Former Russian tennis player Marat Safin says he only has himself to blame for never making it all the way at the French Open. Safin, 40, made his debut on the clay courts of Roland Garros in 1998, when he stunned Andre Agassi in the first round.
The Russian ended up making the round-of-16 in his French Open debut, before losing to home favorite Cedric Pioline. In 2000, former world No. 1 Safin made his first quarterfinal at the French Open and two years later he went a step further and reached the semifinal at Roland Garros.
Unfortunately for the Russian, he failed to deliver his best tennis in his maiden French Open semifinal as Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero claimed a 6-3 6-2 6-4 win. Safin says something happened in the first set against Ferrero that made him lose his way and he ended up blowing the match.
"I was too stupid. I blew my semi-final against Ferrero. I could have played Costa in the final. But something happened in the first set against Ferrero and it was over for me," Safin told L'Equipe. Marat Safin never again made the last four at Roland Garros After being forced to skip the French Open in 2003, Safin returned to Roland Garros in 2004 and made the round-of-16.
Unfortunately for the Russian, he was hampered by several blisters on the right hand in his round-of-16 clash against David Nalbandian and he couldn't deliver his best tennis. Safin says him being injured was a "gift" for Nalbandian but the Argentine never invited him for a dinner or thanked him.
"It was a gift for him. Besides, he never invited me to dinner. These tennis players are so tight-fisted," Safin said. Safin also specifically mentioned former French tennis player Fabrice Santoro and called him for being "greedy." "He's the greediest on the circuit.
He beat me nine times. He never invited me (for a dinner), or even thanked me. I have a list of players who should invite me because I made them so much money," Safin said of Santoro. Marat Safin won two Grand Slam over the course of his career as won it all at the US Open in 2000 and also made it all the way at the Australian Open in 2005, while he made his lone semifinal at Wimbledon in 2008.