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June 25, 2009

Dinara Safina


D. SAFINA/R. De Los Rios
6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Dinara Safina. First question, please.

Q. Kirsten Flipkens from Belgium says she is a close friend. She says you met first time in Tarbes. Do you remember this moment?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, we are good friends. I think she's a good person and a nice girl. Sometimes also it happens you have to play somebody who your friend against. But that's the sport. I mean, friendship has nothing to do. Once we step on the court, we want to play.
I mean, I hope it doesn't matter the result that it's not going to end up our friendship.

Q. Does it surprise you she got into the third round?
DINARA SAFINA: She's a great player. She has a great hands. She has a great potential. I mean, unlucky she was injured for a while. That's why she could not play. But for me she's very talented girl.

Q. Did your game today go according to plan?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, still I think second set I had to do a little bit more after winning especially the first set. But, well, sometimes it goes like this, so...

Q. Svetlana Kuznetsova said earlier today she was surprised you'd been put on Court 2 and she was put on Court 3, and lower ranked players on Centre Court. What do you think about that?
DINARA SAFINA: So, I mean, hopefully next match I'll play on bigger court. I don't really -- I mean, of course, it's not fair. But, I mean, I'm not doing the schedule. If tournament directors or whatever, referees, thinks this way, so...

Q. Does the court you play on matter to you? Do you think about the court?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I don't really think. I think if I win the match, I have next day chance to play on a bigger court.

Q. How was your knee today?
DINARA SAFINA: Good. Actually, after warmup, I had to take Voltaren, but for the whole match it was fine.

Q. Is it affecting any movement?
DINARA SAFINA: Let's say yesterday was perfect. And today I feel a little bit. But today I would say it was better than the other day. So it's getting better.

Q. How comfortable are you feeling on the grass now?
DINARA SAFINA: Getting better. You know, slowly step by step I'm feeling better. More matches I play, better I'll feel. So hopefully I can continue.

Q. How would you explain the number of players who have been No. 1, at the top, since Justine Henin retired?

Q. What is your explanation for that many players who have had the No. 1 ranking since Justine retired?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, we just know it's much more open. That's how it is. So the people has to take their opportunities. So I took my chance.

Q. How difficult is it, do you think, to have staying power, to be able to stay at No. 1, and how does this show it?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I'm still staying there. And how difficult, I don't know. I can only say when somebody take me out of there. But until I'm there, I feel pretty good.

Q. You have a day off tomorrow now. Do you have any plans to relax, see a bit of London?
DINARA SAFINA: No, not really. I don't think. It's too far going from the Village to London. Well, you know, I'm going to go hit some balls and have some rest.

Q. Anything particular you do to rest? Do you watch movies?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, I might watch some movie. I don't know. Hang around with a friend. That's all.

Q. At Rosmalen last week you trained with Kirsten?

Q. What's the most difficult thing about grass for you?
DINARA SAFINA: I mean, here really you play and you feel pretty good because it's perfect, the court. Maybe just sometimes unpredictable bounce.
But overall it's nice to play here. I don't know. I'm feeling good.

Q. So you don't try to change your game or the way you play or anything like that?
DINARA SAFINA: No. I should not change.

Q. Won't see any slice, dropshots?
DINARA SAFINA: I can do this if I need to. But if I'm not pushed to do this, why to do it?

Q. Do you feel a particular responsibility as the No. 1? A lot of people here at Wimbledon have not seen you play before. They come to the court and they're seeing the No. 1 in the world. Do you feel you have a responsibility to the fans in a way?
DINARA SAFINA: No, not really. I'm trying to think about myself, what I have to do. I'm trying not to think what other people are thinking. I don't know. Otherwise if I start to think what other people think, then it's not good. I better stick, you know, with myself.

Q. You're in the third round again. You've not got past the third round in previous Wimbledons. Is that perhaps playing on your mind a little bit, or are you feeling more confident this year?
DINARA SAFINA: Definitely I'm feeling better this year than previous years, so hopefully this year I can go through and step by step.

Q. No chance you will underestimate Kirsten Flipkens?
DINARA SAFINA: No, no. She's a great player, as I said before. She beat a good players. Especially somebody in the third round, you cannot think. No, I just have to go out there, play my game, play aggressive, and let's see who's gonna be stronger.

End of FastScripts

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