marat safin: no more pressure

World No. 52 Marat Safin is ambling his way to retirement (we’ll be Marat-less after 2009) but don’t let the impending racquet-hanging fool you — the Russian’s game still packs a punch.

The former World No. 1 showed glimpses of his former tennis life by upsetting Fernando Gonzalez in the second round of this week’s China Open. Too bad this good streak is part of his post-retirement outlook.

“It’s easy to play when you have nothing to lose, no points to defend, so you have no pressure at all so you can just play, just go for it.”

And this carefree style was enough to beat Gonzalez.

“I was expecting to win but I’m not surprised that I lost because Marat is a great player and didn’t do too much wrong,” shared the Chilean after the match.

Up next for Marat is Rafa Nadal, who needed three sets to overcome James Blake. Perhaps Rafa’s rustiness coupled with Safin’s worry-free tennis will get him through to the semis?

The duds: adidas did well paying homage to the North American hardcourt season with the light print on this competition crew. We see a blurry image of the NYC skyline. Buy: Men’s Summer Competition Theme Crew, in black, red, and white colorways for $39.99 at TW.

(image via Getty)

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