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January 18, 2010

Dinara Safina


D. SAFINA/M. Rybarikova
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you sum up your first-round match?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, you know, it's still the beginning of the season, you know. Let's say it was not an easy first-round match. She's a very good opponent. She plays very good.
I had some good moments and bad moments, but overall I'm happy I went through, and I'm pretty satisfied with everything.

Q. What pleased you most about the match?
DINARA SAFINA: I mean, it was a solid game by me. Just from this I can start to build up much more confidence and using more my shots.
So I think it was a very solid game from my side.

Q. Physically how are you feeling?
DINARA SAFINA: I'm feeling pretty good.

Q. A month ago did you expect to be here, or did you think physically maybe that wouldn't happen for you?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I was pretty confident because I spoke with my doctor back in -- he's in Germany. He told me like for Australia Open for sure I'm going to be hundred percent. Was doubting the tournaments before.
But, you know, my recovery went pretty fast, so I was even ready for Sydney.

Q. When you left Doha at the end of the year, what were you thinking in general about your year and how it went?
DINARA SAFINA: At that moment I just wanted to heal my injuries fast as possible. You know, that was the only thing. You know, it was unfortunate. It was disappointing end of the season that you have to retire.
You do everything to get to the Masters, and then you cannot play because of the injury. So it was sad. But, you know, sometimes you cannot fight against the injury. So it was a good lesson that I have to be smarter and take much more care about myself.
But, you know, I just had a good rest, and I was much more motivated for practices.

Q. So in the off-season when you were thinking about 2009 last year, what were your general thoughts? Were you happy about it? Do you think there were some missed opportunities?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I can say only happy, you know. It was a great season. You know, I didn't make a Grand Slam. But, you know, I still won a big tournaments. I was again in two finals.
So, you know, every year I'm doing better. So why I even have to be sad or something? I reach No. 1 in the world. Some people never reach this and they have to finish their career.
I did more than many people expected me to do, so I think it was a great season from my side.

Q. What do you think about the comeback of Justine Henin? You were the one who beat her, and now she's come back.
DINARA SAFINA: I think it's great for her that she's back.

Q. And for women's tennis?
DINARA SAFINA: I guess so.

Q. Sharapova said she thought this year would be maybe the most competitive in a long time because Kim comes back, Justine is back, some of the younger players are coming up, then all of you are in it. Do you agree?
DINARA SAFINA: I think so, yeah. It is like much more competition. It's not anymore so easy if you are top 10 that you're going to win a match 6-Love, 6-Love. Nobody going to tank to you anymore.
So they all -- the young ones, they all have no fear. They all deserve to beat you. So it's getting not easy. But, you know, that's why -- it's a competitive sport, you know.
You have to push yourself and work on your weaknesses day to day. It's not the sport where you're the best, you just win by the name. No, you have to every day work.

Q. Would you say that you're more motivated coming in here than you were last year? How hard is it to maintain the same level of motivation year after year?
DINARA SAFINA: Last year I was also motivated. I cannot say anything. Just I think at the end of the last year I was tired, exhausted, like I had no more fun on the court.
But now I feel like I'm back and I'm, like, enjoying every moment on the court. That was missing a little bit last year. Last year I was every time like pushing myself, like, Okay, I have to do it. But now I do it with a much more desire.

Q. So how is it to be out here now that your brother is no longer on tour?
DINARA SAFINA: Weird. But from other hand, you know, it had to ended up. So somehow I was prepared. I knew it was not going to be forever.
And I still get the same support, so it's good (smiling).

End of FastScripts

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