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  Sunday, June 16, 2019
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Russia's former world No. 1, Marat Safin, will meet five-times champion
Russia's former world No. 1, Marat Safin, will meet five-times champion Roger Federer on Wimbledon's Center Court on Friday to try and reach his first grand slam final since 2005.

The unseeded Safin, famous for his on-court outbursts and racket smashing, has been enjoying a comeback on Wimbledon's grass courts over the last fortnight beating four seeds on his way to his best ever result at the grand slam tournament and since winning the 2005 Australian Open.

The former U.S. Open Champion, 28, credited his new coach, Hernan Gumy, with his recent success, "Nothing worked until I changed the coach. I'd been losing first rounds left and right. I was really desperate and I didn't know what to do. Then all of a sudden just out of nowhere I started to play better in the clay court season and the confidence started to come."

Unbelievably Safin is the first Russian male player to make it to the semifinals of Wimbledon since 1973, when Alex Metreveli from the Soviet Union was runner up in the final.

Safin, currently ranked 75th in the world, who has never hid his dislike for playing on grass and will go into the match against Federer as the underdog, said "It's my first semi-final, so levels are a little bit different. To beat Federer you need to be Nadal and run around like a rabbit and hit winners from all over the place."

Safin has only beaten the Swiss player on two occasions out of their 10 previous matches, but Federer said it would be a mistake to "underestimate him," adding "I know all about Marat's game. I have to be very careful about him."


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