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May 8, 2009

Dinara Safina


D. SAFINA/V. Williams
6-7, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations on winning such an epic match. How did you manage to overcome the nerves that you had on Wednesday and Thursday in your previous matches?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, you know, sometimes you need this kind of matches. You know, like the matches before, they help you, you know, even though I was not playing my best.
Still somehow I was managing to win, so this is, I think, a good thing for me that I think I was not able to do this before. But I feel like I was playing maybe 50% and still I was going through, so...
Because I always have next day another chance to win, and I think today it helped me some nerves to pull the match out in the end.

Q. Is the match hardest mentally or physically?
DINARA SAFINA: I think it was more mentally, you know, because it's always -- like I never beat her. It comes the moment I been 3-1 up in the third set, and I had to be a little bit more dominant on the court.
I gave her chance to come back. Then 3-All, 4-3 again with the break. Again, I didn't play good that moment. But still, you know, it helped me that at the end I could close the game.
I think it gives me a lot of confidence to beat such a big player like her, such a champion.

Q. (Through translation.) So you think you deserve the No. 1 ranking?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think today's match, I think it was a big match, you know, especially that she's the one like champion, she had so many Grand Slams. I think to beat her, it's not an easy.
I hope this gives me even more proof that I, I mean, deserve to be there, and it helps me maybe in the big stage like Grand Slam to win the Grand Slam.

Q. Do you think you won that match on determination more than anything else at the end?
DINARA SAFINA: I think thank at the end, yeah, I still went for my shots. You know, this was the important thing. You know, even though that I was serving at the tight moment, I haven't served any double faults.
Again, moment came and I started slow. But still, on the breakpoints I was going for my shots, and I think she was a little bit passive. I think she could do more. I think she showed me she was also was maybe nervous, and that I went for the shots and I did the right thing.

Q. That's more than ten hours on court the last three days. Do you have any energy left for tomorrow?
DINARA SAFINA: I mean, to speak like this, when we practice we do the same thing. I mean, practice now, it was only three hours match. When practice, it's two hours in the morning and still it's one and a half in the afternoon and still you are do condition.
I'm still 23 years old. I should have some power.

Q. How is your ankle?
DINARA SAFINA: It's okay. I mean, I had it taped, so of course it helped me to not put so much pressure on this point. I mean, I'm gonna have dinner, and still I'll have treatment to get as fit as I can for tomorrow.

Q. Were you thinking about it at all when you were playing?
DINARA SAFINA: Once I step on the court, really I try to forget about, because there is only ball. If I start to -- then it's gonna be excuse, Oh, there is my ankle. No, there is only ball. I don't find excuses for anything.

Q. Do you consider this your best match on clay court this year, or ever?
DINARA SAFINA: I think she pushed me to play my best, you know. It's tough to say, because last year I think Berlin and the French Open was also so many good matches against such big players. So it just comes one of those best matches.

Q. You can say this is the hardest spot in all your career, or not?
DINARA SAFINA: I wouldn't say, no. Last year against her sister, against Serena in Berlin, it was also 7-6 in the third and not an easy battle.
And also last year in French Open I had very tough matches. I can count them on the hand, but it's one of them.

Q. Is there an extra satisfaction when you beat one of the Williams sisters because they have so many titles between them?
DINARA SAFINA: I mean, that's what I say. As Venus, like she has so many Grand Slams and so many big tournaments, and still in such a tight moment I still could manage to win the match.
So I think it just, for myself, gives me confidence.

Q. Will you think about the last match against Kuznetsova tomorrow?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, it's another match. You know, she's another great player, and she's playing I think one of her best tennis.
So I have to go out there and play like best match like did I today, and let's see tomorrow.

Q. You lost last week to Svetlana. What would you try to do different this time?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, try to beat her this time.

End of FastScripts

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