• Safin may find motivation for LA exho with Sampras

    7/25/09 9:34 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Safin may find motivation for LA exho with Sampras Russian Marat Safin has been going through the motions for most of what he says is his final tennis season as the motivation drains away like sweat in a five-setter.

    But the 29-year-old might just find a spark when he faces a high-profile exhibition match to start next week's LA Open.

    Two-time Grand Slam winner Safin will re-create his 2000 US Open final where he thrashed reigning tennis king Pete Sampras in straight sets to announce himself on the world stage. The pair meet as an appetizer to the event where Wimbledon semi-finalist and top seed Tommy Haas will be bidding for a title hat-trick.

    Nearly a decade after his breakthrough, Safin is ready to pack in his career and has had little to show for a final 2009 season where he has lost eight times in the first round.

    While he won't say exactly what his new plans are for a post-tennis future, Safin knows he doesn't want to continue in the game.

    "Throughout the years, you have to live with tennis 24/7," he complained. "There is no way you're gonna leave and like for days relax and not think about it. Sooner or later you're gonna think about tennis."

    Sampras is recently returned from Wimbledon after watching Roger Federer break his all-time mark of 14 Grand Slam singles titles by beating Andy Roddick.

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1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
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