When Safin helped Kuznetsova

June 7th, 2009 - 6:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, June 7 (DPA) New French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova said she almost quit the game during a low period in spring 2008, but was talked out of the idea by fellow Russian Grand Slam champion Marat Safin.
Coincidentally, Kuznetsova Saturday defeated Marat’s younger sister Dinara Safina in the final to lift her second Grand Slam title after the 2004 US Open.

“I lost in Rome (May 2008) and I left to Moscow and my coach was not happy about it,” Kuznetsova said. “I didn’t want to train, I don’t want to think about it. I said a few times I want to quit playing tennis. I said it, but I never felt it.”

Kuznetsova said she voiced her worries to Safin, twice a Grand Slam winner who also learned his tennis in Spain, who told her: “You are crazy or what? You have unbelievable opportunities, you just have to play.”

That crisis over, Kuznetsova next faced another at the end of last season when she decided to quit her Spanish base near Barcelona and return to Russian, moving to Moscow despite growing up in St. Petersburg.

“This probably was the worst time,” explained the 23-year-old. “Everything was on top of me, and I had to take this decision finally to leave Spain.

“For me it was big, some people was telling me to do it earlier, but I was not ready. It’s very important to listen to myself.”

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