The brother and sister combination of Marat Safin and Dinara Safina gave Russia an opening win over Italy at the Hopman Cup on Sunday.
Safin,who played with facial bruises and scratches from a recent fight in Moscow,had 14 aces on his way to a 7-6 (5),6-4 win over Simone Bolelli in the second singles match.
Safina beat Flavia Pennetta 7-5,6-3 to give Russia a 1-0 lead in the opener. In mixed doubles,Pennetta and Bolelli beat Safina and Safin 5-7,6-4 and 10-2. Any match win counts for points which would be used in tiebreakers to determine placings.
Safin,who is playing in the Hopman Cup for the fourth time,arrived in Perth on Saturday night with bruises and cuts on his face,including a heavy bruise under his left eye.
After Sundays match,he first joked in an on-court television interview that the facial injuries came from working out hard, but then said,without elaborating: I got in trouble in Moscow. It was much worse …
At a later press conference,Safin admitted getting into a fight about a week ago in the Russian capital. Its OK,I can survive, Safin said. Just some small problem that I wasnt in the right place at the right time. Yes,I won the fight. Im good,Im OK.
When Safin arrived Saturday night,he first asked for a tournament doctor. I wasnt sure why he was arriving so late,why he was requesting to play a day later,but now I know why, tournament director Paul McNamee said.
The 28-year-old Safin has slipped to No. 29. On Sunday he said this will definitely be his last year on the circuit.