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Leave my sister alone, pleads Safin
New York, Sept 3 (Agencies):
Published on 3 Sep. 2009 11:15 PM IST
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Marat Safin threw a protective arm around his little sister Dinara on Wednesday after the Russian world number one was slated for her wobbly performance in the first round of the US Open. Ever since Safina ascended to the top of the rankings in April, she has come under a barrage of criticism as she had yet to back up her standing in women’s tennis with a grand slam title. A mauling by Venus Williams in the Wimbledon semi-finals, where Safina won just one game, followed by Tuesday’s match in which she almost suffered the humiliation of becoming the first women’s top seed to perish in the first round of the Open has only served to give her detractors a louder voice. But Safin, who a former world number one himself, said people should just shut up and accept the WTA rankings for what it is. “Everybody is hard on her why she’s number one. You have this contest issue, is she a real number one or not? You open the page (of a newspaper and all you read about is), she made eight double faults, 43 unforced errors. She struggled, almost lost to (an)18 year old,” former US Open champion Safin said after he bowed out of the grand slam arena with a first round loss to Austria’s Juergen Melzer. “Who cares? I mean, she’s number one in the world. I have to protect my sister. The poor girl, she’s trying her best. She’s doing really well. She gets the attention, but not the kind of attention that a person deserves, especially when you’re number one in the world.” Serena Williams was one of the most vocal critics of the system as she struggled to understand has she could be ranked second despite winning two majors this season. However, outside the slams, the American’s last tour victory was achieved in April 2008. Safina on the other hand has been rewarded by a system that appears to value consistency rather than the quality of tournaments won. Safin pointed out his sister, who has contested 15 finals in the past 12 months, was not the one make up the rules and pleaded: “She didn’t do the ranking. Deal with that. Leave her alone.”

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