Safin crashes out

Paris, October 28:

A dozen of his contemporaries came to the Paris Masters bidding to snatch the last coveted slots at the Shanghai Masters Cup — but fading star Marat Sarin is contemplating retirement after a shambolic showing on Monday.

With 18 of the top 20 players in the world appearing in the City of Light — including Roger Federer, who confirmed he will bid to land his first Masters title of the year, French fans expected a feast. But with Safin, they got a dogs breakfast of a performance as the three-time Paris champion crashed out 0-6, 6-7 (4/7) to Argentine qualifier Juan Monaco, who profited from his rival’s seven double faults and 46 unforced errors in advancing to a meeting with Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Safin, champion in 2000, 2002 and 2004 but now finding the going tough outside the top 30, admitted he couldn’t wait to start his holiday in Miami. “I just don’t know what happened. I just couldn’t find my rhythm. I didn’t take my chances,” said the two-time Grand Slam winner.