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Safin hires (another) new coach

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Marat Safin has jettisoned Alex Volkov and brought in Gustavo Kuerten's former coach Hernan Gumy. Perhaps more revealing is the fact that the Russian admits he need to improve his fitness if he's to get back into the top 10. He's hired a specialist fitness trainer for that.

I'm unashamedly a big fan of Marat's. Funny, unpredictable and a ridiculous amount of talent... what's not to love? I hope Gumy can get the Russian's head straight because as intriguing as the Nadal/Federer rivalry is, men's tennis could do with a much stronger supporting cast.

So here's a couple of questions for you... Will Safin get back into the top three? And will he ever win another Slam?

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posted Jul 15, 2007

The only person who'll be breaking into the top 3 is Murray...

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Murray laugh

I don't think so. His game is very limited.

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posted Jul 15, 2007

Can he? Of course he can - to suggest otherwise would be to admit you understand little of tennis.

Will he? That is an entirely harder question to answer. Very few players - Agassi excepted - were able to rediscover a winning mentality after significant time in the wilderness.

There were signs at Wimbledon that Ferrero was resdiscovering his form of 2003-4, so maybe Safin will be the next 'sleeping giant' to wake. He is still young enough.

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comment by ziyads (U9017671)

posted Jul 15, 2007

Safin has the potential to be the world number one. He is the only one with the shots to beat Federer. Its a shame that he seems to press the self destruct button most of the time.
come on Marat show us your potential.

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comment by TruBlade (U844535)

posted Jul 15, 2007

kentish1973 & Ziyads are completely correct.

Potential wise...Safin is up there with the best. I think he has the potential to be better than Federer. He just lacks consistency. The US Open he won in 2000 (Again I think it was) where he played the most perfect tennis imaginable. I also remember seeing him play ATP events in Spain and Paris in 04 during October and November I believe. He was top draw and he kept that conistancy in the Aussi open that he won in 05. After that though I think he took the foot off the gas.

Hiring a coach shows Marats intent. He wants badly to be back in there. Being a Marat fan is like living on a roller coaster. Ups downs twirls swirls. But with Marat comes unpredictability. He is consistently inconsistent and it would be foolish to write him off completely. Can he keep consistancy for two weeks and win another slam? Why not.

The top players at the minute all have something that Safin doesn't and thats the mental strength. The belief. The confidence. Technically I think Marat can rediscover everything. Blistering forehands and serves no worries. But can he have the mental fortitude to come back? I don't know. I can only hope!

Love u Marat

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comment by U7314819

posted Jul 15, 2007

no way safin can be better than federer as i said not good enough around the net. his talent is overrated

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posted Jul 16, 2007

l have been a Marat fan ever since l watched him play in the US open in 2000. He blew Sampras away like l thought wasent possible. He can definately get back in the top ten, but to think that he has more talent than Federer is ridiculous beyond anyone's imagination. l think if he sets his mind to it he will be able to challenge Nadal not Federer

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posted Jul 16, 2007

Talent is a very difficult thing to measure - but I think we are all in agreement that Federer has more skill and variety to his game than any other player.

Safin has astonishingly powerful groundstrokes, a magnificent serve, and an ability to hit winners from almost any position - when he is at the top of his game. He is thus one of the best players to watch - and his volcanic temper is part of that attraction.

Given that he is unlikely to ever win Wimbledon or the French, he would have to win at least one US or Australian Open every year to stand a chance of reaching World Number 2, let alone 1. I think we should all hope that he starts actually reaching semis and finals again of some of the Masters tournaments before we worry about him going further.

His best results have all come on hard courts, and as he is about to start the hard court season in the US, now would be a good time to start proving he is worth the weight of faith that his loyal fans clearly have put in him.

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posted Jul 20, 2007

this annoys me so much. Why make statements about safin when you actually know nothing about tennis? there are very few people on the tour who can actually PLAY tennis and beat federer. Safin is one of 3 or four players maybe. there are players in the top ten who are there as grinders. Safin has a complete game. his volleying may not be his best attribute, but he can beat federer off any wing, has a heavy, powerful 1st, and one of the best kickers as a second. And remember; we are talking about 'the best player of all time', who freely admits to the ability AND execution of safins game.

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posted Jul 25, 2007

Well I am not sure what you qualify as 'knowing anything about tennis' - I would suggest it does not include trying to impose some faux artistic angle to Safin's game. Nor make comments of Safin having a complete game when taking account his volleying skills. Working as a sports journo for ten years probably inches me slightly closer to such a qualification than you I dare say.

If he wins the French or Wimbledon I will buy you a beer and everyone else on this site - and be happy to do so.

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