As the older brother of former World No.1 Dinara Safina, Marat Safin has a close understanding of women's tennis.
And Safin, who reached the top of the ATP rankings, has told wtatennis.com that next year fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova could win her first Grand Slam in almost a decade. With much uncertainty over when Serena Williams will return from maternity leave, there could be opportunities for others to win majors in 2018. And Safin has urged Kuznetsova, whose last major came at the 2009 US Open, adding to her first at the 2004 French Open, to "push more" to try to make the most of any opportunities that come her way.
While Kuznetsova's deepest run at the majors this year was making the quarter-finals of Wimbledon - and she hasn't been in a Grand Slam final since her New York triumph - Safin praised the 32-year-old's athleticism, talent and competitive spirit.
"Kuznetsova is still doing really well. She's a really good athlete and a really, really great tennis player. And she's also an amazing competitor. She is still playing great tennis and I'm sure she is going to have the opportunities to win more Grand Slams in the future. She should push more and then I think she can do it. I really hope she can do it," said Safin, who will be appearing at the Champions Tennis event at London's Royal Albert Hall in December.
In Safin's analysis, Maria Sharapova could also be well placed next season to become a Grand Slam champion again. "Can Sharapova win more Grand Slams? Why not? She is young and I'm sure she will have opportunities in the future."