Draw was already out, and Mr. Safin has already played doubles with Gilles Simon, Top 10 ATP player, good-looking at that, too, and it was not enough for the two other guys, Jeff Coetzee and Rik de Voest... so Marat and Gilles prevailed!!
On to the singles. Marat plays today, against Philipp Petzschner, who most of the Safinholics remember as the guy who dispatched Marat Safin, the greatest Russian tennis player up to now, ever the HOAT, on the first round last year at Thailand.
Head to head, it's just 0-1. Only meeting at Thailand, and meeting again at Thailand, I hope Marat does some justice to his greatness this time. Hope he gives a good fight!! Davai, Davai, Maratik! If Marat does win this one, he'll be facing either the winner of the Marco Chiudinelli-Florian Mayer match-up.
Here are photos of him arriving at the airport:
Revised OOP: Marat is playing Petzschner not before 7pm, so hang on. Here it's just an hour difference, so lucky me. :)
Something to read before the games begin:
9/28/09 11:34 PM | Ricky Dimon
Marat Safin is nearing the end of his career as the 2009 season comes close to wrapping up. Safin's final match in Bangkok could come on Tuesday night against Philipp Petzschner.
A two-time semifinalist at the PTT Thailand Open, Marat Safin makes his final appearance in Bangkok this week. Ironically, Safin will kick off his campaign on Tuesday night against Philipp Petzschner, whom he also faced in last year's first round. Petzschner prevailed 6-4, 7-6(4) in their first and only head-to-head encounter.
If Safin wants to gain a measure of revenge and thus have any chance at a memorable farewell week in Bangkok, he will have to turn his game around in a hurry. The 29-year-old Russian is in a drastic downward spiral as he heads toward retirement. He owns a dreadful 10-16 match record in 2009 and is 4-10 in his past 14 matches dating back to mid-April. Safin has won back-to-back matches just twice all season long, and only once since his first tournament of the year at the Australian Open.
Petzschner is just four years younger than Safin at 25, but he is obviously at a much different point in his career. The big-serving German is in the midst of his best season on the ATP Tour and he registers at No. 36 in the world rankings, one spot off his career high. He is a mere 15-20 at the ATP level in 2009, but he has been heating up of late. Bangkok's No. 5 seed advanced two rounds at Wimbledon, the Legg Mason Classic, and the Masters Series Montreal. Petzschner should have done the same at the U.S. Open, but he blew a 6-1, 6-3, 2-0 lead against Juan Carlos Ferrero. He is coming off a quarterfinal showing in Metz, where Richard Gasquet took him out 6-3 in the third set.
Petzschner's power game is conducive to indoor hard courts and his lone ATP title (and lone ATP final as well) came last fall on the fast indoor surface of Vienna. Safin is also well-suited for this environment, but his confidence has to be almost non-existent at the moment. The former world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion still has more than enough talent to be effective, and he can pull off what would be a minor upset if he puts it all togehter on Tuesday. This one looks like a toss-up, but Petzschner is in better form and should survive in three sets.