Wednesday February 22nd, 2012

This week saw the addition to Twitter of one notable tennis personality, a person who still has -- how can I phrase this delicately? -- a very devoted fan base despite the fact that he's retired and has moved on to other pursuits.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Marat Safin reportedly joined Twitter.

https://twitter.com/#!/safin_marat1/status/171645107030863872

His account isn't officially verified and, to be honest, his tweets just don't sound like him. But the press secretary for Russia's Nizhny Novgorod region, which Safin represents in the lower house of Parliament, confirmed it, as did Safin's sister, Dinara Safina.

And just as he was able to whip fans into a frenzy during his playing days, his tentative foray into Twitter has left a string of screaming females and jealous husbands.

https://twitter.com/#!/safin_marat1/status/171650957661315072

But perhaps the most amusing aspect of this momentous event has been the reaction of the tennis community, which isn't hiding its excitement. Laura Robson, who famously asked Safin to the Champions' Ball when she won the junior Wimbledon title at age 14, "nonchalantly" tweeted her greetings, while Safin's WTA Tour contemporaries didn't hold back either.

http://twitter.com/LDavenport76/statuses/171733034033352704

As for Safin himself, assuming that it's actually him (and if it's not, this will have turned out to be a terrible prank on his sister), he's still trying to figure out the medium. But he's already shown signs of mastering one skill: encouraging fan interaction.

https://twitter.com/#!/safin_marat1/status/171688503342678017

I'm hoping that it is actually him and that he feels free to express himself on Twitter the way he expressed himself on the court.

https://twitter.com/#!/AmerDelic/status/171669589246226433 Fingers crossed.

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