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August 19, 2009

Dinara Safina


A. REZAI/D. Safina
3-6, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How disappointed are you right now?
DINARA SAFINA: Disaster. I'm really disappointed, but you know, big tournament is coming up in two weeks, so basically it's tough to forget now, but hopefully tomorrow will be better and get ready for the US Open.

Q. What happened with your serve today?
DINARA SAFINA: It's not the serve. It's just my brain. I know exactly what I have to do, but if I'm not using my brain, I'm not doing the things that my coach is telling me. Just too bad from my side and too disappointed with myself.

Q. The last time you played this opponent you beat her rather easily. What was the difference today, and were you surprised by the strength of her play?
DINARA SAFINA: Because there I played, and today I wasn't playing. I went 6-3 first set. Then on her serve, what I do? Nothing. 30-Love on my serve. Nothing. I get break back, 2-1. Again, disappointing.
I just didn't play. I just was playing in the middle of the court, did exactly what she wanted.

Q. Did she play much stronger than the last time you played her?
DINARA SAFINA: I don't think so. Just that I was not even playing her.

Q. You called your coach down before the third set and then halfway through the third set. What were you asking him to help you with?
DINARA SAFINA: How he can help me if I'm not doing anything. I have a game plan, I step on the court, and I do completely the opposite thing.
Just for strategy even he left the court, because he says, It makes no sense that I'm sitting there, because you don't do the things. So better lose and do your things. At least you are moving forward. But when I'm telling you one thing and you do completely the opposite thing and you're losing, you're just moving backwards.

Q. I was a little surprised that you were playing at 11:00 a.m. this morning. Were you surprised that the defending champion...

Q. Was time a factor at all?
DINARA SAFINA: No, it wasn't the time. There is no excuses for the loss.

Q. You lost your cool in the second set. What was going through your mind at that point?
DINARA SAFINA: I was just -- I don't know. I can't say panicking. I just didn't take control of my head. I lost my temper or whatever. I had to slow down a time, and I couldn't do the right things. I just went more and more crazy.

Q. On a different topic, this tournament is thinking of switching formats in 2011 where half of the women and half of the men will play in Toronto; the other half would play in Montreal until the final when somebody would get on a plane and fly to the other city. I can see by your expression you haven't heard of that. I was wondering what you might react to that.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, better that they keep it like it is now. It's much more nice, because it's completely going to be different final. Somebody's used to play here, and suddenly you have to fly from Montreal.
I don't know. Better they thinking one more time about this, because I don't think it's a great idea.

Q. At 2-All you had a ball you hit out by that much to make it 3-2 for you. Does it drive you crazy that sometimes tennis matches are decided by such small margins?
DINARA SAFINA: No, because when you do the right things the ball comes in. You deserves. When you don't do the right things, unfortunately it's like this out, and she hit unfortunately it's like this in because she was going for it. That's how it goes.
When you do the right things, you know, the things, you know, in the crucial moments, they're falling in. And when you do the wrong things, unfortunately, here a little bit out, here a little bit out, there suddenly she hits the ball on the line, so -- I wasn't surprised.

Q. How were you feeling before the match, and what did you and your coach talk about in regard to this opponent?
DINARA SAFINA: I felt good. How could I feel? I felt great. I just played a final in Cincinnati. Was a perfect warmup.
Suddenly I step on the court, and from the first point, I'm empty, dead. Until I break down and then -- okay. Still I won the set, but she got lost, but I started the match too passive without any power, nothing, not the way I have to start.
So I better think what's going on, and you know, big tournament coming up, and I have to switch my brain as fast as I can.

Q. You had 17 double faults and a couple times you double-faulted twice to give away a game. When you're serving like that, is it because your toss is wrong? Do you ever understand why you just can't get your first serve in?
DINARA SAFINA: You need to write a book then what's going on with my serve. It's disaster. I don't bend my legs, I'm jumping forwards instead of jumping forward, I'm kicking it too much instead of hitting it more because I kick it so much that the ball doesn't fly anywhere and it goes in the middle of the net, I drop my head, I don't hold the left arm. (laughter.)
It's so much, that you just -- I don't know. I know this, and I'm still so stupid that I continue doing it.

Q. And when you're serving badly, you can't have confidence in the rest of your game? Is that kind of what happens?
DINARA SAFINA: Because I am too thinking about my serve and not about something else, so I don't know. I'm really, really shocked and disappointed.

Q. I know you'd rather not have this much time between now and when the US Open starts, but what sorts of things would you do now that you have a little bit of break in between? What sorts of things will you work on? Will you take some time to rest? What's your plan now between now and the Open?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I will take of course a few days off, because I think this is the best, you know, just to recover and rest and fly to New York and get ready for the US Open.
Not much you can do, no? Unfortunately I lost, but I lost it. It's not like, let's say, she killed me and I was picking up the balls, but I think just get my mind there and take slowly the US Open, take one match at a time.

Q. When you feel your fundamentals are starting to slip, do you get into some sort of routine to get back on track?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, so I think it's -- it was a big lesson for me, so I have to come down and I have to realize what I was doing wrong. I know what I was doing wrong, and just get back on the court and listen a little bit more to my coach.

Q. Is there something you tell yourself when you're struggling with your serve to try to get back to what's gotten you to the point you're at right now?
DINARA SAFINA: When I practice, there is nothing wrong, you know. It's just when I go into the match that my mind works on other things instead of one shot at a time.
There is a serve. Okay. I focus on this serve. There is -- what I think about? 500 things instead of just hit the ball.

End of FastScripts

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