How long has it been, with Marat, winning back-to-back-matches? A. LA Tennis Open!
This is Marat's second quarterfinal of the year, and everybody is very very excited to see a Safin-Nadal clash today.
Safin defeated an injured Jose Acasuso (ARG) in straight sets, (6-4, 6-2) kept his perfect form and consistent serve, didn't allow any break for Acasuso in the first set, and ultimately gain confidence in the second, enough to keep his charge going the right way.
And just yesterday, Marat pulled a cosmic show by defeating his second-round Chilean opponent Fernando Gonzalez, who was seeded 7th in the tourney, in a classic 6-3 6-4 match.
This evening, Marat has yet to face a more formidable challenger, Rafael Nadal, who narrowly won against James Blake, and the streams will be on.
It takes a vast amount of emotions to pull these news through, but I say, let's sit and watch our streams.
It's going to be a pretty good ride. Wherever the wind blows, Marat sure is the best. :p
More practice with Blake:
at the press conference:
The press conference after that:
Time for the Fans!
Remember: Safin-Nadal match is scheduled for the evening, not before 7pm.
Tune in to MTF, http://www.menstennisforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=25 for more details.
I won't be watching, but I hope we shall yield good results.
And the long wait is over for Chinese fans: Here's to China Open!
Another tournament, another day closer to Marat's retirement. Heh, now you'd wish you could turn back time and look back to yesteryears' Australian Open 2005, well, nah. This is all we get now.
Now after all the press releases and the wildcard talk, Marat finally hopped into a plane and did not disappoint.
He's already there, arrived with the 'caterpillar' shirt (as my friend aptly described), and will face Jose Acasuso, his first round-opponent. Seems like the Chinese do want the Russian for keeps, they've set a collision very favorable to Marat due to Acasuso's injuries.
Match has been postponed for today and will start on Tuesday. The farewell party will be held after Marat's last match in Beijing. Next stop is Shanghai. But till then, let's party.
Photos at the airport:
Practice, but not shirtless:
A video for everybody, just follow the link:
And an article about Marat's practice, which is pretty nice:Fans in China love to watch Marat Safin practice.
When Marat Safin practices in China, people pay attention. More than 100 fans gathered around the former No. 1's practice court Saturday to watch a warm-up set between Safin and the American James Blake. There were a few Blake fans, but people came out en mass to cheer Safin on.
One fan wearing Safin's image on his shirt reached under the court fence to snag a ball that had been graced by the touch of Safin's racquet. When Safin laughed at him, the crowd cooed. When he missed a point and threw his racquet in disgust, the crowd gasped. One fan waved the flag of Safin's Russian homeland while another held a "We love Safin" sign upside-down, perhaps unfamiliar with the particulars of the English language.
Though Safin won the China Open in 2004, he is no longer at the top of his game. Currently ranked 58, Safin only reached the Beijing-based tournament after officals gave him a wild card.
But that doesn't stop his fans from obsessing over him. When asked why the Chinese love Safin, one female fan replied, "He's just so sexy. I love looking at pictures of him."
It seems that there are many Chinese who want Safin's picture. Fans pushed cameras through the court fence hoping to get a clean shot of the tennis star. Even a police officer took a break from his patrol to capture a picture of Safin, trying different angles in hopes of the perfect shot.
And Safin is good to the fans who love him. After practice, Safin instructed his entourage to toss used tennis balls into the crowd, transforming them into a sea of grabbing hands. Safin then spent a few moments signing autographs, causing guards to re-enforce the barricades holding the masses at bay.
Organizers of the 2009 China Open plan to throw a farewell party Safin this week.
By Jim Buell http://www.chinaopen.com.cn/news/en/...4/182094.shtml
A Tsingtao to Maratik!
And Thailand Open has already ended. After failing to capitalize on two love games in the second set, and a few breaks, Marat ultimately lost to qualifier Marco Chiudinelli, 3-6 7-6 last Friday. It was a sad day for fans and for Marat himself, to the surprise of many people, after he expressed his desire to win in an post-match interview.
"Safin said after failing to reach only his second quarter-final of the season that he still maintains his competitive fire.
I'm a little disappointed. It should have gone the other way," said the 29-year-old Russian, who will end his career at the Paris Masters next month."I missed a volley and then let it slip away.
"I may be retiring, but I still want to win. I don't want to give away any matches. I really hate to lose," said the veteran, 11-17 in 2009."
The truth is, Marat made some spectacular volleys in the second set, but he let his frustration at not being able to play very well take over him. Chiudinelli was a good server, consistent for most of the time and lesser unforced errors than Marat, and that helped him seal the victory. It might be bad news, but it is good news for the fact that Marat has dispelled talks about him not trying too hard. :D
At least he made it to the second round, 'cause everybody predicted he would bow out of the competition on the first.
Here are some photos of the match: