Safina interview after the finals

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Q. Was it just simply a bad case of nerves tonight?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I would say so. You know, it was first time for me to play not only for the Grand Slam, but it’s also for No. 1 spot. And I never been through this situation, you know, and she was already.

So, I mean, she was much more times in this situation. I would say she was much more experienced than I was today stepping on the court.

Q. Is there anything you can take out of the match for the future?

DINARA SAFINA: Of course. You know, after, you know, every loss you just have to take things, what was wrong. And now it’s gonna be back to training and just do it better.

Q. How did you feel before the match? Did you feel ready to go?

DINARA SAFINA: I was feeling good, you know. But then, of course, once you step in the court, it’s different situation.

But I was not nervous, not even close like before the French Open final. I couldn’t even sleep the night. But today I slept good and everything was fine. But just pity.

Q. When it finished, did you feel like going out and playing again?

DINARA SAFINA: Not really (laughter). You know, maybe couple days, yes. But today, I don’t know, maybe was not ‑‑ I wasn’t me on the court, you know.

Q. Could you tell that after a couple points, the double‑faults, that felt wrong then?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, my serve, I think the whole tournament I was struggling with my serve. I don’t know. I’ve been working on my serve. Everything was fine.

And just suddenly, I don’t know, just serving double‑faults. And I was like, Okay, now at least it was flying somewhere. First few matches it was double‑fault, but 110. Today was double‑fault 150. Each match I was serving a little bit harder.

Now I just have to go back, take a little time and get everything back in the place. I mean, I had three weeks in a row ‑ four weeks with a Grand Slam. Of course, by playing every day matches from Hopman Cup, it’s tough to practice, you know.

Once you play match, everything goes a little bit, you know, the technique just goes back. Now I want to go back and I’ll have few days and just put everything together and I’ll get ready for Dubai.

Q. How long do you think she can stay No. 1 if she performs like this tonight?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, with her, you know, she doesn’t play that many tournaments. That’s the problem by her. You know, if she plays every week, like most of the players does, then, of course, it will be tough.

But, I mean, she’s a champion. She proved it. It just depends on her.

Q. Do you feel anger besides disappointment?

DINARA SAFINA: At the moment I just feel really like tired. I think maybe because everything, like adrenaline went down. As you know, once you’re in a tournament, you know, you’re always trying to stay positive, you know, like come on. Even if you feel tired, you’re trying to escape these thoughts that even come into the mind because you know you still need the energy.

But now, once it’s over, really now I was sitting out and talking with my coach, and I felt like I’m just exhausted, like dead.

Q. Did you feel you played yourself back into the match when you broke Serena early in the second?

DINARA SAFINA: Even like I lost the set, I was like, Okay, still, like come on. Tried, but, you know, my serve was letting me down, so…

After I hold it for two times, but just during the match I was not giving her any trouble with my serve. Normally my serve is my weapon. So playing without all my weapons, it’s tough against her.

Q. You said that sometimes when you go out there and play, you play yourself, and sometimes you play the opponent. Who did you think you were playing today?

DINARA SAFINA: No, today I wouldn’t say that I was negative on the court, nothing. I was trying to stay positive and I was trying to do something. Just didn’t had enough time to do it. It was too fast, you know, everything.

Q. Do you think she played well today?

DINARA SAFINA: I think she did. You know, she played exactly the way she had to play and she was much more aggressive and she just was taking time out of me, so I didn’t have that much time to put back myself onto the court. She didn’t even let me to come into the match.

Q. How difficult is it to bounce back from something like this?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I hope it’s not the last one, you know. I still have time. And just, you know, I’ll go on the court now and practice. Those mistakes that I’ve been doing, just will try to work as hard as I can that they will never happen again.

After every lose, I try to take what was good and what was wrong, and to work on my weaknesses, to get them better, that my opponents will not have that easy next time.

Q. Can you compare the disappointment you feel now to what you felt in Paris?

DINARA SAFINA: It’s both disappointing, you know. You cannot pick one. I feel the same, you know, disappointing. French Open and here. I would say today that I was not able maybe to show my game, you know. It’s also very disappointing.

Q. When you were waiting for the ceremony, Serena made you smile again. What did you talk about?

DINARA SAFINA: No, just nothing. Just few words we were talking. We started to talk about Hopman Cup, all these things, but not much.

Q. Playing Serena, does she make you doubt yourself more than other players?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, she puts pressure, you know, because she’s aggressive. It’s not that you doubt in myself. She pushes you to go a little bit for more because you don’t want to give her any easy ball because you know that she will go for it.

Either she makes it or misses, but most of the time she makes it. It’s just that she puts pressure, that’s all. But you cannot doubt in yourself.

Q. You said you’re going to go out and work on your serve from tonight’s match. How long will it take you to get over a loss like this?

DINARA SAFINA: If I would lose the first round, of course I would sit here and I would start to think. But I lost in the final, you know. I made all the way. There is much more positive than negative. So just I lost the match, and now it’s back to training.

I don’t see any reason to panic or to make thousand thoughts in my mind.

Q. Is she the best player you’ve ever played against? Would you rate her that high?

DINARA SAFINA: I don’t know, and Justine. I don’t know. For me, either because just like the way was Justine. I think for me, Justine was best. Not I don’t have anything against Serena, but I love the way Justine was playing. I love the way she was on the court and all these things. Just maybe I like more Justine.

Q. Have you heard from Marat yet?

DINARA SAFINA: I don’t know. I put my phone in the bag of my coach and I can’t even get it. I don’t even know who text me.

013109 saturday/info-photo via Australian Open / Getty Images

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