Best of Marat Safin – part 2

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”.

7 – Marat, the hippo – after his first round defeat to Nicolas Kiefer, Toronto Masters Series 2004:

“I’m not fighting against myself. Oh my god. That’s how I am. You know, the story of the hippo? The hippo comes to the monkey and said, listen I’m not a hippo.
So he paint himself like a zebra. He said but he’s still a hippo. He said but look at you, you’re painted like a zebra but you are a hippo.
So then he goes, you know, like I want to be a hippo. This is who I am. So, I have to be who I am and he’s happy being a hippo.”

6 – Hopman Cup 2009: Marat kisses the net cord lady


Lucky lady!

5 – Australian Open 2002: Safin and the Safinettes

Marat lost in final against Thomas Johansson, but became a hero to thousands of male fans with his “Safinettes” cheer squad:

“You have to admit I have an unbelievably beautiful bench”.


4 – Davis Cup 2002: the Davis Cup hero

Marat Safin played magnificent tennis to drive Russia to its first ever Davis Cup victory (3-2 over France). Youhzny came back from two sets behind to win the decisive fifth match, but Marat was truly the MVP of the final, winning his two singles match (vs Mathieu and Grosjean) with maestria.

3 – French Open 2004: the pants

“I felt it was a great point for me. I felt like pulling my pants down. What’s bad about it? They tried to destroy the match. All of the people who run the sport, they have no clue.
It’s a pity that the tennis is really going down the drain. Every year it’s getting worse and worse and worse. There has to be a radical change, and I hope it will be really soon”.

on getting penalized for pulling down his short after a point against Felix Mantilla.

2 – Australian Open 2005: the relief

5 years after his win in New York against Sampras and after 2 defeats in final, Marat wins his elusive second GS title in Melbourne in 2005.
Safin had to beat the very best Roger Federer in the semi-final 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 9-7 with Safin saving a match point late in the fourth set, and then going on to make the final and beating local hero Lleyton Hewitt 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in inspiring fashion.

Australian Open 2005

“Public opinion was in my head, that I would never win another major. I didn’t think I could. My coach convinced me I could do it again.
That’s why this is my most special win. Beating Sampras was a mistake. I had nothing to lose. Nobody really cared. Even if I would lose in 3 sets, people would say: Great tournament, you played great but he’s Pete Sampras. No pressure. Then the pressure came.”

1 – US Open 2000: the guy from Russia

“I was in the right place at the right moment. God came to me, patted me on the head and said: you will win the glory.”

Many thought Marat would be the future of tennis, the next Pete Sampras. But Marat being Marat, things didn’t turn up this way.

What’s your favorite Marat moment? If you met Marat, if you want to share a special souvenir, leave a comment or send us an email at contact @

Leave a comment