Safin not planning to play on

BEIJING - Fans at the China Open got a glimpse of the Marat Safin of old yesterday, but despite serving up a thumping victory over Fernando Gonzalez, the Russian was entertaining no thoughts of extending his career.

BEIJING - Fans at the China Open got a glimpse of the Marat Safin of old yesterday, but despite serving up a thumping victory over Fernando Gonzalez, the Russian was entertaining no thoughts of extending his career.

The 29-year-old former world number one, who has decided to retire at the end of the season, allowed just one break point - which he saved - and fired 12 aces on his way to a 6-3 6-4 win over the world No 12.

"I don't think today's match is going to be the key to my deciding to play another year, definitely not," Safin said. "It's easy to play when you have nothing to lose, no points to defend, so you have no pressure at all.

"You can just play, just go for it. If I was playing and had to defend something, it would be a different matter. I would get nervous at some point."

Gonzalez, the 2007 China Open champion, looked shell-shocked after being knocked out by the world No 52. - Reuters

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