'I saw Safin drinking alcohol, getting drunk before Australian Open final'

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'I saw Safin drinking alcohol, getting drunk before Australian Open final'

Daniel Koelleler recalled when Marat Safin was drinking alcohol before an Australian Open final. The former German player did not specify the exact year but it has to be in 2002 or 2004 when Safin respectively lost to Thomas Johansson and Roger Federer, or 2005 when he won the title defeating Lleyton Hewitt.

Koelleler, speaking to Unbreakable Media, said: "I was drinking alcohol in my career but the first time I drank alcohol I was like 24 and I just started because I saw Marat Safin drinking before he played the Australian Open final.

He is so drunk he can't even walk on his two feet, it can not be that bad. He could never win because he was so drunk, unbelievable. He was celebrating the night before like it was his birthday party. He celebrated like he already won the Australian Open.

Of course, if you drink you should drink with your mind open and not like him. The way he practiced he could do things like this but all the other players, they had to work very hard, including me." On his beginnings in tennis, he added: "Actually I was three-and-a-half years old when I went with my parents to the tennis court.

At 6, I got my first practice lesson, there was also like kind of watching list. There were like a few girls and boys on a watching list from coaches. So they check what are you going to do, how you move, the way you hit the ball.

There were few coaches that came especially to my father and they say, Listen, this guy is pretty talented, what do you think about giving the opportunity to practice like twice a week, one hour. Ok, I started with this and it became more and more and 12 years later I became a professional tennis player.

Actually the situation as a tennis player is like if you are going to lose first round, one week later you may have a chance to win the title. Every day you start from zero like all the others."