I am meant to be working but instead am watching Marat Safin in the Australian Open. I am praying he will win. I have long been a fan of Safin’s. This is not surprising as he is tall, well-built, good-looking and Russian (what’s not to like?), although he has had a rather savage new haircut. But there is something else about him.
The commentator just said, as Safin won a fantastic point; “Just look at the faces and you can see why Safin is good to have in your tournament”. Safin is famous not only for his tennis, but for his womanising, fondness for fast cars and fiery temper. He breaks rackets and argues with umpires. The Russian ambassador to London once said of him; “He chases women, he drives fast cars, he’s a very naughty boy. We love him.” Safin has always vowed that when he retires he’ll go back to Russia because “the best looking girls live there”.
In today’s sanitised and politically correct world, characters like Safin are to be cherished. He’s a great entertainer. A sort of Boris Johnson of the tennis circuit, only sexier. As I post this, rain has stopped play with Safin struggling to stay in the match. Here’s hoping for a return to form when he comes back. The Australian Open will be a much duller tournament without him. But at least I might get some work done.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007