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Archive for the ‘marat safin’ Category

Shy and Retiring.

Posted by gauloises1 on July 19, 2010

Having been mildly puzzled by Marat’s unique definition of retirement as basically being seen more than he was before he embarked on his year-long farewell tour, I quite enjoyed this from the Net Post:

Quite a few remarkable tennis champions are moving smoothly into the political world. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, the Australian Open champion in 2002, and Marat Safin, the player he defeated in that final but who won a couple of grand slam titles himself, are among the new movers and shakers. Johansson had a substantial part to play in helping to assemble a very decent field in Bastad last week and he is the tournament director for the IF Stockholm Open in October.

Johansson was working the field during Wimbledon, attempting to persuade as many players as possible of the delights of the Swedish capital (that should not be too difficult). So, too was Safin, on behalf of Moscow and the Kremlin Cup which, wouldn’t you know it, falls in exactly the same week at Stockholm. That should have made for an interesting conversation should the two men have crossed paths, which one is certain they did.

“I just want to bring more players to our tournament,” said Safin. “We need to make the event more interesting. Lately we have struggled with tennis players. The people in Russia want to see more good quality.”

It is hard to imagine Safin behind a desk ploughing through e-mails and correspondence, but he says he is having a whale of a time. “I sit down, I answer the phone,” he said. “Life is very good.” He is hoping to help re-structure the Russian Federation and is working with a new team in Moscow to put his many impressive ideas into place.

Marat the mover and shaker.

Marat also dropped a typically optimistic assessment of Dinara’s situation:

Marat went on to discourse about Dinara, his sister, who has been struggling badly with injujries and a lack of confidence. After being No 1 in the world through much of last year, she is currently No 33 and has fallen off the radar. “She has a stress fracture in her spine,” Marat confided. “She has been playing in pain and that is no way to play. She should take off a chunk of time, re-evaluate and stop trying to play through the pain. I think she should take a six-month rest and think about the future.”

Posted in marat safin, thomas johansson | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The Long and the Long Of It

Posted by gauloises1 on May 10, 2010

Sam Querrey d. John Isner, 36 76(4) 64 

A tough day in Belgrade for the two tall drinks of unlikely tennis player as good buddies Sam Querrey and John Isner faced each other in a final for the second time this year – only to have it end much the same way. In Memphis, Isner was up a set and 5-2; today, he served for the match and even had match point at 63 54, only for an errant forehand and a subsequent failure to put it behind him to cost him the match. Does Isner have a buddy problem, or does he just have problems closing out matches? Answers on a postcard.

Anyway, from what I saw, Sam played better as the match went on and thoroughly deserved his title – which, incidentally, made him the first man to win a title on European clay since 2003. And while big John was clearly crushed, there’s no way this trophy presentation (with special guests!) won’t have cheered him up at least a little. It did me.

Who knew Nole was such a midget?!

Posted in belgrade, john isner, marat safin, novak djokovic, sam querrey, titlists | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Nole Open Not That Much Fun For Nole

Posted by gauloises1 on May 7, 2010

Novak Djokovic beat Fabio Fognini 64 64 for a place in the quarterfinals at his home tournament – but he doesn’t seem too happy:

“I don’t want to go into details too much, but I have some health issues that are hampering me and it’s very important for me to be fully fit, because playing on clay demands immense physical efforts. I’ve been going through a difficult period over the past couple of months. It’s springtime and I have a strong allergic reaction to pollen. It’s never been this bad and no medications are helping it,” says Djokovic.


Poor Nole. Allergies sound like a mild irritation, but they can be really debilitating. And I’ve never tried to play professional tennis while suffering. I can’t imagine that can be anything other than miserable.

Although …

… every cloud has a silver lining, eh?

Nole will play Filip Krajinovic next, the adorable youngster, who beat Horacio Zeballos 76(5) in the third for a huge upset win for him. This is a good thing.

Sorry, Onion, but Filip was here first.

Posted in belgrade, filip krajinovic, marat safin, novak djokovic | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

So Long, Farewell

Posted by gauloises1 on November 12, 2009

ATP players say goodbye to Marat:

Posted in marat safin, video | 1 Comment »

It’s Not Finished …. It’s Finished

Posted by gauloises1 on November 11, 2009

Good news? Juan Martin del Potro is through to the third round of the Paris masters to face Fernando Gonzalez after a three-set win. (I feel the urge to go ‘YEAH BABY!’ a la Ola Jordan at this point, but I shall restrain myself. Oh, what the hell. YEAH BABY!). The bad news? Said win came over Marat Safin, ending his career 64 57 64.

marat safindelpo


I thought JMDP played quite well overall. He made only 2 UFEs in the first set, served his 500th ace of 2009 somewhere during the second set, and if it hadn’t been for a badly-timed wobble (probably the lack of match practice) serving to stay in the second set he may well have got it done in two. I think Marat was reasonably satisfied to have his final match be against del Potro – if only because, as he said during the post-match presentation, that may possibly entitle him to a share of the prize money should JMDP win the whole shebang – and there was, er, shall we say genuine warmth between them at the net.

marat delpo

delpo marat

delpo marat

JMDP was basically wholly adorable, directing the crowd to applaud Marat, sitting down next to Marat for a chat, and printing ‘MARAT’ on the camera and getting Safin to sign it instead of signing it himself. All of which was making me wibble a little bit, and that was before Marat’s goodbye ceremony, where a bunch of players past and present came on to wish him well and applaud while he was presented with the key to the Bercy stadium.

marat safin

Here’s video of the whole thing, from match point on, in case you missed it:

I realise I’ve spent most of this post talking about JMDP and not Marat. The truth is that my fandom relationship with Marat has been so long and rocky that I don’t quite know what to say. Still, I’ll miss him. I think we’ll all miss him.

Oh just have some more photos.

marat delpo

marat greeting line

marat goodbye

marat goodbye2

marat goodbye3


Posted in juan martin del potro, marat safin, paris masters, video | Tagged: , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

Paris Day One: Marat’s Career. Still Not Over.

Posted by gauloises1 on November 10, 2009

Marat Safin survives for at least one more match at his last tournament. He was up against French qualifier Thierry Ascione, but it obviously wasn’t devoid of drama; a brain cramp in the second set took them into a decider and Marat had to save three match points with aces before taking the final tiebreak 7-3.

marat safin paris masters 2009

That means Marat will face Delpo in the second round in what is known as a ‘no-win scenario’. Either Delpo gets to be the guy who ends Marat’s career, or (in the more likely scenario, given that Delpo hasn’t won a match since the US Open), Marat wins and it’s no more Delpo till London. Sigh.

philipp kohlschreiber paris masters 2009victor hanescu paris masters 2009

PEHK’s erratic form continues as he fell to Andreas Seppi in straight sets, and Victor Hanescu went out after a great match against Albert Montanes; Hanescu had break point after break point in the third set but couldn’t convert, and Montanes stepped it up significantly in the tiebreak. Hanescu even attempted serving underarm after going about a zillion match points down (and won the point), but he couldn’t forestall the inevitable. And John Isner overcame a tough challenge from Alejandro Falla, saving three match points to advance.

Singles – First Round
A Seppi (ITA) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 63 63
I Karlovic (CRO) d P Cuevas (URU) 76(3) 64
T Berdych (CZE) d [Q] V Millot (FRA) 63 76(4)
[Q] L Kubot (POL) d A Beck (GER) 64 36 64
V Troicki (SRB) d P Mathieu (FRA) 76(4) 30 ret. (right calf)
A Montanes (ESP) d V Hanescu (ROU) 36 63 76(3)
J Isner (USA) d [Q] A Falla (COL) 46 76(10) 75 – saved 3 M.P.
[WC] M Safin (RUS) d [Q] T Ascione (FRA) 64 46 76(3) – saved 3 M.P.

Doubles – First Round
S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) d J Chardy (FRA) / G Simon (FRA) 64 36 10-7
[WC] A Clement (FRA) / M Llodra (FRA) d J Levinsky (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) 36 61 10-4
J Benneteau (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) d J Coetzee (RSA) / M Melo (BRA) 63 64

Posted in marat safin, paris masters, philipp kohlschreiber, victor hanescu | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Marin, My Avenging Angel

Posted by gauloises1 on October 31, 2009

I have so been short-changing the men this week. I know this. But the women are right there, on my TV, being by turns awesome and woeful. And it’s the last time we’ll see the top girls for like a month or something, so, you know. Sue me. Or go to a different blog. (Do not go to a different blog.)

marin cilic viennajurgen melzer vienna

Anyway. Marin made me the happiest woman alive for about five seconds today by beating my second least-favourite player, Feliciano Lopez, into a bloody pulp like a red-headed stepchild in straight sets to make the semis of Lyon today. He’ll face Philipp Kohlschreiber, who’s beaten him once this year, so that should go well. The other semi-final will be contested between homeboy Jurgen Melzer, who took out second seed Radek Stepanek, and Janko Tipsarevic, who somewhat bizarrely beat Gael Monfils 63 in the third. Could this be Tipsy’s second ATP final – in as many weeks, no less? Stay tuned.

janko tipsarevic vienna

Lyon probably gets the ‘WTF?’ award for the day, as Arnaud Clement (who had lost about fifteen matches in a row until recently) beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, saving a match point or two along the way. He’ll face sole non-painting-slasher Ivan Ljubicic in the semis. The other one will be contested between Gilles Simon and wildcard Michael Llodra, who seems to do bizarrely well at this small(er) tournaments on home soil. So we’ll see.

And in St Petersburg, Marat Safin is into the semifinals after a typically lopsided victory over Uzbekistan’s finest, Denis Istomin. He’ll be joined by Argentine Horacio Zeballos, Igor Kunitsyn and Sergiy Stakhovsky. But hey … Marat!

marat safin st petersburg



Singles – Quarter-finals
[WC] A Clement (FRA) d [1] J Tsonga (FRA) 57 64 76(8) – saved 1 M.P.
[2] G Simon (FRA) d [5] J Benneteau (FRA) 76(5) 63
[3] I Ljubicic (CRO) d F Serra (FRA) 76(6) 62
[WC] M Llodra (FRA) d M Gicquel (FRA) 76(5) 64

Doubles – Semi-finals
[WC] J Benneteau (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) d M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) 62 67(4) 10-4

St Petersburg

Singles – Quarter-finals
I Kunitsyn (RUS) d [2] V Hanescu (ROU) 63 36 76(6)
[8] H Zeballos (ARG) d E Gulbis (LAT) 76(8) 64
M Safin (RUS) d D Istomin (UZB) 60 76(4)
[Q] S Stakhovsky (UKR) d B Phau (GER) 62 75

Doubles – Semi-finals
J Chardy (FRA) / R Gasquet (FRA) d [WC] M Elgin / T Gabashvili (RUS) 76(3) 61


Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] [WC] M Cilic (CRO) d [6] F Lopez (ESP) 61 64
[7] J Melzer (AUT) d [2] R Stepanek (CZE) 62 62
J Tipsarevic (SRB) d [3] G Monfils (FRA) 64 67(8) 63
[4] P Kohlschreiber (GER) d [5] N Almagro (ESP) 75 64

Doubles – Semi-finals
[3] L Kubot (POL) / O Marach (AUT) d J Isner (USA) / J Kerr (AUS) 64 36 10-6

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[4] J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d M Cilic (CRO) / L Zovko (CRO) 76(1) 75

Posted in janko tipsarevic, jurgen melzer, lyon, marat safin, marin cilic, st petersburg, vienna | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Safin Beats Gasquet; Ernie Gets Past Second Round

Posted by gauloises1 on October 29, 2009

Ructions and happenings, folks. Ernests Gulbis is actually into the quarter-finals of a tournament, having beaten fourth seed Jeremy Chardy (boo) in straight sets in St Petersburg. He’ll be joined by Bjorn Phau, Victor Hanescu and Horacio Zeballos (Argentina, baby). And Marat Safin beat Richard Gasquet in what was by all accounts a very entertaining match. (I haven’t actually read any accounts.)

marat safin st petersburg

In Lyon, everybody’s favourite little slumper, Gilles Simon, ousted Simone Bolelli, and Julien Benneteau and Florent Serra are both into the quarter-finals. And in Vienna, Stepanek, Kohlschreiber and Almagro are all into the quarter-finals, while Gael Monfils won his first round against Garcia-Lopez and Tipsarevic ousted Isner.

gael monfils vienna


Singles – Second Round
[5] J Benneteau (FRA) d [Q] K Anderson (RSA) 75 62
F Serra (FRA) d [8] A Montanes (ESP) 75 63

Singles – First Round
[2] G Simon (FRA) d S Bolelli (ITA) 76(5) 76(5)
[6] P Mathieu (FRA) d L Mayer (ARG) 76(5) 62
N Kiefer (GER) d [WC] S Grosjean (FRA) 46 76(7) 76(2) – Saved 2 M.P.
O Rochus (BEL) d [Q] V Millot (FRA) 63 62

Doubles – First Round
[WC] A Clement (FRA) / S Grosjean (FRA) d [2] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) 64 76(1)
M Gicquel (FRA) / M Llodra (FRA) d [4] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) 63 64
L Arnold Ker (ARG) / J Monaco (ARG) d E Butorac (USA) / R Ram (USA) 63 36 10-8

St Petersburg

Singles – Second Round
[2] V Hanescu (ROU) d I Marchenko (UKR) 63 64
E Gulbis (LAT) d [4] J Chardy (FRA) 76(7) 63
[8] H Zeballos (ARG) d [Q] O Dolgopolov Jr. (UKR) 63 61
B Phau (GER) d K Beck (SVK) 64 21 ret. (respiratory illness)

Singles – First Round
[1] M Youzhny (RUS) d A Golubev (KAZ) 63 62
I Kunitsyn (RUS) d [7] P Cuevas (URU) 64 63
M Safin (RUS) d R Gasquet (FRA) 76(5) 64

Doubles – First Round
J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR) d [1] F Cermak / M Mertinak (SVK) 63 76(7)
C Fleming (GBR) / K Skupski (GBR) d [3] R Bopanna (IND) / T Parrott (USA) 76(5) 36 10-7


Singles – Second Round
[2] R Stepanek (CZE) d F Gil (POR) 62 63
[4] P Kohlschreiber (GER) d V Crivoi (ROU) 62 30 ret. (right shoulder)
[5] N Almagro (ESP) d W Odesnik (USA) 64 64

Singles – First Round
[3] G Monfils (FRA) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 75 64
J Tipsarevic (SRB) d [8] J Isner (SRB) 76(4) 64
D Koellerer (AUT) d J Nieminen (FIN) 61 62
[Q] D Hrbaty (SVK) d R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) 63 64

Doubles – First Round
[4] J Knowle (AUT) / J Melzer (AUT) d L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Petzschner (GER) 75 63
M Cilic (CRO) / L Zovko (CRO) d F Lopez (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) 63 62

Posted in gael monfils, lyon, marat safin, st petersburg, vienna | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The Ovary Implosion Equation

Posted by gauloises1 on October 28, 2009

I’m thinking it’s “tennis players + little kids”. Seriously.

Marat Safin and my unsung hero Teimuraz Gabashvili visited the Warm Home Charity Foundation, which cares for children from troubled families, in St. Petersburg:

teimuraz gabashvili marat safin kids3

marat safin teimuraz gabashvili kids3

I might need to go and have a cold shower and think about Nicolas Massu for a bit.

Posted in marat safin, st petersburg, teimuraz gabashvili, video | Tagged: , | 11 Comments »

Robin Rocks, Marat Mastered by Mini-Me

Posted by gauloises1 on October 23, 2009

You know what? I’m getting quite fed up with all the Soderling hate floating around. Can we pretend his existence isn’t defined by his history against that Spanish guy and take a moment to appreciate Robin Soderling? Not only is he a legitimate excuse to look at pictures of Magnus Norman …

magnus norman

… but he’s the only seed left in the entirety of the Stockholm Open. And he gives good photo.

robin soderling stockholm open

robin soderling stockholm open

robin soderling stockholm open

Go on. Hate that ass. I dare you.

Anyway, Soderling beat Seppi 61 63 to join Olivier Rochus, Baggy, Arnaud Clement and Jarkko Nieminen (who got a walkover from Tommy Haas due to the flu) in the quarterfinals. Good stuff.

In Moscow, it was a pretty good day for the people who aren’t really anybody, particularly. Robby Ginepri beat Marcel Granollers and even bagelled him in the second, qualifiers Kukushkin and Marchenko defeated Odesnik and Golubev respectively, Christophe Rochus was forced to retire trailing Janko Tipsarevic, and Marat Safin failed to do the decent thing and consolidate his defeat of Davydenko, falling to Evgeny Korolev.

evgeny korolev kremlin cup moscowmarat safin kremlin cup moscow


Singles – Second Round
[6] J Tipsarevic (SRB) d C Rochus (BEL) 64 21 ret. (illness)
R Ginepri (USA) d M Granollers (ESP) 76(5) 60
[Q] M Kukushkin (KAZ) d W Odesnik (USA) 63 64
[Q] I Marchenko (UKR) d A Golubev (KAZ) 61 16 64
E Korolev (RUS) d M Safin (RUS) 64 76(4)

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d I Andreev (RUS) / D Koellerer (AUT) 60 63
[3] P Cuevas (URU) / M Granollers (ESP) d K Beck (SVK) / F Polasek (SVK) 64 62


Singles – Second Round
[1] R Soderling (SWE) d A Seppi (ITA) 61 63
J Nieminen (FIN) d [2] T Haas (GER) w/o – flu
O Rochus (BEL) d [8] F Lopez (ESP) 46 64 61
M Baghdatis (CYP) d R Kendrick (USA) 62 62
[Q] A Clement (FRA) d [Q] M Berrer (GER) 36 76(7) 61

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) d F Lopez (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) 62 61
[2] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) d B Becker (GER) / D Skoch (CZE) 64 63
A Beck (GER) / C Kas (GER) d [3] J Kerr (AUS) / T Parrott (USA) 64 62
[4] J Coetzee (RSA) / S Huss (AUS) d A Clement (FRA) / R Lindstedt (SWE) 76(3) 36 10-7

Posted in evgeny korolev, kremlin cup, magnus norman, marat safin, robin soderling, stockholm | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »