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January 14, 2009

Dinara Safina


D. SAFINA/A. Cornet
6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We can see you're still sweating. Describe the conditions and how hard it was to concentrate.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, it's same condition for her and me, so I cannot blame it on heat. We been working hard in off-season, so I don't think there is a reason because of the heat to blame something.

Q. So close to a Grand Slam, is it a problem because you expect this heat in Melbourne but getting it earlier here drains you a bit?
DINARA SAFINA: That's why I play the week before a Grand Slam, to get used to the weather and all this. I think it's a good preparation.

Q. Must be very pleased with the way you're playing.
DINARA SAFINA: Pleased? I think it was disaster, the match today.

Q. Up until today. You played a lot of good matches last week.
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah. No, today, I don't know. It was just actually the girl had to win the match. If she would be a little bit more experienced. I don't know what she did in 4-1. She just, I don't know. She gave me the match I can say.
I think today really -- either I play completely different tomorrow and go in myself, or either I can just take my racquets and whatever. Because that's not the way I want to play. I don't like the way I'm playing. Just totally bad.

Q. How did you see this match in isolation to the other matches you've played?
DINARA SAFINA: I played her last week and it was completely different. Today I'm a set up, 6-3, and I don't know. Just not aggressive enough. Nothing coming from myself. It was all about her.
Either she makes it or she doesn't make it. She doesn't make it, but it's not the way I want to win the match. I want to win it by myself, not that the girl loses to me.
I just I don't know. Forget this match and, okay, still good that I win the match because I have another chance tomorrow to go out there and hit the ball as hard as I can and jsut going for my shots.
I hope yesterday it was jsut a bad day and tomorrow is going to be a completely different day. I'm going to be a completely different person today.

Q. The Australian Open, probably more than the other Grand Slams because of the time of the year and the weather conditions here, has always been a little bit of a sort of survival of the fittest. How did you prepare, train yourself in the off-season, and did you do anything differently to other years?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, obviously you cannot prepare in Europe with the same conditions as the sun, you know. Just trying to get as fit as you can. You, you try to -- I don't know. I was running a lot to get fitter, and that's all I think. Basically not much you can do.
Just now it's the matter that you get used to the weather, because the body is ready because I've been working hard on it.

Q. How are you going to turn it around before Melbourne?
DINARA SAFINA: I have to. There is no other choice if I want to get far in Melbourne or even to play tomorrow, because Sugi, she's a very aggressive player, and this match she will not lose it, for sure.
I just have to be aggressive tomorrow and for once to play my game. There is no other way. I just really want to go out there and enjoy and hit the ball and just play and enjoy. Because now, I don't know -- yesterday and before yesterday was still okay. I was hitting the ball and really looking forward for my match today.
And suddenly, I don't know, just not my -- maybe it was not my day today. So sometimes you even need these matches that still you pull them out.

Q. Is it a matter of how much you've improved that you're so disappointed with a match that you actually won?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, no. Of course I'm happy that I won. But just because the way I'm practicing I'm hitting the ball hard, and suddenly I'm going on the court and the girl is dictating all the points.
It's actually not the way it used to be. It has to be the other way around: That I'm dictating the points and the girls are running around.
Yes, win is happy. But some wins, you know, also some days, you know, you do some things but you're just not satisfied with yourself.
I guess it's like this in sport. Just I'm not happy with myself and the way I played today. I just want tomorrow -- that I have a chance tomorrow to prove and go out there and to play my game.

Q. Do you find the Australian Open, because of the physical conditions, the hardest to prepare and play in?
DINARA SAFINA: Actually, I never won so far, so I don't know. This is first time actually I'm in semis here, because for the last three years that I came here I didn't pass one round. So I guess it's already different.
I don't know. It's tough. I would say in US Open also can get very hot. Okay, still not the same. The problem with the sun is just more dangerous here than in US Open. But in US Open also can get very hot.
So in my case, I never blame the weather. If I blame, I blame myself. But I don't find the excuses. Weather, sun, raining, snow. If you're ready, you're ready. If not, you can find hundred excuses.

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