Former world number one Marat Safin has been elected to Russian parliament
Safin won two grand slam titles during a 10-year professional career
The 31-year-old is a representative of former president Vladimir Putin's party
Judy Murray appointed Britain's FedCup captain
Former world number one Marat Safin has swapped tennis for politics after being elected to the Russian Federal Parliament.
The two-time grand slam winner will take his seat in the 450-strong Duma as a representative of the Nyzhny Novgorod region for prime minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.
Safin retired from tennis in 2009 after a 10-year professional career and has since competed on the ATP Champions Tour – which pits former star players against each other in a series of tournaments.
“My life has been changing for the last two years,” the 31-year-old told the Champions Tour’s official website prior to his election. “All of a sudden I found myself in a situation where I had to make really serious decisions.
“It started with one small thing and it grew up to something big. I could go and make commercials left and right and pretend like I am a celebrity, but that is not me.
“I never did this, I never liked it. I had a few months of thinking ‘should I do this or should I not’ but now I am pretty sure of what I’m doing and I want to do it.”
The 15-time winner on the ATP Tour explained how his experiences on court could help him in office.
“I will be working for the next five years day after day, sitting in an office, wearing a suit,” he said.
“I will have good days, bad days and I will have to fight once again like I’ve been fighting on the court. It will be complicated.”
Safin clinched his first grand slam title at the U.S. Open in 2000, defeating the legendary Pete Sampras in straight sets in the final, before reaching the top of the world rankings in November of that year.
It was five years until he claimed a second grand slam triumph, beating home favorite Lleyton Hewitt to claim the 2005 Australian Open.
Meanwhile in other tennis news Thursday, Judy Murray has been confirmed as captain of Britain’s FedCup team.
Murray, the mother of world number four Andy Murray, said the role was an “exciting challenge.”
She will take charge for the first time in the Euro/Africa Zone Group competition from February 1-4 next year in Eilat, Israel.