Both reached number one in the world and both have a win at the Mutua Madrid Open on their CV. Dinara Safina (Moscow, Russia; 1986) and Marat Safin (Moscow, Russia; 1980) one of the most gifted brother-sister pairs in the world of tennis. Now, on the tournament’s fifteenth anniversary, the Russians answer 15 questions to mark the occasion.
Match you will never forget.
Dinara: Against Li Na at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Marat: Against Pete Sampras at the 2000 US Open.
Most valued title.
Dinara: Madrid 2009.
Marat: 2005 Australian Open.
Opponent you liked playing the most.
Marat: Fabrice Santoro because it was always a question of let’s see if I can beat him…
Opponent you would avoid at all costs.
Dinara: Serena. And I don’t think I’m the only one.
Best moment of your career.
Dinara: Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Marat: From the end of 2004 to the beginning of 2005, until my knee injury.
Marat: Paris Bercy or the Australian Open.
Dinara: Philippe Chatrier, Roland Garros.
Marat: Rod Laver Arena, Australian Open.
Marat: Fast court.
One current player.
Who is the best in history?
One or two-handed backhand?
Dinara: Federer with one hand, Kafelnikov with two.
Marat: I really liked Mauresmo’s one-handed backhand.
Serve and volley or baseline point?
Dinara: From the baseline.
Marat: A mixture.
Nadal or Federer?
Marat: Djokovic (laughs).
Serena or Graf?
What is the best thing about Madrid?
Dinara: Spain is my second home and Madrid is a very beautiful city that I love coming back to and enjoying. There are very few courts like the centre court in Madrid. Also, the tournament has everything and that is very comfortable for the players, having the best facilities possible.
Marat: The Caja Mágica is very magical.