Friday, January 18, 2008

safin loses another five setters

baghdatis wins five set thriller - that is one of the australian open news today. not surprisingly, safin was not even seeded for this grand slam. and since michael chang, no players losses has actually caused me to lose sleep. lol.

it's probably because of age and lesser playing, i have not followed the tennis tournaments as closely as before. my favorite player up until now is still michael chang, even though he had retired. a taiwanese born in america to a taiwanese couple who migrated to the united states, michael chang is an icon for asians for all the successes he achieved in a sports mostly dominated by the europeans.

i was a little bit devastated when he failed to beat pete sampras in the final of the 1996 us open. had he done so, he probably would have became the world number 1 player! what a shame the second grand slam never arrived. :( nevertheless, he was and will always be a great player to me.

after chang sort of retired, i begin to follow the development of another player that i've also liked a lot. though i won't get too sad whenever he loses. kafelnikov is another player that i love to watch playing. until now, i still never managed to learn how he hit his half-swing-double-backhand.

however, i did manage to watch kafelnikov play in the australian open 1999. his is the only match that i watched from start to finish in melbourne park. the rest, i just hop around the courts hoping to watch more players play. lol. it's not as if they have tennis tournaments with big name players here in malaysia. even if they do, the price to the exhibition match held recently is exorbitant and i just felt it's not worth it. worst of all, it's only an exhibition match which means the level of competitiveness will be very much reduced.

i think kafelnikov is the only player that actually rejected sponsorship. in the first part of his career, he was sponsored by diadora. and then he rejected all types of sponsorship stating that he hate having to attend photoshoot and doing promotions for the sponsors. hmm... aren't sponsorships is where sportsmen earned the most? his decision is a little bit weird though and he said he wanted to be left alone. but is this the reason for his divorce? not sure if he had marry again.

when safin broke into the scene, i like him because i felt he plays with fire in his eyes. you can see the anger in his eyes when he plays. and best of all, he slams his racquets! bad temper, but that's what making the game more exciting. though he has been doing quite alright, but i think for a player of his calibre and potential, his consistency is a big letdown. i think he has a few grand slam titles to his name, the most famous one being the 2000 us open title where he defeated pete sampras in the final.

for the past few years, safin has been virtually off the radar. and he had never won a five setter coming back losing the first two set. well... after losing the second set to baghdatis, i didn't continue to watch as i had expected him to lose, from the way he plays with a lot of unforced errors. winning the third and fourth set is a surprise though, but losing the final set, what a shame...

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