View Full Version : Fuss about Safin?

11-21-2004, 10:58 PM
What's all this fuss about Safin vs. Federer being the next big rivalry? Sure, Safin is talented, but Federer has a 6-1 record over him. Federer beat him in straight sets in the semi, with only one set being tightly contested. Like Roddick said after Wimbledon, "I have to win some matches before it becomes a real rivalry" (Roddick also has a 1-6 record against Federer), and the same applies to Safin.

I've heard many people saying that Safin will be the only one to challenge Federer in '05, but what about the players who actually have winning records against Federer, like Henman (6-3) and David Nalbandian (5-2)? Henman vs. Federer is my favorite matchup, with Henman having recently beat Federer in quarterfinals both at Paris '03 and Rotterdam '04.

The point is that while Safin is a great player, he has not yet established himself as being Federer's "only rival" for '05. Sure there may be some great matches between the two, but the bottom line is that Safin is no more qualified to beat Federer than any of the other top men.

11-21-2004, 11:04 PM
Safin just recently picked up Federer's former coach, and it seems to be helping his mental stability. He's not blowing up or pulling down his pants as often as before, and that's making a huge difference in the way he plays. Knowing this, he has the potential to get even better. He's got a great all court game; huge serve, decent groundstrokes, and he can volley. I think it's plausible to think that Safin would be a nice rival for Federer.

11-21-2004, 11:49 PM
Henman does have winning record, but most of his wins come from when Federer hasn't quite reached the level his playing at. It looks like Federer really has found a way to beat Hewitt, Henman, Roddick without doubt. I am not so sure about David N just because they haven't played much in past few months..

Safin does have losing record against Federer, but he's probably one of few guys who can challenge Federer if he's mentally strong.
Safin returns very well, serves very big, and can hit huge and consistent off both wings. He moves really well for a big guy.

One of his loss comes from AO final where Safin was pretty much out of gas. One comes from Hamburg final where Federer was simply playing his best tennis. I like their match up..

11-22-2004, 01:12 AM
I'm amazed at the over the top (So far) expectations of Safin. The guy has a helluva lot to prove yet. Every time he shows his great potential he turns around and shows his fallabilities tenfold. He could have taken off after the US Open win but didn't. He looked to be ready to take off after the Aussie final but didn't. He's come on late again this year and again appears ready to take off. I'll believe it when i see it tho, he still has to show consistentency of performance over an extended period. I hope he does, playing his best tennis he is probably the second best tennis player around and is capable of giving Federer a decent hit at least. The way some peeps are carrying on however you would think he is a can't miss in 05, time will tell.

11-22-2004, 04:57 AM
I think people get excited about the quality of Safin's ball striking. I have never seen him live, but watching the TV he does seem to hit the ball better, overall, than anyone but Federer. I agree with the people who think that gives him a real shot at matching Federer. But you also have to look at movement, reading of the game, strategy, game, mentality. Safin lost to Roddick in Houston because, I thought, he didn't concentrate hard enough at key times. Roddick seemed to lose the mental battle against Hewitt before the end of the first set. Part of that, I thought, was that Hewitt's reading of Roddick's game was so good.

pound cat
11-22-2004, 07:51 AM
People are keen on a Federer rival, and Marat (as seen in the last few months) looks as if he could be a rival. They look great on the court, 2 talented & imposing figures, and the match is likely to have moments of high quality shot-making, surprises, and drama. Safin has to win some matches v Roger, but he's the hope of the moment seeing as a Roddick /Federer rivalry is a non-happening.

11-22-2004, 12:34 PM
Only people that are closely following the game speak highly about Safin. General public is not aware of his game and abilities.
At my club only few know that he's won Madrid and Paris.
For him to be seen as a real rival to Fed he has to perform well at Slams, which are generally well covered by the media.

I personally don't believe in Safin either.
I am not sure what he wants, I think he wants to be a regular guy and play tennis, have fun on court and off, he drinks too much and he smoke when he drinks.
I don't think it's possible to be a regular guy and be at the top.
Last half a year he picked up a lot, looks healthier and stronger,
be can as easy to snap back if it occurs to him that he's wasting his life working too hard. He's good guy, great personality, but he doesn't have to be to win. He's not in the personalities contest, but in the tennis one. Hewitt has ugly personality but he seems to be more consistent player than Safin and thus forgiven.
Safin has to set his priorities right, he's not that young anymore.
What's left for him, 3-4 years of tennis, then he's too old.

11-22-2004, 02:42 PM
Let's be honest here. Marat is playing as well as anyone on tour right now. He did NOT lose to Federer in Houston - he handed over the victory. Not to take anything from Federer's brilliance, but Safin had 5 break points in the second set tiebreaker. I could not believe the amazing backhand returns he hit but I was also shocked by the easy shots he missed. He was being overanxious to hit a winner. Federer played some major defense in the game, but I truely believe Safin should have won the game.

Marat has the best record among all ATP players after US Open. If he kept playing at this level, I wouldn't be surprised that him and Federer would split the grand slammies in '05.

pound cat
11-22-2004, 03:25 PM
It was that darn double fault. In his pm interview he said that had he won the tB he felt he would have won the third set. He played only Agassi & Hewitt since USO, and then he had nothing but top 10 players to play. That he was in MC after starting the year #89 is amazing in itself.

ty slothrop
11-23-2004, 05:28 AM
anyone else remember safin dropping the ball right before the second serve that led to the double? after missing the first, he pulled the second serve ball out of his pocket but it bounced away from him. He had to walk after it a few steps, and it totally threw off his rhythym. he missed the second serve by a mile. it's a real shame that a fluke like that played such a big role in him losing.

11-23-2004, 06:19 AM
Please don't make excuses for Safin. You are talking about a match which Federer was robbed 2 bad calls on the match points in the tiebreak. Federer too missed many breakpoints at the beginning of the second set, had he made those the match will be over in no time.

ty slothrop
11-23-2004, 06:24 AM
not making excuses, just stating a fact. i even said to myself after the ball got away that he was going to throw in a double. if i wanted to make excuses, i would say something about him going for too much on all of the forehands.

and the bad calls evened out. safin's first ball along the sideline was clearly out, and the second was correctly overruled as in. federer was given an ace on a ball that i thought was wide, pmac remarked as being wide, and that shotspot confirmed as being about four inches wide

11-23-2004, 06:28 AM
and that came after Federer's wrong call didn't it? If you are going to discard this, then why talk about the df which wasn't even on safin's set point?

Federer missed at least few easy forehand volley at the beginning of second set which could have given him an easy lead, why not talk about those?

11-23-2004, 07:17 AM
I actually agree Safin overpowered Federer in the tiebreaker and should have won it one sense. In another sense though Roger finds a way even when he is being outplayed. That is what champions do. Had they gone to a 3rd set I am not sure Safin would have won. It is hard to keep overpowering Federer for another full set.

11-23-2004, 07:21 AM
I don't agree. Safin was trying to overpower Federer but never really managed to. Federer simply has the best defense among all, which it the most underrated among all of his game.

11-23-2004, 07:26 AM
Well I felt he was successful watching it. I guess we will just have to disagree on that one. Federer looked to uncomfortable defending to not be being overpowered in my mind.

11-23-2004, 07:35 AM
Yes, we will have to disagree on this one.

11-23-2004, 08:49 AM
Safin's coach looks like a heavy beer drinking and gots a big pot beer bellly

11-23-2004, 09:00 AM
I think as the Federer/Safin tie break progressed that Safin's mental toughness began to fade and he was just getting nervous. I could see that on his face....while Federer was often smiling wryly even after missing a shot. Federer was enjoying the competition.

Of course Federer had the luxury of owning the first set. Safin on the other hand knew that if he lost the tie break he'd loose the set.

11-23-2004, 09:05 AM
I think Federer didn't expect this type of fire in Safin. Which is why the tiebreaker got so lengthy..like "hah, he's just some silly Russian..>winner< oh..hah, lucky ****...>winner< ....oh. Crap." kind of situation.

11-23-2004, 09:08 AM
The only time I've seen Federer uncomfortable in facing a high amount of power was the first set of Wimbledon this year. No one can keep that up for more than a set.

11-23-2004, 09:36 AM
its funny all the "safin should have won the tb" because, as it turns out, he didn't win it, and safin didn't almost beat him, he was beaten in straights. and he obviously didn't overpower him and was not succesful, because he lost. alot of idle speculation going on here, and it seems we forget the reason that they actually PLAY the match and keep score of what REALLY happened, not coulda', shoulda', woulda' happened.

11-23-2004, 11:18 AM
yes... shoulda , coulda, woulda, thats all in the past... im just sayin... Safin played a great game and he will beat federer in the '05 OZ Open

11-23-2004, 11:24 AM
I think Safin and Haas are a little overrated on this board, because they are mentioned constantly but usually don't perform as well as they should. Haas is a good player, but until he starts reaching some major semis and finals, I don't see him as a serious threat. Safin, again looks to be surging at the moment, but he may very well fall off the face of tennis again next year, or he may win a slam. Look at me, giving these guys more attention.

11-23-2004, 11:42 AM
I think Safin and Haas are a little overrated on this board, because they are mentioned constantly but usually don't perform as well as they should. Haas is a good player, but until he starts reaching some major semis and finals, I don't see him as a serious threat. Safin, again looks to be surging at the moment, but he may very well fall off the face of tennis again next year, or he may win a slam. Look at me, giving these guys more attention.

Haas is a threat to anyone on any given day. He just doesn't win 7 straight matches in a row. Haas has the ability to take out any of the top 10 with at least 50/50 chance except fed which is probably a 1 in 6 chance.

Haas has already shown he plays very tight and close matches with Roddick and Agassi.

11-23-2004, 12:45 PM
I don't think Federer looked uncomfortable or that surprised about Safin. Federer is a smart player and he knows that his opponents will try new things against him. He especially knew that with Lundgren coaching Safin .... he would be a different player than he was in the AO.

Safin was not over powering Federer in the tie break. They looked equally matched in hitting capablility and it was a question of which guy was going to flinch first.

As for the future....sure it's possible that Safin may beat Federer some time, because there are always good days and bad days for every player. I still don't think Safin will dominate Federer, because Federer has a way of figuring out how to counteract each new challange. The more often Federer plays a guy the better able he is to know what to expect and then dominate.

11-23-2004, 02:03 PM
Federer can handle the power. Nalbandian somehow makes his opponents look bad. I think he frustrates Federer and that is the key. You don't see Federer get too flustered on the court. Someone needs to get him off his game in his head