From TennisWeek.com..... Safin Seeks New Start With Gumy In Corner Photo By Getty Images By Richard Pagliaro 07/13/2007 Seeking a constant coaching voice as he tries to find his form for the upcoming North American hard-court summer season, Marat Safin has hired Hernan Gumy as his new coach. The 35-year-old Argentine, who formerly coached Guillermo Canas, Gustavo Kuerten and Guillermo Coria, will begin working with Safin this week in Los Angeles as the two-time Grand Slam champion prepares for next week's Countrywide Classic at UCLA. Safin sees his work with Gumy as representing a return to his roots in a sense. The 22nd-ranked Safin has known Gumy, who reached a career high rank of No. 39 in August of 1996, since the end of the Argentine's playing days. Safin spent several of his teenage years training in Spain under the guidance of Spanish coaches. He speaks Spanish fluently and will likely communicate with his new coach in Spanish. "With a new coach I feel that I can bring something more to my game. I look forward to working with Hernan with his experience," Safin said in a statement posted on his official website Marat Safin.com. "It is a new start in time for the hard court season. I do not have a lot of points to defend this summer so I want to work hard and do well. My ranking is now 22 and my goal is to get higher. I know I can improve and I will do my very best to be there again." Though Safin undoubtedly owns the skills to kick-start his season during this hard-court stretch, recent history suggests it may well be a bumpy ride: Safin he has not won a tournament title on North American hard courts since his triumph at the 2000 U.S. Open. The towering, temperamental titan has been mired in a title drought since played one of the most memorable major matches in recent memory in defeating World No. 1 Roger Federer in the semifinals before beating Lleyton Hewitt in the final to capture the 2005 Australian Open championship. Recovery from left knee surgery shelved Safin for the final months of the 2005 season and though he has looked fitter this season he has not quite regained the explosive moment he showed in winning his last title. In an effort to strengthen his conditioning, Safin will also work with Miguel Maseo as his fitness trainer. The 27-year-old Russian had recently been working with long-time friend and former Russian Davis Cup teammate Alexander Volkov. Volkov was appointed Safin's official coach in September of 2006 — weeks after he parted company with Peter Lundgren — but their working relationship dates back several years: Volkov was in Safin's support box during his run to the 2000 U.S. Open title, culminating in a crushing 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 conquest of Pete Sampras in the final. But Volkov, who has graduated from his playing career into an important coaching figure in Russian tennis, has responsibilities with both the Russian Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams that have prevented him from traveling continuously with Safin. Consequently, player and coach have parted amicably and Safin has hired Gumy as his full-time coach. "I am grateful to Sasha Volkov who in the last couple of years has always been there when I needed him, as a friend and coach, starting from Toronto 2000 and then the U.S. Open 2000," Safin said in his statement posted on Marat Safin.com. "He has been with me through many difficult periods of injury and I could always call on him as a friend. He is in the U.S. at the moment with the Russian Fed Cup team and then he has other commitments during the summer." It has largely been a season of frustration for Safin, who has been spinning his wheels in struggling to put together a series of wins in the last four months. Safin has not won three matches in a row since he reached the semifinals of The Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas in March where he lost to Hewitt in straight sets. Though he advanced to the third-round of Wimbledon where he suffered a straight-sets loss to reigning champion Federer, Safin has not been a significant factor in major matches or in meetings with top players this year. He has posted a 16-13 record, but owns only one victory against a top-20 player on the year — a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over then 20th-ranked Jarkko Nieminen in the opening round of Monte-Carlo in April. Since winning the 2005 Australian Open, Safin has not surpassed the fourth round of a major. And though he did deliver crucial victories in helping lead Russia to the 2006 Davis Cup, he has lacked the consistency required to regain his status as a legitimate title contender. Even opponents have questioned his commitment and his inability to tame his on-court volatility. Prior to stopping Safin in straight sets at Wimbledon, Federer said he thought the former No. 1 had become "satisfied" with his current ranking in the 20s, but the 11-time Grand Slam champion also praised Safin's ability. "Marat is a former No. 1, former Grand Slam champion. He's won Davis Cup, something I've never done," Federer said. "So he's a hell of a player. I mean, I admire his talent, his backhand, his serve, the power he gets on his shots. I've had some incredible battles with him over the years." Safin's biggest battles have often been internal. If you're looking for the poster boy for anger management, Safin is not your guy, but his explosive volatility and sheer unpredictability makes him one of the most entertaining players to watch. He is a man who can drop opponents with eye-popping power, drop serve or drop his shorts on the court — sometimes in the course of the same match. Still, there is no denying Safin's prodigious talent and throughout his career he has displayed the ability to summon some of his best tennis when written off. But at this stage of his career, Safin can no longer afford to ride the rollercoaster of results with occasional peaks overwhelmed by increasing plummets. In a career of some spectacular spikes, consistency has largely eluded Safin for the past two years and in order to rebuild his ranking and avoid facing top players early in draws, Safin must found a way to string a series of wins together. Gumy will likely preach patience and stress consistency, but ultimately Safin is well aware that posting positive results is the only way drown out the demons of doubt that have haunted his head for much of this season.