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January 29, 2005

Marat Safin


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Last night before the match did you have any preference as to who you'd like to see win?

MARAT SAFIN: Not really, because they kind of different style of games, and both are tough ones, too, because with Hewitt you have to be really careful when you attacking him, and you would have to attack if you want to beat him. Against Roddick, you will have to wait for your opportunities. So basically it's both sides are tough ones.

Q. Did you watch the game?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I watch the first set, then just last two games of the fourth.

Q. It's probably going to be a hostile situation, not dissimilar to Davis Cup. What has been the most difficult Davis Cup situation you've been in in terms of crowds?

MARAT SAFIN: I remember we played the final in France, so it can't be any worse than that (laughter).

Q. What memories do you have of that?

MARAT SAFIN: We beat them. That we beat them. I played great tennis and not really -- I didn't felt any pressure on myself, just I played well for some reason. But also the people are kind of -- they really understand tennis here, and they know when to appreciate the good game. Of course, they will cheer for him whenever they will have the opportunity, but also they know, yeah, they understand tennis which change a little bit the picture.

Q. Does that kind of crowd inspire you? Can that situation also inspire you?

MARAT SAFIN: We'll see tomorrow. We'll see tomorrow. I guess so. I mean, like it's already final. Just, you know, like any huge crowd will be enough inspiration to give a good -- to show a good tennis. I don't think it's going to be a problem at all, the crowd. It will be -- yeah, it will be helpful.

Q. One second after you beat Federer, we had the feeling that you was a little bit sorry for Federer. Do you think you could be sorry for Hewitt if you beat him at home?

MARAT SAFIN: I wasn't really sorry for Roger. With all respect, he won -- he achieved a lot -- much more things than me. He had a great last year. So basically, you know, it's one simple tennis match. At the end of the day, it's not the end of the life, so you can't really feel sorry for the people because you beat them in some game.

Q. Hewitt has annoyed some of his opponents with the stuff he does on court. Does that kind of stuff bother you?

MARAT SAFIN: Not really because we have a lot of respect to each other - at least from my part. We know each other for very long times. Basically we came into the tour same age, same year. Just respect. I guess -- it doesn't really bother me. I don't think it's really had to bother other people, to be honest. Like some people probably just felt it was a little bit too much what he's doing on the court. I guess everybody has their own opinions, especially when people are losing. Between me and him, we have a great relationship. I mean, it's not gonna change actually the match. I will not get pissed at all if he will shout and scream. Just try to be positive. And try to, you know, put a little bit of pressure on me even with "c'mon" and everything, but we respect each other. I don't think it's a problem.

Q. Do you think he's underestimated? Do you think people in general underestimate Lleyton because he's not overpowering?

MARAT SAFIN: Probably I don't think so, but some people really think that -- the journalists underestimate him probably, because none of the players underestimate him at all because everybody has so much respect for him, even though you guys write that he doesn't have the power, he doesn't have so much talent as others, for example, like compare to Federer. I'm sorry, he been two years in a row No. 1 in the world. He's a huge fighter. He has unbelievable anticipation. He has unbelievable fitness. He knows the game very well. He reads really good the players. Psychologically, he's very stable. So he has more talents than many other players.

Q. You said the other night that you've learnt from your two previous final losses here. Can you tell us what you've learnt from those.

MARAT SAFIN: Just I didn't have -- the first final here that I played here against Johansson, I didn't have enough experience, even though that I won in 2000 against Sampras in New York. I wasn't really ready and I wasn't -- I didn't have nobody to -- actually to talk to, who will be able to explain to me and who will be supportive next to me. I mean, I had my friends but I didn't have really a professional coach who could just support me before the match and try to calm me down because I was really -- I was really nervous about all this issue, you know, that I have to win. I felt like that. It was like a little bit too much of a pressure for me. So now it's little bit different. I already missed two finals. I mean, last year I had no chance at all because I was completely burned out. This year, already I have experience of playing two finals. I had a good year last year, coming off from the injury. So I'm learning. Also I have a professional coach that he is helping me a lot, and we did a great job. He really knows how to deal with the pressure of the player. He can be supportive, he can calm you down and just explain to you what you have to do, so not be -- you don't feel really uptight in a final.

Q. You've obviously going to go in tomorrow believing you will win. What do you think you need to do to win?

MARAT SAFIN: Just try to stick to the game, stick to the game from the first point, because Lleyton is really good at what he does. He tries to put you in -- he tries to make you play the same game he wants you to play. And it just doesn't suit me. I have to go with my tactics, you know, just go for it sometimes, risk it, and be aggressive - be really aggressive. You want to have a chance to win a final. Try to stay calm no matter what is going on and what is the score. Even though that I'm losing, I will have a chance to bring it back. And be positive. Of course, at any moment you have to be positive because, I mean, a final is a final. There's a lot of nerves involved. Because we made such a long run to the final, so it will be just a little bit too stupid to waste opportunity, a third one especially.

Q. Jim Courier jumped into the river when he won. Any thoughts how you would celebrate?

MARAT SAFIN: Definitely not like him. Definitely not like him. I don't want to speculate at all what I'm gonna do. I guess I will have a great time, that's for sure. But still there is still one day of tough work. So basically if I will manage to win it, this one, something will come up to my brain.

Q. Something that could or could not happen is the roof opened or closed tomorrow night. Do you have a preference either way?

MARAT SAFIN: Doesn't really matter. I don't think it's an issue.

Q. Not an issue?

MARAT SAFIN: I don't think so.

Q. Do you have a sense of destiny about this match?

MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I believe in the destiny. Let's put it this way. I believe in something that -- what I achieve, all that, it goes a little bit further than that. You know, destiny, I will be in the final third time, supposedly I have to win. But, no, I think just everything what happened before to me, it had to happen. I really believe in that. I couldn't change it if it was meant to be this way.

Q. The way you were playing against Roger, do you think it will be enough to beat Lleyton as well?

MARAT SAFIN: It's a different match. I mean, it's another day. You cannot play all the time the same game. You have to change some things. But if I will be focused as I was against Federer and as positive as I was against him, I think it should be good enough, you know, to have a chance at least. I think I will have a chance.

Q. It's a special reason for all the color necklaces you have?


Q. Can you explain something?

MARAT SAFIN: This one is from a fan. Second one is from the Lord Of the Rings. The third one is the Koran, the Muslim sign.

Q. Do you golf?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I don't.

Q. Any thoughts on Scott Draper?

MARAT SAFIN: I have no clue at all, I'm telling you. I don't know even the players - the golfers, sorry.

Q. Are you not surprised about someone who is golfing every morning and playing the semifinal mixed doubles in the afternoon?

MARAT SAFIN: I mean, it's great that he found himself another different things that he can do, not only tennis. I mean, I'm happy for the people, that he can achieve something else outside of tennis, which is good, I think. It's good for him, unless he's enjoying it.

Q. In Moscow do you know Abramovich?

MARAT SAFIN: Not personally.

Q. You don't? He's not a friend of yours?

MARAT SAFIN: No. I wish to have friends like that (laughter). No.

Q. Last night Lleyton Hewitt declared he has very little interest in ladies' tennis these days. The final's about to start. Any prediction on who might win?

MARAT SAFIN: Lindsay or Serena, right (laughter)?

Q. Can you answer the question?

MARAT SAFIN: I have to be honest, I saw little bit of match of Sharapova and Williams. I think it was a great match, great fight. Great tennis, actually. Women's tennis, I have to admit that it's growing because they're serving -- I saw some serves of Serena 195. It's becoming really powerful. They really play. They can show great tennis. But Davenport, Lindsay, I guess she has little more experience. She's little bit older. She's been around for a little bit longer than Serena. But Serena, she came up with a great match against Sharapova in the semifinal so I guess she has a huge confidence behind her back. Even though Lindsay beat Molik and she beat a tough -- she came out from a tough match with Dechy. They are both with a lot of confidence, but Lindsay, she has little bit more experience so. I don't know. It can go -- I think it can go anywhere, anywhere. Depends how they will start, both of them, how they will start.

Q. Have you heard from Yevgeny at all during this fortnight?

MARAT SAFIN: No, I got the -- I got an SMS from him, "Good luck."

End of FastScripts….

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