You wouldn’t mess with Marat Safin. And you certainly wouldn’t mess with his mum. Rauza Islanova was a good enough player to be ranked in the top five in the former Soviet Union but it is in her role as coach that she came to prominence, with Safin, his sister Dinara Safina, Anna Kournikova and Elena Dementieva all coming through the famous Spartak Club in Moscow, where Marat’s father happened to be the director. Islanova used to take Marat along to the club when she was working and coached the future world No 1 between the ages of six and 13, before sending him packing to Spain, where facilities were much easier to come by. Famed as a hard task-master, she knew her own mind and was never afraid to speak it.
Needless to say, there were times when he children didn’t listen to her but her track record is second to none. Both Safin and Safina became No 1 and many, many more made it thanks to her coaching and moulding.
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Judy, a former Scottish national champion (she was the tartan Chris Evert), did not take kindly to past suggestions by Boris Becker and others that she was too closely involved with Andy’s career. “The apron strings stuff is ridiculous – Andy lives in Surrey, and lived in Wandsworth, South London, for a number of years before that. I have always lived in Scotland. But there are people who really think I travel with him around the world telling him what to do. I only attend six or seven competitions a year. There have been times when I have been around more often, but that has been when he is having a tough time and needs support.”
As Steve Bierley, the former tennis correspondent for The Guardian, once said, “Judy Murray should be held personally responsible for the ills of British tennis; she stopped producing children after she had Andy.”
Read the Whole article on Rauza Islanova – HERE
Read the Whole article on Judy Murray – HERE
The former world number one, who was elected to the 450-seat lower house of Russian parliament, said he had thought long and hard about what to do with his life after his sporting career.
“I could go and make commercials left and right and pretend like I am a celebrity, but that is not me,” he said.
“This is a completely new life, a new way of thinking, new way of doing things that’s nothing to do with tennis or sports at all.
“But the two things definitely have one thing in common and that is that you need to have a character.”
Safin, 31, is a member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party and will represent the Nyzhny Novgorod region, about 500 kilometres from Moscow.
United Russia is expected to win the election with a reduced majority, but the weekend poll has been widely criticised both inside and outside Russia, with widespread allegations of voter intimidation and vote rigging.
Overnight former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called for the elections to be re-run and the opposition vowed to stage new rallies contesting the result.
Despite the cloud over United Russia’s apparent victory, Safin’s election win was praised by former on-court opponent and tennis great Pete Sampras.
Sampras went down to Safin in the 2000 US Open, handing the Russian his first grand slam win.
“In 20 years Marat will be the president of Russia,” Sampras said.
“Marat is going to go a long way.
“He is very intelligent and articulate and he’s good with people, and that’s half the battle with being a politician.”
CHENGDU, China — Famed for his outbursts on court, Marat Safin said Thursday he wants to put his oratory to use in the Russian parliament.
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesMarat Safin, seen at the 2009 U.S. Open, won two Grand Slam titles and was ranked No. 1 in 2000.
“I am an intelligent guy and I have a lot to bring and a lot of ideas about things and what to do,” Safin said. “I am very committed to it.”
The 31-year-old Safin retired in 2009 after winning two Grand Slam titles and reaching the No. 1 ranking in 2000. He earned a reputation as a gifted but unpredictable player, breaking countless rackets during his frequent bouts of rage.
Since he quit the main tour after a series of injuries, Safin has been working for the Russian tennis federation and has become a member of the Russian Olympic committee.
Safin participated in the primaries in the Nyzhny Novgorod region, and now awaits the Dec. 4 vote to take one of the 450 seats in the Duma.
“I could be the best looking guy in the Duma,” Safin said. “But that’s only because all the other guys are over 60.”
Every player gets frustrated on the court. Accordingly, every player seems to have developed his or her own signature move to deal with said frustration. Andy Murray starts yanking things. Maria Sharapova looks forlorn. Andy Roddick and retired former world No. 1 Marat Safin, among others, destroy rackets. Serena Williams, well, I’m going to leave that alone.
But Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is well on his way to trademarking his own “I’m about to lose my mind” move: the Tsonga Chomp.
OK, yeah, I don’t like “Tsonga Chomp” either. Help me come up with a better name for what’s going on here. Because it’s awesome.
For more pictures visit the Sports Illustrated Blog “Beyond the Baseline” – CLICK HERE