French Open: The Men's Challenge
Marat Safin (Russia)
Grand slam titles: Two (Australian Open 2005, U.S. Open 2000)
Record at French Open: 2004-fourth round, 2002-semi-final, 2001-third round, 2000-quarter-final, 1999-fourth round, 1998-fourth round.
A giant of a man, Safin doubled his Grand Slam tally in spectacular fashion at the Australian Open with back-to-back victories over Federer and local favourite Lleyton Hewitt.
No player on the tour hits the ball as powerfully as Safin, nor can they intimidate opponents the way the Russian can, when the mood strikes. Sublimely brilliant one moment, tortured artist smashing rackets the next, it is anyone's guess which Safin will step on to the court.
Since Australia it appears the demons have come back to haunt Safin as he has won just six matches on the ATP tour, failing to get past the third round of any of the seven tournaments he has entered.
Even though four of those wins have come on clay, it is unlikely he will add to his Grand Slam haul in Paris.
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