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:
Well Chrome has crashed and I have to start this post all over AGAIN!
So here's the OOP
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Marat plays Marco Chiudinelli, the winner of the battle of qualifiers the other day, at about 4-5 PM (THAI Time) Centre Court. After appropriate rest, not before 7:15 PM, he plays doubles with Gilles Simon (FRA) versus Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) and Mischa Zverev (GER) on Court 1.
I'll cross my fingers and hope Marat does a wonderful job whacking balls down the line, wishing for the best like I always do...and watch the live stream, as I'm here at work, I'll pray that my boss doesn't catch me or I'll wind up dead meat.
Speaking of streams, here are our lovelorn companions:
You enjoy your day! And some of these photos, courtesy of Mrs. Unpredictable and of others as well:
You heard it right! Marat Safin, the ever unpredictable tennis player managed to pull of a win against Philipp Petszchner (36 on the world rankings), 6-2 3-6 6-1. This is first of the year win over a Top 50 player, surprisingly, because almost everybody thought he'd lose another first round match!
Beer for you and me, and one for Marat.
Anyway while we're enjoying and savouring the moment, Marat will be having a day's worth of rest. Play resumes Thursday, October 1, 2009.
OOP will be out later this evening, so hang on tight. And while you're here, take a look at some match photos:
Sorry for the late late late post, power was out for 3 days and there's flood here, can't do nothing about it... I haven't had been reporting. But all's good now, and we're back to business.
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:
A snapshot of his Doubles match with Simon... Big thanks to Getty...
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:
I ain't lying.
Good, good news! We have reduced the possibilities of searching for flickering live video streams! No more hunting! No more tears. No more small screens on bet365. Big ones. Television! Start your recorders!!!! TV, baby!
The Thailand Open organizers decided to widen its audience for a good cause: Rafael Nadal is out. But most importantly: Marat Safin is playing!I hope he doesn't shorten his TV time now that we're all hyped up and ready to roll, and probably this is the next best thing to being there!
By Channel: Live!!!! NO delays!Check your Time Zones so you would know when you're gonna wake up, most appropriately.
- ESPN 360 USA
- Band Sports Brazil
AFRICAAUSTRALIA AND OCEANIAEUROPE
- NOW Hong Kong
- SBS Korea
- NTV Russia (Well, Europe too)
Well, I thank Star Sports. :):):):):) although I do fancy live streaming ;)If anyone's still not covered by these, you can always check atdhe.net and other regular sources of info: MTF or maratsafin.freeforums.org. (Or the Marat Safin thread in the forum of Andy Murray's site. See LT! ;oD)On Marat News:Well caught a lead about his whereabouts - He's in Russia, and will arrive at Bangkok by Sunday.Hmm, hope Thai fans and international fans who went there will give us some information how he's doing.Read more to see the article published on www.pttthailandopen.org:
- Sport + France
- CNBC Europe (Highlights)
It's confirmed! But sorry to be too late, the site which offered the news exclusively wanted me to pay for viewing a short article, but it's all good now.
Good news for Chinese fans yet again, Marat's a wildcard entry at the Shanghai Masters, the first one was China Open's, but those offers are for him to decide on, which to turn down or accept. So tourney goers, wait for a little more information, just in case Marat decides to skip on Shanghai, tickets are still available at the Thailand Open, I hear...
Here's the official news on Shanghai Daily:
SHANGHAI fans will get a chance to bid adieu to Marat Safin as the Russian, who will retire after the season, has been granted one of two remaining wildcards for the ATP Shanghai Masters 1000, organizers announced yesterday.
The other singles wildcard for the October 10-18 competition has gone to Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, who came to Shanghai in 2005 and 2006 for the year-ending Masters Cup.
"I'm so glad to know that I have so many fans in China," Safin said. "I will try and give them my best performance."
Earlier, two other wildcards were given to China's Zeng Shaoxuan and Gong Maoxin.
So till then. :)
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.