Being a tennis racquet just got a whole lot safer: Marat Safin has retired from professional tennis.
Safin, along with having a reputation as one of the world’s most talented players, also possessed a penchant for smashing racquets. Earlier this year when TW’s Spencer interviewed Safin’s racquet customization and stringing team, Priority 1, P1’s Nate Ferguson confessed to us that they always packed extra racquets for Safin — just in case his current batch didn’t survive practice.
Some people look upon racquet smashing as a terrible thing — a blight on an otherwise graceful sport. But I always held a certain respect for the way Safin tormented his racquets. The man from Moscow made breaking a racquet an art form.
Safin always played with his heart on his sleeve, and that was never more evident than when he turned his frustrations towards his racquet. Most players, myself included, will look like an idiot when breaking a racquet. For Safin, breaking a racquet was just part of what he did. Seeing Safin snap a racquet in two was as common as seeing a player stop to tie his shoe. Most impressively, those outbursts never seemed to be too detrimental to his play.
So, as Safin moves into retirement, the racquet population can breathe easy. The great racquet crusher from Russia is gone.
Yep, racquets are safe once more, until the next prolific breaker comes along. Now, who will that be?