Fed resumes SW19 bid as Safin bows out
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:36
Safin, the 14th seed, became the biggest casualty of the championships so far when he crashed out at the hands of unknown American qualifier Jesse Levine last night.
The 29-year-old Russian, famous for complaining about everything from the grass to the price of food in the players’ restaurant, added: “It is not the perfect thing, not the way to finish (my) Wimbledon story.”
The former world number one has already announced he will retire at the end of this season and his last memories of SW19 will be unhappy ones after world number 133 Levine won 6-2 3-6 7-6 6-4 on Court 18.
Asked how he felt to end his Wimbledon career on such a low note, Safin joked: “Relieved.” “But it’s okay. That’s life. I think I’ve managed to do pretty well in my career. Unfortunately, I was a little bit unlucky with my injuries. That’s the only thing that I regret, but I cannot do anything about it.
“Also I made a couple of great comebacks but eventually just the knee injury was really tough to come back from. When you’re injured with the knees, something with the legs, it’s not easy to recover.”
Safin won the US Open as a 20-year-old in 2000 – demolishing Pete Sampras in the final – and the Australian Open in 2005, but is still considered an underachiever given his immense natural talent.
He added: “Everybody could do better. I should probably have won a couple more, but I’m pretty satisfied with what I did.”
Federer was today due to face Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the second match on Centre Court, with fourth seed Novak Djokovic opening proceedings on Court One against Germany’s Simon Greul.
However, the match of the second round looks set to take place tomorrow, with fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro up against former champion Lleyton Hewitt.