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- Pronounced: mah-RAHT SAH-fin
- Birthdate: 27.01.1980
- Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
- Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco
- Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
- Weight: 195 lbs (88 kg)
- Plays: Right-handed
- Turned Pro: 1997
- Coach: Hernan Gumy
As of 03.03.2014
*Singles & Doubles combined
*Singles & Doubles combined
Big, blazing, bumptious, and sometimes bumbling, excessive in everything he does, 6-4, 195 pound Marat Safin is a good-natured bundle of immense talent waiting to be tamed. Nobody can stop him when he fires on all cylinders, as Pete Sampras learned, swept away, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, in 2000 US Open final. Marat, 20 then, first Russian to win the title, appeared to have No. 1 wrapped up that year (won seven titles), but, unraveled at Masters, finished No. 2 behind Guga Kuerten.
Blends speed, touch, power; however, moodiness can transform him into a headless horseman. A champion racket-smasher, he turned it all around, seeded No. 6 at Flushing during his title run. He turned pro in 1996 and made his first splash in beating Andre Agassi in the first round, defending champion Gustavo Kuerten in the second round at the 1998 French—made the fourth round.
Born Jan. 27, 1980 in Moscow of tennis-teaching parentage—Mother, Rausa Islanova, coached him age 6-to-13, then sent him to Valencia, Spain to live under the tutelage Rafael Mensua. Sister Dinara Safina (born April 17, 1986) also world class, top female player, who earned the No. 1 ranking in 2009—making he and Dinara as the only brother-sister combination to earn the top world ranking (Dinara also reached 2008/2009 French and 2009 Australian singles finals).
He was a mainstay as Russia won first Davis Cup in 2002, beating France, 3-2 in the final. He was 6-1 singles, 2-2 doubles; won decisive singles over Michel Kratochvil, Switzerland, David Nalbandian, Argentina; and beat Paul-Henri Mathieu, Sebastian Grosjean in the final. Also beat Jose Acasuso of Argentina 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in fifth and decisive match to help Russia win the 2006 Cup in Moscow.
He lost the Australian final in 2002 to Tom Johansson, but rebounded in Melbourne in 2005, beating world No. 1 Roger Federer in semifinal, saving a match point in the 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (6), 9-7 win. Beat Lleyton Hewitt for the title, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. He made the semi-finals of the French, 2002 and the quarterfinals in 2000; He reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, 2001 and the semi-finals at the U.S.
in 2001. In 2008, he powered to an unexpected semi-final at Wimbledon, defeating Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic en route, losing to Federer.
He won 15 singles (380-223 matches), two doubles pro career titles, $14,143,755 in prize money as of July, 2009 he was in the world’s Top 10: No. 2, 2000; No. 3, 2002 (No. 11, 2001).
MAJOR TITLES (2) — Australian, 2005, U.S. 2000.
- Bio Courtesy Bud Collins
Began playing tennis at age six with his father, Misha, director of a small tennis club in Moscow, and mother, Rausa Islanova, who served as her son's coach from ages 6 to 13...Has a younger sister, Dinara Safina (born Apr. 27, 1986), who reached Roland Garros final and ranked a career-high No. 3 in 2008...A fan of Spartak, Moscow soccer team and NBA star Shaquille O'Neal...Spent most of his years as a youth (from age 13-19) and worked out with several Spanish players...Named ATP Newcomer of Year in 1998 and ATP Most Improved Player of Year in 2000...Has a 30-19 career Davis Cup record (20-15 in singles) in 21 ties and member of winning team in 2002 and '06...Profiled as a breakthrough performer in People Magazine's "Most Intriguing People" issue in Dec. 2000... Named "2000 Newcomer of the Year" at Laureus World Sports Awards in Monte-Carlo...In September 2007, spent 10 days climbing part of Cho Oyu, world's sixth-highest mountain in Himalayas.
Safin DEUCE Feature (Nov. 2009)
1997 -- Moved more than 200 ranking positions with an 11-5 match record in Challenger play...Won his first title at Espinho (d. Huet)...
1998 -- Finished in Top 50 with first ATP SF in Long Island...Qualified and reached 4th RD at Roland Garros and US Open...
1999 -- Won his first ATP title in Boston (d. Rusedski), dropping one set in five matches...One of three teens (Ferrero, Hewitt) to win an ATP title during year...Helped Russia to Davis Cup SF by winning fifth and decisive matches in 1st RD (d. Kiefer) and QF (d. Hrbaty in five sets) ties...Went 4-2 in five-set matches during season...On clay, advanced to 4th RD at Roland Garros and SF in Amsterdam...Reached his first AMS final in Paris with wins over No. 5 Kuerten (2nd), Courier (QF) and Chang (SF) before losing to Agassi in four sets...
2000 -- Led ATP with seven titles and at time he became youngest player to finish No. 2 since 19-year-old Boris Becker in 1986...First player under age of 21 to win at least seven titles in a season since Mats Wilander won nine in 1983...He led ATP in singles matches won (73), finals reached (9) and was second in singles matches played (100), one behind countryman Kafelnikov...Entered his first Tennis Masters Cup in Lisbon with a 75-point lead in ATP Champions Race over Kuerten and was twice within one victory of becoming youngest year-end No. 1...After winning first two round robin matches, lost to Sampras in final round robin and fell to Agassi in SF...He also could have finished No. 1 if Kuerten lost in any of four matches he won, instead finished 15 points behind Kuerten...Won back-to-back titles in Barcelona (d. Ferrero) and Mallorca (d. Tillstrom) under former Top 10 Andrei Chesnokov as coach...Reached second AMS final in Hamburg, losing in a fifth-set tie-break to Kuerten in a 3-hour, 52-minute marathon...Advanced to his first Grand Slam QF at Roland Garros...Compiled a 24-4 record under Chesnokov...In grass season, worked with former Edberg mentor Tony Pickard...Reached QF at Queen's and 2nd RD at Wimbledon...During summer hard court circuit, under guidance of former pro Alexander Volkov, compiled a 12-2 record with his first AMS title in Toronto (d. Levy) and a runner-up in Indianapolis (l. to Kuerten)...Won first career Grand Slam at US Open, defeating Ferrero (4th RD), Kiefer (QF), 1999 finalist Todd Martin (SF) and Sampras (F)...Sampras had won eight consecutive Slam finals he appeared in since 1995... Following week won title in Tashkent (d. Sanguinetti in F) to be first player to win an title the following week of a Grand Slam title since Ivan Lendl in 1985...After splitting with long-time coach Rafael Mensua in mid-April, resumed working with him in Vienna...Captured first ATP title in Russia in St. Petersburg (d. Hrbaty)...Won AMS Paris, defeating Philippoussis in a fifth set tie-break on his sixth match point (in 3:29)...Led ATP with 32 tie-break sets won (32-20) and in aces (921)...Earned a career-high $3,524,959...
2001 -- Repeated titles in Tashkent (d. Kafelnikov) and St. Petersburg (d. Schuettler)...In Dubai SF in March, injured back in victory over Johansson... Completed match but retired at 6-2, 3-1 next day in final against Ferrero...During summer was bothered by tendinitis in his left knee but reached SF in Indianapolis...Reached US Open SF (l. to Sampras)...
2002 -- Finished in Top 3 for second time in three years...Led his country to Davis Cup title with wins over France's Mathieu and Grosjean...At Australian Open, lost to Johansson in four sets on his 22nd birthday...Won AMS Paris title...Finalist at AMS Hamburg (l. to Federer)...Reached SF at Roland Garros (l. to Ferrero)...
2003 -- Finished out of Top 50 for first time since 1997...Limited to 13 tournaments after battling left wrist injury...Withdrew before QF in Sydney with right shoulder injury...Reached 3rd RD at Australian Open but withdrew prior to match after tearing ligaments in left wrist during 1st RD win over Sluiter...Reached final at Barcelona, retiring against Moya trailing two sets to one due to fatigue...Did not win a match rest of year (0-6)...
2004 -- Began season as runner-up at Australian Open (l. to Federer)...Played a total of 21 hrs. and six mins. and his 30 sets played was most in a Grand Slam in Open Era, tying Harold Solomon's mark set at Roland Garros in 1976...Jumped from 86 to No. 32 in ATP Rankings...Began working with Peter Lundgren in May...Won titles in Beijing (d. Youzhny), AMS Madrid (d. Agassi in SF, Nalbandian in F) and AMS Paris (d. Hewitt in QF, Canas in SF, Stepanek in F)...Estoril finalist (l. to Chela)... Also a SF in Bangkok and QF in St. Petersburg...Qualified for Tennis Masters Cup in Houston and advanced to SF after going 2-1 in round robin play...Played longest tie-break (20-18) in second set of SF against Federer in history of Masters and was only fourth time since 1973 a 38-point tie-break took place...Was 27-12 on hard, 17-6 on clay, 8-3 on carpet and 0-2 on grass...Went 24-27 in tie-breaks and 8-9 vs. Top 10 opponents...Finished No. 4 in aces (695), second serve points won (55 percent) and No. 7 in service games won (86 percent)...
2005 -- Opened season with title at Australian Open, posting wins over Ancic (3rd), O. Rochus (4th), Hrbaty (QF) and No. 1 Federer (SF) before defeating Aussie favorite Hewitt in four sets...In his victory over Federer, saved 1 M.P. and prevailed 9-7 in fifth set...One of only four players (Gasquet, Nadal, Nalbandian) to beat Federer during year...Struggled in next seven tournaments (8-7 record) before advancing to 4th RD at Roland Garros (d. Ferrero, l. to Robredo in five sets)...In June, reached his first career grass court final in Halle, losing to Federer in three sets...Also advanced to doubles final (w/J. Johansson)...Followed with 3rd RD showing at Wimbledon (d. Srichaphan, Philippoussis; l. to Lopez)...Did not play again until mid-August due to left knee injury and advanced to QF at AMS Cincinnati (l. to Ginepri) in his last tournament...Withdrew from US Open and Tennis Masters Cup due to knee ailment...
2006 -- Helped Russia to Davis Cup title (vs. Argentina) by winning fifth and decisive rubber over Acasuso...Also won crucial matches in 1st RD (d. Gasquet) and SF (d. Roddick)...Did not defend his '05 Australian Open title due to a left knee injury and began season in late February in Dubai (d. No. 5 Davydenko, l. to O. Rochus)...In next event, advanced to 4th RD at AMS Indian Wells (d. Moya, Davydenko; l. to Nieminen)...Followed with Valencia SF (d. No. 9 Gaudio, l. to Almagro)...Struggled in next three months (5-9) before reaching SF in Washington (d. No. 5 Blake, l. to Clement)...Parted ways with coach Peter Lundgren in mid-August...At US Open, he entered ranked No. 104 (lowest since May '98) and reached 4th RD (d. No. 4 Nalbandian in 2nd RD, l. to Haas in a fifth set tie-break)...Finished with a SF in Bangkok (l. to Blake), runner-up in Moscow (l. to Davydenko), QF at AMS Madrid (d. No. 9 Baghdatis, l. to Nalbandian) and AMS Paris (l. to Haas)...His seven Top 10 wins (7-7) were fourth-most on ATP circuit, only behind Federer (19), Nadal (10) and Blake (8)...Compiled marks of 19-12 on hard, 7-3 on carpet, 6-7 on clay and 2-2 on grass...
2007 -- Best result was SF in Las Vegas and three QF -- San Jose, Los Angeles and Washington -- in 19 tournaments...Failed to reach an ATP final for first time since 1998...Played in two Davis Cup ties for his native country, against Chile and France, winning two of three singles matches to help them to final (vs. U.S.)...After opening season with a 3rd RD at Australian Open (l. to Roddick), defeated Massu in opening rubber and lost to Gonzalez in fourth rubber as Russia won 3-2 in Chile...In April, won fifth and decisive match against France's Mathieu to lift Russia into Davis Cup SF...In doubles, captured second ATP title in Moscow (w/Tursunov)...Compiled marks of 14-12 on hard, 6-6 on clay, 3-2 on grass.
2008 -- The Russian finished in Top 30, reaching one ATP final and making first SF appearance at Wimbledon during an up-and-down season...Compiled a 9-12 record in first five months of action before finishing with a 15-12 mark from June-on...In April, rallied from a two-set deficit against No. 9 Berdych in opening match of Davis Cup QF tie...In May, reached QF in Munich (l. to Gonalzez) and qualified into a main draw for first time since 1998 at AMS Hamburg where he reached 3rd RD (l. to Moya)...Lost to countryman and No. 4 Davydenko in 2nd RD at Roland Garros...At Wimbledon, surprised No. 3 Djokovic in 2nd RD and No. 9 Wawrinka in 4th RD before losing to five-time champion Federer in SF...During summer hard court circuit, reached QF in Los Angeles (l. to Gremelmayr) and 2nd RD at US Open (l. to Robredo)...In October, advanced to final in Moscow (l. to countryman Kunitsyn)...Went 4-4 vs. Top 10 opponents and compiled marks of 9-14 on hard, 9-8 on clay and 6-2 on grass.
2009 -- The Russian struggled with a 7-10 match record going into Wimbledon with his best results the third round at the Australian Open (l. to Federer) and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells (l. Isner) and Miami (l. to Monfils)...Withdrew from Queen's due to a back injury.
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