Safin retires following Paris defeat
Former world number one Marat Safin ended his playing career with a 6-4 5-7 6-4 defeat by U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Porto at the Paris Masters today.
The 29-year-old Russian, who had saved three match points to squeeze past French qualifier Thierry Ascione in the first round of his final tournament on Monday, fought bravely against the Argentine world number five.
Showing glimpses of his old form, Safin, who has not won a title since the 2005 Australian Open, challenged Del Porto by winning a tight second set.
Safin, who held the number one spot for several weeks in 2000 and 2001 but has dropped out of the top 50, was broken in the third game of the decisive set and his opponent then stayed in control.
The Russian, who won the Paris event three times, saved a match point at 5-3 down with a forehand winner but Del Potro then served for the match, sealing victory with an ace.
The gifted but erratic Russian, who also won the 2000 U.S. Open, defeating Pete Sampras in a memorable final, was once regarded as one of the world's most spectacular players and will also be remembered for his rebellious spirit and dry humour.
The rise of Roger Federer, then Rafael Nadal, and a string of injuries meant, however, that the hugely talented Safin could not live up to high expectations.
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Manchester City coach in waiting Manuel Pellegrini: Inside the mind of anti-Mancini
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you need to know about the Champions League final
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 3 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 4 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.