Ex-tennis star Marat Safin elected to Russian Parliament

Moscow: Former World Number One and tennis star Marat Safin has been elected to the 450-seat-strong Duma, or the Russian Federal Parliament.

Speaking after his election, Safin said he had thought long and hard about what to do with his life after his sporting career.

"I could go and make commercials left and right and pretend like I am a celebrity, but that is not me. This is a completely new life, a new way of thinking, new way of doing things that`s nothing to do with tennis or sports at all," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Safin, as saying.

Safin, 31, is a member of Vladimir Putin`s United Russia Party and will represent the Nyzhny Novgorod region, which is about 500 kilometers from Moscow.

Safin`s election win was praised by former on-court opponent and tennis great Pete Sampras.

"In 20 years, Marat will be the President of Russia," Sampras said.

He added: "He is very intelligent and articulate and he`s good with people, and that`s half the battle with being a politician."

Bureau Report

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