August 26, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Very nice start to your US Open campaign. Feel good today?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, it was difficult match, because I never ‑‑ I only
saw her playing, and actually she was a good player, you know. So I was
a little bit unexpected.
It was pretty windy today outside, so I'm still happy that I could play
two sets and I win my match.
Q. You come in with great, great momentum; hardcourt season very
successful for you. Just talk about arguably one of the hottest player
coming in right now, at least in the assessment of many. Just talk about
your sense of confidence and coming forward and what your goals and
ambitions are here.
DINARA SAFINA: Um, about goals, I don't like to think that far, you
know, because I know I like to take one match at a time because every
opponent is dangerous.
Maybe today I went not 100% focused. I was a little bit achy, and it
went straight 6‑3, 6‑4. I was struggling today on the court. It's
important I go out there and give my 100% every day.
Well, I mean, I've been working really hard all the years. And, yes,
maybe I didn't have the right people next to me, so I guess like all the
work and I would say all the patience that I had, you know, not going
down and some ups and downs and I still was staying positive, and now
finally I've found a coach that he fits me, and fitness coach who is
taking care of that I stay 100% shape. So I think just paying off, all
Q. Marat, having won here before, how special would it be for you to
equal his accomplishment in the same venue?
DINARA SAFINA: I don't know. I think this would be my dream come true. I
don't know. This would be the most amazing thing that can happen.
Q. What did you and Marat fight about when you were little kids?
DINARA SAFINA: I would say he would, on the court, that I would behave
like a baby and the crying and all this. He hated it. He was always
like, Come on. You have to grow up in your mind. You cannot behave like
Mostly that he would give me advice like that. I just have to grow up in
my mind. But it needed time, so...
Q. I actually meant at home. I didn't mean on the tennis court.
DINARA SAFINA: Ah, at home?
DINARA SAFINA: Only thing that I was doing every time, messing the room
and he had to clean everything. But that's okay.
Q. Would you ever tell him that he isn't the most adult person always on
the court, either?
DINARA SAFINA: That's why he's telling like from my experience. I tell
you, don't do this.
Q. Which sort of relationship do you have with your brother? Now you are
one of the first players in the world. You are playing so well. You are
champion. You, too. Which has changed between you?
DINARA SAFINA: Nothing changed. It doesn't need the results. It's
family. Doesn't matter. That's why, you know, you have your family
always next to you whenever you're up or down. They are the same.
Nothing can change.
Q. What would you like to have about Marat, like tennis player or like
DINARA SAFINA: When he plays his best, I would take everything what he
has: his power, fighting spirit. I mean he reads the game very good, and
when he plays he's the best everything. When he plays his worst game,
then I don't need anything. (laughter.)
Q. Like human being, what do you think is his best quality?
DINARA SAFINA: Like what?
Q. Human being.
DINARA SAFINA: His best quality?
I think he's the person like he would be always next to you. Like
whenever you need help he would be there. I can say like with us,
family. You know, like whenever I was down or whatever, he ‑‑ I think he
would prefer like to see me smiling.
I would say sometimes, I cannot feel anything on the court. He would
say, If you would just stop it, just enjoy the life. For him, most
important he sees me happy. So he will help with whatever he can.
Q. Where were you when he won here?
DINARA SAFINA: In Valencia.
Q. And were you at home or...
DINARA SAFINA: Well, Valencia. I was spending some time there. Actually
I was not even watching, because we had not cable TV to watch that
final. But we had some friends who were calling us and telling us the
Q. And how long was it before you were able to reach Marat after he won?
DINARA SAFINA: Maybe next day I spoke with him. I don't remember. It was
so long time ago.
Q. Now that you have more success than him, is there advice you can give
to him? And would he listen to your advice?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I better listen to his advice. I cannot ‑‑ yes, I
have now success, but he was No. 1 in the world, so I still have to
catch him up. He still can teach me many things in life.
Q. I was at a press conference of his last week in Los Angeles, and he
said it used to be that I was her big brother. Now it's the opposite.
Now it changed. Do you see it that way?
DINARA SAFINA: No.
Q. Now you're the one that's known more?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, but I'm still his younger sister. Doesn't matter.
Because still I would walk and I would hear the crowds, saying, Oh, this
is the sister of Marat. I think forever I'm going to be his little
Q. Are you going to watch his match? He's about to play.
DINARA SAFINA: No, actually I'm not watching him unless I'm out of the
tournament, because I get very tight watching him, and I still have
Q. We know something about the Marat girlfriends. We don't know anything
about the Safina boyfriend. What you can say about that?
DINARA SAFINA: I don't speak about my private life.
Q. Have you guys ever had a sibling rivalry, or is it even more
noticeable now that maybe you're having more success than he is? Has
there ever been envy or jealousy between you?
DINARA SAFINA: Never, never. In our family this doesn't exist. We don't
Q. What do your parents say to you about that? In order to not have that
sibling rivalry, what have they said to you?
DINARA SAFINA: Whew, it's just the way we are. Like maybe ‑‑ the way
they educated us, that ‑‑ I mean, I cannot even imagine be jealous of my
brother. I would ‑‑ it's impossible.
It's because it's our family, and whatever. Success, it's the family
success. I can't not even imagine it.
Q. Are you glad he's a brother and not a sister so you don't have to
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I guess, but let's see, next year Hopman Cup how
we're going to play mixed.
Q. It just came to my attention that we over here might be
mispronouncing your name as ‑‑ would you like us to correct us?
DINARA SAFINA: I don't care. It's already Safina. But I'm Safina,
normally. I'm used to it. I'm used to it. It doesn't matter.
Q. Do you think you lost at the Olympics because you were tired? That
was the reason?
DINARA SAFINA: You know, you can find many excuses. She was better that
day. Yes, after you can say, yes, I was tired, or this.
But if you are tired, don't go on the court. So she was just better that
day. I give her all the credit.
Q. She said yesterday that it's been very difficult for her to focus
right now on this tournament, that Sunday night she watched the closing
ceremonies. She said in a lot of ways her heart still felt like she was
in Beijing. This has been a very difficult transition for her. Have you
had any of that similar‑type experience?
DINARA SAFINA: No. Actually, I didn't even watch the closing ceremony.
Somehow, I don't know, I came, I played and I left. I didn't maybe even
get to feel this Olympic or, I don't know. It was just, okay, come and
I flew straight from China to here, so somehow slowly I got this
atmosphere. But today on the court I was like, it's a Grand Slam, but
I'm not even nervous. It was like, this is strange, because normally
before the Grand Slam you're very tight. Like even Olympics first round
I was really nervous, and today I was completely not feeling so on the
court, like not nervous on the court.
Q. What do you attribute that to, though? You're just feeling very
comfortable right now?
DINARA SAFINA: No, I guess I have to change a little in my mind and to
prepare better. I don't know. Because it's better that I feel a little
bit nervous than completely without any feelings inside.
Q. Compared to last year, have you lost weight?
DINARA SAFINA: You can see.
Q. I don't know. I ask.
DINARA SAFINA: If you think I lost some, I guess I lost.
Q. You don't know?
DINARA SAFINA: I did lost.
Q. You're both playing your opening matches today. Is this a significant
day for the family?
DINARA SAFINA: I guess for the parents who are following on TV. For me,
I'm used to it.
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