Marat Safin Interview - US Open, Aug 26Posted on August 26, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Did you learn something about the rules today that you didn't know before? Because a lot of people seemed to think that you haven't foot faulted, but apparently the rules say you did.
MARAT SAFIN: Okay, so first of all, the call was made on the sideline. I think it was complete (expletive). How you can see on the side, 35 meters away, foot fault like that?
Second of all, it's impossible, and it shouldn't be ‑ it's unwritten rule ‑ anybody who plays tennis in their life, in a career, it's difficult and it's almost impossible to make a foot fault on a second serve, and especially in the important moments you shouldn't call it.
If you are doing a foot fault on a second serve, first of all you need to get a warning. So basically you're making foot fault? Just watch out; next time I'm going to call you. This is how it should be.
So I don't think I'm missing some rules in tennis. I think the people in tennis are missing some rules. It's really, really disappointing on the fourth set because foot fault on the second serve and you're facing set point.
So I think I have the point here, and the people, they should, they should do something about it. I understand there are tons of people, officials are telling them about the rules.
But sorry. Who are the players? If you ask anybody in the locker room, they will tell you the same thing. It's wrong. I think the officials, they should change something, because they don't understand it.
Q. Do you think the official wanted to insert himself and impose?
MARAT SAFIN: No, because they never face the rules like this. All the players know about it. You can ask anybody. They'll tell you, First of all, they need to get a warning for that. Watch out. Listen, you are making a foot fault.
That's it. Next time, then you call a foot fault. But official who never played professional tennis, how he can decide what are the rules? I mean, this is really ‑‑ like it's really pissing me off, because it's official that never touched a racquet, and they're telling you what are the rules. This is what is...
Q. Have you had problems with that before?
MARAT SAFIN: No, I never. I started here in the states for some reason. I had the same thing in Cincinnati. Same thing in Cincinnati. For some reason ‑‑ I explain them, you should make, first of all, a warning. It's the same thing.
It's like talking to the wall, the same thing. Doesn't make any difference, so what I can do? They want me to be happy and they want me to be great in the press room, like be nice, speak nice and all these things. Why should I?
Q. Just to clarify, I mean, you're in the middle of a Grand Slam here. You have better things to do than fight this battle. Do you talk to people? I mean, what's the procedure when you have a situation like this?
MARAT SAFIN: No, I mean, a procedure, no. I have my point. I raise that had to official for ATP, and they have to think about something. It's very simple. Just give me a warning first before I'm making foot fault. First foot fault, not to call me, especially if you make a foot fault this way doesn't make any difference.
And if you're making it on sideline, what the difference makes? Doesn't help me to serve better. It's stupid rules that somebody made it in, I don't know, 1850, and now they give me the problems with these things, and it shouldn't be that way.
Q. On a happier note, were you pleased with how you came back in the fifth and put it behind?
MARAT SAFIN: Just rather to be nicer to close it than four instead of facing the fifth set and never know how it's going to end.
Plus it's windy, plus Vince is playing well, he's shooting left and right, balls are going inside the line. It's not really perfect scenario, but I put myself together and played a very good fifth set.
Q. Have you received this courtesy in the past? Have other officials warned you and said you, All right, thanks. I'll look out for it? Is this the first time someone has called it without giving you a warning ?
MARAT SAFIN: No, I never received a warning. This is the point.
Q. But you'd like to?
MARAT SAFIN: I would love to. It's not so complicated. The guy, the chair umpire, when they go with the linesman, on the back sideline, first when I start to make the foot fault, they should tell me, Listen, you're making a foot fault. Be careful. Next time I'm calling it.
Okay. So that's my problem if she gonna call it or not. I've been advised already. You can't call on a deuce and then face the set point. That's my point.
Q. Do you think the call itself should be changed?
MARAT SAFIN: Well, it's just have to be review it again. Just has to go through, Listen, guys, let's say it happened already Cincinnati; it happened here. Let's do something about it.
I'm sorry, how your guy can see with the sunglasses from 35 feet meters away on a foot fault which is probably is this foot fault on a sideline, which doesn't make any sense he calls me. Why? Why you want to do that? What for?
So if I ask him, he tell me, I don't know. He will tell you, I don't know.
Q. I was just going to ask you what did the chair umpire say to you for explanation?
MARAT SAFIN: Marat, rules are rules; Marat, Marat, you cannot put two words together unfortunately in this situation. We understand the pressure he has. He has to go by the rules.
But at least he should, you know, speak to both linesman and explain them, Listen, if he's making, first of all make the warning. Don't go straight and make him the foot fault. This is what would be normal.
But the guy is answering, These are rules. I mean, how should be just to give this answer? Speak to the linesman and explain them, Listen, if you start to making, call him the warning and then we go with foot a fault.
Q. Did you actually ask the linesman? Did you get a chance to ask him yourself how he saw the call, or did you just talk to the umpire?
MARAT SAFIN: If I ask him he doesn't even hear he's so far away. How he can see if he doesn't even hear me?
Q. Did you ever get a chance to go up to him and talk to him, the linesman himself?
MARAT SAFIN: For what? What he going to tell me? He will not speak to me and then he will say, No. Rules. Foot fault. This much. So this is the answer is you're going to get.
Q. When the call was made in Cincinnati, was it also by the same...
MARAT SAFIN: Not the same guy, thanks God. Otherwise would be...
Q. Same area of the court? Was it more of an area where...
MARAT SAFIN: No, because in Cincinnati it was more from the linesman. But it's just a little bit weird. Never happened to me. First time in my life that I'm making foot faults on my second serve, so I think it's a little bit ridiculous, because I never, ever did this.
Q. You've talked in the past year about situations where you've let your temper tear your game apart and not been able to regroup. The fact that you were able to regroup, you know, you were obviously quite upset, come back in that fifth set and regroup and take it, I mean, can you take something positive out of this?
MARAT SAFIN: Oh, first of all, I'm 28. I've been already on tour for 10 years, and I want to enjoy my tennis. I don't want to fight anybody. I don't want facing any problems on the court. I just want to enjoy.
It's not like I'm playing because I'm starving from death and I need to do something original to earn money. I want to enjoy. It's so simple. I just want to enjoy. I don't want to fight. I don't want to shout.
I just want to have a nice match, win or lose, and whatever happens to go home. That's it. I don't want to face the foot faults and all these things. So I don't have to put myself together, let's try to calm down, let's play some tennis.
The guy from Vince's side was shouting every five minutes, Come on Vince; come on Vince. Also it's annoying. (laughter.)
So you need really to concentrate on that. But unfortunately I have to. I have to do that. But I wish I could play normal tennis and enjoy my matches sometimes.
Q. Your sister was in here earlier after her win, and she talked about you actually have talked to her through the years about trying to learn from your...
MARAT SAFIN: My mistakes, yes. (laughter.)
Q. Can you just give us a couple minutes what you think of what she's done professionally so far this year in particular and maybe what her chances are?
MARAT SAFIN: I think if she will do everything opposite of what I've been doing throughout the years she will be No. 1 in the world for a long time. That's as simple as it is.
Q. As a brother, how proud of her are you?
MARAT SAFIN: Always, of course. I mean, she's doing so well, and she's very close to finish the year No. 1. She's playing well. Two tough finals in the French Open and Beijing, so I think the third one is here. She should take her chance.
It's a little too early to speak about it, but I think she deserved it. And the way she was working already this year, and the decision she made at the age of 22 for a girl, I think it's very tough one.
She made them, she's doing very well, and I think she deserved it. I think she's totally ready to win the first Grand Slam, so I think why not? I'm really proud of the way she's handling the pressure and the way she's handling herself.
I think it's ‑‑ and the way she's treating the people around her, I think it's amazing, so I'm really happy for her.
Q. Were you surprised that the referee called security to the court?
MARAT SAFIN: No, no, it wasn't for me. No, it wasn't for me, no, no, no. Thanks God we didn't get to that stage.
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