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Safin looking ahead, not back

Safin looking ahead, not back

Marat Safin has banked two Grand Slams, more money than he knows what to do with, won 15 titles around the world and smashed untold rackets.
It's an ongoing tennis career worthy of celebrating as he moves closer to retiring than returning to No. 1 in the world.
Yet as he struggles to string two singles wins together and his title drought approaches three years, Safin isn't ready to reflect on a distinguished and enigmatic career. He'd rather continue to hope for the best than look back on his best.
After surviving Canadian qualifier Frank Dancevic 7-5, 7-6 (5), 7-5 (7) in the first round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday, Safin was asked about his decade-long pro career but wasn't willing to walk down memory lane.
Was that victory over Pete Sampras for the 2000 U.S. Open title your best match ever?
"Yeah, but who cares? It's so far in the past. It's already history. It's time to move on," he said with a smile.
How about how he will be regarded in, say, 30 years?
"Who cares? I will not care. I will be doing something else in my life and hopefully I will be happy."
Do you think you could have achieved much more, as others do?
"Of course it would be greater if I had won the two finals I lost at the Australian Open. And of course it would have been great to win at Roland Garros. I'm not disappointed with my career. In the circumstances I did pretty well. I don't have any regrets."
Actually, he had two regrets. Tearing ligaments in his wrist at the 2003 Australian Open, soon after leading Russia to the Davis Cup title, and injuring his knee after winning the 2005 Australian Open.
"They broke the rhythm of my career," he said. "I could have achieved more but I didn't."
Still, he hadn't given up on winning a third Slam. He said he wasn't expecting much from this Open or from the rest of a muddling year and it was getting tougher to win a Slam, but he the door was open if Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal lost ...
"It's not like I'm struggling for money. I'm here because I enjoy playing, I enjoy fighting," Safin said. "To have this feeling after you win a match I think is the most beautiful feeling in the world.
"If you retire you are going to miss that feeling. That's what moves me to keep winning."


Updated : 2021-07-24 17:59 GMT+08:00