Marat Safin

Read Best of Marat Safin – part 1

Part 2:
7 – Toronto 2004: Marat the hippo
6 – Hopman Cup 2009: Marat kisses the net cord lady
5 – Australian Open 2002: Marat and the Safinettes
4 – Davis Cup 2002: Davis Cup hero
3 – French Open 2004: the pants
2 – Australian Open 2005: the relief
1 – US Open 2000: the future of tennis?
Note: it’s not a ranking of Marat’s achievements, these are just 15 moments of Marat’s career which reflect “Marat being Marat”.
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Places in Davis Cup semifinals are up for grab this week-end.

France vs Spain:

France selected a fast indoor hard court to receive 2009 Davis Cup champion Spain. But spanish players proved they can play well on any surface and are confident they can qualify even without their best player, Rafael Nadal.
The recent Wimbledon champion is having a treatment on his right knee, the same treatement he had earlier this year on his left knee, in an effort to make sure the on-going problems he has suffered the last three years are just bad memories.
France will also be without its best player, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who has pulled out this Davis Cup quarterfinal with a left knee injury.. Richard Gasquet, who had been selected as an alternate, has also been ruled out, because of back pain.

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Nadal was again a huge part of Spain’s Davis Cup title in 2008, with 2 victories against the United States in the semifinals. But he missed the finals against Argentina due to knee injury. In the absence of world number one Nadal, Ferrer, Lopez and Verdasco upset the title favorites and captured Spain’s third Davis Cup.

In 2009, Spain defeated Serbia, Germany and Israel en route to the final, where they faced Czech Republic at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. And this time, Nadal was part of the team.

Palau Sant Jordi:

Palau Sant Jordi

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Probably the match which really launched Nadal‘s pro career.

Playing his first full season on the ATP Tour, Nadal won his first title in Sopot, Poland and was one of only four players to beat Roger Federer.
He made his Davis Cup debut in the first round of Davis Cup 2004 against Czech Republic, losing the first match against Jiri Novak but winning the decisive fifth rubber against Radek Stepanek and qualifying Spain for the quarterfinals.
Nadal was decisive once against in semi vs France: he beat the pair Clement/Llodra partnering Tommy Robredo, and he replaced Moya for the reverse singles and beat Arnaud Clement to clinch Spain’s victory.

Spain (Ferrero, Moya, Nadal and Robredo) faced the USA (Roddick, Fish, Bryans) in final on the red clay of Seville.
98 Roland Garros champion Carlos Moya defeated Mardy Fish in straight sets in the opening rubber.

The lowest ranked Spaniard (n°51), Nadal had only been expected to play the doubles alongside Tommy Robredo but he was named to replace Ferrero in singles.
2004 was a nightmare season for’03 FO champion Juan Carlos Ferrero: despite making the Oz Open semies, his ranking dropped from third to 31st. He didn’t win any title that year and finally, he was overlooked in favour of the 18-year-old Mallorcan.

Arrese’s decision proved to be the right one as Nadal beat world number two Andy Roddick 6-7(6) 6-2 7-6(6) 6-2. It was the second meeting between those two as Roddick won easily 3 months earlier in the second round of the US Open.

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