There was a time when Russian tennis was at the top of the ranking. First, the Kremlin country reached the top thanks to Yevgeny Kafelnikov, winner of two Grand Slams, with a relatively simple but very effective style. Kafelnikov was an iceberg from the bottom and thus tore apart his opponents; who took the reins of his country later, however it was quite the opposite. Marat Safin It was that volcano that, when lit, did not leave the puppet headless. He also won two Grand Slams: both popularized the sport in Russia.
Some time later, a batch of Russian puppies has been stomping very, very hard. Daniil Medvedev has already reached the final of a Grand Slam and conquered two Masters 1000, Karen Khachanov conquered a tournament of the same category defeating Novak Djokovic in the final and Andrey Rublev He was stomping until the pandemic interrupted his meteoric rise. The three tennis players are top-15 and promise to take Russia to very high levels. Kafelnikov and Safin reflected on this and other more curious aspects in the last episode of Tennis United.
“The competition between them is healthy because still they are good friends. They go to dinner together, for example. They are very good guys, very friendly, which is positive. It is also positive that they are ready to learn, always ready, “he said of the Russian triumvirate Marat Safin. Kafelnikov gave a similar opinion, taking as a comparison the competition that existed when the figure of his good friend Marat emerged on the circuit:
“When I became top-10, Marat was six years younger than me and always wanted to catch up, so we had a very nice competition between the two of them. Each motivated us what the other did. Now we have three guys who are in the top-20, all three competing against each other. This is why Russian tennis is so successful right now. ”
Of course, it was not always smiles and roses along the way. The careers of Safin and Kafelnikov are also remembered for their moments of fury, especially those of Marat. “The HEAD company gave me a snowboard with the number of rackets I broke during my career: 1,055. They had counted them all! “Recalled the Muscovite at the laugh of his compatriot. But it seems that Kafelnikov does not seem to be far behind in this regard.
“I remember being in the stands in Barcelona watching Yevgeny play alongside Daniel Vacek a doubles match. They had both won three Grand Slams. Vacek doubled. Yevgeny was getting mad, little by little. Vacek committed the second double fault followed and Yevgeny broke the racket“Safin recalls about the outbursts of his good friend between the laughter of both.
Finally, both tennis players recalled what were the best moments of their careers. “Win Grand Slams and reach the number one It was the highest point of my career. Both mean a lot to me, “said Kafelnikov. Safin goes along the same lines.” One of the best memories is, of course, the Us Open. The second is to beat Federer in the semifinals of the Australian Open and then win the tournament. The first one was totally unexpected while the second one I earned, I worked on it. I had already tried it a couple of times and it seemed like it wasn’t coming … but I finally got it. ”