Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yet Another Title Miss for Safin...

Former world number one, Marat Safin, stumbled to a 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 defeat to his compatriot, Igor Kunitsyn, in the Kremlin Cup final on Sunday.

Safin was featuring in his second final in Moscow; the first was 2 years ago when he lost to Nikolay Davydenko.

The 28-year-old stud, who is suffering a severe title drought (his last being the 2005 Aussie Open) failed to capitalize on his good run this week which saw him shock world number 5, Davydenko, in the quarters before falling to 71st-ranked Kunitsyn, whose victory gave him his maiden ATP title.

Perhaps the walkover Safin received in the semifinals when his opponent, Mischa Zverev, withdrew from their match, was not very beneficial to the Russian, or maybe Kunitsyn was on a roll that just couldn't be stopped, but am sure Safin knows that he missed a huge opportunity to clinch a much-longed-for title.

"Everybody knows Marat is better than me but today I'm the winner... It's terrific to win my first title in front of my home fans and I hope I would be able to defend it here next year."

This is beyond my wildest dreams."

"I was chasing him all the time. I could not capitalise on my chances but he converted every time he had a chance and didn't make many mistakes... There's no surprise he won."

"I have only myself to blame... If I had won the first set, it would have been a different story but he gained confidence as the match went on, played well in the end and deserved his victory."

Safin withdrew from the Madrid Masters with a shoulder injury. His last resort for winning a title would be in Paris where he has enjoyed a threesome of titles in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

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