Former World No. 1 Marat Safin, of Russia, says he has received coaching offers from his Russin countrymen Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov but he has not taken them up for now as he did not want to travel this year, and does not want to mix coaching with their friendship.
Marat Safin speaks about coaching on the ATP Tour
Marat Safin, a two-time Grand Slam champion, was speaking in an International Tennis Hall of Fame live chat with Blair Henley where he spoke about becoming a coach on the tennis tour.
"Rublev and Khachanov they asked me [to coach]. But I’m taking another year or so off and then I will see because I’m not ready to travel now. Anyway, you’re not going to travel now. So it’s another thing that you always have it in your head.
Once you are too close with these guys, it’s difficult to be coach. Because you need to draw the line. I prefer to stay friends with them than become their coach and then it’s gonna be…I won’t be helpful.
Once you become a coach, it’s a different story I think. You need to put aside the friendship. You can’t mix it up because if they disrespect you and don’t do what they need to”. 40 year old Marat Safin did captain the Russian team in the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup in January earlier this year.
He became world No. 1 singles in November 2000 and along with sister Dinara Safina is the only brother–sister duo in tennis history who have both achieved No. 1 rankings. Safin won two Grand Slam titles in his career - his first Grand Slam was at the 2000 US Open, beating Pete Sampras in the final, and his second came at the 2005 Australian Open, beating Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the final.
He also led Russia to Davis Cup victories in 2002 and 2006. He retired from professional tennis in November 2009 and in 2011, he became a member of the State Duma representing the United Russia party. In 2016, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.