NEWS
10/27/2011 11:10 EDT | Updated 12/27/2011 05:12 EST

Former top-ranked tennis player Marat Safin running for parliament

CHENGDU, China - Famed for his outbursts on court, former tennis star Marat Safin said Thursday he wants to put his oratory to use in the Russian parliament.

He is up for election to the State Duma on Dec. 4 and could join other Russian sports stars, including gold medallist Svetlana Khorkina, in the lower house of parliament.

"I am an intelligent guy and I have a lot to bring and a lot of ideas about things and what to do," Safin said. "I am very committed to it."

Safin, 31, retired from tennis in 2009 after winning two Grand Slam titles and reaching the No. 1 ranking in 2000. He earned a reputation as a gifted but unpredictable player, breaking countless rackets during his frequent bouts of rage.

Since he quit the main tour after a series of injuries, Safin has been working for the Russian tennis federation and has become a member of the Russian Olympic committee.

He has also started playing on the ATP Champions Tour for former stars, and it was at the Chengdu Open in China that Safin revealed his political ambitions.

Safin participated in the primaries in the Nyzhny Novgorod region, and now awaits the Dec. 4 vote to take one of the 450 seats in the Duma.

"I could be the best looking guy in the Duma," Safin said. "But that's only because all the other guys are over 60."