Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent or between two teams of two players each. Each player uses a tennis racket, strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court; the object of the game is to maneuver the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player, unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will. Tennis is played at all levels of society and at all ages; the sport can be played by anyone. The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as lawn tennis, it had close connections both to various field games such as croquet and bowls as well as to the older racket sport today called real tennis. During most of the 19th century, in fact, the term tennis referred to real tennis, not lawn tennis; the rules of modern tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, the adoption of the tiebreak in the 1970s.
A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point-challenge system, which allows a player to contest the line call of a point, a system known as Hawk-Eye. Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is a popular worldwide spectator sport; the four Grand Slam tournaments are popular: the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, the US Open played on hard courts. Historians believe that the game's ancient origin lay in 12th century northern France, where a ball was struck with the palm of the hand. Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume, which evolved into real tennis, became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis outdoors and accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris "around the end of the 13th century". In due course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe.
In June 1316 at Vincennes, Val-de-Marne and following a exhausting game, Louis drank a large quantity of cooled wine and subsequently died of either pneumonia or pleurisy, although there was suspicion of poisoning. Because of the contemporary accounts of his death, Louis X is history's first tennis player known by name. Another of the early enthusiasts of the game was King Charles V of France, who had a court set up at the Louvre Palace, it wasn't until the 16th century that rackets came into use, the game began to be called "tennis", from the French term tenez, which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take!", an interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent. It was popular in England and France, although the game was only played indoors where the ball could be hit off the wall. Henry VIII of England was a big fan of this game, now known as real tennis. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, as real tennis declined, new racket sports emerged in England. Further, the patenting of the first lawn mower in 1830, in Britain, is believed to have been the catalyst, for the preparation of modern-style grass courts, sporting ovals, playing fields, greens, etc.
This in turn led to the codification of modern rules for many sports, including lawn tennis, most football codes, lawn bowls and others. Between 1859 and 1865 Harry Gem, a solicitor and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of racquets and the Basque ball game pelota, which they played on Perera's croquet lawn in Birmingham, United Kingdom. In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club on Avenue Road, Leamington Spa; this is. After Leamington, the second club to take up the game of lawn tennis appears to have been the Edgbaston Archery and Croquet Society in Birmingham. In Tennis: A Cultural History, Heiner Gillmeister reveals that on December 8, 1874, British army officer Walter Clopton Wingfield wrote to Harry Gem, commenting that he had been experimenting with his version of lawn tennis “for a year and a half”. In December 1873, Wingfield designed and patented a game which he called sphairistikè, was soon known as "sticky" – for the amusement of guests at a garden party on his friend's estate of Nantclwyd Hall, in Llanelidan, Wales.
According to R. D. C. Evans, turfgrass agronomist, "Sports historians all agree that deserves much of the credit for the development of modern tennis." According to Honor Godfrey, museum curator at Wimbledon, Wingfield "popularized this game enormously. He produced a boxed set which included a net, rackets, balls for playing the game – and most you had his rules, he was terrific at marketing and he sent his game all over the world. He had good connections with the clergy, the law profession, the aristocracy and he sent thousands of sets out in the first year or so, in 1874." The world's oldest annual tennis tournament took place at Leamington Lawn Tennis Club in Birmingham in 1874. This was three years before the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club would hold its first championships at Wimbledon, in 1877; the first Championships culminated a significant debate on. In the U. S. in 1874 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, a young socialite, returned from Bermuda with a sphairistikè set. She became fascin
Andrew Stephen Roddick is an American former world No. 1 professional tennis player. Roddick became world No. 1 shortly after he won the title at the 2003 US Open, defeating French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final and overtaking him as the top-ranked player in the process. Despite several more years as one of the world's best players, the 2003 US Open title would remain his only Grand Slam triumph, he is the most recent North American male player to win a Grand Slam singles event, reach the top ranking, claim the year-end world No. 1 ranking. Roddick reached four other Grand Slam finals. Roddick was ranked in the year end top-10 for nine consecutive years and won five Masters Series titles in that period, he is married to a Sports Illustrated swimwear model and actress. On August 30, 2012, during the 2012 US Open and on his 30th birthday, Roddick announced that he would retire after the tournament. Following a fourth-round defeat by Juan Martín del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, Roddick retired from the sport with the aim of focusing on his work at the Andy Roddick Foundation.
In 2015, Roddick played for the Austin Aces in World Team Tennis. This was his eighth season in the fifth team for which he has played, he was the 2015 Champion of the QQQ Champions Series. Roddick was born the youngest of three boys in Omaha, the son of Blanche, a school teacher, Jerry Roddick, a businessman. Roddick has two older brothers and John, who were both promising tennis players at a young age. Roddick lived in Austin, from age 4 until he was 11, moved to Boca Raton, Florida, in the interest of his brother's tennis career, attending SEK Boca Prep International School, graduating in the Class of 2000. Roddick took high school classes online through the University of Nebraska High School. Roddick played varsity basketball in high school alongside his future Davis Cup teammate Mardy Fish, who trained and lived with Roddick in 1999. During that time period, he intermittently trained with Serena Williams, his tennis idol growing up was Andre Agassi. Roddick considered quitting competitive tennis at the age of 17 when he had a losing streak in the juniors.
His coach, Tarik Benhabiles, talked him into giving tennis four more months of undivided attention. Roddick finished as the No. 6 junior in the U. S. in 1999, as the No. 1 junior in the world in 2000. He won six world junior singles titles and seven world junior doubles titles, won the US Open and Australian Open junior singles titles in 2000. In March in Miami, in the first round, Roddick had his first ATP level victory as he beat No. 41 Fernando Vicente of Spain, 6–4, 6–0. In August in Washington, D. C. he beat No. 30 Fabrice Santoro of France, 4–6, 6–3, 6–3. Roddick played the Banana Bowl in the city of São Paulo and won, beating Joachim Johansson in the final. Roddick won the Australian Junior Open, defeating Mario Ančić in the final. Entering the pros in 2001 at the age of 18, Roddick showed his promise when he defeated 7-time Wimbledon champion and world No. 4 Pete Sampras in the third round of the Miami Masters 7–6, 6–3. That year, he dispatched World No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, 6–7, 6–4, 6–2, in August.
Earlier, at the 2001 French Open, Roddick defeated a French Open champion, Michael Chang, in a five set battle 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 in the second round. During the ensuing Wimbledon, he further showed potential by taking a set from eventual winner Goran Ivanišević. Roddick's breakthrough year was 2003, in which he defeated Younes El Aynaoui in the quarterfinals of the 2003 Australian Open. Roddick and the Moroccan battled for five hours, with the fifth set at the time the longest fifth set in a Grand Slam tournament during the open era, at 2 hours and 23 minutes. Despite a lackluster French Open, Roddick enjoyed success in the United Kingdom by winning Queen's Club, beating No. 2 Andre Agassi, 6–1, 6–7, 7–6, along the way, reaching the Wimbledon semifinals, where he lost to eventual champion Roger Federer in straight sets. He avenged that loss in August, beating No. 3 Federer in Montreal, 6–4, 3–6, 7–6. It is one of. Roddick's hard-court record in 2003 included his first Masters Series titles—coming at Canada and Cincinnati—and his only Grand Slam title.
At the US Open, Roddick rallied from two sets down and a match point in the semifinals to beat David Nalbandian of Argentina, 6–7, 3–6, 7–6, 6–1, 6–3. He defeated No. 3 Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final, 6–3, 7–6, 6–3. At the Tennis Masters Cup in Houston, he defeated No. 7 Carlos Moyá of Spain, No. 4 Guillermo Coria of Argentina, before losing to Roger Federer in the semifinals. By the end of the year, at age 21, he was ranked No. 1, the first American to finish a year at No. 1 since Andre Agassi in 1999. He became the youngest American to hold this rank since computer rankings were started in 1973. Roddick's reign at No. 1 ended the following February, when Roger Federer ascended to the top position, after winning his first Australian Open. In April, Roddick again beat No. 6 Moyá. In June, Roddick advanced to his first Wimbledon final, after taking the first set from defending champion Federer, lost in four sets. Roddick was knocked out during the 2004 US Open
Robert Charles Bryan is an American professional tennis player. He has won twenty-three Grand Slam titles: 16 in men's doubles and 7 in mixed doubles, he turned professional in 1998. With his twin brother Mike, he has been the world No. 1 doubles player for much of the last several years, first achieving the top ranking in September 2003. The brothers were named ATP Team of the Decade for 2000–2009; the brothers became the second men's doubles team to complete the career Golden Slam at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Bob Bryan ended his 2018 season early with subsequent hip surgery in August 2018 due to an injury he sustained during his Madrid final retirement earlier in May 2018, which would have elevated the Bryan brothers as the oldest players back to the top of the men's doubles ranking if they were victorious, his recovery from hip surgery took around 5 months, which led his brother Mike to partner with fellow compatriot Jack Sock during Bob's absence. 16 Grand Slams 30 Grand Slam men's doubles finals 10-time ITF World Champions 116 ATP Titles and 169 ATP Finals 439 weeks at #1 1000+ team match wins 10 consecutive years of winning at least 1 Grand Slam 11 time ATP Fans' Favorite Doubles Team and ATP Team of the Decade "Bryan Golden Slam" 7 consecutive Grand Slam finals 38 Masters 1000 titles "Career Golden Masters" He finished the year as the no. 1 ranked singles player in the nation in 1998 after winning the clay court nationals and reaching the finals of Kalamazoo.
The brothers were back-to-back Kalamazoo doubles champions in 1995 and 1996 and won the US Open Junior doubles title in 1996. He played for Stanford University in 1997 and 1998, where he helped the Cardinal win back-to-back NCAA team championships. In 1998, he won the "Triple Crown" by taking the NCAA singles and team titles, he was the first man to accomplish this since Stanford's Alex O'Brien did it in 1992. Both brothers started their professional careers playing World TeamTennis for teams like the Idaho Sneakers through the current season for the Kansas City Explorers. With his twin brother Mike, Bob has won 116 doubles titles, including sixteen Grand Slam titles. In 2005, the Bryan brothers made it to the finals of all four Grand Slam tournaments, only the second time a men's doubles team has done this during the open era. In 2006, the Bryan brothers completed a Career Grand Slam. Having won the 2012 US Open, they followed up by winning the first three majors of 2013, thus held all four titles at once.
They could not complete the calendar year Grand Slam, however, as they lost in the semi-finals of the 2013 US Open. The twins have been the year-ending top-ranked team ten times: in 2003 2005, 2006 and 2007, each year from 2009 to 2014 inclusive; the Bryan brothers have been frequent participants on U. S. Davis Cup teams; the United States sealed its 32nd title at the 2007 Davis Cup. In the 2018 Madrid Masters 1000 final, Bob injured his hip, the pair had to retire down 3-5 in the first set, he underwent a hip relining and made a remarkable recovery, rejoining his brother less than a year for the 2019 Australian Open and making it to the quarterfinals. They won their first title since his surgery in February at Delray Beach; the Bryans guest starred on 8 Simple Rules and were on the Jan/Feb 2010 cover of Making Music Magazine. Their father, Wayne Bryan, wrote a book about his sons, The Formula: Raising Your Child to be a Champion. Bob Bryan married Florida attorney Michelle Alvarez in North Miami Beach on December 13, 2010.
Together with his twin brother Mike Bryan, the pair has won the most Davis Cup matches of any doubles team for the United States. Bob holds the record for most years played in the Davis Cup for the U. S, he holds a 4-2 career record in singles ties. By winning the 2006 Wimbledon title, Bryan completed the men's doubles Career Grand Slam, he became the 19th individual player and, with Mike Bryan, the 7th doubles pair to achieve this. Bob Bryan at the Association of Tennis Professionals Bob Bryan at the International Tennis Federation Bob Bryan at the Davis Cup Official Site Profile on the 60 Minutes news magazine broadcast March 21, 2010
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Lleyton Glynn Hewitt is an Australian professional tennis player and former world No. 1. He is the last Australian to win a men's singles Grand Slam title. In November 2001 Hewitt became the youngest male to be ranked No. 1 in the world in singles at the age of 20 years, 8 months and 26 days. He won 30 singles titles and 3 doubles titles, his highlights being the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon men's singles titles, the 2000 US Open men's doubles title, back-to-back Tennis Masters Cup titles in 2001 and 2002, the Davis Cup with Australia in 1999 and 2003. Hewitt reached the final of the 2004 US Open, where he was defeated by Roger Federer in straight sets. Between 1997 and 2016, he contested twenty consecutive Australian Open men's singles tournaments, reaching the 2005 final where he was defeated by Marat Safin in four sets. Hewitt was born in South Australia, his father, Glynn, is a former Australian Rules Football player, his mother, was a physical education teacher. His younger sister is Jaslyn Hewitt, a former tennis coach and bodybuilder and his brother-in-law is Rob Shehadie.
Hewitt played Australian Football until the age of 13, when he decided to pursue a tennis career. His junior tennis club was Seaside Tennis Club in Henley Beach, he was coached by Peter Smith at Denman Tennis Club in Mitcham. Hewitt commenced his professional career in 1998, he became one of the youngest winners of an Association of Tennis Professionals tournament when he won the 1998 Next Generation Adelaide International, defeating Jason Stoltenberg in the final, having defeated Andre Agassi in the semifinals. Both Aaron Krickstein winning Tel Aviv in 1983 and Michael Chang winning San Francisco in 1988 were younger than Hewitt when they claimed their first ATP title. Hewitt left Immanuel College to concentrate on his tennis career, he was an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder. He finished his professional tennis career on January 24, 2016 after 20 straight Australian Open appearances, his last professional singles match was against David Ferrer in the second round of the 2016 Australian Open at the Rod Laver Arena on January 21, 2016.
As a junior Hewitt posted a 44–19 record in singles and reached as high as No. 17 in the world in 1997. In 2000, Hewitt reached his first Grand Slam final at the Wimbledon mixed doubles partnering Belgian Kim Clijsters, his girlfriend, they lost the match, to Americans Kimberly Donald Johnson. Hewitt won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open when he along with Max Mirnyi claimed the men's doubles championship, thus becoming the youngest male to win a Grand Slam doubles crown in the open era. At the end of the year, Hewitt became the first teenager in ATP history to qualify for the year-end Tennis Masters Cup. Hewitt started off the 2001 season well by winning the Medibank International in Sydney, went on to win tournaments in London and's-Hertogenbosch, he captured his first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open in 2001, when he beat former world No. 1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the semifinals and defeated then-four-time champion Pete Sampras the next day in straight sets. This win made Hewitt the most recent male player to win a Grand Slam singles and doubles title during his career.
The Australian went on to win the Tokyo Open and again qualify for the year-end Tennis Masters Cup held in Sydney. During the tournament, Hewitt won, he went on to defeat Sébastien Grosjean in the final to take the title and gain the No. 1 ranking. Hewitt won a total of six titles in 2001; the year 2002 was once again a solid year for Hewitt, winning three titles in San Jose, Indian Wells and London. He followed his 2001 US Open win by capturing the Wimbledon singles title, he defeated Jonas Björkman, Grégory Carraz, Julian Knowle, Mikhail Youzhny, Sjeng Schalken and home favourite Tim Henman before dominating first-time finalist David Nalbandian in straight sets. His victory reinforced the idea that, although the tournament had tended to be dominated by serve-and-volleyers, a baseliner could still triumph on grass. For his third straight year, he qualified for the year-end Tennis Masters Cup, held in Shanghai, defended his title by defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final. Hewitt's win helped.
In 2003, Hewitt defeated former No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten for the championship at Indian Wells. But at Wimbledon, as the defending champion, Hewitt lost in the first round to qualifier Ivo Karlović. Hewitt became the first defending Wimbledon men's champion in the open era to lose in the first round. Only once before in the tournament's 126-year history had a defending men's champion lost in the opening round, in 1967, when Manuel Santana was beaten by Charlie Pasarell. Hewitt was only the third defending Grand Slam champion in the open era to lose in the first round, after Boris Becker at the 1997 Australian Open and Patrick Rafter at the 1999 US Open. After Wimbledon in 2003, Hewitt lost in the final of the tournament in Los Angeles, the second round of the ATP Masters Series tournament in Montreal, the first round of the ATP Masters Series tournament in Cincinnati. At the US Open, Hewitt lost in the quarterfinals to Juan Carlos Ferrero. Hewitt played only Davis Cup matches for the remainder of the year, recording five-set wins over Roger Federer and Juan Carlos Ferrero in the semifinals and final as Australia went on to win the Davis Cup.
Hewitt used much of his spare time in late 2003 to bulk up, ga
Westside Tennis Club
The Club Westside is a private tennis club located in Houston, Texas. It was the former home to the ATP Tour U. S. Men's Clay Court Championships. Gallery Furniture Stadium, located on the club's premises, was the home of the Houston Wranglers of World TeamTennis; the stadium hosted the Tennis Masters Cup in 2003 and 2004. The club was unique in that it offered courts of all the Grand Slam surfaces: Rebound Ace, red clay and DecoTurf; the clay courts were the only courts in the United States that were identical to those at Roland Garros. The grass courts were designed and installed under the supervision of David Kimpton of the Queen's Club. There were 46 courts including 10 indoors. Gallery Furniture Stadium had a capacity of 5,240 spectators. In December 2006, the club management decided to change the fundamentals and become an all-around sports and family club instead of a tennis club, it converted its grass courts into a first-class soccer field and the red clay into swimming pools and more hard courts.
The current facilities include 17 outdoor hard courts, 9 outdoor clay courts, 4 indoor hard courts. Houston Wranglers U. S. Men's Clay Court Championships List of tennis stadiums by capacity Official site
Marat Mubinovich Safin is a Russian politician and retired professional tennis player. He achieved the Association of Tennis Professionals world No. 1 singles ranking on November 20, 2000. Nobody taller than Safin has reached the No. 1 ranking. Safin is the older brother of former world No. 1 WTA player, Dinara Safina. They are the only brother -- sister tandem in tennis history. On court, Safin was sometimes fiery temper. Safin began his professional tennis career in 1997, held the No. 1 ranking for a total of 9 weeks between November 2000 and April 2001. He won his first Grand Slam title at the 2000 US Open, defeating Pete Sampras, won the 2005 Australian Open, defeating Australian Lleyton Hewitt in the final. Safin helped lead Russia to Davis Cup victories in 2002 and 2006. Despite his dislike of grass courts, he became the first Russian man to reach the semifinals of Wimbledon at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships. At the time of his retirement in November 2009, he was ranked No. 61 in the world.
In 2011, he became a member of the State Duma representing the United Russia party. In 2016, he became the first Russian tennis player inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Safin was born in Moscow to Mubin Safin and Rauza Islanova, he speaks Russian and Spanish as well as his native Tatar. His parents are former tennis coaches, his younger sister, Dinara, is a former world No. 1 professional tennis player and silver medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Safin’s father managed the local Spartak Tennis Club, where Safin trained in his youth alongside several tennis players, including Anna Kournikova, Elena Dementieva, Anastasia Myskina. At the age of 14, Safin moved to Valencia, Spain to gain access to advanced tennis training programs which were not available in Russia. Safin says he grew up "very fast... with no muscles" and that he moved to Spain because clay courts were "better for the knees". He is a supporter of Valencia CF. In an interview with USA Today, Safin identified himself as a Muslim, stating, "I'm Russian, but I'm 100% Muslim.
All the Muslim people are stubborn. We have hot blood." Safin started his professional career in 1997. In 1998, Safin consecutively defeated Andre Agassi and defending champion Gustavo Kuerten at the French Open, he won his first ATP title at the age of 19, in Boston, in 1999 he reached the prestigious Paris, Bercy final, losing a contested four-set match to No. 1 Andre Agassi. Safin held the No. 1 ATP ranking for 9 weeks during 2000 when he won his first Grand Slam tournament at the US Open, becoming the only Russian in history to win this tournament in the men's singles draw, by defeating Pete Sampras in straight sets. He missed finishing the year as #1, the top spot being overtaken by Gustavo Kuerten at the last match of the season, the final of the 2000 Tennis Masters Cup and ATP Tour World Championships. Safin reached all at the Australian Open, he has cited nervousness as the reason for his loss in the 2002 event, physical exhaustion for the 2004 loss. He defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the 2005 final to secure his second Grand Slam in five years.
En route to this final, he defeated top-ranked Roger Federer in a five-set semifinal match. Safin described the match as "a brain fight." He defeated future seven-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, making his first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament, in the first round losing just three games. His best result at Wimbledon was reaching the semifinals in 2008, beating No. 3 Novak Djokovic en route. He lost in the first or second rounds in other years, although he made the quarterfinals in 2001, losing in four sets to eventual champion Goran Ivanišević. Safin dismissed his performance in the 2001 tournament as a result of luck. Safin disliked playing on grass. Safin has said: "It's difficult to. It's difficult to play off the baseline because a lot of bad bounces." With Safin's semifinal performance at Wimbledon in 2008, he became the fourth of five active players at the time to reach the semifinals in all four Grand Slams, joining Roger Federer, David Nalbandian, Novak Djokovic.
Other active players have since joined the list. Safin won five ATP Tennis Masters Series titles during his career, his first was in 2000 when he won the title in Canada. He holds a record-tying three wins in Paris and one in 2004 in Madrid, Spain. In 2004, Safin reached the semifinal of the Tennis Masters Cup in Houston, where he was defeated by Federer, 6–3, 7–6; the second-set tiebreak was the third-longest tiebreak in the Open Era. Safin reached the semifinals in 2000. Safin helped Russia achieve its first Davis Cup victory in 2002, with a 3–2 tie-breaking win against France in the final round at the Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy, his Russian team included Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Mikhail Youzhny, Andrei Stoliarov, captain Shamil Tarpischev. The team made Davis Cup history by being the second to win the event after losing the doubles tie-breaker, becoming the first team to win a five-set finals match by coming back from a two-set deficit. Safin helped Russia to win the Davis Cup in 2006. After a straight-sets defeat by David Nalbandian in his first match, his doubles victory against Nalbandian and Agustín Calleri and singles victory against José Acasuso drove Russia to victory.