“What kind of sportsman are you, what kind of man are you?” - Marat Safin
The ATP’s Grumpy Season is in full swing at the Shanghai Masters (no wonder Roger’s sitting it out). Even Marat Safin, who is saying adios to the tour in just a few weeks, is taking the opportunity to settle some scores. At issue are two of the players’ favorite complaints: 1. the length of the season, and 2. sketchy injury time outs.
Marat says that Andy Roddick, a vocal critic of the ATP schedule this week in Shanghai, should have listened to him years ago:
In 2004 we had this discussion in Olympic Games with Roddick about it and they were blaming me that I’m playing too much. And I was saying that the season is too long. We should make it shorter. And the guys, they jumped on me, like I was the one who was wrong.
So look at all of them — everybody is falling apart. Everybody is getting injured left and right, and everybody is complaining the season is long. It takes six years to realize that something is wrong.
They just have to deal with that, not when they are 21 and ambitious and want to make money. They have to think a little bit with their brains and to make the career a little bit longer. (via the AFP)
Safin may have a bone to pick with Roddick, but he still agrees that the calendar is a problem: “It’s a beautiful sport, so why kill the players and make the calendar basically playing 12 months of the year?” (via Monsters & Critics)
I’ve always wondered why Safin was once quoted as saying he didn’t like Andy Roddick. I assumed it was a tiff over a girl (silly me!), but perhaps it’s just run-of-the-mill office politics.
Marat is especially grumpy because he lost in Shanghai on Wednesday, going out to Tomas Berdych: 3-6 6-4 6-4. Safin declined to shake Berdych’s hand after the match, angry at the Czech for making a dubious request for the trainer towards the beginning of the second set. Here’s what Safin had to say after the match:
Just come on; just grow up a little bit; 26 years old; just deal with that. If you’re losing, just be a man; be a man and lose as a man.
Don’t pretend like you are injured and then you start running around and start to hit winners and then all of a sudden you pull the hands up in the air after winning the match?
So then of course the guy will say: ‘No, I’ve been injured but then I felt a little bit better’.
Of course he will find 10,000 excuses. Still, it’s not enough. You’re playing or you’re not playing. If you’re playing, so just shut up and play. (via the AFP)
Actually, it was “so just shut the f#ck up”. Click here for the audio file. Good stuff.
And I love this report from the press room:
“(Marat Safin’s tirade) was an impressive display and one that had some members of the media nodding in agreement. Meanwhile the wee Chinese girl providing simultaneous translation had gone beetroot red, having heard language that she never encountered at the Beijing University of Linguistics.”
Come on, Marat, just say it: “Nanny nanny boo boo!”