While waiting for the Thailand Open to begin in 2 days, and still no OOP, let's drift our focus and look ahead:
The Kremlin Cup held in Moscow, Russia is a month's throwaway and I'm excited, just as the Russians are, as they've already released the official acceptance list last week, and I published it late. Well, who reads these anyway ;)
But the good player always checks his opponents out before he wields the mighty sword to strike, so, for the fun of it, let's skim through.
So here's the Main Draw in order determined by ATP ranking, as of 08/31/09. Our spotlight-friendly Maratik is 11th on the tournament.
Kremlin Cup boasts of 7 Russians in the draw, followed by France with 3, and two from Argentina. Speaking in continental terms excluding the forementioned countries, the tourney has a total of 8 contenders from Europe, 2 from Asia, 1 from South America, and another one from the North. (I'm too technical for my taste.)
Vassallo, Arguello Martin
Here's a career refresher: Marat was twice the runner-up, firstly in 2006 (bloggy days), to fellow Russian Kolya Davydenko, and in 2008, again to a compatriot, Igor Kunitsyn. I say, it could be Maratik this year, ringing bells, third time lucky, maybe just like the 2005 Australian Open (2002 and 2004 runner-ups to Johansson and Federer, respectively), and Paris (three-time champion 2000, 2002, 2004).
His run to the final was just last year, let's give him credit for that. And this is his last in his beloved homeland, so I think he might want to give it another hard punch. I am done with Marat and 'expectations', they are the most extreme antonyms I've ever heard of, so I just hope everything's in his favour.
It's a pretty relative draw, and all is up to Marat. He's beaten most of the guys in this list, and if anyone's a problem it's surely him, but I wouldnt wish for that, eh, right?
But before these worries come we have three tournaments before it! It depends on the ranking if Marat can make the Shanghai Masters 1000, I heard. Let us hope so. The schedule will be hard on him though, so let's pray for his good health and yours too...
whilst I'll be praying that my boss won't fire me before the tennis season ends for watching treaming matches while working. "Excusez-moi madamoiselle, these are my precious lunch breaks" is a fine reply if she demands an explanation for such inexcusable behaviour, don't you think?
I'm pretty close to the timelines of the tourneys except for Paris, so it'll be no problem, I'm not getting up in 4 in the morning to watch. So there. I think I'll be able to pull a stream for us guys. But anyway, MTF should be first at the scene, so just stop by here if there's none there by the time Marat's match is on. Be recording those videos too, for replay and archiving pleasures. :)
NEXT UP ON MARAT SAFIN'S TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:
PTT Thailand Open (Bangkok) ATP 250 Event
09/26/09 through 10/02/09
China Open (Beijing) ATP 500 Event
10/02/09 through 10/11/09
Shanghai Masters (Shanghai) ATP Masters 1000 Event
10/10/09 through 10/18/09 (Tentative, if Marat attends the tourney...)
Saint Petersburg Open (Saint Petersburg) ATP 250 Event
10/17/09 through 10/25/09
Kremlin Cup (Moscow) ATP 250 Event
10/17/09 through 10/25/09
Paris Masters (Paris-Bercy) ATP Masters 1000 Event
11/07/09 through 11/15/09
'Tis nice to watch my English skills sharpening a bit!
God, that was long.
After his last US Open appearance which lasted till the first round, Marat's ranking has moved three spots down, from 58 to 61 as of Monday, September 14 20.
His tournament schedule goes as follows:
September 21 - Bangkok, Thailand
PTT Thailand Open ( )
October 02 - Beijing, China
China Open ()
October 16 - Moscow, Russia
Kremlin Cup (
October 25 - St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg Open ()
November 21 - Paris-Bercy, France
BNB Paribas Masters
Of all the remaining tournaments Marat has yet to play, PTT Thailand Open and the Kremlin Cup are the ones he haven't won yet in his lifetime. Safin once won China Open back in 2004, St. Petersburg twice in 2000 and 2001, Paris thrice in 2000, 2002 and 2004 (And he was a runner-up in 1999). Overall Marat chose to play the tournaments he holds dear to his heart. But let us not forget he was the runner-up twice in Moscow (2007 and 2008), and it is his hometown. Hopefully, his mates will allow him to clinch the victory this time.
Let's all be patient and don't forget to watch him on his final days of tennis!
Please tell if me I have overlooked anything of importance. Meanwhile, let us enjoy Marat's farewell tour to the highest extent.