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June 26, 2008

Dinara Safina


D. SAFINA/S-W. Hsieh
6-3, 6-2

Q. Can we just start off, what elements of your game were you particularly happy about today, and then conversely, what areas are you still sort of working on?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think I've been serving pretty good today, and after 4-3 I started to really be much more aggressive. Until 4-3 I was a little bit -- I still didn't know what to expect from her, and I was a little bit dependent on her. And then at 4-3 I just turn the match around and I started to go much more for my shots and I started to focus more on myself.

Q. It struck me that a couple of times there that you were sort of caught out, that you were chasing balls across the court and you couldn't reach them. It seemed to surprise you, too.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, it was a little, because I didn't know how was she playing. Of course I knew that she has very good timing on the ball if the ball comes to her, but I have no idea where she might swing the shots. So I was just a little bit -- instead of focusing on myself, just looking at her, and I think that was a little bit of my mistake at the beginning.
But then at 4-3 I took the initiative and I started to play much more aggressive and make her move before I started to run, so to dictate more the point.

Q. You, I guess, unlike your brother were probably expected to come through this round, so it's a bit of a sort of different dynamic in the family?
DINARA SAFINA: Not really. I've never done so well on grass, so for me every match is an important match. I'm just trying every time to focus on what I have to do and just playing every match better and better.

Q. What's your target for Wimbledon this year? How far are you in yourself hoping to go this year?
DINARA SAFINA: I just want to take one match at a time. You cannot really think too much ahead. Anything can happen. I just want to focus on my game. That's the most important. And to take one match at a time, play my game, go on the court and do the best I can and let's see how far I can get.

Q. Do you feel you have a game to progress quite far in this tournament, either this year or in the future?
DINARA SAFINA: Of course. I mean, I think I still have to work and still have to improve my game. I think I can play on grass.

Q. What do you need to improve on?
DINARA SAFINA: Basically everything. I have to be moving, I have to be stronger. I still think I can serve better. And then I have a good return, so I have to be much more aggressive on the return. It's everything. I cannot just pick one. I still can do many things.

Q. Was your brother in the crowd today? Do you think he was watching you?

Q. Did you go to his match yesterday?
DINARA SAFINA: No, we don't go to watch each other.

Q. Do you sort of practice together? What's the relationship like?
DINARA SAFINA: No, we have completely different lives.

Q. You must obviously be delighted to have seen how well he did yesterday?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah. Actually I wasn't even following the score because I was practicing at that time, and suddenly I finished the practice and I was walking and one girl goes, "Yeah, your brother is winning." I'm like, "Winning what? Like a set?" She said "No, two sets to love and break up in the third." Suddenly I went on court, and it was already 5-2 and match point. It was a nice surprise, so I don't want to watch him. I'm superstitious so from the first match I didn't watch him.

Q. Before the French you were perhaps maybe known as Marat Safin's sister. Do you feel now you are creating your own sort of profile with the success you're having?
DINARA SAFINA: I'm still his sister. For the people I'm still his younger sister.

Q. Does that annoy you?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I don't care. I can't change something, no.

Q. So even if he gets through to the final, you won't watch him?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, if we both are here, so of course. But if he would get in the final and I'm -- I don't know, I want to see. I don't think so. I never watch his Grand Slam finals.

Q. When you see Maria Sharapova go out today and Ana Ivanovic struggling and even Venus not looking so good, do you look at how the other players are playing and think, if I get my game together now, I've got a bit of a chance?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I don't focus on them, I just focus on myself. I don't like to look around at who's playing how because I know they are good players. Every match they're getting better and better. That's how it goes with them. I just want to focus on myself.

Q. Are you watching the football tonight?
DINARA SAFINA: Of course. That's why I'm rushing.

Q. How do you think that will go tonight?
DINARA SAFINA: I mean, I'll cross my fingers for them. But it's going to be a tough match. They played really amazing in the quarterfinal match, and I don't know if they'll be ready to play another match like this, but I would just pray and hope and whatever, scream, that they're going to win today.

Q. Do you know any of the players?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I don't, unfortunately.

End of FastScripts

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