Marat Safin can be described in one word – “great”. He is considered as Russia’s ace in tennis and his talent and skill for the sport clearly shows in his performance. Born on January 27, 1980, he turned professional in the year 1997. What shocked everyone was that in just a few years time, he became the world number 1 tennis player. Not only that, he held the number 1 spot for as long as 9 weeks, for the whole of November and December 2000. He also achieved his first Grand Slam in the same year. So how did this tennis ace come to be?
Marat Safin was born into the sport of tennis. His parents were former tennis players and were also tennis coaches. Even his younger sister took on the tennis gene and is also a professional tennis player. Marat Safin was trained in his early years at the Spartak Tennis Club alongside other tennis greats such as Anna Kournikova, Elena Dementieva and Anastasia Myskina. The Spartak Tennis Club is managed by Marat Safin’s father. Marat moved to Spain to pursue advanced training in tennis at the age of fourteen.
When Safin turned pro in 1997, one year later he was consecutively defeating other great tennis players such as Andre Agassi and even defending champion at the time, Gustavo Kuerten at the French Open. When Safin won his first Grand Slam at the US Open after defeating Pete Sampras, he became the world’s number one player and held the position for 9 straight weeks. Safin went on to play in other Grand Slams reaching the final round everytime. In 2005, Safin won his second Grand Slam after defeating Lleyton Hewitt. In the same year, he also defeated Roger Federer, ending Federer’s winning streak.
Aside from Grand Slam achievements, Safin also won five ATP Tennis Masters Series titles in his career, three of them won in Paris, France in the years 2000, 2002 and 2004. Safin fell short of winning the Tennis Masters Cup after being defeated by Roger Federer. Safin’s first ever Davis Cup victory and the first for his country was on 2002. Marat Safin is definitely Russia’s top tennis player and he is not about to stop.
Safin retired in 2009 at the Paris Masters . After losing a match in the second-round a special ceremony was held on Centre Court.