Former World No. 1 Marat Safin says his racket company HEAD presented him with a snowboard inscribed with the number of rackets that he had broken during his playing time at the end of his career.
Marat Safin says he broke 1055 rackets in his career
In an interview José Luis Clerc, on ESPN, Safin spoke about his habit of breaking rackets.
The former World No. 1 said, "All my life I played with Head, they never told me (the number of rackets I damaged), I broke many rackets since I was young, since '98 I'm with them, the boys were very tolerant of me.
I broke more or less 80 rackets a year, or more, many a week. I got along so well with them (HEAD company) that they told me they wanted to give me a gift and they gave me a snowboard, they put 1055 and for me it was a surprise because I didn't know how many rackets I had broken.
Well now I know how many I broke in my career. " Safin also spoke about how he preferred playing football as a kid but took up tennis since his mother was a former player and tennis coach. "In tennis at the family level it was just the Williams sisters, but we never had a man and woman from the same family leading the world ranking.
The credit goes to my mother. She was a player, reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros in juniors, was a coach and raised us as tennis players. It was wonderful for my mother to see her two children being ranked number one.
I ask you to value it. She has to be the happiest mother in the world. As far as I'm concerned, I never liked to play tennis, I had pressure and only did it out of obligation. My passion and what I wanted to be was a football player.
Playing tennis has always been against my will. My career was a miracle." Marat Safin reached the world No. 1 singles ranking in November 2000 and is brother of former world No. 1 WTA player Dinara Safina. He won his first Grand Slam title at the 2000 US Open, beating Pete Sampras, and won the 2005 Australian Open, beating Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the final.
Safin also helped lead Russia to Davis Cup victories in 2002 and 2006. In 2016, he became the first Russian tennis player inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.