Marat Safin Elected To Russian Parliament
by Tom Gainey | December 15th, 2011, 3:22 pm

Tennis great Marat Safin is now an member of the Russian Parliament. After the official election results were tallied earlier today. the former No. 1 won a seat in the Lower House of Parliament, or the State Duma.

“I thought for a long time before deciding to go into politics,” said told AFP last week. “Of course I could pose in fashion commercials showing myself as a high society star but it’s definitely not my lifestyle.

“Politics – it’s a completely new life. It’s a new way of thinking, new way of acting, which has no relation either to tennis or sports in general.”

The outspoken Safin will be working alongside some rather interesting people. Also winning seats in the 450 member Duma were former boxing star Nikolai Valuyev, Olympic wrestler Alexander Karelin and Playboy playmate and Maxim’s current hottest girl in Russia, Maria Kozhevnikova! What a country!

Safin’s term will run five years.

The lower house of parliament will convene for its first session next Wednesday, December 21.

I don’t have much of a grasp of Russian politics so click here for more information.

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23 Comments for Marat Safin Elected To Russian Parliament

jane Says:

Well, good luck to Marat; I wish him well. It is certainly quite a differently field, but I suppose all things, even tennis, have their politics, and Marat has never been anything if not outspoken. I would love to be a fly on the wall during those meetings. How can he top “grass is for cows”? :)

Ben Pronin Says:

Probably the only guy the entire Duma who cares more about improving the country and the lives of the people than filling up his own pocket.

Skorocel Says:

“What a country!”

Indeed :-)

Skorocel Says:

Ben: If only you were right…

grendel Says:

A poster on Tennis Planet yesterday drew attention to some recent strongly worded strictures on homosexuality by the great Aussie tennis champion, Margaret Court, who is now some kind of Christian Pastor. Court was immediately picked up on these stringent remarks, and censured in varying degrees, by Billy Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Rennae Stubbs. This post generated a lot of interest (and outrage) and one poster, whilst opposing Court’s stance, added that “for the record, I am a devout Christian”. I posted a reply, but it was lost in the virtual ether. Whether as a result of editorial deliberation or technological happenstance, I could not say. At any rate, for better or for worse, a little effort went into that composition, so I take the liberty of endeavouring to reproduce it here. This is, after all, the tennis off season. “Endeavouring” since I have to rely on memory and a little improvisation. (off topic query: who is the most instinctive improviser in tennis history – generally, with these “most” and “best” questions, hot debate ensues; but can there be the least possible doubt that in this department, Fabrice Santoro is head and shoulders above everyone else? For second best – now you’re talking, here be bee-eg differences of opinione, so get out the placards).

I am a devout Teapotist myself, a follower of the only true religion. The origins of Teapotism are obscure, but they definitely received a boost from a surprising quarter. In the early twentieth century, the philosopher and ardent atheist Bertrand Russell wished to demonstrate that it is impossible to actually disprove the existence of anything, even such a demonstrable absurdity as a non spatially and non temporally located “God” whose essential function was to give comfort to those uneasy about the rigours of mortality. So Russell posited the notion of a teapot orbiting Mars, arguing that you couldn’t strictly prove such a phenomenon didn’t exist.. Actually, of course, we Teapotists had long known of the existence of the great Mars orbiting Teapot and, those of our sect who were around at the time allowed themselves a quiet snigger at Russell’s serendipitous error. The great philosopher was actually instrumental in boosting the ranks of the Teapotists, although it has to be said that mass conversions have always been frowned upon in our religion, the one true religion.

As a matter of fact, Teapotism is a tolerant religion covering a broad spectrum of opinion. There are basically two poles of thought which are sufficiently opposed so as to generate the usual internecine squabbles. Whilst these can give rise to great heat, we do draw the line at executing each other; apostasy (fairly unforgiveable in most religions) is shrugged off and torture is resorted to only in extreme cases. We are not perfect, after all.

The two aforementioned poles concern the nature of the Teapot’s orbit. The Teapot itself (blessed be its spout) has always refused to elaborate as to why Mars. Those who wish for more proximity have pleaded in vain. The Teapot’s usual response is to maintain a bland orbit, but occasionally it lets loose a little sprinkling of fragrant liquids which somehow find their way through our atmosphere and strike the awaiting palates of the adoring acolytes. Generally, this is the way revelations are received and subsequently promulgated among the faithful. Although it has to be said that the juices of the Teapot (hallowed be its lid) can elicit some unexpected reactions which usually lead to the charge of “mysticism”, a state of mind frowned upon in our religion which, as you would expect of a way of thought which reflects reality itself, prides itself on its down to earth attitude.

The opposing pole of thought is esoteric, even romantic in nature. It takes pride in concealment, and aspiring disciples are urged to consider the case of Arthur Waley, the great interpreter of all things Chinese to the West. Waley, as a matter of deliberate policy, never travelled further east than Vienna, and for this reason alone Waley has been deemed an honorary Teapotist, and there are those, in fact, who claim that he formally converted but, typically, did so in secret. Naturally, this pole of thought is adamant that the nature of the Martian orbit must not be questioned – the decisions of the Teapot (sanctified be its handle) are by definition holy and perfect, even if unintelligible to mere mortal minds.

The urge to proclaim the power and the wonder of the Teapot (blessed be its Martian Orbit) is hard indeed to resist, even though silence has always been enjoined upon us. It is, after all, through silence that we have avoided persecution. But these are difficult times, and drastic emendations in the Teapot culture are perhaps called for. We owe it to the rest of the world. Convinced as I am that Teapotism alone can lift us from our perilous condition, I have decided to cast secrecy aside, fully aware of the danger to which I expose myself. Dark mutterings and hateful glances follow me when I show myself in the usual Teapot places, and it can only be a question of time, I understand, before hands are raised against me. But if I can have alerted the world to its only path of salvation, I shall be content, and I embrace the prospect of death with a willing heart. Glory to the Teapot!

grendel Says:

jane, that “grass is for cows” thing predates Safin. ‘Fraid I can’t remember who it originated with – possibly Kuerten or Moya. Certainly Safin acted as if grass were for cows, a great pity, since he was potentially a great grass courter.

Ben Pronin Says:

I think Lendl first said grass is for cows.

Wog boy Says:

Are you relatied to late Christopher Hitchens, what irony fot stunch atheist to have name,” Christopher”. Great man though I don’t share his views.
Here is couple of things that he said when he found out that his days are numbered:
To his supporters who declared a ” Pray for Christopher Hitchens Day”….he said “don’t bother unless it makes you feel better”.
Or this one:
“Looking death more closely in the eye, as I have been doing, doesan’t teach you much that you already know, surprisingly.”

RIP Christopher Hitchens

grendel Says:

Wog boy

Yes, Christopher Hitchens died today. Did you know he had a very pious brother, also a journalist, called Peter, and they sound amazingly similar – both having deep, rather self-satisfied voices. Peter in particular never appears to have any doubts about anything even though he is always wrong about almost everything. I think illness mellowed Christopher, and he was surprisingly tolerant of those Christians who impertinently made a point of publicly praying for him whilst scarcely concealing their glee at his plight – the empire, in the form of the vengeful lord, striking back as it were.

Whatever you think of Christopher, he wrote like an angel. He was a gadfly, compulsively argumentative. It was said that when he was on holiday, the first thing he’d do after he’d offloaded the suitcases was to stroll into the bar, order a whisky and look for a good argument. Agreeing about anything was anathema to him. Journalists of all persuasions rather admired him for this at least: he was capable of going on a massive bender so that he was practically out on his feet, and then would calmly type out a 2 or 3 thousand word article at speed and bearing not a hint of alcohol.

He was badly wrong about Iraq,and was never able to concede his error. His sanctimonious brother Peter, oddly, was right on this one.

jane Says:

Not sure where to put this, but I am sure Marat wouldn’t mind (hey, Marat’s name makes perfect sense in a political context doesn’t it?)

Top achievements 1 & 2:

mat4 Says:

@Grendel, Ben:

I remember too that Lendl said it. But was he the first?

jane Says:

Hi mat4, what do you see happening next year? It seems most writers and pundits believe Nole will fail and/or fall hard. What’s your opinion? Do you agree with the link you posted, that it’s impossible to tell? I am just curious since I know you admire Nole. What about Murray, any thoughts on what to expect from him? I hope he wins a slam next year.

Colin Says:

Grendel, I’m glad to learn you’re a fellow disbeliever. I prefer the Teapot to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which I find a bit forced. As Richard Dawkins said, even the most pious are atheists with regard to Odin and Baal and all the other deities. We just go one god further.
I have mixed feelings about Hitchens, because when someone talks such a lot of sense it’s disappointing when they express loony opinions like his on Iraq. It must be something they put in the water in America.
A bit belatedly, I must comment on Michael calling Murray a non-starter in majors. I sort of see what he means, but “non-starter” is an odd phrase to apply to someone who has been in a fair number of semis, and finals.
I remember the “grass is for cows” crack as coming from Arantja Sanchez-Vicario (spelling?) but I don’t know if it was before Lendl.

Colin Says:

Me again. I was very pleased to see Valuev had gone into politics. Look up photos of him – he’s seven feet tall and massive. Because he does honestly look like a caveman, posters on boxing forums (not noted for their sensitivity) were very cruel about him. In interviews he comes across as a nice and intelligent guy.

grendel Says:

Colin – Hitchens, as well as being very intelligent, was one of those who enjoyed bucking the trend just for the sake of it. To be fair to him, he had a sort of romantic affiliation for the Kurds, which was kind of heartfelt – but a bit of a pose, too, imo.

tennisfansince76 Says:

i wonder if Safin will ever drop his shorts in the Duma in reaction to some bit of arcane parlimentary procedure he objects to.

Wog boy Says:

If i can reach Janko Tipsarevic I would give him one beetwen the ears for WO against Novak at Serbian Open, with that one Nole would equal John McEnroe record, and then I would give two beetwen the ears to next door Italian stallion Fognini( probably didn’t spell it right) for WO at FO, that one would give Novak the record.
Such is life.

Skeezerweezer Says:


You’re not THE Harvey McDonald , are you?

grendel Says:

you’ll have to excuse my ignorance, Skeezer, but you’ve lost me with this one.
Just a quick word to Colin, sorry to be off topic again. Colin, I’ve just seen Paxman’s interview with Christopher Hitchens, which they repeated for obvious reasons. When Paxman asked Hitchens if he had any regrets about his stance on Iraq, he essentially said this, referring to a recent Al Quaida bombing of some Catholic institute: it is morally outrageous to blame Blair and Bush for these murders, the Islamists have to take the responsibility.

For an intelligent man to make such a stupid comment indicates clearly enough, I think, that the problem with Hitchens was his big ego. Normally, he would have seen straight away: we all know that if people of murderous intent are given leeway, they will do their stuff. The sensible thing is NOT to let them in. That is exactly what Blair and Bush did – they turned Iraq into a happy hunting ground for the theocratic terrorists. Anyone can see that – Hitchens couldn’t,or wouldn’t because that would have entailed admitting he had been wrong. Some people just can’t do that.

Skeezerweezer Says:


I found this;

Enjoy with a grain of salt, lime and a shot of Tequila.


Wog boy Says:


I started it, didn’t I?

Maybe this explains or exuses him ( Hitchens ) and his stand, maybe not, from local newspaper:

“…which represented his growing distance from his youthful left-wing stance, but was provoked by the 1990s fatwa imposed by Ayatollah Khomeini against his friend Salman Rushdie.”

BTW, “he attracted record-breaking crowds at the 2010 Sydney Writers Festival to hear his views on topics ranging from the Iraq War ( for ) to women’s humour (against).”

I do agree with second part of your post, very much so, though for my reasons.

grendel Says:

Skeezer – cheers. Considering I flippantly took my starting point from a frivolous conjecture by Bertrand Russell – that’s quite a co-incidence!

Wog boy – yes, that’s true about Salman Rushdie. But don’t you think it shows a degree of self-importance to allow your “world view” to be shaped by what happens (however unjust) to a friend of yours? Christopher Hitchens was in some ways an engaging character – the successor to George Orwell, he was not, though he tended to act as if he thought he was.

Wog boy Says:


You are right…….again.

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