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August 13, 2007

Dinara Safina


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Camille gets a lot of balls back, is that frustrating?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, we play like four times already this year. So we know each other very well. We just played a week ago in San Diego last time.
It's difficult to play against her, I can say. Because she runs really good. You know, she, whenever you give her more angle, she gives you more angle back. So you have to be really, you know, wait for the right shot. And I think I, for one, I change a little bit my game. I was starting to wait for exactly the ball I can go for it.

Q. So what do you think the difference was last week? I guess you won really easily and this was so much harder?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think I did much less unforced errors, that's what, and I was much more patient. Well, I mean, I started very good, you know. I was 4-1 up, and then I just, I just let it go. Like a mistake here, easy there. Like a double fault. She came into the match. Otherwise it could be not 6-1 but 6-2 for me. Then it's different, different match, different score.
But I let her to come to the net, and I run myself into the trouble, so I had to get out of there.

Q. You played a very good match against Hingis, I think in --

Q. Before the Australian Open?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, Gold Coast.

Q. You fought very well in that match, your mental was very strong?
DINARA SAFINA: I think I can say like I'm not the one who will give an easy match, you know. Okay, I can have one match and I don't know how many that really like I'm out. But not many.
I always try to fight for every point, you know. And especially now, you know, when you know you don't feel like 100%, you know, when the court is small, and the ball is even smaller, you feel like you're playing in half court, you know. So you don't see. Then there is no other way, just shut up and fight.

Q. You remember two years ago at the Australian Open when your brother was critical about you not being serious enough and all of that? When he said that, did that make you change or did you get mad?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think because we spoke after about this, you know, and he didn't like not exactly they wrote the things that he said. It was like I have to take decisions myself, not that somebody else taking decisions for me. So that's why he said maybe she cannot play to win the matches because when it comes to the tough moments she cannot be strong enough herself to take the decision what to do. Maybe that's what it was. And well, now, finally I'm taking my own decisions, and I think it's working.

Q. Are you playing your best tennis now, do you think?
DINARA SAFINA: By far not.

Q. No?
DINARA SAFINA: I know what I can do, you know, so it's frustrating me, now. Like if I practice - well, practice, of course, is practice - but you know, I play. And I can say I played good, and I know what I am doing. But then in the match, you know, it's missing maybe like matches.
I think the one I played today it's really, no, I was there, I was fighting. So it gives this kind of confidence. Like even if you don't play your best tennis by far, you do so many mistakes but you still can pull it out, you know. So I think that next match will be better.

Q. You had a couple of tough losses the last few weeks and then today was difficult again. Is it tough to build momentum when you don't have a few matches where you play well?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, that's what I'm saying. It's not -- now it's not going the way. You know I wish or I've been working and I thought like, Okay, I feel great, and now I will come and I will play my best. No. Now I'm struggling.
But that's what I say, I'm still going to fight match by match. Every match is going to be better, and I hope I will find my game for the US Open. That's the most important, not now to play your best.

Q. Do you have any advice for Marat given he lost in the first round today?
DINARA SAFINA: He lost? I didn't know because they were playing at the same time.

Q. Yeah, he lost. Two sets, 7-6, I think, it was 7-6 in the second, and he double faulted on match point.

Q. I think it was 6-3, 7-6.
DINARA SAFINA: Oh, well, I didn't knew that he lost. Well, I text him, you know, when I lost last week in the first round, and I said like, Oh, you know, I'm fighting. I'm playing. I'm working hard and nothing going my way. And he goes, So don't try that hard (laughing). It will be easier for you.
Maybe you know like when you work hard, you know, you think oh, it's going to be now, everything my way. And when you take it a little bit more like, Okay, if it's not going my way, like more relaxed maybe it will come my way. I don't know.
Well, it's his advice, but I better stick to mind. Okay, if I work hard, one day must be my day (smiling).

Q. You didn't know his result today?
DINARA SAFINA: No, because when I went on court, he was still playing the match.

Q. But has there ever been a time where you've heard a result of Marat's where maybe he loses and you get upset and it affects how you play? Can you think of a time when you have an experience like that?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, when I was playing US Open quarterfinal, we were playing same time. So I could hear the score and every time, and I was like okay, he's still playing. But I was losing so easy. So, not really that I think about this when I play. I think especially now I have to think better on myself than on somebody else.

Q. Who is coaching you now?

Q. What would you say your mother's influence is on your game now? Not your whole life but now? Does she have that much influence?
DINARA SAFINA: Not really, you know. Just like when I have these moments, you know, like we speak on the phone and I'm like oh, you know, I don't know. Because she sees me practicing, and for her like I see you and like in Spain, I was playing like really good in the practice. For me, I was surprised. Like I was feeling the ball really good. And she was like -- she still goes like don't worry, everything you've been working cannot go away. It will come. Stay positive work day by day and it will come. So she really tries that I stay positive.

Q. Are you one of those players who if you are playing well in practice, you have more confidence going into the match? Or is it completely different that you can play well in practice and when you come to play the match it's completely different?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, kind of you know. When you play well on the practice you think like the game is there, you know, if you practice and the ball doesn't go the way you want, then for me it's more difficult.
But when I play and I see that I hit like the ball clear and it's going the way I like, then I'm like it has to come. For me it's good because I feel like yeah, the game is there, it just matters one match or whatever. One day it will be my day then I just I go through.

Q. When was the last time you played well that you -- that you played tennis that you were satisfied with?
DINARA SAFINA: Honestly, like a long time ago. I don't -- this year I would say --

Q. In Auckland?
DINARA SAFINA: Gold Coast. Well, Gold Coast, then I had also couple good matches. In Miami I was playing pretty good. And in Amelia I was playing good there.
And then like whole clay court was like against Schiavone, I played really good match. But not kind of consistent, not like last year, you know, I was going on the court and I knew like still I'm going to play my game. Like now I go like, Okay, I have to work hard. Now it's the moment like it's not going that easy, so I have to push myself.

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