Marat Safin Says Tennis Is Too Professional
The double Grand Slam champion and former number one tennis star Marat Safin holds no regrets on ending his tennis career in November despite reaching the quarter-finals of the Los Angeles Open for a third consecutive year. He entered the quarter finals with a stunning win over Latvian Ernests Gulbis by 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
"I'll need to take six months off [when he finishes at Paris Bercy in the autumn] just [to] realise how things have changed, that I have no more tennis career," said the 29-year-old Safin on Wednesday.
"I need to learn about life after tennis," said the 12-year ATP veteran. "There will be no more match points, no more deuces, it will be something different."
Safin is to finally get a day off on Thursday after playing four matches in three days including a Monday night exhibition which he won over Pete Sampras.
He will face a quarter-final on Friday against two-time champion and top seed Tommy Haas, who started his week with a defeat of American Jesse Levine 6-1, 6-3, as he played his first match, since losing in the Wimbledon semi-finals a month ago to Roger Federer.
Safin said that he has no regrets for leaving a sport which he says has grown tougher and less friendly over the past six or seven years.
"It's too professional, it's not fun like it was before," said the number 55 who won 15 titles. "Nobody is friends with anybody, everyone travels with his group, there is no more friendship like when I could hang out with [Patrick] Rafter or [Mark] Philippoussis.”
"There is even someone to carry the bags. I don't have an entourage, I don't like dealing with so many people. I don't have any friends on the tour - but it's not sad for me, don't worry," Safin said.
"Tennis is now just a huge business, and everyone is hungry for money, of course."