Marat Safin, one of the most colourful figures in tennis, says he is considering his future in the game after his first round loss at the Paris Masters Series.
|Safin feels the pain in Paris [AFP]
Safin, who reached the world number one spot following his US Open victory in 2000, is widely regarded as one of the most gifted players on the tour.
However, he won only one more grand slam tournament, the Australian Open in 2005 – the last of his 15 titles overall - as he squandered career opportunities due to a hot temper and, more recently, injuries.
"I need to enjoy my life without tennis, I will see if I continue," the 28-year-old Russian said after losing 6-0 7-6 to Argentine qualifier Juan Monaco.
"I need to think it through. I will see, it was too intense these last three years. I have no pressure, nothing to show, nothing to prove.
"If I feel like I want to continue to play, I will. If not, it will be over. For the moment, I just need to rest."
Out of the top 10 since January 2006, Safin has a propensity to throw matches away and Monday's encounter with Monaco was no exception.
The Russian, who lies 31st in the ATP rankings, had already lost the first set and smashed a racket on the court when the clock ticked past the 20-minute mark.
He then served four double faults in the opening game of the second set as Monaco opened a 2-0 lead.
The Russian broke back to level to 2-2 but lost the tiebreak 7-4 and stumbled out of a tournament he has won three times.
"I had my opportunities but unfortunately it was a bit too late already because the guy started to play well and started to feel much more comfortable on the court," said Safin.
"I didn't take my chances, that's why the score is 6-0 7-6.
"It's a little bit uncomfortable to find yourself in the top 10 for many years and (then) to find yourself ranked 70th and 30 and 50 and outside of the hundreds," he said.