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January 17, 2008

Marat Safin


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You gave it a good fight.
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, well, yeah.

Q. What is your main emotion after that?
MARAT SAFIN: It's a pity, but I'm -- at the same time I'm pretty happy the way things are going. But I'm a little bit disappointed with the few things that happened to me in the first two sets. It shouldn't have happened, but unfortunately, that's the way it is.
But I consider I should have won in four; three, four sets. That's what happened to me in the first two. It's a mistake. This will be the first and last time it's going to happen to me, so...

Q. What's the reason for it?
MARAT SAFIN: I spoke already with my coach and with -- with my coach.

Q. When was the last time you played that well and lost?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, I don't know. Since a long time, I guess, been pretty long time I didn't play the same way. So for me it was a little bit surprising that I could -- unfortunately, I was pretty tense at the beginning of the match. So, you know, I didn't expect for a long time that I'm gonna play the same way.
So it's actually a little bit surprising for myself to be in such a good shape and play good tennis and be able to compete against top 10 players for five sets, you know, with a chance to win. So it's not really nothing wrong, but just it's small things that shouldn't happen at the age of 27, that's for sure.

Q. Is it your choice of shot or...
MARAT SAFIN: A few -- nothing to do with shots.

Q. How did you get back into the match after those first two sets?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, it was -- I should have gotten into the match a little bit earlier. But just the way things they were, I couldn't come into the match quicker. So I had to wait for two sets, you know, and then I start to play my tennis that I should have played from the beginning. The score was 2-3 in a matter of minutes.
Then the fifth set, of course, my concentration went down a little bit. He made the early break. Then, of course, he was pumped up and he was ready to finish the match playing well.
If I would hold my serve a little bit longer in the fifth set, I think I would have a chance. But unfortunately my concentration and my -- everything went a little bit downhill, and he was just preparing himself for the fifth set. So it's a little bit unlucky.

Q. If you had got through that, do you think your game's at a level where you could have beaten Roger Federer down here?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, I just lost to Baghdatis. We're not talking about Roger Federer. Roger Federer is a different level person, different level player. The way he's moving right now, full of confidence. And, of course, after being the No. 1 in the world and winning 12 Grand Slams, how many he has, for the past five years. So I guess with the confidence that he has, I would play also the same way Roger does.
So it's tough to compete against him and have to compare to him. But he's the best by far, and he will be the best of tennis. So I don't think anybody in here on ATP Tour can be compared to him.

Q. Since Agassi and Federer, you were the one to have the most success on the Rebound Ace. The transition, how do you view it, the court characteristics?
MARAT SAFIN: I think the courts are pretty good, actually. They tried to make it as close as possible to Rebound Ace without being so soft. Because I think what's happened is a lot of people, they were complaining about the knee injuries and twisting their ankles. Well, it wasn't really my case. I was a little bit surprised when I heard it will be a different surface this year.
But it looks like they did a great job, you know, to make it as close as possible to Rebound Ace. But it's a little bit stiff, but you can play. I think it's great. They did a great job. Also with the balls.

Q. Are you encouraged by your form today for the rest of the year?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. I have to continue. I'm not gonna give up straightaway that I'm losing to Baghdatis. I mean, he's a top-10 player. Just a pity I have to be out in a second round in a Grand Slam. It was a pretty long time ago that didn't happen to me. But actually for the past two years it happened, but it's not really the place I want to be.
But I have to deal with that. The year is pretty long, so I'll have my chances, that's for sure. Like I said before, I'm happy the way I'm playing and the results will come pretty quickly. So just keep continuing working. And thanks to my coach that he believes in me, I can come back. Thanks to all my team and let's make it happen.

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