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2000 Open champion Safin doesn't want to look back; Fish's new coach

2000 Open champion Safin doesn't want to look back; Fish's new coach

It's been seven years since Marat Safin burst onto the tennis scene by winning the U.S. Open. He was all of 20 then and many predicted plenty of other Grand Slam championships would follow.
Instead, Safin only added one more major title.
Does he look back at his victory over Pete Sampras in that long-ago final at Flushing Meadows as the best match of his career?
"Yeah, but who cares? It's so far in the past. It's already history. It's a long time ago. It's time to move on," Safin said after winning his first-round match at the U.S. Open on Wednesday.
"Whatever happened, happened. It was good memories, great. But you don't focus on that, because there's so much going on."
Then he got more philosophical.
The 25th-seeded Russian was asked to look ahead, to consider whether he could envision himself winning this tournament.
"We prepare for the worst and hope for the best. It's kind of this way I'm looking forward," Safin said. "The worst is I will never win. Hoping for the best _ that there is a chance to win."
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FISH'S COACHING FRIEND:@ When 1999 U.S. Open finalist Todd Martin told Mardy Fish to look for a new coach, Fish turned to one of his best friends.
During his high school days in Boca Raton, Fla., the 40th-ranked Fish was part of a group sometimes affectionately referred to as the "Boca Mafia." Fish lived with Andy Roddick's family for a year and also hung out with Bo Hodge.
Well, now Hodge _ who played tennis at the University of Georgia _ is traveling with Fish as his part-time coach.
"I'm very comfortable with him," Fish said after a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 first-round victory over Mexican qualifier Bruno Echagaray at the U.S. Open. "We've known each other for a really, really long time. He's been around the game for his whole life. I can easily call him one of my best friends."
"It's nice," Fish added, "to have someone who's not just there for a paycheck."
Fish then made sure to be clear that he wasn't implying previous coaches were in it only for the money.
As for Martin's departure, Fish said, "I would be hard-pressed to tell you there wasn't other issues," but noted that the two-time Grand Slam runner-up wanted to travel less so he could spend more time with his two young children.
Fish has struggled to regain the form that led him to a top-20 ranking before he had two wrist operations in 2005.


Updated : 2021-05-07 23:29 GMT+08:00