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March 20, 2003

Dinara Safina


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. You hit the ball quite a lot harder than Anna. That was a good win for you, wasn't it?

DINARA SAFINA: But I think I didn't play my best tennis today. It was really difficult because it was like center court, I played against Anna. And when I played, I had a little bit of pressure, you know. But I don't know, I cannot say if I hit harder or slower than her. It's like -- I don't know.

Q. Where did the pressure come from: Being on the center court, or playing against Anna?

DINARA SAFINA: I mean, everything. Like center court, like everybody was like, "Wow, Anna." I was standing there, when Anna won the game, everybody was like, "Wow." I was like, "Okay." It was a little bit difficult. I cannot say "pressure," but it was like difficult to play.

Q. Was it more difficult because it was Anna or because it was another Russian?

DINARA SAFINA: I don't care who I'm playing against, even if it's Russian. You have to go and you have to play. But more difficult because it was like center court, because I didn't play, like, for a long time I didn't play good tennis. That's why it was more pressure.

Q. Were you pleased with the way you played today?


THE MODERATOR: Are you happy?

DINARA SAFINA: Oh, sorry. If I'm happy the way I play? No. I don't know, I didn't like really how I played. It was like... I don't know. I didn't enjoy this match. It was because it was like very difficult to play.

Q. But you won.

DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, that's the most important, that I won.

Q. How much are you enjoying now being one of the players expected to win when you go on to a court? Before this year, maybe you were always the person lower ranked, and maybe they would expect the other person to win. Now, people expect you to win. Do you find that's easy?

DINARA SAFINA: No. Like, it's pressure, this. Like every time when the top people say, "Oh, you are playing good, you have to win," I mean, that's the pressure, you know, like when everybody's like, "Oh..." It's difficult like, you know, when you come in in the court. It's little bit of pressure, you know.

Q. Does it help having so many Russian players in the Top 100?

DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, because you having fun with them. You can speak with somebody like in Russian and like you can practice with them like having fun.

Q. Do all of you train together?

DINARA SAFINA: No, everybody has a different coach. But normally when we are in tournament, we always stay together. Like we can go to eat lunch together.

Q. That must be fun.

DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, because like -- I was living like in Spain for four years. It was really difficult because I didn't speak Russian, I speak only with my mom. But now like I travel, every time I see Russians, more fun.

Q. I was with Olga last week. She was talking about you.


Q. Olga.

DINARA SAFINA: Oh, I know her. She played with my mom. She's, I think, one or two years younger than my mom. They played in same time.

Q. Having had this pressure and gone through it and having won despite all the pressure, do you think you will be better for it?

DINARA SAFINA: But you know this thing when you have pressure, you are playing not good. When you win, it's gonna give you confidence. With pressure, you are winning, so that gives you confidence.

Q. Anna has her problems as well, doesn't she?

DINARA SAFINA: I don't want to talk about Anna. I mean, what can I say about her? I just... I don't want to talk about her.

Q. Did you not feel that Anna began the match without much confidence herself and that you were able to get on top?

DINARA SAFINA: Really, I don't want to talk about Anna. I mean, we are friends. That's why I don't want to talk about her.

Q. Did it affect the way you tried to play?


Q. The way your opponent was playing, did it affect the way you approached the match?

DINARA SAFINA: But me, I don't have a lot of pressure, too -- a lot of confidence. It was really difficult match, that's why.

Q. The fact that you're Marat's sister and that your mother coached Myskina, does that give you any insight as to what it's like to be on the tour, to make it easier for you?

DINARA SAFINA: No. She was coaching my brother, but now she's coaching me, so, yeah...

Q. I know.

DINARA SAFINA: But it's -- I don't know like how to say. It's little bit different when your mom and your coach. It's different. When other person is saying to you something, you listen more than when your mom is telling you the same thing. That's why sometimes we discuss, we have, you know... But now I start to listen to her more because I know that she is always right.

Q. That's a good answer. Moms of the world would like that.


Q. What do you want to achieve in tennis?

DINARA SAFINA: Just enjoy and don't get injured. That's it.

Q. That's it?

DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, because the sport life is so short. Just want to enjoy and don't get injured.

Q. Do you think you're still growing?

DINARA SAFINA: No (laughing). No.

Q. You look taller to me.

DINARA SAFINA: I hope no more. I hope I don't grow anymore.

End of FastScripts….

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