Saturday, April 19, 2008

Safin Still Stuck With One-Win Streak

Former world number one, Marat Safin, caused yet another disappointment for his fans when he lost his second round match to Holland's Robin Haase in Valencia on Thursday.

The two-time Grand Slam champion continued his dismal performance this season as he failed to capitalize on his efforts that saw him oust Juan Carlos Ferrero in the first round.

Safin, who has slipped to number 86 in the world rankings, has not been able to win 2 consecutive matches this season as he had only captured 2 victories (Australian Open first round, Davis Cup 1st rubber) prior to his win over Ferrero in Valencia.

The temperamental Russian has not won a title since he was crowned at the Australian Open in 2005, when he stunned the world with his incredible performance that saw him eliminate Roger Federer in the semis en route to his triumph over home favorite Lleyton Hewitt in the final.

Unfortunately that sort of form we all know the Russian is capable of displaying has not made an appearance in quite a while with the exception of some random moments like his Davis Cup victory over world number 9, Tomas Berdych, in the quarters last week, where Safin pulled off an unbelievable comeback after trailing 2 sets to love; a win that greatly contributed to Russia's progress to the Davis Cup semis.

Despite losing the dead rubber to Czech Republic's Lukas Dlouhy, we all hoped Safin could reclaim his form and bring the confidence boost he got from his team's Davis Cup success into the claycourt season. It also seemed that Valencia - a city Safin calls "home" - would be the perfect place to start, and his win over Ferrero was a brief breather, before he went on and lost to Haase.

Safin however seems determined to continue competing regardless of his record this season, and prefers to focus on enjoying himself on court, rather than fight his way up the rankings.

"I have decided to really take all the pressure from me, to keep on playing for as long as I am still enjoying it and not to look at the rankings or set myself too high a goal," he was quoted on his official website. "I really want to keep on playing and give myself the chance to be competitive at a high level."

The 28 year old, who is now 3-7 (win-loss) this season, has received a wildcard in Monte Carlo, where the first claycourt Master Series event takes place. He will be accompanied by stand-in coach, Marc Rosset, since Hernan Gumy (Marat's coach), needs to be with his pregnant wife.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Safin is DEAD! Forget about him.