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Why Safin Declined Coaching Offers


Coaching runs deep in Marat Safin’s DNA.

Mother Rausa Islanova coached both Marat and sister Dinara Safina, who share a record that may never be broken as the only brother and sister tandem in history to rise to world No. 1.

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The two-time Grand Slam champion captained the Russian team during the inaugural ATP Cup last January.

In an International Tennis Hall of Fame live chat with Blair Henley, Safin said both Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev have asked him to be their coach.

There's a simple, sweet reason he's declined: Safin values their friendship more than the job opportunity.

“Rublev and Khachanov they asked me [to coach],” Safin told Blair Henley. “But I’m taking another year or so off and then I will see because I’m not ready to travel now. Anyway, you’re not going to travel now.

“So it’s another thing that you always have it in your head. Once you are too close with these guys, it’s difficult to be coach. Because you need to draw the line. I prefer to stay friends with them than become their coach and then it’s gonna be…I won’t be helpful."

A key member of Russia's Davis Cup squad, Safin said he roots for the Russian players, but values their personal relationship more than a potential professional one.

“Once you become a coach, it’s a different story I think. You need to put aside the friendship. You can’t mix it up because if they disrespect you and don’t do what they need to.”

Photo credit: @ATP Cup 


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