What’s the secret to great romance?
Let’s ask three former U.S. Open champions–two men, one lady–about love and tennis.
THE SINGLE MAN: MARAT SAFIN, 30
The 2000 U.S. Open champion, who retired last year, did an interview with Russian Hello! in which a revealed a pragmatic, if slightly bleak, view of relationships.
“To have fun together – this is very rare, actually,” he said.
Uh oh. Marat said that he hasn’t found love because the girls he’s dated have been, occasionally, too young. But he’s not desperate, either.
“I’m not going to seek a bride from an ad,” he said (The guy lives in Moscow! He probably can find that bride outside his apartment).
If you’re lucky enough to get on a date with him, it looks like he’s got quite the bachelor pad in Moscow. He makes good use of it! He doesn’t like fancy restaurants or any sort of Moscow scene. He likes cooking dinners and spending time at home. But if you do go out to eat with him, watch out, cause he’s gonna get judgey!
“Sometimes, you go to the restaurant and see a couple: come, sit opposite each other and sit,” he said. “You see that they have nothing at all between them.”
THE MARRIED MAN: ROGER FEDERER, 29
Even though Roger recently married (and had babies) with his longtime love, Mirka Federer, he said that it’s hard to find love when you’re pounding the hard courts.
“We cannot get married that early,” he said last night, at a press conference after his victory. “And if we do, you’re not going to see the other person maybe for over 50 percent of the year. It’s hard to keep up a good relationship, I find.”
He wound up doing it, though!
“I was lucky enough that the last seven or eight years, I’ve been every day together basically with Mirka, and that has definitely helped me to be good,” he said.
He acknowledged that when players get married (hello McEnroe, Borg, Agassi!) they “start to maybe not play as well.”
His setup, however, is ideal.
“It’s so well set up,” he said. “Mirka takes such great care. I’m there anyway most all the time as well that I can place my practice whenever I want. I still have enough time with them.”
See, Marat, it can work.
THE SINGLE WOMAN: VENUS WILLIAMS, 30
After Venus won last night, she said love can wait.
“I have a commitment problem,” she said. “I can’t commit.”
Kim Clijsters and Lindsay Davenport found love and happiness, and said, “They don’t have a problem, but clearly I do.”
What’s she married to? Tennis, she said.
“I’ll grow up one day, but not yet,” she said.