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August 16, 2008

Dinara Safina


7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had two matches yesterday and one match today. How did you survive all these very gruesome matches? How was the reaction from the crowd affecting you on today's game?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, how I survived? So I guess I survived because I could play.
Well, I just accepted they did this to me; that I had to play in less than 24 hours three matches. And maybe I was not really happy with what they did. I had a little bit anger, so I just put everything on tennis court, and I was just trying to stay focused and point by point.
I knew that the crowd would be against me. But I also accepted it because for me doesn't matter. I have my tennis coach and I don't care who is sitting there and who's clapping for who. I have my person next to me, and doesn't matter.

Q. How does this compare to reaching the final at Roland Garros?
DINARA SAFINA: I think this is more something else 'cause French Open, at least I had some -- like everything what was going on yesterday, that I had this, then I had doubles. I still out of this won my singles match. So it makes bigger.
But doesn't matter, French Open or Olympics, it's two such a big tournaments. It's nice because the first time in my life I'm playing Olympics, and I got a chance in the last moment to play singles. And I proved that for the medal.

Q. In that second set, down a break, obviously you're fighting very hard, but you're also getting frustrated at times in that second set. What got you through the match in the end?
DINARA SAFINA: Just desire to win. Okay, I'm controlling now much more my emotions. But still I was not so getting pissed. I was just getting angry on myself. I had to be aggressive. On some points, I was a little bit passive.
But it still was nothing because I was just pushing and forcing myself for to do more on tennis court.

Q. What is the difference between an Olympic tournament and a Grand Slam tournament?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I guess it's different 'cause it's once in four years, just make it like this. But actually I took it like it's a single tournament for me. I didn't really think it's like, let's say, Grand Slam. I just say, okay, it's another tournament. I must say draw is much tougher than somewhere else.
But, I don't know, Grand Slam and Olympics, of course if I would play in French Open, I play against a girl against France, it would be the same. They would all support this girl. Today was the same. I was playing the girl against from here. They were supporting. But it's also nice, some other fans, like Russian, they're coming and supporting me.
Maybe somewhere like in singles tournaments, there never be so many people and like supporting like each country. But here it's like you always have some people who is either cheering for them, either cheering for me.

Q. More or less Davis ambience?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah. If I would play somebody else, it would be 50/50. Today it was maybe 80/20 or maybe more (laughter). I was trying to be polite.

Q. You look ahead now to the gold medal match against somebody you know very well, Elena Dementieva. Also there's the potential that Russia takes a gold, silver and bronze.
DINARA SAFINA: I will just cross my fingers that it's gonna be like this.

Q. You played three games in the last 24 hours. You won two of them. Maybe you are considered one of the toughest women in this tournament. How do you feel about that?
DINARA SAFINA: I already answered this question.

Q. What about your reaction to your opponent's game? What do you think of her play? The other day she beat Venus Williams. She looks like she's not as strong as she was in that game.
DINARA SAFINA: So you just want to say that I'm much worse than Venus Williams, that's why she can beat Venus and she can lose to me. That's what you're trying to say? I mean, I'm also player. I mean, she's a great player. But today maybe I was a little bit more lucky. She's a really good player. I don't know why you blaming her. I mean, she's a great player, I must say. Okay, it was like 50/50 match. She had some chances. She didn't took it. I took my chances. The score is 7-6, 7-5. It was very close. It was very fragile this match.
I guess I was a little bit luckier in this moment. I mean, if she would not be injured, she was really unlucky. Last year she doesn't play for six months. This year she started the season unbelievable. She was again unlucky. If she had been playing consistent for one year, you will see her in top 15 like this (snapping fingers).

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