u00safin_martin

Points won by each set: [ 30-27, 44-38, 43-36 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
34 % Safin – 41 of 119
27 % Martin – 27 of 99

The tallest US Open semifinal at the time (Martin 198 cm, Safin 195 cm). Paradoxically, in the shortest 1st set there was a smaller point difference between them than in the two tie-break sets that Safin won 7/4 and 7/1. The ten years younger Russian [7] lost a break advantage in every set, but generally speaking he was in full control throughout the match. Actually the only moment when the American crowd could expect a turn around for Martin [32] happened in the 2nd set – he improved from 2:4 to 6:5* (40/30) as he began attacking the net following his backhand returns – on set point this tactics wasn’t successful though, because Safin already expected it and calmly passed the taller guy with his double-handed backhand which was his best stroke that day.

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