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May 5, 2009

Dinara Safina


D. SAFINA/V. Razzano
7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you tell us what it was like to have to wait around all day long not really knowing what time you would come on, when you would start? How do you keep yourself motivated?
DINARA SAFINA: It's always not easy waiting, you know, especially when you are next on and like they say like at 6:00 you play, and then you see there is still raining.
So you're trying, you don't know what to do, when exactly to go warm up. You just hang in the locker room and not doing anything. It's not easy always waiting, you know, but that's how it goes, you know.
We cannot change the weather.

Q. Would that explain why you had so much more trouble in the first set than the second?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, went on court pretty comfortable. You know, she played already. For me, it was not easy to play. I mean, the court was terribly slow and I mean, two times I fall down on the court. It was not easy to play. You know, it's soft and you're afraid to play.
She was giving my hard time, because I think she was playing pretty good. Especially she beat me in the beginning of the year, so double I wanted to beat her. Just everything what came together, and think I was a little bit tight.
Of course, winning the first set gave me confidence, you know. I just started to play a little bit better in the second set. Just, I mean, I was a little bit more aggressive, and she was already off the court.

Q. Did you hurt yourself when you fell over in the seventh game?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I didn't hurt, but it's just not a nice feeling, you know, to fly -- I was just so angry on the court, because you know that it's not -- I mean, they made to us play on this court because it's not perfect.
I was just so angry, because you can get injured. I mean, it's not funny. They tell us go and play because they think the court is fine, but they are not playing on that court.
Thanks God I didn't broke anything, but if I broke the whatever, I mean, so many players get injured. Then what should I say to the tournament? I say thanks for pushing us to play.
I mean, they would say, Oh, we are sorry. But my career, it's three months out of the court. So they have to have a little bit respect to us as the players.
I mean, they are trying to say that whatever, that we are healthy, and then they made us to play in very, very tough conditions.

Q. What do you think compared to last year, the calendar has been changed and the tournament ends on Saturday here in Rome, so you don't have an extra day to manage rain and something like this? So it's more pressure also for the organizers.
DINARA SAFINA: I think it is, you know. I mean, starting the tournament on Saturday in Madrid, it's way too close. I mean, at least Sunday. At least we can have one more day off. I flew -- I play Stuttgart and flew the same day just at least to get a hit yesterday, and straight to play today.
I mean, it's not easy. Yes, we are making the schedules, but, still, I mean, it's very close sometimes. So I don't know. They maybe have to be -- I mean, it's first year of this calendar, so maybe by the next year they will know and they will realize maybe they will put at least Sunday start that, I mean, we players can have at least one day off.
Because sometimes it's not easy. I don't complain that I played final last week. I mean, it's good for me that I don't day off, but sometimes it helps.

Q. Can you explain what it was that was dangerous about the court? Was it the court itself, or was it the weather?
DINARA SAFINA: Because of the weather, because the court was very soft and it was difficult to slide. Because some, as it was very wet, it just would not slide. So that's what happened when I went to pick up -- I mean, to play the dropshot. I wanted to slide, and then just my leg got stuck and I rolled over.

Q. In the men's circuit, Federer, Nadal, even Djokovic tried to help with the organization, they were talking about the calendar, and they are part, in a way, of the board. What about the women? Do you have any word? I mean, do you control a little bit the situation, or you are completely out? And who should do it, in your opinion?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I mean, we have a word, but it's always difficult because it's the first year. Maybe at the end the year we could speak, sit down and say, Listen, like here...
I mean, the calendar is great, but just like now we maybe realize that one extra day would help us. Maybe Madrid starts not Saturday, maybe Sunday. Maybe we can say for the next year, The same week, but just give us one more day.
But it's always difficult. First we have to test and try. I think after this year it's going to be easier for us also players that I think by the end of year we can say like, Here maybe one extra day would help. Here it's everything fine. Here it's perfect. But it's a test, so it's not a problem.

Q. Speaking about game conditions and the different tournaments, what do you think about the fact of this year you have Madrid, which is played at 700 meters high? The conditions will be dramatically different from Roland Garros, which is mainly the ultimate goal of the clay season.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I mean, this has nothing to do, you know. If you play high, low, I mean, we have to adapt. Some tournaments are playing even higher. Bogotá you take. Some people say it's impossible to play here.
Doesn't matter where we play. We are players, and for good players we have to play everywhere.

Q. I remember I saw you playing when you were 16 in Florence in a junior tournament, and you were always with Italian girls talking. How is your Italian? Because you speak Spanish fluently, so do you understand everything what she says when she's translating, or not?
DINARA SAFINA: Now I was not paying attention.

Q. In general.
DINARA SAFINA: I do understand. I mean, if they speak, of course, slowly and about what I can guess. But actually, I'm slowly forgetting Spanish because I'm not anymore there. So I think my English is getting better than Spanish, so...
But I still -- I mean, I like Italian. For me it's nice language because it's like emotional. It's not really that I'm trying to learn it, but I try to pick up some things.

Q. Do you remember the first time you came in Italy, how old you were and which tournament you played?
DINARA SAFINA: I guess it was Genova-Aretzzo that I played -14. I think this was my first time in Italy.

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