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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 2006, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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articles about Dinara



RUSSIANS READY FOR BIG PUSH

Be warned. The Russians are coming.

No less then ten players from the former Communist superpower occupied the top 100 at the end of last season - and now they are preparing for an assault on the game's elite.

Anastasia Myskina is currently the highest ranked Russian at number 11.

But you wonder whether Myskina has the game to push on from there. Cracking the top five is a tough thing to do as the likes of Silvia Farina Elia and Meghann Shaughnessy have discovered.

Elena Dementieva and Anna Kournikova are Russians who fit into that 'nearly' category.

While they look to be on the way down, Elena Bovina is a player who has flown up the ranking list and she should soon break into the top 20.

It would also be unfair to rule out a rapid rise for Nadia Petrova, a player of whom much was expected in this column 12 months ago.

However, after a fine first couple of weeks of the year, the Russian suffered a foot injury which kept her out for seven months.

On her return, Petrova, 20, thrashed Martina Hingis in Moscow - not the result it once was but not bad all the same - and should be ready to soar up from her current position of 112.

One player who is guaranteed to earn plenty of headlines is Dinara Safina.

One reason for that is that Safina is the younger sister of men's world number three Marat Safin.

But she is also a player capable of letting her tennis do the talking and expect her to be one of the big movers on the rankings this term.

Safina has already made an impact on the tour, reaching the semi-finals in Estoril on her tour debut.

A first WTA title followed on the clay of Sopot, while a first Grand Slam match win was achieved when Rita Grande was beaten at the US Open.

Using her family power, Safina also recorded wins over decent players in Cristina Torrens Valero and her biggest victim to date, world number 17 Elia.

Bigger names will now be wary of the 16-year-old but she has the ability to keep making waves.

A win over a top-ten player could well follow at some stage this season, while breaking into the top 30 looks a realistic aim.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 2006, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Safina making her own mark
Monday, 13 January, 2003
by Barry Levinson



With eight players currently ranked in the women's top 50, Russia is having a big influence on the WTA Tour.

Another bright Russian-prospect, 16 year-old Dinara Safina, is not in the top 50 yet, but it's likely to be only a matter of time - even if she doesn't think so herself.

Safina is the younger sister of men's world No.3 Marat Safin and shares her brother's trait of being quite self deprecating after a defeat.

Despite her tender years, Safina took her own world ranking up to No.68 last season, after less than a year on the WTA Tour.

Currently ranked at No.70, Safina had high hopes before her first-ever appearance at the Australian Open, heading into Monday's first-round match against Slovakian No.32 seed Katarina Srebotnik.

Watched on by her support crew, which included her mother and coach Raouza Islanova and famous brother, the Russian began well in the match on court 10, claiming the first set 6-3.

But after the conclusion of the first set, Marat left to hit the practice courts and the tide turned in favour of the higher-ranked Srebotnik, who went on to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-3 and claim the match.

Call it a coincidence, but Safina did not look quite as assured on the court after her brother disappeared. And despite the credentials of her opponent, the Russian was far from happy with her performance.

"I'm not playing very good right now," she said. "I don't have a lot of confidence and I'm not happy with how I played today." Asked what she needs to improve in her game, she replied: "Everything".

"I was practising really hard and I came here with the confidence and now I don't know. I've lost two first-rounds and I don't know what's happening. I'm playing not bad, but not enough to beat these players."

As well as losing in the first-round here, Safina was knocked out in the first-round of last week's Canberra Women's Classic by world No.46 Laura Granville of the United States, also in three sets.

Safina is a tall girl (1.82 metres) and possesses a high bouncing serve and powerful groundstrokes, not unlike her bother. However, she herself doesn't believe that their games are very similar now, although she would like them to be.

"We have different games," Safina concluded. He plays much more aggressive than me. I'm trying to do it, but how I'm playing now, I'm playing so bad."

Safina did not make her debut on the WTA Tour until last April, when her ranking stood at No.404. Three months later, her ranking was already down to No.169 and she won her first title at Sopot in Poland, including a victory over current world No.15 Patty Schnyder.

But the Russian believes that being able to maintain her ranking this year will prove more difficult than making her way up the list last year.

"I was playing good last year. Because it was my first year I didn't have to defend anything (ranking points) so that's why I was going up. We'll see this year, I don't know."

But her frame of mind at the time of our interview suggested she has modest ambitions for 2003.

"This year, if I finish top 100, I'll be happy, because the way I'm playing, I'm not happy, so if I finish top 100, that will be a big relief," she said.

The brother and sister were always going to be tennis players. Aside from their mother being a tennis coach, their father is the director of a tennis club in their native Moscow. And the youngster is quite happy forging a career for herself on the courts and can't imagine herself doing anything else.

Safina doesn't get to see her brother play very often. The Grand Slams are a rare opportunity for them to offer visible support to each other. And Safina thinks she can learn much from the way her brother plays and will be there when he takes to the court against the Netherlands' Raimon Sluiter on Tuesday.

"He's playing great. How he serves, the way he's playing, everything I like from him," she says.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 2006, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Getting To Know… Dinara Safina - from July, 2003 -

The "Getting To Know…" subjects of the past two weeks have more things in common than what you would initially think. Not only do Italian veteran Silvia Farina Elia and Russian teenager Dinara Safina have (almost) rhyming surnames, they’ve both enjoyed Tour singles victories recently (Farina Elia at Strasbourg in May and Safina last week in Palermo) and they also share the same birthday - 27 April - albeit 14 years apart.

That may be where the similarities end, with 31-year-old Farina Elia nearing the end of her career and the 17-year-old Safina, a Moscow native, just starting out on hers.

Safina, sister of former ATP world No.1 and US Open champion Marat Safin, played her first Tour main draw in Estoril last year, reaching the semifinals. In just her fourth Tour event, the Idea Prokom Open in Sopot, Poland, Safina became the first qualifier in nearly three years and the youngest player in more than four years (16 years, three months) to win a singles title.

An impressive debut season on the WTA Tour concluded with a No.68 ranking, up from No.394 at the start of the year.

Safina’s Sopot title defence is just two weeks away, so what better way to prepare for that than to get the winning feeling back?

After a moderate start to 2003, reaching one quarterfinal (Doha) and qualifying for Dubai, Berlin and Rome, Safina stormed through the field at last week’s Internazionali Femminili di Palermo. Not dropping a set en route to her second career title, Safina defeated Katarina Srebotnik in final, becoming the fourth different Russian to win a Tour singles title so far in 2003.

Notes & Netcords spoke with Dinara Safina, who debuts in the Top 50 this week, during her title run in Palermo.

You played on grass at Wimbledon, this week on clay, and soon on the hard courts. Is it difficult to change surfaces like that?

No, not really. It depends on my preparations for each tournament, but I can play on all surfaces. It really depends on my condition and if I’ve had time to prepare for each surface. If I don’t have a lot of practice on a surface, then it may be difficult.

You have won your second WTA Tour title. Knowing that you already have one title, did it take the pressure off when going for your second?

No, I didn’t really think about that. I just wanted to think about winning this one.

This year, you made your debuts at the first three Grand Slams, the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. You have already played at the US Open. If you could win only one, which one would it be?

Well, I like mostly all of them. I like the French, Wimbledon and US Open, but I think I would want to win the US Open because my brother won there.

Tennis is obviously in your family. Your mother coaches you, your father directs a tennis club, and your brother plays on the men’s Tour. How has that helped you?

They give me good advice because they have a lot of experience. My brother gave me lots of advice when I was younger and getting started. But now, we don’t talk about tennis too much because we don’t always want to be talking about tennis. It would probably make us crazy! But I do like it when he watches my matches.

When you were younger, who were some of your idols?

It was usually the person who was winning (dominating), especially at the Grand Slams. So, first it was Steffi Graf and then it was Martina Hingis and then Lindsay Davenport.

You’re 17 and one of the up-and-comers on the Tour. What is one of your major goals for this year?

I don’t really have one goal in particular except to enjoy playing.

You grew up in Spain. What was that like? Do you speak a lot of Spanish?

All of my family was there, so it was OK. It was easy there. I don’t really speak a lot of Spanish.

As you know, the Russian players on the Tour are getting lots of attention. You seem to get along with many of them and spend a lot of time with them. Is it more difficult for you to play against them?

We practice together sometimes or go to dinner together, but it isn’t more difficult to play them because in a match, I see them as just like any other player.

You said that one of your hobbies is going to the cinema, what is your favorite movie?

I don’t know. I don’t think I really have one. The last movie I saw was the Jim Carrey movie, "Bruce Almighty." I like him a lot. I don’t know what the English titles are for his movies, but I think he is really funny.

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Thanks Goldenlox!!

Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic, Nastya Myskina, Nadia Petrova, Alicia Molik, Ana Ivanovic, Sveta Kuznetsova, Elena Bovina, Misa Krajicek
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Marat speaks about Dinara :

AO 2004
Q: Your sister's playing here. She won this morning. Do you go, do
you see any of her matches? Do you talk to her about your tennis at
all or is it a very different..

Marat: Yeah but she has the coach and she has the mother. I mean the
coach, the mother is the mother, and they take care of her, outside
of the court, but she has a coach .. it's his job to explain to her
and improve her game. I'm just I'm also playing and I don't want to
be involved in these kind of things.. it's not the right thing to
do. You have to give the respect to the guy who is working with her,
right now so she will have to.. she will have to understand, and
realize what she needs for her tennis, and she has to start thinking
a little bit her way. And what she likes and what she wants and who
she wants to become. Because she's in a difficult age, I mean she's
gonna be 18 and she's really still young, and she has a lot of
things to improve, but improve by herself. She has to realize that
because, you cannot explain to the kid how she has to be and how she
wants...how.. what she has to do. She has to.. day by day and week
by week and then she will learn.

Q: You're her big brother and I'm sure she looks up to you...

Marat: Thank you.

Q: Do you give her any advice away from the court?

Marat: No, it's .. I leave everything on her. You have to make some
mistakes by yourself. It's better to make your mistake by yourself
than uh.. learning somebody's mistakes because it's difficult to
learn somebody's mistakes, until you realize that by yourself um..
what you need and what mistakes you've done. Then you realize what
you have to do. So, it's ok, it's ok if she's making a couple of
mistkes, no problem. Everybody does.

Q: True

Marat: (laughs)

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Dinara stepping out of the shadowby Luke Buttigieg
Saturday, January 24, 2004


Having been only 14 when her older brother Marat Safin won the US Open in 2000, Dinara Safina could have been forgiven for feeling under pressure to match his results when she made her WTA Tour debut less than six months later.

But having emerged in recent times as one of the most exciting young talents in the women's game, Safina has shown that Marat is not the only member of the family blessed when it comes to tennis.

The 17-year-old already has two titles to her name - at Sopot (2002) and Palermo (2003) - and having also broken into the top 50 for the first time last year, she says she is happy carving out her own name in the sport.

"I am in my third year on the tour now, so it's not really a problem for me," she said when asked if Marat's success had placed any extra pressure on her. "In my first year things were difficult, but I'm fine with things now, I have no worries."

Having enjoyed her best Grand Slam result at last year's US Open - when she reached the fourth-round - Safina was unable to match that effort at the Australian Open, going down 6-2 6-1 to Belgian No.2 seed Kim Clijsters at Vodafone Arena on Saturday.

With Marat choosing to stay away rather than be a possible jinx, Safina admitted after the defeat that silly errors had played a big part, as she held her serve just once from seven attempts.

"I just didn't play my best today, I made too many easy mistakes and they cost me," Safina said. "I played OK for the first five games, but lost concentration after that.

"I'm happy with how I have played this week, last year I lost in the first round but this year it was in the third round. I've learned to play a bit better and to fight more since last year.

"Marat didn't come and watch me play, he said he would be too nervous to sit there," she added of her sibling, who is through to the fourth round after winning a five-set thriller against American Todd Martin on Friday. "He just said to me 'go and play your best'."

One of the new breed of Russian women taking the tour by storm these days, Safina said she and her fellow players have a lot to thank compatriot Anna Kournikova for, even if she never won a singles title before a chronic back injury forced her off the tour.

"She was a top 10 player, and made the semi-finals at Wimbledon, so I think she did a lot for the women's game," Safina said. "People come to watch our game now, but that wasn't always the case before."

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Australian Tennis Magazine – November 2002; Special Siblings Edition



Dinara Safina: Growing and Glowing in the Giant’s Shadow




Marat Safin might be a big star but incredibly, it’s sister Dinara, who’s just 16 and not even competing full time yet, who can boast bigger on-court success this year (2002).



Vivienne Christie Reports



When 16-year old Russian Dinara Safina became the first qualifier and youngest player in history to win the Sopot Open in Poland, the thought that she’d managed to do something her world number 2 brother Marat Safin hadn’t managed all year – win a tournament – didn’t seem to cross her mind. She was too busy actually calling Marat to tell him the good news to even think of that. And then she had another tricky problem to address.

“He often bought me gifts after he won tournaments,” Safina told Reuters. “So now after telling him that I won, I have to think what to give him as a present. He already had many things he needs, so I must really think hard to make it a lasting memory.”

Not that Dinara seems to have anything to worry about in the “lasting memory” department. At 14, she was already being touted as the new Anna Kournikova (she also gave something of her killer attitude away when she announced to a group of reporters that she didn’t want to emulate Kournikova “because she hasn’t won anything yet.”).

Now, with her first title filed comfortably, she has risen from 394 to 70 in the world rankings and grown to a height of 182 cm this year. It seems only a matter of time before the young Russian with the heavy groundstrokes is giving the power hitter a run for the money.

Playing her first main draw Grand Slam event, Dinara upset higher-ranked Rita Grande in the first round of this year’s (2002) US Open before an unfortunate second round meeting with hotter-than-ever Serena Williams, who annihilated her younger opponent 6-0 6-1. But even that experience will ultimately prove a worthwhile one for Safina.

“Come on, she’s 16 years old. When I was 16, I was playing satellites in Spain. I was staying in a hotel for $15 a night,” insisted Marat when asked to interpret his sister’s experience. “Every 16-year-old guy is just starting to play satellites, not even close. They’re playing national tournaments, which is the lowest thing in the world”.

“And she’s 16 years old, playing Serena, number 1 in the world, centre court and the people are watching. You play satellites, the people, they don’t even watch. They have no linesmen even.”

In New York Marat stressed to his sister that at such a young age, it is important to keep her ambitions in check. “The most important thing is to enjoy tennis, not just play,” he said. “To enjoy (and) have fun is what I want for my sister.”

Which is a sentiment that Safina’s mother and coach, rauza Islanova, who was a top ten player in the former Soviet Union in the 1960’s and 70’s echoes. “The Sopot win was a huge morale-booster for Dinara, but obviously she is not yet ready to tackle dominant players like the Williams sisters or Capriati on a daily basis,” Islanova told Reuters.

“Bt we’re not in a rush. It’s not like we have set a time for Dinara to mover into the top 100 this year and into the top 50 or 40 next year. Actually, I think she is already a bit ahead of what was expected of her.”

For the moment, Dinara can enjoy the milestones she’s so far achieved, which included reaching the Wimbledon junior girl’s final last year (2001). The win in Sopot not only netted $US50, 000 in prize money but also adde to her existing endorsements (like Marat she has a long-term deal with Adidas).

“In the past, it was Marat who mostly sponsored her tennis career. But now Dinara can afford to pay her coached and even brings home some money,” says Islanova.

While she’s clearly made an impact on the Sanex WTA tour, Dinara is not yet old enough to play a full schedule, which means choosing her tournaments carefully and focusing on practice. Islanova says there is still plenty of work for her daughter to do in developing more power, working on her footwork and improving her speed if she’s going to challenge the world’s top players.

Rather than racking up matches on the junior circuit, Islanova is directing Dinara to spend more time practicing at the tennis academy in Valencia Spain, where Marat also honed much of hit ability as a youngster.

“It doesn’t make much sense now. Junior tennis is completely different game, and it’s hard to adjust, switching from one to the other,” Islanova explained. “Besides, after reaching the Wimbledon girl’s final last year, Dinara has little to gain from playing junior events now.”

And although she’d clearly not your average 16-year-old, Dinara still has to contend with many of the same things as other teenagers – including homework. With the Safin family maintaining residences in both Russia and Spain, she is currently taking correspondence courses form a Moscow school. As soon as she returned form the US Open, Dinara had to contend with exams.

“Tennis is her top priority, but she is doing fine in school as well,” says Islanova, who is proud of all of her daughter’s successes. “She is fluent in two languages, Spanish and Russian, and is also learning English at the moment.”

Whether Dinara turns out to be as colourful in the language department as her immensely quotable older brother is not yet known, but it is clear she shares his talent. Not that she’s about to start offering advice to her brother on how to break his title drought. “Oh no, I wouldn’t dare teach or even tell him what to do,” Dinara stresses. “I’m his biggest fan and I still look up to him tennis-wise. I think it’s just a matter of time before he starts winning again.”

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Safin tells sister she missed the train
By Emma Quayle
January 20, 2005


Dinara Safina felt all sorts of heat yesterday. First, there was the burden that builds when all 14 Russian women entered in this grand slam had won through to round two; an impressive statistic but one that meant someone, sometime, had to lose.

Then there was Amelie Mauresmo, the world No. 2, and the opponent trying to make her the first one to go.

Finally, there was her big brother, Marat Safin, who saw most of the match from his hotel and saw "another train" of opportunity pass Safina by and spent most of his post-match conference telling her just that.

The 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 score sheet suggested Mauresmo was unsettled by Safina on her way to the third round, but there were things it could not say.

A sluggish start became something more authoritative for the second seed by the end of a dropped first set, and she conceded just one game for the rest of the match.

"I put pressure," her opponent later lamented, "but not enough. Not every ball."

Still, Safina felt some satisfaction at how far she made Mauresmo stretch. It was the 18-year-old who got the game going yesterday, hunching her shoulders over baseline balls and smacking them ferociously at her French opponent, who looked troubled but was probably making wiser use of her energy.

Where Mauresmo steadied, Safina's exertion exhausted her. She had barely enough energy to clench her fist as she secured the first set 6-2. Her on-court personality is not as overt as her brother's, but it was only after she started to looked tired that her shots appeared a bit sleepy, too.

She is starting to learn, she said later, that what she holds back on, and hides from her opponents, might be as important as what she tries to show them. "I have to have a good serve, and a forehand, because I missed a lot of shots with my forehand," Safina said. " I was taking too much risk with the backhand, for sure. I have to learn to play baseline and to play baseline for three hours."

Easy wins for Serena Williams and Jarkko Nieminem on Vodafone Arena meant Safin did not have to wait long to get on the same court on which Safina was beaten, and he made such simple work of Bohdan Ulihrach that he could spend more post-match time assessing his sister's performance than his own.

Having reeled off his own (numerous) teenage achievements - "basically, I'm having a pretty decent career" - Safin said it was time Safina started thinking for herself, finding some character and learning to scratch and fight like the other Russian girls.

There will be no lessons taught in a mixed doubles team; the time for family charity, said Safin, was up. "She has to grow up, you know, be a little responsible for the things that she is doing and the decisions she is making," he said.

"For some reason she cannot make any decisions, she needs somebody to explain everything. She is a little bit young and I know everybody is saying to her, she has a big future in front of her.

"She's my sister. It's just a little bit sad to see, to sit back and watch this train pass. She has to run away when I told her already: 'Take this train, you know, like before it's gonna be too late.'

"But I'm sorry, if you don't really understand yourself what's going on, it's a little bit difficult for somebody to fix it and explain it. Nobody can tell her what to do, she has to decide for herself. It's my duty to help her, but if she doesn't want to listen . . ."


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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 2006, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Safina : « Marat and I… »

By Nicolas VOLLAIRE

Still engaged in both singles and doubles competitions, Dinara Safina is doing well in this 13th Open Gaz de France. But the young and talented Russian is also Marat Safin’s little sister and she has to deal with this comparison everyday.

Your brother made tough comments about you at the Australian Open. Did it bother you ?
Just a little bit…(laughters) We have had some private problems before that and he told me that he didn’t really mean what he said. It was a misunderstanding. He said something one way and the medias understood it another way. But, you know, I’m used to it. It’s Marat…

Why didn’t you go to Moscow to celebrate Marat’s victory with your family ?
Because I came back from Australia before him and I had to go to Monte Carlo for a few days. I am an official resident here and I have to be there a specific number of days in the year to make it legal.

How hard is it to live in the shadow of your brother ?
It is very difficult because a lot of people expect of me. They want me to be as good as my brother, but I am not ! He is much better than me. Even if I am younger, time is going fast and I have a lot of pressure on me because I am Marat Safin’s sister. I would love to play as well as him but it’s more difficult for me.

Your brother has a strong personality. It’s not very frequent in the world of tennis…
He is not crazy like many people think. He has changed a little bit now but he still has his character. He is a lot of fun and I think people like that. If I was a tennis fan coming to watch a game, I would get bored if no one was showing emotions or joy or excitement or angriness. People love Marat when he breaks his rackets. Nobody does it like he does (laughters)! That is part of the show.

What do you have in common with Marat ?
Many people think that we don’t look like each other. And it’s true that we are not exactly the same physically. Speaking for the character, we look a lot like each other. For exemple we react the same when we lose: no one can talk to us for two or three hours. My father was like that. Marat and me are the same…

Do you get along well with him ?
It depends on what we are talking about. If we speak about tennis, it always finishes with a fight. But we are very close to each other and everytime we play in the same tournament we eat together every night. Well, at least we try… Marat is so busy sometimes… (laughters)

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Safina shocks Mauresmo to win Paris title

Sun Feb 13,12:13 PM ET

PARIS (AFP) - Russian teenager Dinara Safina shocked second seed Amelie Mauresmo of France to claim her third career title at the 585,000-dollar Paris Indoor Open title.


Safina, 18, sister of Australian Open champion Marat Safin, achieved the biggest win of her career at the expense of 25-year-old Mauresmo, the 2001 champion, and holder of 15 career titles.


The unseeded Russian came away a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 winner after 2hr 20min on court at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium to lift the winner's cheque of 93,000 dollars.

"To win my first big match against Amelie, she's a top five player, it's unbelieveable! You cannot imagine how happy I am," said Safina whose previous combined earnings amounted to just over 608,000 dollars.

Safina avenged her 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 defeat to the world number four in their only previous meeting in the second round of the Australian Open last month.

And the 47th-ranked Russian revealed that she had gotten a ticking off from her brother after falling in Melbourne.

"He was a bit angry with me. He told me 'you don't fight'," said Safina.

"I'm going to tell him now 'see I fight!"."

Safina had bounced back from losing her opening service game, breaking her more experienced opponent three times in the first set which she wrapped up in just under an hour when Mauresmo double faulted.

Mauresmo, who converted just two of six break point chances in the first set, got back with a break again in the opening game of the second set, and rushed to a 5-1 lead, to level proceedings 6-2 after 1hr 36min of play.

But Safina took control in the third, breaking twice for 5-1.

Signs of nerves set in, however, and she lost her service game to love while serving for the match.

The Muscovite did not hesitate when serving again for the match, taking the tie after a long rally on her first match point.

Safina, a semi-finalist here last year who won her previous titles in lower tier events in Sopot in 2002 and Palermo in 2003, believes that pressure of being the home favourite had gotten to Mauresmo.

"I knew Amelie was feeling pressure and I said: 'I just have to go for it'," said the Russian who was competing in just her fourth final.

A defensive Mauresmo insisted: "I don't think it's mental. I feel the difference was made in the first set when I had several chances to break her. Once I lost my service early in the third set it was hard to get back."

"There's no doubt about it, she deserved to win. I just didn't have what it takes today," added Mauresmo after her fourth Paris final.

She was previously twice runner-up to Serena Williams in 1999 and 2003, but missed last year's event through injury.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 2006, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Ура! Динара Сафина подхватила триумфальное настроение брата Марата — выиграла крупный турнирНАТАЛЬЯ ЧЕТВЕРИКОВА Причем в финале отправила в нокдаун знаменитую француженку Амели Моресмо. У нее же дома — в Париже! Напомню, что Марат Сафин недавно выиграл финал Открытого чемпионата Австралии тоже у хозяина корта, Ллейтона Хьюита. Похоже, это уже становится семейной традицией...
Корреспондент “МК” дозвонилась Динаре и ее маме Раузе Ислановой, как только свершилось счастливое событие.
— Динара, признайся, боялась выходить против Моресмо?
— Думаю, это она меня боялась. Ведь в Австралии я у нее выиграла первый сет довольно легко. А сейчас, стоило мне немного смягчить несколько ударов, как Амели тут же начала меня “кушать”. И тут уж я тактику резко изменила: стала играть жестче, рисковать.
— Но то была Австралия, а в Париже Амели поддерживали родные стены...
— Это естественно. Но я стараюсь не обращать внимания на давление трибун. Иначе играть просто невозможно!
— Похоже, австралийская победа брата здорово тебя простимулировала?
Конечно. Тем более что нового тренера, с которым я сейчас работаю, посоветовал мне не кто иной, как Петер Лундгрен — коуч Марата. Его зовут Ларс-Андерс Валгрен, он тоже швед. Кажется, это именно тот человек, который был мне нужен. Я так долго его ждала...
А Рауза Исланова на этот раз болела за дочку в Москве. И это меня искренне удивило, ведь Динара никогда еще никуда без мамы не ездила.
Что-то случилось? Почему вы остались в Москве?
Я сильно болела. Меня и в Австралию врачи не отпустили. И Марат с Динарой как-то так вместе решили, что я должна перестать быть их тренером и стать просто мамой.
— Знаете, Динара как-то говорила, что достал ее уже этот теннис, хочется стать обычной свободной девчонкой, учиться, жить, как все. Как думаете, это она в пылу эмоций сказала?
— Вы не представляете, до какого отчаяния она доходила. Так переживала из-за того, что не шла игра. Иногда просто жить не хотелось! И она все говорила: “Мамочка, что же это, я ведь так этот теннис люблю, столько сил ему отдаю, а ничего не получается, так мне не везет! Ну почему?!” Она была как нераскрывшийся цветок. И нужен был профессионал, который помог бы лепесткам распуститься.
— Но почему именно тренер Марата принял такое участие в ее судьбе?
— Знаете, он как-то сразу проникся симпатией к нашей семье. И очень любит Динару. Петер видел, как она мучается, и искренне переживал, иногда даже давал какие-то советы.
— Этот швед молодой?
— Ларсу 38 лет, он на два года младше Петера. Очень симпатичный, со светлыми волосами. Думаю, Динарке приятно с ним работать, он вселил в нее уверенность, которой ей изрядно не хватало.
— Он будет ездить с ней по всем турнирам?
— Конечно. Он все время рядом, все сорганизовывает. А предыдущий тренер даже насчет транспорта и тренировочных кортов договориться не мог.
— Динара вообще мягкая по натуре?
— Да нет, она кусачая.
— Вас не обижает?
— Что вы, она очень меня любит. Все время, когда мы не вместе, пишет трогательные эсэмэски на мобильный.

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter....
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 2006, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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5/05
САФИНА ВОЗВРАЩАЕТСЯ К ПРЕЖНЕМУ ТРЕНЕРУ

Как мы уже сообщали, в минувшее воскресенье Динара Сафина победила на турнире в Праге. Сразу после этого корреспондент "СЭ" Елена РЕРИХ позвонила россиянке в гостиницу:

- Трудно далась эта победа?

- Нелегко. Особенно сложными были два последних матча. В полуфинале я играла с испанкой Поус-Тио. Хотя она лишь в прошлом году заявила о себе, мне удалось сломить ее сопротивление только в третьем сете. В финале против Ондрашковой было не легче. Соперница невысоко стоит в рейтинге, но оказалась очень упорной.

- Почему вы выбрали именно этот турнир? Ведь все сильнейшие играли в Риме.

- Я его рассматривала как подготовку к Roland Garros. Необходимо было провести побольше матчей, вот и решила поехать в Прагу.

- Вы следили за ходом турнира в Риме?

- Да. Вера Звонарева и Женя Линецкая там неплохо выступили. Особенно рада за Линецкую. Выход в четвертьфинал для нее хорошее достижение. Пользуясь случаем, поздравляю Женю.

- В Риме победила Амели Моресмо. Вам не хотелось еще раз повторить финал с ней? Глядишь, снова, как и в феврале в Париже, выиграли бы...

- (Смеется.) В Париже мы играли в зале, а не на грунте. Но, думаю, тогда мы не в последний раз встретились с ней в финале.

- Вы наверняка следили и за тем, как в Риме выступала Мария Шарапова. Многие ждали, что она на этой неделе возглавит мировой рейтинг. Не кажется ли вам, что на грунте ей это было сложно сделать?

- Не на этом турнире, так на другом... Все равно в конце года Шарапова наверняка станет первой ракеткой мира. Она очень прилично играет.

- У нас прошло сообщение, что вы опять поменяли тренера. Это правда?

- Да, возвращаюсь к Александру Златоустову. Он уже ждет меня в Валенсии, куда я вылетаю. Совместное решение мы приняли на матче Fed Cup, хотя в принципе я давно хотела сделать это. Хоть и выиграла турнир в Париже вместе со шведом Ларсом Вальгреном, но не считаю, что это его заслуга, и везде так говорю. До Парижа я работала с Сашей, так что победа там принадлежит ему как тренеру. После двух недель работы с Вальгреном я начала разочаровываться в нем, и слава богу, что так все сложилось. После Fed Cup мы со Златоустовым постоянно связывались, он мне помогал советами, объяснял, как против кого надо играть.

- Через неделю стартует Roland Garros. Где собираетесь к нему готовиться?

- Три дня пробуду в Валенсии, а в четверг лечу в Париж.

- Из всех турниров "Большого шлема" какой предпочитаете?

- На первом месте - Австралия, потом - Париж. US Open тоже нравится, а уж потом Уимблдон стоит.

- Как оцениваете свою форму на данный момент?

- Хорошую игру показывала еще в начале мая Берлине. И в Праге старалась играть в свой теннис, постоянно атаковать. Так что буду стараться продолжать в том же духе.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 26th, 2006, 07:53 AM
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Thanx for all the articles Goldenlox
woohoo finally have a forum!

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 2006, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Safina Pushed to Limit: Russian Subdues Plucky Qualifier; Her Reward is a Date With Top
By Akilah Imani Nelson, The State, Columbia, S.C.

Apr. 14--CHARLESTON -- Dinara Safina did not need a media guide to tell her what she was up against.

Safina knew that Julia Vakulenko, who isn't even listed in the Ericcson WTA Tour 2006 media guide, could end her shot at the Family Circle Cup title.

Safina knew that the 22-year-old Ukrainian had won two qualifying matches to get into the main draw and beat10th-seeded Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (5), 7-5 in the first round.

Safina, the No. 7 seed, also knew she could not take Vakulenko for granted on the basis of her No. 193 world ranking.

"It doesn't mean she doesn't know how to play," Safina said. "You know, she's a player. She beat the good players, so I think it was (in) my head."

Safina escaped Thursday's third-round match with a 6-7 (6-8), 6-2, 6-2 victory.

"At the beginning, I was dictating what I have to do, but then she started to dictate what she wants," Safina said.

Safina built a 4-0 advantage with long balls and powerful shots in the first set. But Vakulenko rallied by nailing an array of cross-court and down-the-line winners.

Safina was a point away from taking a 5-0 lead, but Vakulenko rallied from love-40 and won the fifth game with a drop-shot winner.

Safina double-faulted eight times in the opening set, and Vakulenko pushed ahead despite getting in 44 percent of her first serves.

With the set tied 6-6, Vakulenko said was playing the kind of game she preferred.

"I really like the tough situations," Vakulenko said. "I can get distracted when it's too easy ... but when it's close, I normally play better."

Vakulenko trailed 5-1 in the tiebreaker, then pulled out five consecutive points en route to winning the set.

"It was a nightmare," Safina said. "I mean, it was not me on the court in the first set. I think it was somebody else."

Against a player proven to be an unrelenting fighter, Safina said all she could do was "stay there and try to find your game, just try to make her run, play her extra ball and keep fighting."

The road only gets rougher for Safina, who plays No. 1 seed and defending Family Circle Cup champion Justine Henin-Hardenne in today's quarterfinals.

"Next match, I have to just forget the first set," Safina said. "That's all."

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 2006, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenlox
"It was a nightmare," Safina said. "I mean, it was not me on the court in the first set. I think it was somebody else."
I wish that "somebody else" would not show up so often.

Thanks for the article!

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