Interview with Dinara Safina after her win
of her second round match over
Kristina Barrois at the 2009 US Open
in 3 sets 6-7,6-2,6-3
Q. You survive another day.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, yeah, another tough day in the
office. Another day off tomorrow and another match on
Q. I mean, obviously your serve
was a little bit of a problem today. What was going on
with the serve?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, actually today I think I was serving
in some stages better than the first round. It's at least
already positive. At least I made some aces.
Previous round I didn't make any ace and made only double
faults. It's better. Still not perfect, but I know what's
the problem. There is no problem in the technique or
nothing. Just in my head, so I know just to change the
Q. You played a better match
today than you did in the previous round, correct?
DINARA SAFINA: I think I did. A little bit different
player. She serves good, she comes to the net. She's
different player, but I think I played better match today
than in previous round.
Q. Common sense tells you that
you want to have quick, easy matches in the beginning
because you save your body and so forth. Can you also
look at positives from being able to get through two ,
three setters in the beginning, so that as you progress
down in the tournament you know you can come back and win
that third set if you need to?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I mean, it's not, let's say like
WTA tournament when you have to play next day. Of course,
then you have to try not to play three sets not try. I
don't want to play three sets, obviously. But I still
have one more day to recover, so that's not a problem.
I mean, guys they play five sets, and sometimes they play
until the end of the tournament only five sets. So, you
know, there is always next day. Now I have enough time to
recover and get read for my next round.
Q. You played two and a half
hours two days ago, two hours fifteen minutes today.
Aggressive tennis. Physically do you feel fine?
DINARA SAFINA: Actually, I do feel fine. Not really that
I played a lot in this summer. I played only final in
Cincinnati, so I had enough room to recover. So I better
use some energy now.
Q. When you have a day off, do
you feel 100% almost? If you played next day you wouldn't
be 100%, but if you play two days later you're almost
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah. I mean, no reason not to be. And
tomorrow I think tomorrow morning I can already be 100%
practicing. During the off season, it was much tougher.
You know, I would finish the day at 9:00 in the evening,
and next morning at 9:00 in the morning I have already to
be on the court and giving my 100% and I had even less
time to recover.
That's why we have a base that we build everything to be
ready for any situation during the tournament.
Q. Do you feel all the talk
about nonsense I won't even say what it is but does the
crowd or people here give you a lot of support? People
say things to you to sort of encourage you?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, of course. Actually, they support me
a lot, you know. I really like to play here. And of
course I think it helps that my brother won here. They
love, I guess, our family. So I want them to cheer for
You know when you are playing on the court and you're
fighting, maybe in some stages you're not playing your
best, but you still here the crowd supporting you and
just gives you another edge. You want to play for them
and win for them. They come the next day and support you.
Q. Your brother and many others
have talked about the difficulties of living up to
expectations when you are the top player in the world,
man or woman. You're No. 1 by way of being, in large
part, I think nine finals that you have' been in this
year. Now, do you feel that that just having those the
fact that you've made it to nine finals on different
surfaces, does that give you tremendous confidence in
your ability to progress here over the course of a two
DINARA SAFINA: Of course. You know, let's say last year I
started only from the half year. But this year I proved
that I can play on all surfaces. I made semifinal
Wimbledon when I never pass the second week.
So it just shows me that I can play on all surfaces. This
gives me a lot of confidence when I step on the court and
I know that I'm you know, beat me. I'm ready for you.
Q. As he mentioned though with
all the controversy that has gone on, what was going
through your mind at the end of that first set when you
found yourself down a set?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I've been down a set also in the
first round. There are still two sets more to play.
Q. I'm sure you love to win 6 2,
6 1, whatever. Is there a part of you that just has to
say, Okay, I'm going to have this drama. It's going to be
three sets. It's gonna be crazy. It's going to be double
faults, but I'll get through it. Is there a part of you
that has to sort of embrace it and say, Let's go?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, it's basically because today was
exactly the same situation as first round. Again 5 3 up,
against serve, 6 5 against set points. I don't want to
play three sets. Don't think that I want to lose the
first set and then, you know, being again break down in
the third set and I fight through.
Well, it just I have to be more disciplined. Here is
okay, 5 3, and there is no more talking. I have to close
the set. So, you know, I will work on it, and we'll make
sure it's going to be two sets.
Q. Kim Clijsters said yesterday
that about the No. 1 issue she said, I hope Dinara is not
letting it bother her or not thinking about it. I was in
the same situation and I was No. 1 and hadn't won a Grand
Slam. Is it something that enters your mind at all?
DINARA SAFINA: As I said before, when she she was in the
same situation as I am, you know. But nobody will take it
away from me. There are so many players who won a Grand
Slam and where they are now? Nowhere. Some of the players
you don't even know that they won a Grand Slam. You look
and say like, Oh, my gosh, she won.
But No. 1 will always stay there. The people will
remember you by No. 1, not by winning a Grand Slam.
Q. Marat came in here and
basically lectured us and said, Okay, come on, guys. I
got to protect my sister. Ranking is ranking. Leave her
alone. Make her happy, come on. What does it mean to you
that he's doing that? He's looking out for you?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, he's my big brother. You know, he
can talk here. He can sit and talk to you guys, like
leave me alone. I'm No. 1 in the world.
Q. As No. 1, playing on Louis
Armstrong, does that bother you? Do you believe you
belong playing on Arthur Ashe?
DINARA SAFINA: Me personally I like more Armstrong
because it's less wind than Arthur Ashe. Doesn't matter
if outside is gonna be no wind, on Ashe it's always like
Me, I like Armstrong better. Of course the crowd is much
bigger on Ashe and you cannot compare night session on
But like this, first match on, I don't mind. Even I
sometimes prefer Armstrong.
Q. Who is more popular in Russia
now, you or your brother?
DINARA SAFINA: My brother. By the girls so far. I
mean, how many girls there are in Russia? (laughter.)
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WTA ranking for the week of May 25, 2009
Dinara Safina wins the Mutua Madrileña
Madrid Open title against Caroline Wozniacki