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Marat Safin Talks Down About The Greatest Player Ever • Safin Gave About Fifty Percent To His Own Career..

Russia’s Marat Safin of the Japan Warriors reacts during his men’s singles match against Spain’s Carlos Moya of the Singapore Slammers at the second leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines, 06 December 2015. The IPTL features five teams made out of a hybrid mix of current and former tennis players. EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO



Safin says there’s “something” wrong with the ATP Tour if Federer and Nadal are still winning


By Ricky Dimon


The last time Marat Safin played a match on the ATP World Tour was in the second week of November in 2009 (lost to Juan Martin Del Potro at the Paris Masters). At that time, Roger Federer was No. 1 and Rafael Nadal was No. 2 in the world. Eight years later, not much has changed. No. 1? None other than Nadal. No. 2? That would be Federer.


And while the longevity and dominance enjoyed by Federer and Nadal says plenty about those two all-time greats, Safin suspects it says even more about the rest of the competition level.


“If Federer and Nadal are still winning, I think there’s something wrong,” he said earlier this week while playing in a Champions tournament at Royal Albert Hall in London. “I don’t see any upcoming superstars today. I’m not saying that our times were the best, but when I was growing up players were winning ATP tournaments at 16, 17, 18 (years old). Now players are only just starting to be pros at the age of 25. I don’t know why that is.


“Players used to retire by the time they got to 30. At 32 you were a dinosaur. Now you see players who are still running at the age of 38. The upcoming young guys just aren’t at a high enough level. If you can still manage to run at the age of 38 and still be No 1 in the world, it means there must be something wrong with the other players.”


The 37-year-old Russian did not even spare his countrymen who are part of the ATP’s NextGen campaign–Karen Khachanov, Andrey Rublev, and Daniil Medvedev.


“They’re talented, but to go from being a talented player to a top 10 player is like going from here to the moon,” Safin noted. “It needs a lot of work and it’s not just about hitting the ball on the court. You have to do work off the court. There’s the psychology, strategy, tactics. They need to work a lot because they have a lot of ups and downs. Rublev, Khachanov–they win one tournament and then they don’t win a match for six months.


“If you want to be a really good pro, you need to be beating Nadal and Federer now. Look at (Andy) Murray and (Novak) Djokovic. They were beating the top players when they were 19 or 20, but you just don’t see that from the younger players today. Federer and Nadal are great players but they’re getting older. No matter how much you work in the gym, it becomes harder and harder to recover match after match. Age catches up with you.”


It is not, however, catching up with the current stars of the game. Federer (36), Nadal (31), Djokovic (30), Murray (30), and Stan Wawrinka (32) have combined to win 49 of the the last 51 majors since Safin triumphed at the 2005 Australian Open.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.


Editors Note: Marat and his sister Dinara both had tremendous talent and possibilities.

Yes, tennis players get injuries. But most of Marat’s were between his ears. He rarely really gave his all out effort. He was a clown. A joke. A mean bully at times or smiling from ear to ear.. or wearing a black eye cause he found a bigger guy with a bigger mouth… So all we have to say to Marat Safin is. You’ll never really know what you coulda • shoulda • might have achieved.

Enjoy the Senior Circuit. It’s a great hit and giggle. Anyone in London the tennis is at Royal Albert Hall.

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