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May 20, 2006

Dinara Safina


Q. (Phone ringing). Who's calling?
DINARA SAFINA: My friend (smiling). Vesnina. Elena Vesnina, a tennis player.
Q. Did you receive a message from Marat, or you send it?
DINARA SAFINA: No, no. We were just going in the tunnel and I was saying that I got a message from my brother and it was a really nice message from him.
Q. Is he coming tomorrow?
DINARA SAFINA: No, no. He's in Valencia practicing. So better he work on himself (smiling).
Q. Sometimes he make surprise to you, no?
Q. Marat, yes.
DINARA SAFINA: Surprise that he will come tomorrow? For sure, no. No, I don't think so.
Q. How surprising is this win today?
DINARA SAFINA: Actually, it was kind of surprising win, you know. Like first set I was 3-1 up and I lost five games in a row, you know.
Second set, you know, I was kind of every time down, you know. Like I was little bit - can you say crying? - you know, like, "Oh, I'm like slow," "The ball bounce bad."
That one moment, you know, I just said, "Just play point by point. Like whatever. Stop thinking about what you're doing wrong, just be more positive." That's what I start to do, and turn my way today.
Q. The third set was very tough. At the end it was not easy.
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah. But, yeah, it was -- I had I think two or three times I was up with a break, but every time I was breaking her when I had a -- you know, and I was winning serve against the wind.
So even like when I lost the game at 5-4, I was serving against the wind. I said like, "It's okay, like just don't pay so much attention," you know, "Just try to break her now."
Actually, she started -- I think she gave me three free points, you know, like double-fault and she missed it. Then I was 40-30, and then I was lucky at this time, you know. I attack the net and she missed in the net. So I was lucky.
Q. Would you say this is your best tournament so far?
DINARA SAFINA: This year, I can say yeah. You know, I was every time working and I was like with my coach, "Why I have no like big results?" Every time I lose against good players. But like Clijsters I lost in Antwerp. Like tough, you know. Against, okay, Amelie, in Paris she played I think very good that match.
But I had a lot of lose, you know, against good players. I like, "Why I cannot beat them?"
He's like, "Come on," like, "Take your time, one day you will see it's coming" (smiling).
Q. (Question asked in Italian and not translated.)
DINARA SAFINA: No, because I came two times to Rome and I lost two times second round so (smiling).
Q. Of all the matches you played up until now, which one was the most difficult one and which one give you more satisfaction?
DINARA SAFINA: I think the match against Clijsters, you know, that I never -- you know, it was the score like 6-Love, you know, for her, and I never beat her. It was, I think, the most difficult match to play against her. You know, just to step on the court and believe you can win, you know.
Q. Coming to Rome, were you feeling like it was going to be a good week? You were feeling good?
DINARA SAFINA: Not really, no (smiling).
First, I was coming. I lost a good match against Nadia in Berlin, you know, so I had like confidence. Then the draw, I saw, I was like -- you know, I saw that I had to play qualifier. Then that qualifier was a tough one, you know. I know that she was playing good. I was coming on the court like, you know, "Really tough." Then I won this one.
Then I had Camerin in Italy, you know, and I lost to her last time. I was also like, "Is gonna be tough," and it was tough match. Like two hours, two sets. I won it.
Then, I was like "Clijsters". Then I was like, "Okay," you know. Every time I am stepping on the court thinking, "Am I gonna win today, or no?" Like 50/50 every time was.
But I think after Clijsters I start to, you know, just like more confident, just to go in the court and play your game and see like who gonna win today.
Q. Do you have any preference between Hingis and Williams?
DINARA SAFINA: No. You know, they are both great players so, you know, they both were No. 1 so what you can expect? They both know how to play tennis, you know. I think it's gonna be great experience for me to play against really great player in the final because I never had like this.
Just looking forward.
Q. Do you think you are playing your best tennis now on clay?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, since when I -- 2002, I started. I never had like really good results on clay. I knew how to play on clay because I used to practice in Valencia long time. But never, you know, like big results. And this year, you know, I think they are coming (smiling).

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