Marat Safin was born in Moscow on 27th January 1980 and you woudln´t have needed a crystal ball to predict that this guy was to be a tennis star.
Marat was introduced to game at a very early age. His mother Rausa, was a former top ten Russian who used to take baby with her when she pradised at the local Spartak club, managed by his father Mikhail. This is where Marat also learnt to play.
He had picked up his rocket almost as soon as he could walk and at five was hitting balls alongside a foddling Anna Kurnikovova, another member at the same club until 1992. When Marat has 13, parents decided to see if they could send him abroad, realising that he could not fulfil his potential using the dodgy facilities of the Russian tennis federation.
In that year Marat and his mother visited a specialist tennis academy in Valencia, where Maria Pasqual, former direction of Spanish women´s tennis was asked to assess his potential. Pasqual liked what she saw and managed to persuade a Swiss client into sponsoring Marat and keeping him at the academy.
For four years Marat lived in Valencia employing Pasqual as his career advisor, lodging with a retired teacher and studying at the tennis academy as well as working on his great clay court skills and learning the spanish language.
However, in 1997 his sponzor changed managment company and Marat was sent back to his native Moscow. But, despite home – sickness at first Marat had learned to love Spain and begged his agency IMG to let him return ti his adopted home. They agreed and he still lives in Valencia today, employing spaniard Rafael Mensua as his coach. Marat´s first tittle came in 1997 at a Challanger in Espinho and soon afterwards he turned pro. He introduction to the ATP Tour came in November of that year when he took part in the Cremlin Cup in the city of his birth – Moscow.
Unfortunately he went out in the first round to the Dane Kenneth Carlsen but since then his career has go from strenght to strenght.
Marat was his first tittle on the ATP Tour in August 1999 when he beat Greg Rusedski in the final of the MFS Pro Championship in Boston. He has also reached the last sixteen round of three of the five Grandslams he is taken part in so far.
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Sport - About Marat Safin
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