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September 5, 2009

Dinara Safina


P. KVITOVA/D. Safina
6-4, 2-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Were you asked whether you would be willing to change courts and did you want to change courts?
DINARA SAFINA: No, actually, not really. They came to us at 9:10 and they just told us, We're switching you to Armstrong. And basically that's it. And I think it's very unfair to choose -- I mean, best player in the world, to put on Armstrong. I don't think it's a fair decision they made.
Their answer was, We prefer a five-set match than a three sets, woman. This is what their answer.

Q. Was there anything you could have done not to move courts? Were you in a position to say, No, I'm not moving?
DINARA SAFINA: No. Because they don't give any answers. That's it. They don't want to listen. You are on Armstrong. You ask them. You are move to Armstrong. You keep ask them why. You are playing on Armstrong at 10:00.
And they knew already decision at 8:30 that we were going to play on Armstrong. So I ask them, Why didn't you come to us before so we don't have to sit and watch Roddick's match? It wouldn't change any decision, so at least tell us, Girls, you are playing at 10:00 on Armstrong so we don't have to jump on in front of TV and keep on -- when it was the fourth set, when Roddick was match point down, that we have -- we think we go on. They would come to us and say, Girls, okay, you play 10:00 on Armstrong.

Q. So do you think it affected your mindset or preparation?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, no. I mean, I -- no, this is not excuse. It just I feel that it is just very unfair how they did this, to both of us. I mean, just let us know. We are human beings. We are players. It's all about the players. People come to see us. They don't come to see referee.
The people want a match. So come. Have respect to us. Tell us, Girls, okay, we made a decision, was not an easy decision, but we have to move you. Come at 8:30. Why you have to wait till 9:10? Anyway, they said it will not change their decision. So tell us before.

Q. Who told you? Do you know?
DINARA SAFINA: I have no idea what's his name.

Q. Do you intend to complain to the WTA about the way this has been handled?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I didn't talk to them because it makes no sense before the match, you know, to lose energy and complain to them. I think they were also not happy because for sure from the woman's side they would push us to play.
But I'm sure they did their best. But the tournament wants, so...

Q. What about the match? Talk about the match, how it went.
DINARA SAFINA: Disappointing. Very disappointing. Come back in the second set, winning six games in a row, playing solid, good.
And third set, from down, come back again, having everything in my hands, and just -- I don't know. I mean, definitely she played some good points also.
But just feel let it go away from my side.

Q. It seemed like you had the three match points. Even a lot of the match you weren't playing very aggressive. She was dictating almost the whole time.
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah. I don't know. I go on the court and I really want to do one thing. And I step on the court and I do completely the opposite thing.

Q. What was it that you wanted to do?
DINARA SAFINA: I know how she plays. She likes to be dominant. She doesn't like to move around. I have to move her. I had to get her out of the court. I have everything. I know what to do.
But just I step on the court and I play completely different. Slow in the middle of the court and let's run.

Q. Why?
DINARA SAFINA: Tension, I would say. Let's say, first set I was too tense. Second set, I let it go. At least there were some emotions. I let it go. I think in the first set, the first eight games, I was really like not doing anything.
Second set I start to at least like saying, Come on, let it go, let it go, start playing better. And third set, three match points, and I didn't do anything on them.

Q. Do you think if it had been Venus or Serena or Maria on tonight, would they have done the same thing as far as moving the match?
DINARA SAFINA: I don't think so.

Q. Do you know where the tension comes from? Do you understand what triggers it?
DINARA SAFINA: From my brain, from my side (smiling). Just from my side. I don't know.

Q. Is it because you have to just fight to be No. 1? Is it a pressure on you?
DINARA SAFINA: I guess that there is a little bit of everything. Also just playing, playing, playing, playing, playing, and not realizes -- let's say at least sometimes just to work on something. Really, I'm just -- I don't have even time for myself to relax and to calm down. Okay, let's practice.
If I go to practice, is because there is no, like let's say, three weeks, like off-season. I mean, I really looking forward for the, you know, to have the off-season, because at least I know that I'm gonna be in one place -- I mean, first I'll have a rest, and then I'll have five weeks that I can stay in one place.
I mean, that's a positive thing that I'm playing. Okay, here disappointing I lost. But basically every tournament I play till the end. So this is a positive. I prefer to have this than I was having last year.
But somehow I still not used to it, and I guess I need a little bit some time to realize how it is and definitely, you know, next year I think I'll be more experienced and I'll plan better the schedule, I guess. This is the thing.

Q. Do you remember the last time you played and you felt relaxed, completely without tension?
DINARA SAFINA: It's not happening too often this year. I don't know. I go to the court with so much that I want to win, and I put so much tension in it that I just, I guess, not to lose, and that's why I'm not playing relaxed, instead of just going out there and just play, let it go. I mean, I can't control when I lose. But, come on, do your things. But I'm in too much not to lose a match. It's blocking me.

Q. Do you think they should have moved the men's match to Armstrong, or do you think they should have tried to play your match and then the men's match after, have it go till 2 or 3 in the morning?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think it happened in Australia that the guys, they went to play on court at 1:00 and they didn't move them.

Q. Remember, that was the match Venus wouldn't move. That was the night it went till 4:00.
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah. I guess they should have realized -- I mean, when Roddick went on court, it was 5:00. So what, do they think it's going to be three sets? Yes, but if it's going to be five sets, so what?

Q. 9:00.

Q. So would you have said okay if they said they were going to move you to Armstrong at 7:30, or do you think they should have moved Blake and Robredo?
DINARA SAFINA: From my side I can say I'm No. 1 player in the world, why did they move me? Best player in the world to Armstrong. Because American Blake, they let him playing Arthur Ashe, because it went five sets instead of three sets. And they go three sets on both courts.

Q. Is there a special atmosphere in this court because people arrive? It was a strange atmosphere.

Q. On your court.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, yeah, I guess definitely you're always looking forward to play a night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium. This is best thing of US Open: night session on Arthur Ashe. What best can be?

Q. Do you think some rest and attention to practice is all you really need to get whole again on the court, or do you think you need other guidance?
DINARA SAFINA: No, no, no, no. I have the best person next to me, my coach. I would not change him for anybody else. So I think they just need a little bit -- I think maybe just not -- I guess experience, you know, how to take care of everything, you know.

Q. Would you ever consider a sports psychologist, that side of it?
DINARA SAFINA: No, no, not really. You know, I have a coach, and he's the only one person I'm listening to. I don't want that somebody else comes and tells me how I have to do what I have to do, because I have only one person in this job that I trust and I listen to.
There is nobody else that I would listen trust. And I don't want somebody else in the middle comes between us.

Q. Would it be a relief in you weren't No. 1 after this tournament?
DINARA SAFINA: How can you be relief if you lose the spot No. 1 in the world, your dream?

Q. I'm just talking about the pressure.

Q. Do you play well on the practice court?
DINARA SAFINA: I would say before this tournament, I didn't even practice so much. I came here from Toronto and I had the problems with my back. I was practicing just a little bit for the tournament. That's why we couldn't even prepare for this tournament. I played maybe two sets only for 10 days that I've been here.
So not really that I spend like normal practice sessions. It would be always like half an hour, let's see how my day goes.

Q. Is your knee okay?
DINARA SAFINA: Knee is fine.

Q. So the back is the reason why you're not serving as hard as you can again?
DINARA SAFINA: No, no. The serve is here (pointing to her head). The back is fine. Let's say I had before the tournament, but once the tournament started, the back was perfect. There is no problems.

Q. Then you served very conservative tonight. Your service speed was below what it usually is.

Q. It's all mental?
DINARA SAFINA: Of course. What else (smiling)? Everything is in the head because here everything knows how to do the right thing. It knows and it stops me.

End of FastScripts

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