Tennis great Pete Sampras has predicted a very successful political career for former World No.1, Marat Safin.
“Marat is very intelligent, articulate and well-spoken, so I think it’s great that he’s getting involved in government in his homeland,” Sampras told Tennis.com
Safin is running for Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, as a member of the ruling United Russia party from the Nizhny Novgorod region in the December 4 election.
According to Sampras, his Russian colleague has everything it takes to be as successful in politics as he was on the court.
“I think he’ll do a great job,” the American insisted. “He’s good with people and people like him, and that’s half the battle with being a politician. He’s very young and it’s nice to see that he’s got this passion in him.”
“In 20 years Marat will be the President of Russia. Trust me, this guy is going to go a long way. The guy is an international star and the future President,” Sampras concluded.
31-year-old Safin has won two Grand Slams in his career and retired in 2009 after giving a memorable interview, in which he confessed that he doesn’t like any sport – even tennis.
Marat isn’t the first world famous athlete to join United Russia. The party already includes Olympic figure-skating champion Anton Sikharulidze, Olympic gold-winning gymnast Alina Kabayeva, Olympic winning speed skater Svetlana Zhurova and former world champion boxer Nikolay Valuyev.