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Safin bows out of final US Open

US OPEN
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Date: 31 August - 13 September
BBC coverage: Live text commentaries on the website from 1600 BST each day, regular updates on 5 live, full commentary on 5 live sports extra in week two, both finals on 5 live, tennis special on 5 live (3 September, 2000-2100 BST)


Safin waves to the crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium after his defeat by Melzer
Safin waves to the crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium after his defeat

Former world number one Marat Safin brought the curtain down on his Grand Slam career with a first-round defeat by Jurgen Melzer at the US Open.

Safin, 29, who won the US Open in 2000, lost 1-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 on his final visit to Flushing Meadows before retirement.

The Russian said afterwards: "I definitely want to get out of tennis and try something completely different.

"I have plenty of time to think about it. It's been a long ride, so I need some time off."

Safin, now ranked 58th, waved to his fans at Louis Armstrong Stadium before leaving the court and is adamant he will call time on his career at the end of the year after playing in five more tournaments.

That was the last one. It could have been a better ending but it was still OK. I have no regrets. I don't care about losses anymore

Marat Safin

"It's just enough," added Safin, whose other Grand Slam success came at the Australian Open in 2005.

"I achieved what I want to achieve and I want to continue doing something else.

"It's OK - it's the end. That was the last one. It could have been a better ending but it was still OK. I have no regrets. I don't care about losses anymore."

Asked what his abiding memory of Flushing Meadows would be, Safin said: "Here, for the first few days it's like a zoo.

"It's like a million people running around, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, so many people. That's pretty much annoying."

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Veteran Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, 36, also saw his Grand Slam career come to an end with a 6-4 6-3 6-3 defeat by 24th seed Juan Carlos Ferrero.

It was Santoro's 69th major appearance - a men's record - and his 45th in a row, but was also the last as, like Safin, he will retire at the end of the season.

Santoro said: "On some points I think like Marat but where I'm different is I still enjoy to be on the court and to play tennis."



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see also
US Open day three as it happened
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US Open quotes - day three
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Men's singles draw
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Tennis on the BBC
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