Photo via www.tennis-russia.ru
There are so many talented tennis players in Russia, that the country has its own awards ceremony to honor them. Last night’s Russian Cup awards, hosted by Anastasia Myskina at Moscow’s Radisson Slavyanskaya hotel, honored Nikolay Davydenko as Tennis Player of the Year (for being the top male Russian player for the 5th year in a row), Dinara Safina for “Achievement of the Year” (obtaining the No. 1 ranking) and Svetlana Kuznetsova for “Success of the Year” at Roland Garros.
The “main event” of the evening belonged to Marat Safin, who won an award for “contributions to the development of the world and Russian tennis.” I love this (google-translated) description of Marat’s special contributions (via www.championat.ru):
“12 years of tennis fans on all continents admire this guy. He was loved by almost all, even though everyone tried to see in him something of themselves, their dreams. The girls saw in him the ideal man, or, if you want, a sex symbol. Coaches thought he was a talented athlete with a unique physique. Opponents tried to guess the direction of his serve or backhand. Journalists of all countries noted his charisma, eccentricity and inimitable sense of humor. And, finally, for the audience it has always been a man-feast at all his tournaments which had full stadiums all these years, no matter at what ranking he was.”
(Yes, I know that the translation probably shouldn’t be “man-feast”, but it works for me. An alternate translation got “man-holiday” which also sounds appropriate.)
Speaking of man-feast:
Photo via Mens Tennis Forum
Notice in the photo, above, how packed the auditorium is. It looks like the Oscars! With Marat as the Clooney/Pitt/diCaprio stand-in, or course.
Marat has that post-retirement glow: