Marat Safin berated a line judge,fumed at the chair umpire and then bade a fond farewell as he exited his last Australian Open in typically emotional style.
Just moments after an angry on-court confrontation,Safin was embracing his conqueror Roger Federer on Friday and talking of his love for the tournament where he reached three finals,winning in 2005.
Safin confirmed his likely retirement this year,ending a career that began in 1997. I doubt it,I really doubt it, said the Russian,when asked if he would return next season.
I dont like this bye-bye part, he added. Its just a sad story. Its not for me. I prefer to leave this way,quietly,nice,with a great match.
Safin was runner-up to Thomas Johansson in 2002 and was whipped by Federer in 2004 before gaining his revenge over the Swiss in an classic five-set semi-final a year later. The charismatic 28-year-old went on to beat home favourite Lleyton Hewitt in the final,but earned an enduring place in Australians hearts nonetheless.
I had some ups and downs here. One disappointment. Another great year. One final against Roger. And then one title I took here beating also Roger and Hewitt, he said.
So Ive been playing some great tennis. So just the whole thing,the whole set-up. The beautiful city,great people.