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May 9, 2009

Dinara Safina


D. SAFINA/S. Kuznetsova
6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After your tough battles all week that, was a bit easy, wasn't it?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, yeah, finally I won at least the first set, and then I won in two sets. Because, I mean, after such a slow start I was luckily to win the set against Razzano. It could also go into three sets.
But then against Zheng I had to run and fight. I mean, against all the other players, and today I'm really happy that I could win in two sets.

Q. Svetlana made a lot of unforced errors, but were you also playing better at the start?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, I would say today she was giving way too many unforced errors than she usually do. I think I also played maybe a little bit more -- I was trying to get her out of the baseline, because she feels very confident on the baseline.
But when she had some chances she was really missing today a lot. On some moments I would say, Thank very much.

Q. Earlier in the week you said you were sometimes frustrated about yourself and you don't know what was wrong with your brain at times. Do you feel better about that situation now?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think yesterday's match really helped me to push myself to play the best. Really, really I think I played one of my best matches yesterday.
I mean, still today I had many more chances to be even more aggressive , because she was a little bit of the court. Still I think I had to be much more dominant, because it's not the way to win to the points. Because she had very many points just to finish them, and she was missing by a little bit. So it could go either way.
So for the next time -- eve when somebody's off, I have to not even give a chance to come into the match.

Q. The French Open starts in a month. You had final last week; a win this week. How confident do you feel going into that?
DINARA SAFINA: I'm feeling great, you know. You know, it gives lots of confidence, especially the clay court season started and one final and one title. Cannot be better.
You know, so now going Madrid today and just going continue playing the same way and keep on going one match at a time.

Q. Do you think it's tougher, the semifinal or the final?
DINARA SAFINA: Mentally it was a little bit I would say tougher Venus, because I never beat her. I was up 3-1 in the third set, then 4-3 break, and this was a little bit tougher to finish the match.
And against Kuzy, today it was that I had in my head that I lost three finals this year. I was like, Okay, I don't want to have this that I'm losing the finals. I'm really happy that I could win today the final today.

Q. Was that actually playing in your mind a bit, that you had a lot three finals already?
DINARA SAFINA: It's not really that I was going on the court, like, Okay, I lost three finals. Because that's great that you get to the final, and there is always a chance, you know, to win the title.
But I was disappointing that last week I lost in the final and that I didn't play my best. Most of this that I was disappointing. But I'm happy that I broke this and I'm back in the schedule, on the main list to go to the Masters.

Q. Were you able to handle the pressure better today compared to last week? Was that a factor or no?
DINARA SAFINA: I mean, it's not really that I'm thinking about this during the match, because there are many other things that you have to focus on the court, you know. Most other thing I try to focus on my opponent and the ball, and these things I don't think about it once I step on the court.

Q. If someone asks you if your like better your forehand or backhand, where do you feel more confident?
DINARA SAFINA: It depends which day (laughter.) I can hit winners from any shot, and I can make unforced errors from any shot.
So, I mean, a little bit two different shots. With the forehand I can really get all the opponent out of the court and play very heavy.
And backhand I could flat it out. So it's two different shots. I love both of them, because one helps the other one. I cannot be one out of these shots. I cannot be.

Q. You are the first Russian to win the title here. Does that mean anything for you, or nothing at all?
DINARA SAFINA: I play for myself. I mean, it's nice to put, but I'm just happy that my picture is going to hang there in the wall.

Q. You've not been No. 1 for so long, but have you noticed since you've been No. 1 that maybe players are lifting their game a bit against and so they're playing a little bit better than they would have done otherwise?
DINARA SAFINA: Of course. When they step on the court they have nothing to lose. It's the same what happened to me last year. Whenever i was playing somebody No. 1, you just go out there and you swing. Whatever you do is best.
Like I went to play Henin last year. I didn't care. I was swinging the ball and everything was landing in. The same is happening with them. They have nothing to lose.
But this is a nice challenge, and I'm enjoying this challenge, to prove that I am better than them.

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