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Russia's Marat Safin finished the 2004 tennis season fourth
Russia's Marat Safin finished the 2004 tennis season fourth. According to the ATP rating list after four Grand Slam tournaments and nine Masters tournaments Marat Safin gained 612 points and is preceded by world's first racket from Switzerland Roger Federer, who gained almost twice as much points (1267 points), American Andy Roddick (731 points) and Australian Lleyton Hewitt (718 points). Nevertheless, Shamil Tarpishchev, the Captain of the Russian tennis team and the President of the Russian Tennis Federation, told RIA Novosti that the performance of Marat Safin and other leading Russian tennis players was satisfactory. According to Mr. Tarpishchev, by the end of the season the Russian athletes managed to overcome their injuries, which accompanied them all the way, and as a result reserved the positions they were supposed to occupy two years ago. Thus, 24-year-old Marat Safin finished the 2003 tennis season in 66th place of the ATP rating list. This season he competed head-to-head with the top five tennis players. "On the whole, I believe that Marat Safin is the only one capable to compete next season with Roger Federer for the title of the best tennis player," Mr. Tarpishchev said. Other Russian leading tennis players entered the top 100-rating list having improved their positions comparing to the last season. 22-year-old Mikhail Youzhny after gaining a perfect physical shape by the end of the season was ranked this year 16th (comparing to 42nd in 2003). 23-year-old Nikolai Davydenko, who won the prestigious Kremlin Cup, is now on the 28th place comparing to his last season's 44th. The Most promising Russian tennis player in the opinion of specialists, 21-year-old Igor Andreyev, was ranked 49th while a year ago he was 140th. Finally, 21-year-old Dmitry Tursunov leaped from the last year's 139th place to this season's 86th. "On the whole, we could have been more proudof men tennis players performance, if not for phenomenal performance of the Russian women tennis players, who managed to win three out of the four tournaments of the Grand Slam series," Mr. Tarpishchev said. To complete the happiness the women tennis players must win the Fed Cup team championship in Moscow, the results of which will be announced by the end of this week.
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