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18/01/2011 11:17 CEST - Australian Open

Dinara Safina (18 gennaio)

Dinara Safina l. to Clijsters

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Q. How do you explain it? She's obviously in good form, but yourself?
DINARA SAFINA: If I would know the answer, I guess I would do different things.
I don't know. I didn't know how to win a point. Basically came to this thing. I didn't know. I was sitting in the changeover and I was like, okay, at least how can I get a chance to hurt her? There was nothing that I could hurt her.

Q. Have you ever had that feeling before?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I guess I had the same feeling last week when I won one game. This week I didn't win not even one game.

Q. What does that tell you about where you're at, your motivation?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I mean, of course I have motivation. I've been doing two months of pre‑season. I'm fully motivated. I practiced hard. I cannot say that I didn't practice hard.
But I guess something was not right. I don't know. I have to figure out the answers. But first week, okay, was bad luck against Yanina. She played some good tennis. It was 6‑1 in the third. It was close. But to lose two tournaments in a row 6‑Love, 6‑1, 6‑Love, 6‑Love. It's really to scratch the head and to think what the hell I'm doing. It's not that I don't want. I want. There's no doubt about. I want to come back and I want to play better. But now to find answers how I can come back.

Q. What about the emotion of the night? What has the night been like for the last hour?
DINARA SAFINA: I've been looking forward for this match. We played many times. I was really like, Okay, I was looking for this match. From my side, I was like, Okay, just go out there and play your game and see. Once you play your game, you can see how you can hurt her, or at least to play. You play, you fight. 1‑All, you can see to what you can play.
But today she was just cruising and cruising.

Q. What were you telling yourself emotionally during the breaks?
DINARA SAFINA: Like I said, in the changeovers, I was like, What I have to play to hurt her? I could not find the answer. So this is the thing. It's tough to play what you don't know what to play. Nothing was hurting her, not my backhand, my forehand or my serve. My return, nothing. She was dictating basically from the first point.
It's tough for me when somebody's dictating. Normally I used to dictate. Now this is a little bit different. This is not really to play.

Q. Does it hurt your pride more than anything else?
DINARA SAFINA: Definitely it hurts. But what I can do? First to find the reason what's going on, what are the mistakes, and then to work on them. Not to go blindly on the court and killing your ass for like five hours. Sometimes it makes no sense. You can practice five hours, but doing the wrong thing.
I have to do something, watch the video, what is missing, what is such a big difference what they making. And then to go on the court to focus, to close your eyes, head, and say, Okay, with the track suit, racquet and go and work.

Q. Are your physical problems solved?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, I'm fine. This is no problem.

Q. So it's just mental probably?
DINARA SAFINA: I don't know is much mental. If I would think it's only mental, then it's easy to solve. Like okay. But it was not only about mental. She was dominating. So it's something also in the game.

Q. Once Sharapova lost 6‑Love, 6‑Love to Davenport in California. That didn't mean she couldn't play after.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, the problem is it's 6‑Love, 6‑1 last week, and it's 6‑Love, 6‑Love this week.
I don't know. I need to find answers really.

Q. What does your coach say?
DINARA SAFINA: We didn't speak yet.

Q. Do you have any memory of when you played well when you go out on court?
DINARA SAFINA: Of course, I have. But I remember. Of course, it's always inside how I've been aggressive. But the problem is now, the players, they don't let me do these things. Now I have to find out how to get back to do these things.
My returns were much better. Now they're not as much aggressive as they used to be. I realize this. Because before, when it was a second serve, they were scared. Now my first serve, I can't say it's better than it used to be, but maybe I need to serve closer to the lines, I don't know. And definitely out of my return of serve, I started to dominate the point. I was every time putting the pressure on the players. Now it's a little bit opposite: they're putting the pressure on me.

Q. Do you feel in practice you're hitting the ball as hard and with as much depth as you used to?
DINARA SAFINA: Practice is different. In the practice, that's the problem. I'm forcing myself to play aggressive because I know I have to force to do the things that I used to do.
But either it takes time to bring it to the court, because after what all happened because of the injury, I lose. But also I didn't had at least maybe two, three matches, it's not an excuse, but to go into the tournament to feel your shots, you know.
One thing is practice. You have no tension. You close your eyes, you hit, and if the ball lands, it's good. If not, it's another one. But in a tournament it's different.
I didn't have an opponent that I can play, either she makes me play or she makes me to run. It's strange. I'm not allowed to miss a shot. For three tournaments I had second seeded, first seeded, third seeded. It's not easy to bring your best game out of yourself from the first match.

Q. Given the results as they stand, does it make you question your future in the game at all?
DINARA SAFINA: I mean, future my game, what? Work. What else I can say? There is no secrets. I always believed in hard work. But now, like I said to you, to find the right way to work. It's not about hours. It's about the right things.

Q. Do you regret the split‑up with your former coach? New one, you didn't really make a big result.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I was injured also. Well, we split up. We split up. You don't get back the time. I know now he's working with other player. They're doing good. I'm really happy for them. I have my way now. They have their way.

Q. Are you confident you can get back amongst the best players?
DINARA SAFINA: Can I clear up my mind (smiling)? I mean, I wish really. I will give my hundred percent to get back. I will fight. I will go through whatever it takes. But first I want to find answers.


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