Biographical information from ATP. Unless noted otherwise all data as of year-end 2011.
- Began playing tennis at age six with his father, Misha, director of a small tennis club in Moscow, and mother, Rausa Islanova, who served as her son’s coach from ages 6 to 13
- Has a younger sister, Dinara Safina (born Apr. 27, 1986), who reached Roland Garros final and ranked a career-high No. 3 in 2008
- A fan of Spartak, Moscow soccer team and NBA star Shaquille O’Neal
- Spent most of his years as a youth (from age 13-19) and worked out with several Spanish players
- Named ATP Newcomer of Year in 1998 and ATP Most Improved Player of Year in 2000
- Has a 30-19 career Davis Cup record (20-15 in singles) in 21 ties and member of winning team in 2002 and '06
- Profiled as a breakthrough performer in People Magazine’s “Most Intriguing People” issue in Dec. 2000
- Named “2000 Newcomer of the Year” at Laureus World Sports Awards in Monte-Carlo
- In September 2007, spent 10 days climbing part of Cho Oyu, world's sixth-highest mountain in Himalayas
- Coached by Argentine and former ATP pro Hernan Gumy (since Los Angeles in July 2007).
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