Former World No. 1 Marat Safin says the sport of tennis used to be much easier during his time as compared to now with the amount of money and influence of social media changing the sport and life in general. “The approach was a little different.
Now the times have changed, there is more money, the opportunity has appeared to have several trainers, nutritionists, psychologists; It used to be a lot easier. Plus, before we talked more personally, and now more and more communicate in social networks.
I would say that social networks influence the athlete’s behavior, because there every couch potato can write any nonsense to anyone, and he will perceive the information in his own way. So social networks affect the behavior of people, including athletes.
Previously, this was not, because there was no such tool for access to them.” The Russian, who won 2 Grand Slam titles in his career, says he would rather watch tennis right now as compared to training or commentating.
“Watching tennis is becoming more interesting. I just watched the whole match for the first time in ten years: Rublev at the Kremlin Cup, at the ATP Cup and here – Rublev and Khachanov. I don’t know in what capacity it would be interesting for me to work in tennis.
There are still things to do. To do something, I need the thought of it to evoke some kind of response in me, but for now this (tennis) is not.” Safin was the captain of the Russian team at the ATP Cup earlier this year and says he found the experience interesting.
“Interesting new experience. Never been a captain. Each player has a personal trainer. But at the matches, the captain tells something. In general, the coaches discuss everything among themselves. It is important for each player to find an approach; determine which one has a psychotype so as not to harm.
Everyone perceives information differently: someone is more open to what they say to him, someone less. It is important to find an approach to everyone, because everyone has their own feelings from the same situation, and you need to be careful so as not to harm them.
A court is a manifestation of oneself. What kind of person are you in life, all this is highlighted on the court. Everything is interconnected. A person cannot be different on the court, but another in life. This is all one person, and you can’t hide yourself on the court.”
Finally, the Russian says that the players do not play the sport as per the score nowadays as compared to his time. “From what I saw, I had the impression that now the players hit the ball very well, sometimes they perform incredible kicks; but many do not feel the score.
In tennis, there are separate combinations that suit one or another score, and I see that now the players do not have an understanding of this, and not only the young, but all, not counting the Big Three. But tennis is mainly psychology, and strokes – secondarily.
Previously, the approach was different: sometimes we had one trainer for three of us. Everything was generally easier. But the money was not the same as now. With the current prize players can afford more.”