home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 26, 2009

Dinara Safina


ANDREW KRASNY: Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce the current world No. 1, who has held the No. 1 ranking for 26 weeks, more than any player in 2009. She has reached eight Tour finals and won three singles titles, including back-to-back premiere-level events at Rome and Madrid, and has now won 12 singles titles. She was a finalist at the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year and reached the semifinals at Wimbledon. She dominated the clay court season, winning 20 of 22 matches. She's playing in her second Sony Ericsson Championships, she's here from Russia, our No. 1 seed, Dinara Safina.
Questions, please.

Q. How would you sum up your year so far? How satisfying is it for you to reach these Championships again?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think it was my best year so far in the whole my career. I played great season. Just last tournament left. I just want to enjoy my last tournament, you know, with a great feeling going on vacation, saying like, I did what I did, I had the best season, and now I really can enjoy myself.

Q. The end of the year for you has not been as successful as the first half. Is there any reason for that? Is it tiredness or just loss of form?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, you know, human beings, it's tough to compete in the whole year in the top shape. You have some ups and downs. Here and there I had some problems.
But, you know, you cannot change the body. You're not robot that you play hundred percent. I went down a little bit physically. Also the year so long, I been playing so many matches, maybe just a little bit tired, maybe not any more that focus that I had.
But, you know, it just makes me more hungry for now that I had a bad, I would say, US Open Series, and after in Asia tour. So now I really much more excited to step back on the court.

Q. How important is this tournament and this title?
DINARA SAFINA: Every tournament is important, every title. I mean, here is the best of eight players. I think to win here, it's something very big. You know, from the first match, you have to be top shape. It's not like a Grand Slam until basically third round, fourth round, you have some matches that you don't have to play your hundred percent, you can win struggling, but you still can make it. But here, you're not ready, you're out.

Q. Can you comment on your group?
DINARA SAFINA: I think we're all young players in our group. You know, it's not an easy group. Everyone is saying like it's easy, but there is no easy. It's eight best players. You cannot pick the draw. You know, a draw mate is a draw mate.
I just want to focus only on myself. I don't care who is playing on the other side. I want to go out there, play my game, do the things that I have to do, and that's it, and let's see the end result.

Q. The season-ending No. 1 ranking will be between you and Serena. It will be determined here. How important an issue is that to you?
DINARA SAFINA: You know, I don't want to think about this right now. Just want to focus on my game, you know, and try the best I can, playing my best, winning my matches, it's going to be the result. I just want to focus on my game.

Q. How have you prepared for this tournament especially?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I came here quite early. Since Sunday I'm here practicing because I've been one week in Munich practicing, and we came here early because the weather is completely different. It's much hotter here and much more humid. I've been practicing as usual, a hundred percent. By me, it's always the same.

Q. It's a great achievement to become world No. 1. Some people have criticized the world ranking system this season. Do you think that's fair to do that or not?
DINARA SAFINA: So call them to make a ranking system how they want to make it.

Q. Like your brother, you're very much a player who plays on emotions. We always know how you're feeling on the court because you show us. Do you sometimes wish you could be perhaps a little more 'keep it under control'? Do you think it affects the way you play sometimes, that you are so open with your emotions?
DINARA SAFINA: Of course, I know this. Some things I'm like this, I'm too open. It's very bad, I know. Many people don't even have to say how I feel, I can show them. This thing I have to learn. I think I am improve compared to how I was before. Before, before stepping on the court, I could say already if I have a bad day or good day.
Now, of course, even I have a bad day, I still try to be much more positive and get the best out of it. So I still learning and I still have to improve. This is going to be the most important thing for me to improve.

Q. How do you go about that? Is there someone that you can talk to or something you can do?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, this is, of course, something that I have to change myself. Only I can control it, nobody else. Everybody says this. But this is my decision to change it or not. I guess I have to change it.

Q. Will you go to Paris for the last tournament?
DINARA SAFINA: No. Let me have a break. I have enough tennis (laughter).

Q. The Grand Slam issue will continue to be raised with you until you win one. Do you think that day is now close?
DINARA SAFINA: I mean, close it's got to be because I been in three Grand Slam finals, so it is there. And I've been in two semis. It's there. Last year I winning every tournament and they asking me why I'm not No. 1. This year I became No. 1, there is no Grand Slam. It is every day going to be something. So let me take step by step.
It's not that I don't want to win a Grand Slam, of course. But I guess I need to work a little bit more, improving some things, to make me stronger to deal with this.

Q. You suggest whatever you do, people will criticize you. Does that irritate you as you go about your travels?
DINARA SAFINA: I don't care anymore. They can say whatever they want. I am where I am, and that's it (smiling).

Q. Are you in favor of on-court coaching? Are you a fan? Do you think it actually adds to the game?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I'm using it. If it is, I'm using it. It it's not, no. In a Grand Slam, there is no on-court coach.
I'm okay with it. Helps, not helps. I don't know. Anyway, everybody coach even from the stands, so it doesn't matter (smiling).

Q. You say you have to change about your emotions. Do you ask, How can I change? What can I do?
DINARA SAFINA: What can I do? Not to show any emotions? What else I can do? This is the thing, not to be completely like without any emotions, of course, like positive. I know what I have to change. It's just that I have to do it.

Q. Are you excited about the future of the women's game? You're in a very young group here. Henin is coming back next year. Clijsters has come back and won a Grand Slam. How excited are you about the next five, six years in women's tennis?
DINARA SAFINA: I don't know. I think one day at a time. I don't think five, six years what's going to happen, what is going to change, who is going to be there. It's too much ahead, you know.
It's better that we say, you know, one day at a time, one tournament at a time.

Q. Last year here you lost all three of your matches. Do you like the conditions here or do you find them unsuitable?
DINARA SAFINA: I have no problems playing here. Actually, I didn't have a very easy group last year. I had Venus, Serena and Dementieva. They were all in good shape, you know. It's either you win or you lose. So it was at that moment that I did not make not one of them. So that's why this year I'll try to do better.

Q. Does it look more appealing to you, the lineup you're facing?
DINARA SAFINA: You know, I cannot say. Still I have to go and play my hundred percent. Doesn't matter who I play. So, you know, let's see.

Q. How do you like the conditions compared with indoor?

Q. Indoor.
DINARA SAFINA: I didn't play indoors.

Q. But do you prefer to play in these conditions than indoors?
DINARA SAFINA: Same. I don't know. If you choose the tournaments, it's indoors, if it's indoors, indoors; if it's outdoors, outdoors. I don't really care.

Q. You say you're looking forward to your holiday. Do you have something special planned?
DINARA SAFINA: After this tournament, I'm going to holidays. Just want to rest, you know, and to lie a little bit on the beach and just not do anything.

Q. If you look at the year as a whole, what about your game has pleased you most that's improved? Is there anything you would have done differently this year?
DINARA SAFINA: Even if I did some things wrong, you know, it's just experience. So I cannot say I should have done. I just have to learn from them. I mean, I had the best clay court season. I just lost two matches in the whole clay court. The start of the season, I mean, how many matches I won? I started the season straight making Grand Slam final.
So I think I cannot take anything bad from it. I think just only positive things I can take out of the season.

Q. Would it be the fitness that would please you most?
DINARA SAFINA: It's everything. Tennis is not only about fitness, you know, fit or not fit. It's also about you feel the game, you play the game. It's a little bit of everything.

Q. Was it difficult to skip Moscow, the Kremlin Cup, for you?
DINARA SAFINA: It was strange, yeah, because when you look at the draw and you don't see any Russian, I mean only one Russian from the top. Before it was such a strong field, normally Russians, so it's a little bit different.
It's always nice to play in front of your home crowd, you know, spend some time home. But hopefully maybe they can do something next year that there is chance for us to play.
Thank you.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297