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February 24, 2009

Marat Safin


6-3, 5-7, 6-3

Q. Just wonder how you feel about the match.
MARAT SAFIN: Well, I had opportunities in the first set, first game. Should have take it, but unfortunately I didn't risk it too much. Maybe I had to.
Well, I was playing pretty well, but I had a lot of ups and downs with the serves and couldn't hold the serve in the third set in the beginning, but I started to feel much better on the court. And of course, I didn't return the way I should have, and a couple of small things.

Q. You say it took you a while to feel comfortable?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, with the serve, especially, and returns, at first, because from the baseline, I started to get used to it and I started to get better and better.
But unfortunately, it's a lack of confidence and I didn't play for a long time after Australia, I played in Marseilles, and it's my second match. Unfortunately there's a lot of wrong play and sometimes you have to risk in some moments and some moments should I have just played for a small save.

Q. Is overall the quality of your game encouraging?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, yeah. Well, I can say that I'm hitting the ball pretty clean, but not enough to win the matches.

Q. Considering the number of players who pulled out of here, you were unlucky with the draw, weren't you?
MARAT SAFIN: I can't say unlucky. This is the draw. The draw in a tournament is going to be even more tough, and it was okay. Unfortunately, it wasn't my day.

Q. You told us in Australia, this is probably going to be the last year; have you had any reassessment? Have you had any change of mind since then?
MARAT SAFIN: No. Still stick to my plan, and it's going to be the last one. I won't change my mind, no.

Q. Are you going to take it all the way through the year?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I'm going to take it all through the year, yes. Yeah, last year.

Q. And all things being equal, the last one being, what, Moscow? Bercy?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, we'll have to see. Paris, we'll have to make it the last tournament in Paris, a tournament where I play the best tennis and where I won the Davis Cup.
So I would say I would love to say bye-bye there.

Q. Are you going to keep more motivated when you know it's the end, or is it tough?
MARAT SAFIN: No, I'm motivated. I'm just not working out. And I'm trying to keep my body in shape. Looking forward for some good results throughout the year.
I think that it's much easier to do something great when you are less stressed and less -- you have less expectations on yourself.
So I think it will be a little bit easier, but just to get the confidence back, and maybe just a few lucky points and I can change. I don't think that overall, I'm tired. I'm satisfied with the way I'm moving, but unfortunately sometimes wrong decisions.

Q. WADO have come out, saying tennis players are making too much of a fuss about the new anti-doping regulations. What are your views?
MARAT SAFIN: Just that we have their opinion; we have our opinion.
I don't care. I don't want to get into this mess because it's one of these no-win situations. Because we have a different point of view, and I guess just everybody is right from each side.
So we cannot do anything about it, and if somebody wants some changes, they should go to the ATP and talk about it. But I'm not the one who is making decisions.

Q. What things will you miss from the tennis tour, and what things won't you miss?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, just the thing of being on the court and having the spectators watching you play and when you're playing a great match and enjoying it.
And also some moments when you're playing terrible tennis and nothing is going your way, it's sad to be on court, especially when you know that you are playing bad and you cannot do anything about it.
So just a lot of stress on one hand. And on the other hand is some great matches that you are going to forget.

Q. You're still only 29, but do you think that there's an outside chance we could see you on the oldies tour?
MARAT SAFIN: I would love to play seniors, but just, it's enough. I had a very good ride. Although I had been unlucky with injuries and should have done better than I did. And every time I played well, I got injured, so, what can I do? That's life.
And it's just a part of -- it's just the beginning of the life, and there is another life coming after tennis. I think it's just everybody should try something new.

Q. And what is that, business?
MARAT SAFIN: Anything. I'm open to anything, to any possibilities, but of course it has to be projects. I'm not jumping in something when there is no base; if there is already base, there is something about it, because it's an emotional decision because I'm not winning any matches.
It just isn't the right time and right move to make to get to another stage, why not.

Q. Would you be happy to stay in tennis, or are you looking outside, as well?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, of course I will try to do something with tennis. I would love to, but just it has to slow come up to something interesting and to do something in Russian, of course, if I can be useful for ATP in some way, maybe not a full-time job, but something interesting, yeah, I will do, but definitely not running into the offices and crying for help and all of these things. (Laughter) That's not the way.
I think we should make the right people in the office right now and pretty motivated about it. So something interesting and interesting projects will come up, of course I will jump at it.

Q. Do you see yourself as a coach?
MARAT SAFIN: No, no. Playing is one thing and teaching is completely different. It looks simple but it's really not. It's a really tough job.

Q. Have you done any TV in Russia?
MARAT SAFIN: Oh, no. I can't -- I will not do commentating, that's for sure. I will try -- there are plenty of people who do that and they are doing pretty good job, so I don't want to interfere on this when they are enjoying it.

Q. Do you think you could mark your farewell year with a tournament success?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, of course, but I have to agree with all of the players and make it happen. (Laughter) But unfortunately a lot of people are very ambitious and I don't think it will happen.

Q. But that would be a final ambition of yours?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, why not? A nice farewell bye-bye, and, well, just win the tournament and just a present for me; I give away the prize money of course to everybody, but I would love to do that.

Q. Do you have your coach with you this time?
MARAT SAFIN: No, no, saving some money. Crisis, you know (Laughter).

Q. You won the Grand Slam against Kafelnikov; do you think you have underachieved or perhaps could you have done better?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, everybody is asking the same question, and of course, Federer should have won already 20 Grand Slams and of course Sampras should have won another five, six. I guess I should have won, instead of eight, how many, I should have won 14.
Basically speculation; what happens if something will go in different directions. And of course if, if, if, we would not be in a crisis like we have a problem all over the world right now.
So it's just speculations, and of course, I wish I could have more, but as I said, I was injured and every time I played well when I was injured and I can't complain.
Also where I'm coming from, I could have end up doing something completely different and I would not be sitting here and talking about this.

Q. The obvious great days were the US Open in 2000 and winning the Aussie, as well. Are they your great days, or is there any other great days that you would like to be remembered by?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, thanks God there are more than just two, two finals. Good days, the two Davis Cup finals were very special for us, and a couple of super nines but there's still so much more to come. Tennis is not -- my life is not finishing in tennis. So hopefully there are more great days coming towards me.
But in tennis, tennis-wise, I think it's more than two days that I can enjoy right now. But pretty happy. I've been pretty happy most of the time. A lot of happy days.

Q. Tarpischev can't be Davis Cup captain forever, can he?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, there's a person that shouldn't be even considering being seated on the bench. There is a person already and I think it will not happen in the next five, ten years, that's for sure so. We are going to keep it for later (smiling).

End of FastScripts

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