Tennis News Wire -
The former World Number One is delighted at the prospect of playing Edberg in the Zurich Open final.
“Stefan Edberg was my childhood hero so it’s going to be special for me to play him,” he said. “I watched a little bit of his match against Mark Philippoussis and he’s in great shape still. His game makes you play very uncomfortable tennis. He hits very flat, he comes to the net all the time and doesn’t give you a lot of rhythm which is what I really like. But it’s going to be a special moment for me to have him on the other side of the court.”
Meanwhile Marat Safin, who today defeated Pat Cash 6-2, 6-4 to confirm his qualification for the 3rd and 4th place play-off match against Philippoussis, gave his verdict on the World’s current Top Four and how things will shake up at the end of the year.
“I think at the end of the year Djokovic will be number one,” he said. “Then Number Two will be Nadal, then Federer, then Murray. Not much will change. Djokovic is doing really well, and I think it’s going to be difficult for Nadal this year because Djokovic just keeps getting better and better and he has the confidence edge over him right now. And Federer is getting older, which is normal of course, and Murray has the game but he is still missing something for me.”
Safin also tipped last week’s beaten Indian Wells finalist John Isner to make more inroads into the Top Ten.
“He should be inside the Top 5," said Safin. "It’s difficult to play against someone of his size. He serves way too big. When he has a good day it’s almost impossible to play against him. I just don’t think he is consistent enough, but he is already improving and in a few years he will get more experienced. He’s Top Ten now and he definitely still has potential.”
In the final round robin match of the week Edberg, who had already confirmed his final spot with victory over Philippoussis on Thursday, continued his unbeaten run in Zurich by defeating Frenchman Henri Leconte 7-6(2), 6-2.
Also on Friday, the British duo of Tim Henman and rising star Kyle Edmund qualified for the Juniors/Champions doubles final. They will face the Franco-Italian pairing of Leconte and his 17 year-old partner Julien Cagnina.
RESULTS - Friday 23rd March
Marat Safin d. Pat Cash 6-2, 6-4
Stefan Edberg d. Henri Leconte 7-6(2), 6-2
Carlos Moya d. Michael Stich 6-4, 6-4
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
Matches won/lost (sets)
Carlos Moya 3-0 (6-0)
Marat Safin 2-1 (4-2)
Michael Stich 1-2 (2-5)
Pat Cash 0-3(1-6)
Sefan Edberg 3-0 (6-0)
Mark Philippoussis 2-1 (4-2)
Tim Henman 1-2 (2-4)
Henri Leconte 0-3 (0-6)