Ex-first racket of the world – Daniel Medvedev and Maria Sharapova, Fyodor Smolova and Snoop Dog, and dislike sports.
2019 was a breakthrough for the Russian men’s tennis. Are we to keep its position in 2020? – begin a conversation with Safin.
– Medvedev, Khachanov, Rublev grow up and become more experienced. The figure of the career is, the process of preparing a stabilized, to run around and look for something new, in terms of training, or mentor them until needed. They all have long trained abroad, who in Barcelona, who is in France… all Have a process established. Because the most difficult thing at this age is to find out where to train. Because, as a rule, it is throwing. Parents, agents, managers begin to carry a child who is there, who is here, and very often, just go to hyped the Academy. And many potentially talented players and therefore we lost on the road… These places open, first of all, in order to earn money. No one there is interested to grow with your child a tennis star.
And these guys have all turned out well. They immediately began to train tennis in the right places.
Why we waited so long for a new tennis generation?
– As a rule, it is a problem of transition. Because up to 12-13 years, you can still train in Russia, and then, if you want to be a professional, have to leave. Here there is simply no opportunity for this. All we know now, went back in those days: Kuznetsova in Spain trained, I’m in Spain, too, Andreev, Kolya Davydenko – Germany, Myskina – Germany, Maria Sharapova – America. Everyone who have achieved something – they left. Except, perhaps, Misha Youzhny. But he’s still here rarely appeared. But how else? All important tournaments in Europe. That’s where the highest level of chelengarov. And our earlier constantly went India, Uzbekistan…it is Clear that there is the lowest level of tournaments and gain you many points, but then you still have to go to Europe, without it can not do.
– And how important it is to find your coach?
– If you are an adequate person, life will gradually lead you to him. Most importantly, do not rush. But there is still often start to get parents, they supposedly know better than the rest. And even if you found a good coach, family can be the thing to ruin, because by their criteria it may not be enough for you.
– You have been with your parents?
– I have had nothing. Parents just sent me to 13 years in Spain and all. In addition, it directly sponsors said that in preparation they tried to intervene.
“SHARAPOVA IS VERY SIMILAR TO KOURNIKOVA”
– How would you comment the situation in our women’s tennis?
– I think there’ll be fine, too. It’s always waves. Now men’s tennis is on the rise, then the girls will surprise us.
– Sharapova has announced his retirement.
– She no longer had the motivation and the head is not about tennis thought. Yes, she continued to go to court, but perhaps only because I could not understand what to do next, where to go. There are many, by the way.
– Anna Kournikova communicate now?
– No, have not talked. But good for her. Thanks to her, all the girls in our country began to play, she was a pioneer. Then it was Myskina, Dementieva and all the rest. By the way, Sharapova is very similar to kournikova. The same style. Anya was also the first who began to earn in tennis a lot of money on advertising. So far, none of our players can not boast. Maria Sharapova doesn’t count, she got into advertising just because I lived in America. And the Russian market is still great brands uninteresting, it’s small money here either. In Russian sports little sponsored professionals, these are isolated cases.
Football, still support. “Tinkoff Bank” gave 375 million in the Russian Premier League.
– 375 million what? Dollars?
– Rubles. Or 5.5 million euros.
For the sponsorship package this is some very modest amount. That’s why a lot of us now in sports smeshnovato looks.
“MEDVEDEV MAY BE THE FIRST IN THE RANKING”
Let’s talk a little bit about your new role – captain of the national team of Russia. How is it purpose?
– Australian Open is the one tournament where the captain chosen by the boys. As a rule, chooses the first number. Medvedev and Khachanov called and called me. For which they thank you! But, in fact, that’s all. This one-time event.
– And if again will call?
– Will call – will come.
– Daniil Medvedev, in your opinion, unexpectedly so loudly declared itself?
– On the one hand, unexpectedly. On the other, Daniel plays very well, he understands the game, feels it and the current level is not the limit for him. A little experience and he could become the first in the ranking… after some time. Talented guy.
– Yevgeny Kafelnikov believes that he will not be able to keep the current position.
– It is important every year to upgrade themselves. Otherwise, things quickly start to read your game. If Daniel will continue to work on yourself and tune yourself, then everything will be fine. Of course, if he continues to play tennis last year… But, my personal opinion is that Medvedev will continue to evolve.
– What can you say about his character, about run-ins with fans?
– Everyone has the right to his character. As for the situation with the fans, then someone thinks that there was something out of the ordinary, someone sees no problem. I personally believe that nothing happened. Most importantly, it does not prevent him to play good tennis. And there he is next, I think, he will understand how to behave with fans. In General, we always have advisers full, how to behave, how not to – the country of the Soviets.
You’re also differed temper: 300 broken rackets says a lot. Now, looking back, I can say that the character is somehow prevented on the court?
– You can’t always control their emotions, especially when you’re young. But sometimes, the rush of emotion is absolutely necessary. If to get rid of them, you just can’t play. We all are human and react to certain things differently.
– Was there a reflection on the theme of their emotional actions on the court?
– Better not to engage. And with a cool head to perform their actions. There are things that bother you to live there – not in the way. Of course, sometimes self-blame is present. But it is better to get rid of it.
– Today, the athletes are increasingly resorting to the help of psychologists. In your time it was something like that?
– Not even close. But now a different look at sports, perhaps a more professional approach to many issues, plus more money. The sport goes in a tough business. Today, many will definitely love to play sports, but do it for good money, and love even more. But this is normal in our time. So everyone is trying to play in the top. When you’re 20, are you sure you’re capable of much, but 30 is already starting to wonder if you could do it even what you were doing 10 years ago. And, at this point, perhaps someone will help a psychologist.
– Now a lot of aged stars who still give a head start to young…
– Everything in General: the approach to training, nutrition, pool of doctors. In tennis, for example, today do not play as many tournaments as in our time, when we were always broke and did not have time to recover. And as for psychology, of course, one of the most important. Because sometimes, no matter how you run like you are “waving”, and it’s how you behave in a stressful situation. All good “wave”, when the score means nothing. When it begins to mean the winner is the one who will stand on the veins more.
“WITHOUT ANYTHING FUN TO DO DON’T WANT”
– When this year you came to Australia 15 years ago won the Australian Open, were there any special emotions? Maybe the nostalgia?
– You know, no. I actually thought about it. Rather noted how things have changed in Melbourne, for the better, as increased tournament as the Australians invested in infrastructure. They are great in this regard can make the product and sell it. For the city and Australia in General – is event of the year and they keep the level.
You especially met in Melbourne? Felt like a legend?
I don’t know what it is: a legend or a cult personality… I’m okay with it.
– Now go nowhere without this comparison, the three – Kafelnikov, Youzhny, Safin against the Troika: Medvedev, Khachanov, Rublev. You will pass the youth on the trophies?
– Of course, they want to win a couple of “Big hats” and become the first, but I don’t think there is a problem that is around us. With the ambition the guys in order. The new generation must be better than the old. I hope to God they all turned out.
Coach did not want to be after the captaincy in the national team?
Yet such a desire did not attend. Me everything in my life is happy, now have work to do and that’s enough for me. And tennis still does not pull. Yes, I agreed to be captain to help the boys where I can. But life is one and want to try themselves in other spheres. Without anything fun to do I no longer want.
Commented the final of the US Open on the First channel you obviously are happy.
– It all happened spontaneously. I got a call five hours before the match: “can you come over? We have no one”. I thought, why not, at the same time the final look. That drove up Some of the seriousness of the moment was not: you come to the television station, in front of you are two TVs and headphones, well, all work.
– I think many now want to look again tennis with your comments.
– If someone wants, let, revise the air. And so, we must prepare for this, it needs to be addressed, understand how it works. So, until that first time. But the experience was interesting.
Often tennis is boring comment. Lacking such a person, who would in plain language, said what’s happening on the court.
– To be honest, we the viewer are accustomed to how the tennis comment. It happened to me. And I think not only us. In Europe the same. Only in America are now beginning to change the approach. For example, the NHL invited to comment on Snoop Dogg. And we don’t know how it would catch on. There they try to shake the audience. Alternatively, maybe we should invite comment on any match, for example the guys from the Comedy Club, they normally gather an audience and people with pleasure will listen to them. In General, if possible, to experiment. But we like a different approach: “not to touch anything, not to make things worse”. And then they themselves are surprised that all is so boring. Therefore, more and more people go to YouTube. TV is losing audience. Although, the Internet is not everywhere.
“NOT LIKE SPORTS”
– How closely watch out now for tennis?
Almost do not watch. When he arrived at the Australian Open, I realized that half of the athletes just do not know. I think, if you play 25 years of tennis, you will too. Well, it is boring. Imagine, 25 years to do the same!
– And what sports do you follow?
– Do not for any. Don’t like sports. Do not watch either hockey or football. While there, football can sometimes see.
Did watching the world Cup in Russia?
– Haven’t gone to a single match. Didn’t thrill me that’s all.
– But you lived a long time in Spain, in a very football the country, really wasn’t?
– May, of course, redefined soccer in Spain. And I don’t want to offend the players, but the level of Spanish football and our – slightly a huge difference. Even at the speeds it shows.
– In Spain for anyone sick?
– Yes, in General, the Spanish football. I first lived in Valencia and rooting for the local club. Then, when Karpin and Mostovoy played in “Celta”, respectively, for this team. Oh, and before our players were in demand in Europe, Shalimov, Kolyvanov, Simutenkov, Yuran. 20 people played in Europe. Now Russian players are not needed there even close. Here, pitch went to “Salto”, well done, it’s a challenge, of course. I wish him luck. Now there will be at it intently to see what it represents in reality. Not in our reality, in which they all go on foot, and in European football reality.
– There is a feeling that whatever he showed to the Spaniards, we will still find something to complain about.
– If he scores, scored “real”, no one to find fault will not. And sofa troops can not be ignored.
“SOMEONE EXPLAIN, WHAT IS “PATRIOTISM”?
– Sport you don’t like, but surf.
– First, it is not a competition. Secondly, surfing for me is more like meditation. However, I’m really a beginner, on the Board stood only two years ago. I just like the process itself.
– My big wave is looking for?
– I want to live.
– In one interview you said that you’d like to take the hockey title chief of the Russian sports.
I know many of the players and root for them. But, let’s compare how many countries playing tennis and how much hockey. In any country it is considered prestigious to have as many tennis courts, why don’t we move in this direction? In the ‘ 90s and early 2000s we began work in this direction, but then there was a long gap in tennis. Now there is a young and talented guys and we can get back to this issue.
– After a career of a tennis player, you start a career politician. Remember this time?
For me it was a good experience. Learned a lot, learned a lot, but, unfortunately, had to leave for personal reasons. And so, I would have stayed.
– If now will offer something interesting in this direction?
– Something interesting I’m always happy to agree. Yes, now I like to travel. I can’t imagine my life without trips to Europe. I still lived there 17 years. This is my second home. But for suggestions I’m open.
– What about patriotism?
– Someone explain to me, what this word means? Whom ask, all the different versions and shades. Always depends on the context. Yes, I love my country, but what is “patriotism”?
– A few months Olympics. Some of our athletes want to cancel the trip, if they have to compete under a neutral flag. How do you feel about this decision?
– The life of an athlete is limited to a few Olympic games. Why because of the situation where someone to someone about something that is not agreed should the athlete suffer?! Why sacrifice yourself because of someone else’s role-playing political games?! Yes, it’s an individual decision each athlete. But, if I had the chance, I would was abandoned. Under any banner would go to the Olympics. As all who love sports, you know, where I’m from.
– Experienced ever, no Olympic medals?
Never. I was always more interested in “Big hats”.
– This year 10 years since you retired. Much has changed in that time?
– I left the sport when I was 29, now I’m 40. Yes, I think it’s a little different.
– Happy with these changes?
– Well, Yes. Changing world, values. Less unnecessary thoughts in my head. In 40 years, I believe life begins. Errors had to this point done enough, now you can make them smaller and to live in pleasure. And in a hurry.
Born January 27, 1980
Russian tennis player, former first racket of the world in singles
The winner of two tournaments Grand slam in singles (US Open 2000, Australian Open 2005), two-time winner of the Davis Cup (2002, 2006) in the Russian team, the winner of 17 ATP tournaments (15 of them in singles)
Member of the International tennis hall of fame in 2016
The Deputy of the State Duma of the VI and VII convocations (2011-2017), cavalier of the order of Merit