The story appears on

Page A14

October 15, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Safin has parting shots for Berdych, Roddick

MARAT Safin bid farewell to his adoring Chinese fans after defeat at the Shanghai Masters yesterday but not before taking a swipe at his opponent Tomas Berdych and American Andy Roddick.

The big Russian, who is retiring after next month's Paris Masters, suggested Berdych had feigned injury during his 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win and said the Czech needed to "grow up".

Then he rounded on Roddick and other players who have complained about the length of the season, saying he had suggested it should be made shorter in 2004 but had been shouted down.

The 29-year-old refused to shake Berdych's hand after the match because his opponent called on the trainer to treat his knee in their second-round contest.

"Just come on; just grow up a little bit; 26 years old; just deal with that," he said. "If you're losing, just be a man; be a man and lose as a man.

"Don't pretend that you are injured and then you start running around and start to hit winners and then all of a sudden you pull the hands up in the air after winning the match?

"So then of course the guy will say: 'No, I've been injured but then I felt a little bit better'.

"Of course he will find 10,000 excuses. Still, it's not enough. You're playing or you're not playing. If you're playing, so just shut ... up and play."

On Monday, Roddick called on the ATP to reduce the length of the men's season or risk shortening the careers of top players such as Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

"In 2004 we had this discussion in Olympic Games with Roddick about it and they were blaming me that I'm playing too much," said the former world No. 1.

"And I was saying that the season is too long. We should make it shorter. And the guys, they jumped on me, like I was the one who was wrong.

"So look at all of them - everybody is falling apart. Everybody is getting injured left and right, and everybody is complaining the season is long. It takes six years to realize that something is wrong?

"They just have to deal with that, not when they are 21 and ambitious and want to make money. They have to think a little bit with their brains and to make the career a little bit longer."


But Roddick's withdrawal here also illustrates the dilemma faced by the ATP as it juggles the needs of the tournament organizers, sponsors and the players.

Federer and Murray missed last week's Japan Open and Shanghai because of fatigue and wrist injury, respectively, while world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who missed Wimbledon this year with a knee injury, skipped the Thai Open.

"Trust me, as frustrated as (the fans) are that we're not here, I promise you we're more frustrated," Roddick told reporters on Tuesday.

Roddick said he spoke to ATP officials here after he labelled the season ridiculous.

"I had a good discussion with one of the representatives today. You know, they were receptive. To be fair, there has been a kind of a new leadership this year that's kind of stuck picking up the pieces, which is a tall task, an unenviable one at best. There does need to be something changed."

While the women's WTA tour concludes in Doha on November 1 the men's top eight contest the ATP World Tour finals at the end of November while the Davis Cup final is in December, less than a month before the new season begins on January 1.

With half of the ATP's six-man board made up of tournament representatives there seems little chance of events being axed and there remains no real off-season for their most prized assets.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend