You wonder if Marat Safin sometimes wonders if he ended it all too soon.
The Russian, still just 37, was 29 when Juan Martin del Potro (21 and ranked No. 5 in the world after his recent US Open run) ended Safin’s career with a 6-4 5-7, 6-4 win in the second round of the 2009 Paris Masters.
DelPo was a huge Safin fan (he wasn’t alone among his fellow players). There was good hugging.
By our count, some 20 of the 48 players in that draw are retired now.
The top two seeds, then and now?
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.