Marat Safin's not quite sure how much longer he wants to play professional tennis.
"I'm 27 years old and already downhill on my career," the two-time Grand Slam champion said after his second-round loss in the French Open on Wednesday.
"If it doesn't really click, and it doesn't make any radical changes, and nothing comes up, then we'll see. It would be sad to live with being a struggling player."
Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia beat the 22nd-seeded Safin 6-4, 6-4, 7-5
"For him, tennis is like a toy," said Tipsarevic, ranked 80th. "When it's interesting for him, no one in the world can beat him. But then when it's not interesting, he just doesn't show his talent."
Safin dominated the first half of the first set, but his lead melted away as he started sending the ball into the net.
"Nothing came together," he said. "It didn't click."
The Russian looked set to come back in the second set, when he hit a spectacular shot. During a long rally, Safin dashed to the net, dived to hit a winner and rolled across the court. He was covered in clay, a deep orange stain blooming across the back of his electric green and blue shirt. The effort and execution were so impressive, Tipsarevic took the time to applaud.
But the magic didn't last. Safin won that game but lost the following three.
He looked subdued, even despondent, for most of the match, and his trademark bad-boy antics looked forced. Safin threw down his racket several times - but never hard - and once kicked the ball into the stands. But mostly he just threw up his hands in apparent exasperation and muttered softly to himself in Russian.
His best performance at the clay-court major was the semifinals in 2002.