Dates: MARCH 26–APRIL 6, 2008 (WEDNESDAY START)
Prize Money: US $3,770,000 (US $3,520,000)
96 DRAW/48 DRAW QUALIFYING
SITE: TENNIS CENTER AT CRANDON PARK
7300 CRANDON BOULEVARD
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA 33149
BALL: ATP PENN BALL
PRIZE MONEY: USD
WEB SITE: http://www.sonyericssonopen.com/
Marat lost to B. Reynolds in the 1st round 6-7 6-4 7-6.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. This this is not meant in an unfriendly, but I want to ask, are you tired of tennis?
MARAT SAFIN: I knew this was coming. No, I'm not. If I was tired, I would have stopped a long time ago, and I'm still here.
Q. Do you see a Renaissance then in your game?
MARAT SAFIN: I don't know. I'm hoping for it.
Q. Do you kind of understand what has gone wrong for you this year, or have you just not put your finger on it?
MARAT SAFIN: No, I'm just, I'm playing. I'm trying, and it doesn't come out my way. But doesn't mean that I have to stop because I'm not winning matches. I enjoy what I'm doing. I have plenty of cash to do what I want to do, so what I want to do is play tennis.
So it's not the subject of if I'm not winning any matches I have to retire straightaway. I can still travel and enjoy it, and if the good days will come, they will come. If not, I will stop anyway. I don't have many years left.
Q. I was talking about technically. Presumably you're out here, you like playing, but you like to win?
MARAT SAFIN: Always that. But unfortunately it didn't work out today. But it will work out some other day, hopefully, and I'm expecting for that.
Q. You stopped two match points today. It is the first time you were playing this man. Can you talk about your opponent a little and what he did.
MARAT SAFIN: Well, he pretty much plays ‑‑ tries to play like Andy Roddick: The serve, forehand, backhand are pretty similar. So it's kind of the same tennis. And the guy, he did what he could do with his serve. Try to run around the courts and play all the shots that he can play.
The luck was also on his side a couple of times that I was up like Love‑30, and he made four aces all of a sudden. So it is plenty of opportunities that he come out pretty well for him.
Didn't come out very good for me. So all the match he played pretty good tennis and it worked well for him.
Q. Does the fact that you've picked yourself up off the floor before in your career, does that help you now in terms of your outlook?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah. Well, but that was like, it looks like that, but I had so many injuries. So it's not because I was scratching my things on the sofa and I didn't want to play tennis. Because I've been sick for a couple of years of my tennis career, so it took me quite a while to get back.
Unfortunately my knee thing just took a little bit more. I been struggling for three years already from the knee. So it's not like I was partying my ass off on South Beach, because I'm trying. It takes a lot of courage, you know, to try and still go on the court when you're ranked 85 in the world.
So I need to get some credit for that. I could have retired after I got injured with the knee, I could have retired right there, but I was trying. I'm trying already for three years, so I deserve some credit for that also.
Q. Are you feeling healthy now, pretty good?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, but it doesn't matter if you are healthy or not. It's just the fact that you're already ‑ I had to change my tennis game completely because I couldn't play and I couldn't run for many balls before. So it's kind of difficult. You start to break back and start to play the tennis that I used to play when I was healthy. So it's already for three years. I'm trying and I'm struggling, but it's my decision that I make.
I want to do that, otherwise I have no reason. Bank account is pretty full. So trust me, I could do better things than that.
Q. That outlook, is that indefinite? Do you think if you have a bad clay court season would you look at it again in the summer?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, I just need to. I will see. I feel like I can't play anymore or I'm just not there anymore and I don't enjoy anymore, I don't suffer anymore, then I will stop. Is it going to be next Monday? Is it going to be in two years? Five years? Or after the clay court season? It depends on how it goes.
I feel like some good days will come up. I still like to travel. I will continue. If I don't feel like the next morning I wake up and I say, Listen, I've had enough already. I've been already around for ten years, so it's a long ten years so I'm stop.
Q. What do you still kind of find interesting like about the actual game or the travel or both? What is it that really attracts you?
MARAT SAFIN: It's not anything in particular. It's just the whole complex of the thing: Stay healthy, play tennis. Lot of people are still coming towards me. I have a pretty good life, life standards, good restaurants.
I've been living like this since I was 10, traveling around. So for me to sit back somewhere in the same place for a couple of months or one year, it would be suicidal. So I prefer to travel to nice places, Miami, Australia, Indian Wells, Monte‑Carlo, Rome, Hamburg, so it's very interesting places.
To give up on that it takes a lot of ‑ it has to be ‑ yes, it's a very tough decision, and I'm still enjoying it. The feeling is pretty strong.
Q. Are you afraid you'd be bored?
MARAT SAFIN: Why so radical? Why I have to be bored?
Q. No, I'm asking you if you're anxious about what the next step in your life will be?
MARAT SAFIN: No, I have plenty of ‑ I have plenty of things to do, but unfortunately I'd rather do that. Because there it will not go away, what I'm going after. It is just there and waiting for me. It's as interesting as tennis.
But tennis, when I stop professional tennis, I'll never be able to come back. So I want to stretch it as long as I can. Of course, at age of 35 I'll come back and play the senior's tour. That's not a problem. But I want to stretch it a little bit my ‑ still I'm 28.
So it would be a pity to stop at 28, even though Borg retired at 25. So it's just personal decision. You have to be really comfortable with that.
Q. Is it a matter of confidence at all? Because you haven't been winning matches? Is that what's lacking, do you feel?
MARAT SAFIN: Yeah, many things. Of course, like I said, the knee, it was a problem. I was playing well in ‑ okay, we get back to history, so...
Then all a sudden when you start to have pain, you can't move the same way as you moved before. So it's tough to gain back the confidence to move around in the court and playing your best shots, because in tennis it's been a little bit different.
A lot changes throughout the last three years, so it's kind of you have to suffer sometimes. Also you can win two matches and all of a sudden you are winning tournaments. From love and hate it's a thin line; same as here.
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