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January 16, 2009

Dinara Safina


6-3, 2-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What did your coach say to you at halftime? What did your coach say to you between those two sets?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, after the first set he just told me I have to go much more for my shots I actually started to do it. I win pretty comfortable the second set, and I just completely went away from my game in the third set. That's why I gave her -- I had to start from the beginning going for my shots and I just gave it to her, 3-Love.
In the third set I was completely not aggressive, and this is very bad from my side.

Q. She's very difficult when she defends well, isn't she?
DINARA SAFINA: I guess I was not hitting the ball enough, because I know if I hit the ball fully hard it's not easy to catch my ball. If I hit and run away from the shot I don't use all my power.
So I think just third set was just not aggressive for my side enough, because second set she was not catching the balls because he was completely different player.

Q. You had some entertaining exchanges with your coach today.
DINARA SAFINA: What do you mean?

Q. Like firey, maybe. You had some interesting exchanges. You apologized afterwards for not listening.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, he told me like -- he told me to be much more aggressive. Then I -- if I don't do it, so I'm stupid, you know. He tells me the way I have to play and, I did this in the second set and then I run away from my game. That's means that I'm stupid.

Q. Was there a reason? Were you thinking about something else? Were you trying too hard to put it together? Was there a reason you went so hot and cold there?
DINARA SAFINA: No. Sometimes it's -- I don't know really. Like it's tough to see sometimes on the court that what I was doing was wrong, because then I went out of court and we discussed. He told me the way I was playing, and it was like this, that I was playing bad in the third set. I had so many chances and opportunities, and I just was not using my shots.
Sometimes on the court you don't realize this. That's why I need a coach who tells you what are you doing right or wrong.

Q. The Grand Slams you can't use the coach, can you?
DINARA SAFINA: I'll have to use much more my own brain, you know, because it's not -- actually it's not good every time I need somebody to come on the court and tell me what I'm doing right and wrong. You have to be strong enough as a player, especially when you are No. 3 in the world. You have to be strong and know what are you doing on the court.
So I have to be much harder on myself and play myself.

Q. She says that you're the best player on the tour regardless of your loss. Do you feel like she might be the best player on tour?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, she's playing good now. You know, I can say that third set I was just not aggressive enough and that's why she won. It's not that she killed me and destroyed me in the third set. It's just that I didn't use my shots.
So if it would be other way around, that I played my game and she kills me, then I would say, yes, she's the best. But when I'm running away from my game and I'm stepping back and that's why I'm losing the match it's tough. She's playing good I can say in the moment.

Q. Does a result like tonight dent your confidence at all going into the Australian Open, or do you just take the positives out of the week?
DINARA SAFINA: Of course I take only the positive. I reached the final. I played the final. Compared to last year I lost first round, so I just take the positive thing.
I played good the second set. I know there is my game, and I'm just looking forward for the next week and really to go out there and play the best I can. This is the only thing I want to do next week.

Q. Through the year you've had the French Open final and the titles that you won, is there real excitement to get to Melbourne this year?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, of course. I always look for the Grand Slam. That's what you're playing for, you know, for the big tournaments. I'm really looking forward to play. I just want to go to out there and do the best I can.

Q. With the form that you've had with the four titles last season and reaching your first Grand Slam final, do you feel this makes you a lot more confidence, and will it be more satisfying for you this time?
DINARA SAFINA: Of course. You're coming different player. Now I'm not as a tourist anymore.

Q. Is this the best shape, conditioning you've ever been coming into a year?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, huh? Tough to say.

End of FastScripts

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