprit came through.
"Youzhny proved that he is someone with a strong character," said Yeltsin.
But then Yeltsin was a bit cheeky as well, taking a part of the responsibility for the victory.
"Did I bring them luck - yes, you can say that, that I was their good luck charm.
Back in Moscow the Russian press set the tone.
"The heroes of Russia," the Sport Express daily hollered in a front-page banner.
"In the fifth set: 6:4! Bravo!" the emotions flowed.
Others compared Russia's victory to a brave defeat of the French during a European soccer qualifying match in 1999.
"France-Russia: 2:3 That is the same score that our soccer players beat the world champions on June 5, 1999," the Gazeta internet site, Russia's most popular, said in its leading story.
Russia beat France by the same score in a memorable match - from Russia's point of view - becoming the first team to defeat the world champions in their brand-new stadium.

12.01.2002 Paris, France
Mikhail Youzhny beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 3-6 2-6 6-3 7-5 6-3.
Overall score: Russia bt France 3-2.
Mikhail Youzhny mounted an incredible fightback to clinch the Davis Cup for Russia for the first time in their history.
The Russians became the first team since 1964 to overturn a 2-1 deficit on the final day, as first Marat Safin defeated Sebastien Grosjean, and then Youzhny came from two sets down to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Twenty year old Youzhny was preferred to an exhausted Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who had suffered two sapping defeats on the first two days.
But when Mathieu led by two sets the Russian gamble seemed to have gone wrong.
Mathieu gave everything he had

The players had traded early breaks before Mathieu profited from some nervous play from his opponent to secure the first set.
And he kept his foot on the pedal, reeling off seven games in a row as he then secured the second set 6-2.
But the tide turned in the third set after a string of breaks as a third break in the set gave Youzhny a foothold.
The Russian then broke at the start of the fourth but Mathieu immediately struck back.
The next few games saw tennis that was at times tense, at times brilliant, as both players wrestled for the crucial break.
After another exchange of breaks, Youzhny broke once more and served out to take the match to a decider.
And the momentum was with the Russian who broke early in the fifth set.
Still Mathieu had one last break within him to level the match once more.
But Youzhny broke again to lead 4-3, and held his nerve to serve out for a famous victory.

12.01.2002 Paris, France
Marat Safin powered to a straight-sets victory over Sebastien Grosjean to leave the Davis Cup final between Russia and France on a knife-edge.
Safin's 6-3 6-2 7-6 win levelled the tie at 2-2, setting up a winner-takes-all clash between Mikhail Youzhny and Paul-Henri Mathieu in the final rubber.
Knowing he had to triumph to stop France retaining the Cup, Safin defied the pressure and the partisan crowd in Paris.
While Grosjean had the luxury of a day's rest under his belt, the Russian came into the match on the back of a gruelling five-set defeat in the doubles on Saturday.
But Safin, who beat Mathieu in the opening rubber on Friday, broke the Frenchman in the very first game to set the tone for a dominant display.
He gave Grosjean no chance as he reeled off a string of powerful service games, and broke again at 5-3 to take the first set.
The players exchanged breaks in games four and five of the second set, but Safin claimed the Grosjean serve twice more to close it out 6-2.
Grosjean gave himself a ray of hope by twice going a break up in the third, only to surrender his advantage immediately.
Safin was two points away from victory at 6-5 on the Grosjean serve but the Frenchman held his nerve to force a tense tie-break.
Safin saved three set points before bringing up match point with a stunning volley, only for Grosjean to save it with a serve and volley.
Both players again had chances to seal it, but Safin held firm to close it out 13-11 and set up a dramatic finale.

11.30.2002 Paris, France
Nicolas Escude and Fabrice Santoro played good tennis in front of a roaring Parisian crowd to outgun Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-3 3-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 and give France a 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup final on Saturday.
Yevgeny Kafelnikov and world number three Marat Safin appeared set for victory after winning the third set of the final and leading 2-0 in the fourth.
But the French pair, roared on by a fanatical crowd in the Bercy stadium, won five games running to knock the wind out of the Russians' challenge.
The odds are now firmly stacked against the Russians winning their first title because the team losing the doubles have not won the final since 1977.
"This is an extraordinary moment, there was so much emotion here," said Santoro, the senior partner in the French pairing, whose volleying in the last two sets was unbelievable. "We had to play at 150 percent to win."
Kafelnikov's final nightmare shows no sign of ending as he has lost the doubles in all three of his Davis Cup title-match appearances.
After his thrashing by Sebastien Grosjean in Friday's singles, he could also be substituted in the reverse singles on Sunday.
Grosjean plays Safin in the first singles on Sunday and a French victory would mean they had retained the trophy for the first time since 1932, in the age of the tennis "musketeers".
Yevgeny Kafelnikov and world number three Marat Safin appeared set for victory after winning the third set of the final and leading 2-0 in the fourth.
But the French pair, roared on by a fanatical crowd in the Bercy stadium, won five games running to knock the wind out of the Russians' challenge.
The odds are now firmly stacked against the Russians winning their first title because the team losing the doubles have not won the final since 1977.
After his thrashing by Sebastien Grosjean in Friday's singles, he could also be substituted in the reverse singles on Sunday.
Grosjean plays Safin in the first singles on Sunday and a French victory would mean they had retained the trophy for the first time since 1932, in the age of the tennis "musketeers".
The Russians were now in fist-pumping mode, Safin's early shoulder-slumping was forgotten and Escude, complaining of a sore back, decided the moment was ripe for a visit to the dressing room.
Kafelnikov had lost the doubles in both the 1994 and 1995 finals but the Russian pairing were in the groove, breaking Escude service in the opening game of the fourth set and apparently set for victory.
But the French were not beaten. Kafelnikov's service remained a weak link and a careless volley on break point in the fourth game allowed France to come back to 2-2 and Safin's service was then broken - for the first time in the match - to give the home side, in their third final in four years, a 4-2 lead.

11.29.2002 Paris, France
Marat Safin beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Marat Safin survived a mid-match wobble to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu in the first rubber of the Davis Cup final between Russia and holders France.
The world number three used his greater experience of the big occasion to overcome his exuberant 20-year-old opponent.
Safin took the first set after breaking Mathieu's serve in the seventh game and won it 6-4.
But the young Frenchman, making his Davis Cup debut in front of the impassioned home fans in Paris, held his nerve to take the second 6-3.
He was aided by one of Safin's trademark mental lapses early on, but the Russian got his act together again in the third set.
The former US Open champion raced to a 5-0 lead with two breaks of serve before Mathieu finally pulled a game back for 5-1.
Safin then served out to lead by two sets to one on the clay of the Bercy indoor arena.
And he looked to have the match wrapped up as he pulled away for a 5-2 lead in the fourth set with two breaks.
But Mathieu, inspired by a noisy crowd, dug deep to drag himself back into the contest, saving a match point before breaking Safin.
All the pictures from Paris
He then took advantage of a bad tumble by the Russian to add further momentum to his comeback, bringing the set back to 5-4.
But Safin took his next chance to beat the 20-year-old, serving a match-winning ace to put Russia in the driving seat.
Mathieu was given his Cup debut in place of Arnaud Clement, who is suffering from tendinitis in the wrist.
Sebastien Grosjean beat Yevgeny Kafelnikov in straight sets to leave the Davis Cup final poised at one match all after the first day.
Sebastien Grosjean - Yevgeny Kafelnikov 7-6 6-3 6-0.

11.22.2002 Paris, France
Arriving in Monaco from Moscow yesterday, Marat Safin spent his first training session with the Russian Davis Cup team rowing as a conditioning exercise for the Davis Cup final. When he drops the oars in favor of his racquet in next weekend's final, the third-ranked Safin seeks to make a splash by leading Russia to its first Davis Cup championship in history.
In today's two training sessions, Safin and teammates Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Andrei Stoliarov will practice on the red clay courts in Monaco. A week from now, Kafelnikov and Safin will shoulder the expectations of a nation when they take on defending Davis Cup champion France at the Palais Omnisports in Paris.
The winner of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris isn't exactly anticipating a welcome reception from the fervent French fans.
"In Russia I have everyone with me," Safin said following his triumph over Lleyton Hewitt in the Paris indoor final. "In Paris I will have most of the people against me. That's life. Especially in Davis Cup. It's a team sport. We're playing against France in France? What do you expect? But it has been a good week here for me to practice in this stadium; to play and feel the crowd and get used to the size of the court even though the surface will be completely different. On clay, its just a different story."
It could be a story of sound and fury as the temperamental titan tries to control his sometimes volatile emotions in front of a loud, partisan crowd.
Russian Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev said he's pleased with what he's seen from Kafelnikov in preliminary practices, but it's too soon to assess the form of Safin.
"It's too early to tell right now what kind of shape our top two guys will be for the final, but Kafelnikov looks fine at the moment and Safin had been working out in Moscow since he returned from Shanghai," Tarpishchev told Reuters today. "We have no problems so far, everyone is fit and ready to go, so we're looking forward to the Paris final."

11.21.2002 Paris, France
Marat Safin, who was expected to join his team-mate Yevgeny Kafelnikov in Monte Carlo on Wednesday has asked for an extra day of rest before beginning his preparation for the Davis Cup final against France. He is expected to arrive later on Thursday.
The captain of the Russian Davis squad, Shamil Tarpishev, told France's daily L'equipe that the Russian number one will arrive later than scheduled but that he "will train in Monaco before going to Paris".
These changes in schedule don't seem to alter Kafelnikov's concentration. On Wednesday he continued his training with his team-mate Cherkasov at the Monte Carlo Country Club under the attentive eyes of his doctor Sergei Yasnitski and Anatoly Glebov.

11.20.2002 Moscow, Russia
A prominent fan will provide presidential support for the Russian Davis Cup team when it plays defending-champion France in the Davis Cup final, set for November 29th-December 1st in Paris. Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin will travel to Paris to support Russia's quest for their first Davis Cup championship in history.
An avid tennis fan and recreational player, Yeltsin has already personally expressed his support to Russian players Marat Safin, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Mikhail Youzhny and Andrei Stoliarov and captain Shamil Tarpischev during a meeting with the team, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency.
Yeltsin, who has frequently attended matches at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow in recent years, plans to attend the final in Paris.
French Davis Cup captain Guy Forget announced Arnaud Clement, Nicolas Escude, Sebastien Grosjean and Fabrice Santoro will form the four-man French team that is playing in the final for the third time in the past four years.
France has claimed nine Davis Cup titles in its history.
Two-time Davis Cup runner-up Russia reached the finals in 1994, when it suffered a 4-1 setback to visiting Sweden, and 1995 when an inspired Pete Sampras accounted for all three victories in the United States' 3-2 upset of host Russia on the red clay of Moscow.

11.15.2002 Moscow, Russia
Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov were picked Friday to play for Russia in the Davis Cup final against France.
Mikhail Youzhny and Andrei Stolyarov will be the substitutes.
Kafelnikov, a two-time Grand Slam tournament champion, has said he will retire if Russia wins. Safin won the 2000 U.S. Open.
France, the defending champion, is seeking consecutive titles for the first time since 1932. The French team hasn't lost a Davis Cup match in more than two years, winning nine straight. Russia is in its third Davis Cup final but has never won the event.
The final will be played on clay courts in Paris from Nov. 29-Dec. 1.

11.14.2002 Shanghai, China
Lleyton Hewitt confirmed his world number one status with a three set win, 6-4 2-6 6-4, over Marat Safin.
The Australian dazzled the crowd with his speed and ability to return every single ball. Marat Safin, who superbly won the Masters in Paris two weeks ago, was not able to find his missile serve and accurate passing shots along the line. The newly crowned number one looked solid and took the first set after breaking Safin once.
A rejuvenated Safin turned the match around romping to a 4-0 lead in the second. His thunderous serve came back pounding the Australian to level the match.
Hewitt, fighting to keep himself en route for his title defence brought out the best of him fighting out every single point but Safin did exactly the same making the decider a nerve wrecking situation.
Safin took an early lead 2-0 but Hewitt broke back to level the score and give the final set a new beginning. At 4 all Safin's sluggish backhand return gave Hewitt the much-awaited break. The Australian waisted no time and quickly wrapped it up in his first match point when Safin's forehand return missed the line.

11.13.2002 Shanghai, China
Hopes dimmed for Marat Safin as the third-seeded Russian absorbed a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 Red group defeat at the hands of Roland Garros champion Albert Costa Wednesday at the Masters Cup.
The lights went out for both players briefly as a late-match power problem kept play from continuing for six long minutes. But Costa, holding a 4-2 lead in the final set, waited it out, then served out the victory two games later.
Even 16 aces couldn't help the slumping Safin as the champion little more than a week ago at Paris, Bercy, suffered his second round robin loss in as many days.
The Russian's chances of booking a semifinal spot in a group headed by Lleyton Hewitt now look grim with two defeats. Safin has complained that the cumulative results of a long season - he has played in 22 tournaments - are setting in.
Unlike most, his 2002 campaign will not end in Shanghai, but will carry on for two more weeks as Russia plays the Davis Cup final against France.
Safin began strongly but lost momentum against the gritty Costa. The 27-year-old Spaniard, a victim less than 24 hours earlier to Hewitt, broke twice in the second set, losing his own serve once. Safin sent a drop shot attempt short to lose the set.
With the match square, Costa dug in, breaking in the second game and reaching 3-0 before Safin could react. After the power outage he tore through for victory as Safin put a forehand cross-court long.

11.12.2002 Shanghai, China
Former French Open champion Carlos Moya upset Marat Safin 6-4, 7-5 in the first match of the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup on Tuesday.
Marat Safin and Carlos Moya got the Masters Cup under way in enthralling fashion in front of an enthusiastic Shanghai crowd.
Both players produced quality tennis throughout, but it was Moya who came through in two tight sets.
Safin had been widely tipped for glory in Shanghai after destroying Lleyton Hewitt to win the Paris Masters a fortnight ago.
But Moya has also finished the season strongly and now controls the group, while Safin must beat Hewitt and Albert Costa to be sure of progressing to the semi-finals.
After the match, a tired Safin said: "It is a long season. A really long season for me and it is tough.
"You know it could go either way and this time he won. What can I say? That is life."
The Russian came out firing, smashing five aces in his first two service games.
But Moya produced the sort of tennis which briefly took him to number one in the world rankings back in 1999.
The accuracy of his groundstrokes and returns were too much for Safin's flairy, but ultimately inconsistent, game.
Moya broke midway through the first set with a stunning stream of winners, only to drop his next service game to love.
But a second break at 4-4 gave him the chance to serve out for the first set.
Three times he gave up set point, twice with unforced errors, but he clinched the set at the fourth time of asking to put himself in control.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with Moya breaking at 4-4 to serve for the match.
But Safin produced his best return game of the match to break back to love with two spectacular winners.
However, with the chance to regain the ascendancy, Safin succumbed to his trademark inconsistency, and a run of unforced errors gave Moya a second straight break.
Despite giving the Russian a chance at 15-30, Moya maintained his composure to serve out for an impressive win.

11.06.2002 Paris, France
Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt were at the head of the class in Paris and will be in the red in Shanghai.
They shared the court in Sunday's BNP Paribas final when Safin stomped the top-seeded Hewitt, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0, 6-4 to capture his first tournament title of the year in Paris. Next week, the pair are the leading players in the Red Group at the $3.7 million Tennis Masters Cup, which will be staged in Shanghai, China November 12-17th.
The eight-man, round-robin tournament consists of two groups. Each player plays three matches in group play with the top two players in each group advancing to the semifinals on Saturday, November 16th.
Second-seeded Andre Agassi leads the Gold Group that includes French Open finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero, Swiss Roger Federer and Australian Open semifinalist Jiri Novak.
Defending tournament champion Hewitt carries an 88-point lead over Agassi in the race for the year-end No. 1 ranking. Barring a near complete collapse, the 21-year-old Hewitt is poised to conclude the season in the top spot for the second consecutive year. A year ago, Hewitt became the youngest player (20 years, 10 months) in the history of the ATP rankings to finish No. 1.
A week ago, Safin sounded like a man eager to see the season end and begin training for Russia's Davis Cup final against host France later this month. But following an impressive performance in which Safin surrendered only a single set in capturing the Paris crown, he has been rejuvenated and believes he can take home the Tennis Masters Cup title.
"I'm happy enough with number three," Safin said of his current rank. "But if I have the opportunity to be No. 2 of course I will fight for it. I want to win, I want to take all the money, take all the points, and win the Davis Cup, but it's not easy. But at least I have my chance. I played continuously for the last five weeks to qualify for Shanghai, now I've finally made it. If I play like I did (in Paris) in the final and in the semifinal, I think I can win it."
The tournament begins next Tuesday with Safin meeting Moya in a rematch of the Paris semifinals, which Safin won 7-5, 7-6 (7-4). Defending tournament champion Hewitt takes on Costa in the second match, followed by Ferrero vs. Federer in the finale of the first day of play.

11.03.2002 Paris, France
Marat Safin(3) beat Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) (1) 7-6, 6-0, 6-4.
Marat Safin gave one of the most impressive performances by any player this year on his way to a crushing victory over Lleyton Hewitt at the Paris Masters.
The Russian claimed his first title of the year at the final event of the ATP regular season.
But the manner of victory will have made it worth the wait as Safin gave Hewitt one of the most comprehensive beatings of his career.
And Safin's dominance was never greater than in the second set when Hewitt failed to pick up a single game.
The match featured the two players who had headed the rankings for most of the year, before a late slump saw Safin slip to third behind Andre Agassi.
Throughout the week, though, Safin had played with a poise and confidence that he usually struggles to maintain for a whole tournament.
And when the opening set came down to a tie-break unusually it was Hewitt who faltered, missing with two forehands as Safin pressed.
If the first set was tight, the second was a demonstration by Safin.
Huge serves and unnerring accuracy from the baseline, especially on the backhand, meant Hewitt could not impose himself on the rallies.
The Parisian crowd sat stunned into near silence as Safin blasted his way to an unprecedented love set.
And despite Hewitt's expected refusal to give up the ghost in the third set, Safin made the vital break in game five.
Rarely can Hewitt have looked so downbeat on court and Safin served out for the biggest win of his year, and a huge boost ahead of the Masters Cup later this month.

11.02.2002 Paris, France
Marat Safin reached his third Paris Masters final in four years by beating Carlos Moya 7-5, 7-6 (4) on Saturday.
Safin, seeded third, closed out the match with a forehand down the line, ending a 10-shot rally. He next faces either top seed Lleyton Hewitt or Thai sensation Paradorn Srichaphan.
Safin won the title here in 2000 and was a finalist in 1999, the year he made his debut appearance at the tournament. Asked why he performed so well at Bercy's indoor stadium, Safin replied: "It's my destiny."
The 22-year-old will almost certainly play for Russia in the Davis Cup final against titleholder France at Bercy next month.
After Saturday's win in 1 hour and 35 minutes, Safin was asked if he thought he would play as well in the Cup. The French crowd jeered loudly while Safin, looking exasperated, replied: "It's just a sport, nothing else." The fans were right to be afraid, though.
The former U.S. Open champion fired 13 aces to Moya's four and produced 30 winners, while the Spaniard had only 14.
Safin clinched the first set on his fifth set point with a drop shot. At 6-5 down in the second set, Moya had to save a match point with a service winner. He won the game thanks to errors from Safin on the two remaining points, sending the match into a tiebreaker.
Safin opened the last game with an ace. At 4 all, Moya hit a long service return and sent a backhand into the net to set up Safin's second and final match point. The Russian raised both fists with delight after his winning forehand.
He now has a 2-1 lead over Moya, a former French Open champion. Moya had won their last match, in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters in April, which was played on clay, the Spaniard's favorite surface. The Bercy tournament takes place on indoor carpet, which is faster.
"It's my surface and I had to win," Safin said.
Safin lost the 1999 final to Andre Agassi and defeated Mark Philippoussis for the title in 2000. He exited in the third round last year.
Safin, who was runner-up at the Australian Open last January and reached the semis at the French Open, has yet to win a title this year. He is nevertheless qualified for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, China, next month.
After beating Moya, Safin said his game felt as good as it did two years ago when he won the Paris title.
"I've been looking for a long time for that game. Now I've got it back, I hope I can still play like that for another few weeks for Shanghai and the Davis Cup."
Although the Davis Cup final will take place at Bercy, it will be played on clay.

11.01.2002 Paris, France
Marat Safin moved into the semifinals of a Masters Series event for the first time since playing in the final of TMS Hamburg in May, by defeating the last remaining Frenchman in the draw, Nicolas Escude, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
Safin, who won this event in 2000 and has one other Masters Series shield to his name (2000 TMS Toronto), is still looking for his first tournament title in 2002 despite several excellent tournament runs, reaching the final at the Australian Open (l. to Johansson), the final in Hamburg (l. to Federer) and the semifinals at Roland Garros (l. to Ferrero).
But Safin says he is not worried about the fact that he has no tournament victories this year. "Life is not ending, you know? That's one year without winning any tournaments, is not really bad," he said. "I'm still No. 3 in the world, so is not so bad."
The 22-year-old Russian had already guaranteed himself a berth in the Tennis Masters Cup by winning his second round match against David Nalbandian on Tuesday and played without any hint of pressure or nerves against the attacking Frenchman.
"I have no more pressure, you know, to get anywhere," he said. "I can just play my tennis, I can enjoy being on the court and play some great matches. It's much easier for me. It's just easier for everybody to play without pressure."
Safin's victory ends Nicolas Escude's run through the draw, which thrilled the crowd throughout the week here at the Palais Omnisports de Paris. Escude notched wins over Roland Garros champion Albert Costa and ended the Tennis Masters Cup hopes of number six seed Tim Henman on Thursday.

10.31.2002 Paris, France
Third-seeded Marat Safin beat Sjeng Schalken 7-5, 7-5 and will face Escude, a possible Davis Cup opponent when Russia meets France in the final next month.

10.30.2002 Paris, France
Enigmatic Marat Safin's schizophrenic game sometimes suffers from such wild mood swings it would seem to require counseling rather than coaching.
The third-seeded Safin entered the BNP Paribas Masters after a series of disappointing defeats, but today the former No. 1 played with baseline brilliance to power past David Nalbandian, 6-3, 6-2 in Paris, and secure a spot in the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, China.
The 2000 Paris champion showed all of the shots in his awesome arsenal, slamming nine aces and firing forceful baseline blasts to take complete command of the match.
Still seeking his first title of the season, Safin overpowered Nalbandian, who had claimed his second championship of the season on Sunday at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors in Basel, in a mere 62 minutes to raise his record against the Argentine to 4-0.
The 22-year-old Russian reached the third round where he will meet U.S. Open semifinalist Sjeng Schalken. With the pressure of qualifying for Shanghai now off, Safin believes he can turn his game on.
"I'll enjoy this week now," said Safin. "I did start to have some doubts about qualifying because everyone was so close, but now the pressure is off."

10.27.2002 Paris, France
Marat Safin will headline a star-studded list of contenders for the six remaining berths at Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai at the BNP Paribas Masters, which begins Monday in Paris.
Marat Safin will meet either Basel champion David Nalbandian or Max Mirnyi in a tough opener.
Entering the last week of the regular ATP season, Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt are the only players to have qualified.

10.27.2002 St.Petersburg, Russia
In the Final in doubles Marat Safin and Irakli Labadze (GEO) lost to duo David Adams (RSA) / Jared Palmer (USA)6-7, 3-6.

10.26.2002 St.Petersburg, Russia
In the Semifinal in doubles Marat Safin and Irakli Labadze (GEO) defeated duo Petr Luxa (CZE) / David Skoch (CZE). 6-2, 6-2.

10.24.2002 St.Petersburg, Russia
Wednesday, two-time defending St. Petersburg Open champion Marat Safin lost to wild-card entry Vladimir Voltchkov 6-4, 6-4.
Safin, ranked No. 3, smashed his racket in frustration.
"I didn't play good at all,'' said Safin, whose last tournament title came in St. Petersburg last year. ``I didn't do anything to beat him, so maybe it's the reason. I hope it's the reason.
"I don't know. Something is going wrong. It's just terrible.''
In doubles in the first round Marat Safin and Irakli Labadze (GEO) defeated duo Denis Golovanov (RUS) - Evgeny Kafelnikov (RUS) 7-5, 7-5.

10.22.2002 St.Petersburg, Russia
Two-time St Petersburg Open champion Marat Safin has launched his title defence with an unconvincing three-set victory over unfancied Cyril Saulnier.
The Russian second seed struggled to subdue the French qualifier, ranked 160 on the ATP Tour, 7-6 6-7 6-3 in their first round match.
Safin said after the match that his preoccupation with making it into the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai had unsettled him.
"There was always Shanghai in my head," he told reporters. "I want to go there very badly. It is very important to play good here and get into the final because it's my last chance to get to Shanghai."
The former U.S. Open champion needs to make the final in St Petersburg to accumulate enough points to get into the season's final tournament.
Safin, who made numerous poor shots and double faults in the second set, said he was happier with his performance towards the end.
He added that he had no fear of facing top seed Andre Agassi, who plays his first match on Wednesday.
"I didn't play too bad and became more sure of myself as the match progressed," he said.
"We have a lot of respect for Agassi. But we should not be too disappointed and assume that just because Agassi has come here we have no chance to win," Safin added.
"I don't think I am that much weaker than Agassi."
In doubles in the first round Marat Safin and Irakli Labadze (GEO) defeated duo Michael Hill (AUS) / Leander Paes (IND) 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.

10.21.2002 St.Petersburg, Russia
Marat Safin was born in Moscow, but feels right at home in St. Petersburg, Russia. The two-time defending champion returns to St. Petersburg Open this week as the second seed and has his sights set on capturing his first championship of the season, but will have to contend with solid field including top-seeded Andre Agassi and third-seeded Sebastien Grosjean to complete his quest.
The talented, temperamental Russian remains one of the most physically gifted players in the game, but is given to mental and emotional lapses that have contributed to his sometimes questionable shot selection and match malaise. Watching Safin fume during a match is like watching a lit fuse slowly burn � an explosion seems inevitable.
St Petersburg and its fans have always provided solace for Safin, who has played some of his best tennis at the tournament, beating Rainer Schuettler to win the 2001 championship after defeating Dominik Hrbaty in the 2000 final.
"St. Petersburg has great fans," Safin said. "Their support helped me when I played Hrbaty in the final there. I was losing the match but they kept urging me to fight on and it pulled me through in the end. I'll go to St Petersburg again to thank the fans for their support."
Two years ago, Safin won seven tournament titles, including the U.S. Open, and while he was a finalist at the Australian Open and the Tennis Masters Series-Hamburg, he is still seeking his first title of this season.
A second-round casualty to Agustin Calleri at the Tennis Masters Series-Madrid last week, Safin will play a qualifier in his first match at St. Petersburg. Agassi opens against Radek Stepanek and Grosjean meets Sargis Sargsian in his first-round match.

10.15.2002 Madrid, Spain
Safin Implodes in Stunning Loss to Calleri.
Showing the irrepressible passion, violent anger, and wild inconsistency that makes him at once fascinating and frustrating to tennis fans, No. 3-seeded Russian Marat Safin suffered a stunning loss to Argentinian qualifier Agustin Calleri, 7-6(6), 7-5(5), in the second round of the Tennis Masters Madrid on Tuesday.
In a match that stretched well past 1:00AM Wednesday morning, Safin's unforced errors outpaced his winners by a 27-18 margin, causing him to frequently smash his racket against the purple hardcourt surface. He also vehemently protested a number of line calls.
Calleri, a 26-year-old Argentine, had to play two weekend qualifying matches to get into the main draw of the $2.9 million indoor tournament.
He rallied from a 4-0 deficit to win the first-set tiebreak 8-6, clinching it on his first set point with a sizzling backhand down the line.
Safin trailed 4-1 in the second tiebreak, got back to 5-5, but lost the next two points, sailing a forehand long on match point.
Calleri was ranked 59th on the ATP Champions Race coming into the Madrid tournament. This year, he has made one final, in his home country in Buenos Aires.
Safin was visibly upset during the last part of the match, throwing his racket several times on the court.
"The loss was not physical, not mental,'' Safin said. "It was just about two points. Maybe it's luck. I need luck to win a tiebreak.''
After the match, Safin was visibly saddened, as he clearly realizes that his early-round upset may cost him more than the price of replacing his broken rackets. While he stands at No. 3 in the ATP Champions Race, he leads 10th-place Andy Roddick by just 85 points, a slim margin that makes him anything but a lock to qualify for next month's Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.
"I'm very disappointed because I really want to go to Shanghai," he said. "It is a shame I lost in my first match because I really thought that I would do much better, but Calleri didn't give me a chance."
However, Safin stressed that he is not prepared to give up on his year, during which he has failed to capture a title. He will play next week in St. Petersburg, and then at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, and said, "If I go to Shanghai, I will go to win. Not just to get the money and lose all my matches."

10.14.2002 Madrid, Spain
In the first round in doubles Marat Safin and Nenad Zimonjic (YUG) lost to duo Ellis Ferreira (RSA) / David Rikl (CZE) 6-4, 3-6, 3-6.

10.11.2002 Lyon, France
Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten scored his fourth straight victory over Russian rival Marat Safin on Friday, winning 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(3) to reach the semifinals of the Lyon Grand Prix.
Kuerten sealed victory when the top-seeded Safin, who showed signs of anger and frustration throughout the match, double-faulted.
After the win, Kuerten had a 4-3 record against Safin, including a straight-set victory in the second round of this year's U.S. Open. Safin won their first three matches.

10.09.2002 Lyon, France
Top seed Marat Safin had to save two match points before moving through to the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(10) victory over Wayne Arthurs.
Safin, who had lost against Arthurs in both of their previous meetings, came back from the brink of a third successive defeat at the hands of the Australian, and will now meet either Gustavo Kuerten or Swiss qualifier Marc Rosset for a place in the semifinals.
"This was a really difficult match for me," said Safin, who is in third position in the ATP Champions Race 2002. "I had huge trouble reading his serve and he gave me no rhythm. In my opinion, Wayne has the best serve on the ATP circuit. Sometimes he even pulls off big winners from the baseline so you can never relax.
"There will always be at least one match in every tournament that stretches you to the limit. Not sure it will be any easier in the next round!

10/08/2002 Lyon, France
Top seed Marat Safin needed to draw on all of his experience to overcome teenage French sensation Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-6(5) to reach the second round of the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon.
Safin, who accepted a wild card into the tournament, fought off a spirited challenge from the 16-year-old in what was a repeat of their second round encounter earlier this year at the Tennis Masters Monte Carlo. On that occasion, Gasquet was playing in his first ATP event having become the youngest ever qualifier at a Tennis Masters Series tournament and had his first taste of the big time.
Six months later, Gasquet was showing just how far he has come after winning the French and US Open junior titles along with a Challenger title in Montauban and two Futures titles (Great Britain and Germany).
"Richard has improved his serve since the last time we played in Monte Carlo," said Safin of his young opponent. "The guy has great hands and he takes many risks from the baseline. He definitely has a great future ahead of him. I barely played in satellite events at his age and he is already beating established professional players."
Safin, who is looking to win his first title of the year, added: "I didn't practice on the Centre Court before playing my match and everything seemed very fast to me. My timing was a bit off hitting my groundstrokes."
The Russian, who currently lies in third position in the ATP Champions Race 2002, had a best fifth result of three points coming into Lyon, and now will add to his total of 460 by reaching the second round, where he will meet Wayne Arthurs. "It's very important for me to make some good points in the remaining tournaments so I can make it to the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai," said Safin. "I have a very busy schedule ahead. I should have played better in the summer."
For Gasquet, it was all part of the learning experience. "It is not easy to play against a player like Marat on a fast surface like this," said the Frenchman. "He serves extremely well and his groundstrokes are very heavy and hard. I was very happy with how I competed today."

10/05/2002 Moscow, Russia
Top-seeded Marat Safin was upset in Saturday's semifinals of the $2.2 million Kremlin Cup.
Safin, the 2000 U.S. Open champion, was beaten by French qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6 (3), 6-4.
The 80th-ranked Mathieu reached his first ATP Tour final.
`I'm a newcomer on the ATP Tour and few players know how I'm playing. I think Safin didn't expect me to play so fast. Maybe it was the decisive factor for my victory today,'' he said.

10/04/2002 Moscow, Russia
Top-seeded Marat Safin of Russia, needed just a break in each set to beat fifth-seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland 7-5, 6-4.

10/03/2002 Moscow, Russia
Top-seeded Marat Safin of Russia survived a tough three-setter late Thursday to beat Brazilia's Andre Sa 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7-5.
Sa, 25, broke Safin, who is still looking for his first title this year, in the fourth game of the opening set. The Russian broke back in the seventh ame to prevail on a tiebreaker.
In the second set, the Brazilian made an early break, but Safin fought back for 3-all in the sixth game only to net an easy smash on his serve in the ninth game to lose the set and level the match 1-1.
After trading serves early in the third set, both held until the twelveth when 15-30 down on his serve Sa double-faulted and Safin converted his first matchball.
In the quarterfinals Friday, Safin will face fifth-seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland who earlier on Thursday beat Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-1, 6-4 in just 51 minutes.

10/02/2002 Moscow, Russia
Top seed Marat Safin recorded a hard-fought 6-4 7-6 win over unseeded Brazilian Fernando Meligeni to advance into the second round of the Kremlin Cup on Wednesday.
Safin said he had fully recovered from an exhausting Davis Cup encounter against Argentina 10 days ago when he won both of his two singles matches and played the longest doubles match in Davis Cup history to lead Russia into the final with a 3-2 victory.
He blamed fatigue for losing in the second round of the Hong Kong Open last week.
"I've been practicing for five straight days since coming back to Moscow, so I feel fine now," said the former U.S. Open champion, still looking for his first title of the year.
"I have played him several times and he is a tough opponent who reached semi-finals at Roland Garros a couple of years ago, so he has the skills and the experience. But considering it was a first round match I played well."
Safin will face another Brazilian Andre Sa in the second round.
In the doubles in the first round Denis Golovanov (RUS) and Marat Safin lost to duo Gaston Etlis(ARG) and Jeff Tarango(USA).

09/27/2002 Hong-Kong, China
Marat Safin didn't need instant replay to see himself moving in slow-motion today. Fatigued from last weekend's intense three-day Davis Cup semifinal with Argentina, the top-seeded Safin lost his mobility and his second-round match as Feliciano Lopez toppled the top-seeded Safin 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 at the Salem Open in Hong Kong.
"I had too much tennis in the past few days," Safin said. "I felt like I couldn't move out there. My body was tired and my reactions were slow."
The left-handed Lopez effectively changed the pace on points to prevent Safin from establishing a consistent rhythm.
Safin's game unraveled in the first set tie-break, which he lost 7-2 after both players had held their service in regulation play.
Lopez, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon this year, stepped on the gas in the second set when he broke his opponent's serve in the sixth game and then held serve to take a 5-2 lead. The 22-year-old Safin fought back to level the score at 5-5 and was two break points up in the 11th game.
But Lopez was equal to the task as he held his nerve to ward off the immediate danger of losing his serve. He won the next five points to lead 6-5, 40-0, and then converted his second match point to score a famous victory.
A season that started with so much promise as Safin reached the Australian Open final and the Roland Garros semifinals has degenerated into disappointment with Safin suffering second-round setbacks at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The fourth-ranked Safin hopes to salvage his season with a strong showing at the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup and by helping Russia win its first Davis Cup in history when it takes on host France in the Davis Cup final, November 29th-December 1st.
"First of all, I have to finish this year," Safin said. "I don't think I have any opportunity to finish No.1, which is a pity. The way I started this year, I had a big chance and then I didn't make any good results after Roland Garros. I hope I can finish in the top three, it is my goal for the moment."

09/25/2002 Hong-Kong, China
Six seeded players, led by No. 1 Marat Safin, emerged winners from a rain-delayed first round Thursday at the $400,000 Salem Open.
Safin, still looking for his first title of the year, routed Lars Burgsmuller of Germany, 6-2, 6-2. The 22-year-old Russian is third in the ATP Champions Race after making the final at the Australian Open, and the semifinals at Roland Garros and TMS Hamburg.
Last weekend, Safin won two singles matches to help his country defeat Argentina in the Davis Cup semifinals. He was a quarterfinalist the week before at Tashkent.
In doubles in the first round Sander Groen (NED) and Marat Safin defeated duo Leach/Macpherson 6-4, 6-4.

09/23/2002 Hong-Kong, China
After helping Russia into the Davis Cup final, Marat Safin faces another momentous week on the ATP tour.
The leading players in the Champions Race will all be looking to secure their places in the Masters Cup, but Safin has more to gain this week than most.
Points in the Race are made up from performances in the Slams, the Masters Series events, and then the players' five best other results on the tour.
Safin is lying in fourth place in the race, but has picked up only 18 points from his five other tournaments, far less than most of his rivals.
So Safin has much to gain at this week's Salem Open in Hong Kong, where he is the top seed.
He faces Lars Burgsmuller in the first round, and will hope for a turnaround in his recent form.

09/22/2002 Moscow, Russia
Marat Safin produced a display of power serving to steer Russia into the Final of the 2002 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas. The Russian No. 1 sent down 25 aces as he won a rollercoaster four-set encounter with David Nalbandian 76 67 60 63 to give Russia an unbeatable 3-1 lead over Argentina in their Semifinal tie in Moscow.
Juan Ignacio Chela then defeated substitute Mikhail Youzhny 76 67 64 in the fifth �dead� rubber to reduce Argentina�s final deficit to 3-2.

09/21/2002 Moscow, Russia
History was made as Argentina won a remarkable five-set doubles against Russia to remain in contention going into the final day of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Semifinal in Moscow. Lucas Arnold and David Nalbandian, competing together for the first time, saved two match points to defeat Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin 64 64 57 36 1917 in six hours 20 minutes, the longest match in Davis Cup since the introduction of the tiebreak in 1989.
In fact the contest was only two minutes shorter than the all-time record of 6 hours 22 minutes, set in 1982 when John McEnroe overcame Mats Wilander 97 62 1517 36 86 in a World Group Quarterfinal in St Louis. It is also an all-time doubles record.

09/20/2002 Moscow, Russia
Marat Safin gave Russia a vital 1-0 lead over Argentina in their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Semifinal at Moscow�s Luzhniki Stadium this afternoon. The Russian No. 1 came from a set down to defeat Juan Ignacio Chela 6-7, 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 in a tense four-set encounter lasting three hours and 10 minutes.
It is said that the sign of a champion is someone who can win even when they�re not playing well. Today Safin managed to win despite struggling with the court surface, his nerves and the countless break points that he managed to squander en route to victory.
Yevgeny Kafelnikov made an extraordinary comeback to give Russia a 2-0 lead over Argentina at the end of the first day of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Semifinal in Moscow. The Russian No. 2 fought off two match points at 2-5 in the final set to defeat Gaston Gaudio 36 75 63 26 86 in four hours 10 minutes.
Kafelnikov and Safin will be looking to shrug off any tiredness and secure Russia�s first final appearance since 1995 when they take on the new Argentine pairing of doubles specialist Lucas Arnold and Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian in Saturday�s doubles. Arnold and Nalbandian will be the fresher, but the Russians now have the bit between their teeth and are long used to carrying home hopes single-handed.

09/13/2002 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
In the doubles in the Semifinals Denis Golovanov (RUS) and Marat Safin lost to duo Sluiter/Verkerk (NED) 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(3-7).

09/12/2002 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Top seed and defending champion Marat Safin was dumped out of the President's Cup in Tashkent by Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan.
Marat Safin lost 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the quarter-final.
In the doubles in the Quarterfinals Denis Golovanov (RUS) and Marat Safin defeated duo Erlich/Levy 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

09/11/2002 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Top seed and defending champion Marat Safin was made to work hard before overcoming Slovakian Karol Beck 7-6 6-7 6-4 in the second round of the President's Cup in Uzbekistan.
Safin, seeking a third straight win in Tashkent, took two hours 20 minutes to dispose of an opponent ranked 140 places below him in the Champions Race.
In Thursday's quarter-finals, Safin, ranked four in the world, will meet fifth seed Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand, who beat Israeli Harel Levy 6-3 6-4.

09/10/2002 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Top-seeded Marat Safin advanced to the second round of the ATP President's Cup on Tuesday.
Safin, third in the world , had an easy win over French qualifier Gregory Carraz, 6-2, 6-4.
In the first round in doubles Marat Safin and Denis Golovanov (RUS) defeated duo Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) / Rainer Schuettler (GER) 6-3, 6-3.

08/30/2002 New-York, USA
Second seed and former champion Marat Safin falls to Gustavo Kuerten in the second round of the US Open.
Former world number one Gustavo Kuerten put his injury troubles behind him as he returned to top form in a straight sets demolition of second seed Marat Safin.
Kuerten underwent hip surgery earlier in the year and such has been his form since his return in May that he came into the US Open unseeded.
However, the Brazilian overwhelmed a helpess Safin 6-4 6-4 7-5
"Maybe today is my happiest day of the year," he said.
"I feel much more relieved. I feel I have nothing to lose. Winning the match, I got my confidence back. I feel happy with myself and my game."
Safin, the 2000 champion, did not play badly but was increasingly frustrated as his opponent hit a series of crunching winners, not only off his favoured backhand but also on the forehand side.
But it was Kuerten's serve which was most impressive, firing 13 aces and winning 82% of points on his first delivery.
Safin, who survived a five-set thriller against Nicolas Kiefer in the first round, was made to look leaden-footed as Kuerten consistently found acute angles to keep the ball from his opponent's reach.
After breaking early in the first set and at 4-4 in the second, it was no surprise when a rampant Kuerten earned a further break at 5-5 in the third and served out the win.

08/27/2002 New-York, USA
Former champion Marat Safin survived a first round scare as he battled past a gutsy Nicolas Kiefer 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(7-4) in the first round of the U.S. Open Tuesday .
The 2000 U.S. Open winner, and one of the hot favorites to claim the title this year, needed four-and-a-half hours on a steamy Arthur Ashe Court to tame a badly cramping Kiefer, who was barely able to stand at the end of the epic battle.
The second-seeded Russian used every weapon available to him in an attempt to thwart Kiefer, but was often left angrily slamming his racket onto the ground in frustration.
As Kiefer hobbled on court in the fifth set, the German bravely fought off two match points to take the contest into the tiebreak.
But the 25-year-old German simply ran out of reserves, collapsing onto the court clutching his right thigh in agony after sending a return into the net to put Safin ahead 6-3.
After squandering his third match point, Safin finally clinched the match when Kiefer's forehand return sailed meekly into the net.
Safin will next meet either three-times French Open winner Gustavo Kuerten or hard-hitting Frenchman Julien Boutter.

08/14/2002 Indianapolis, USA
Second seed Marat Safin withdrew shortly before his match on Wednesday at the RCA Championships in Indianapolis with an upper respiratory infection.
The Russian's late pull-out paved the way for Frenchman Arnaud Di Pasquale to enter the field to face Austrian Stefan Koubek in the second round.
As a top eight seed, Safin had a first-round bye.
The 22-year-old Russian said he began feeling ill Sunday and has been unable to train.
"I haven't been able to do anything for the last couple of days," said the runner-up two years ago and a 2001 semi-finalist.
"I have some medicine and hope to get better in the next few days."

08/05/2002 Cincinnati, USA
Monday night's clash between Greg Rusedski and Marat Safin began as a monster battle, with two of the game's heavyweights displaying the full might of their firepower. But after the No. 2 seeded Russian failed to take advantage of three set points in a hotly contested first set tie-break, his game completely unraveled, allowing Rusedski to walk away with a 7-6(7), 6-2 victory.
Safin seemed on the verge of taking a pivotal lead when he took a 6-4 lead in the tie-break. But his play turned sloppy at just the wrong moment. On one set point, he missed an easy forehand that sailed inches long. Rusedski, meanwhile, played rock solid tennis when he needed to, and converted on his first set point.
From the second set on, Safin appeared scattered and discouraged. Rusedski took advantage of Safin's mood swing and pounced on every shot the Russian sent his way.
"I have no confidence and it's really sad that the train is going away and I cannot jump on it," Safin said. "� I am not satisfied with the way I am playing, and I'm not enjoying playing this way."
Safin is currently No. 2 in the ATP Champions Race, but he has yet to claim a title in 2002. He reached the final at the Australian Open and the Tennis Masters Hamburg, but came up a match short both times. "I had so many chances and I just couldn't make it," he said.
Following the loss to Rusedski, Safin said he's going to try to turn his game around by "practice, practice and practice." "If I need 10 hours, I will stay 10 hours on the court," he said. "If I need 24 hours, I will have to stay 24 hours a day. There's no other solution to get better in tennis."
In the first round doubles Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin lost to duo David Adams (RSA)/Gaston Etlis (ARG). 6-7(5-7), 3-6.

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