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enchantrezz
Aug 5th, 2008, 03:30 AM
And a Russian Cat Shall Lead Them by Todd Spiker - Aug 04, '08



A few months ago, everyone was wondering which player would benefit most from Justine Henin's sudden retirement from the sport.

Everyone from Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova to Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic was mentioned as a potential beneficiary, and most top players (but hardly all) HAVE indeed experienced gains helped at least in some small part by the gaping hole left in any draw that would have otherwise included La Petit Taureau. But no one really singled out Dinara Safina as one of the women who might see her career results spark in the post-Henin era.

How stupid were we? Considering the Russian Cat was the last player to actually defeat Henin, in Berlin, the tennis Gods couldn't have made the clue much more blatant. I'm sure They're making all sorts of "mortal" jokes even as I speak.

Thing is, Safina is suddenly the hottest player on tour. Her win in Montreal gave her back-to-back titles, a U.S. Open Series championship, a new career-high rank of #7, a 27-3 record dating back to the spring and the honor of easily being dubbed the current "best Russian female tennis player in the world"... even if the rankings don't necessarily back it up. Yet.

After knocking off the likes of Henin and Serena to win in Berlin, then surviving match points in multiple matches en route to the Roland Garros final and coming back from the edge of defeat once again to win a title in Los Angeles a week ago, Safina "took it easy" in Quebec. Her two three-setters last week came in matches against Svetlana Kuznetsova and Victoria Azarenka, but she never found herself walking "The Green Mile" in the same way she's been doing off-and-on the last few months, and then Dominika Cibulkova was but a shadow of her Top 10er-conquering self in the final.

As the Olympic tournament gets under way in Beijing less than a week from now. Safina's name will have to be thrown into the ring as a potential favorite to walk away with a Gold Medal, even while she's still something of an "anonymous" Hordette and many sports fans around the world (and ESPN broadcasters, no doubt) likely remain more familiar with her brother than her.

"She's Marat's sister? But her name's Safina, not Safin. I'm confused, mommy. My head hurts." (And that's just a comment overheard in the White House.)

They say the fish rots from the head (amazingly, no, that is not a Bush joke), but what's to be made of a tennis player who's career seems to have turned around as soon as she got her head screwed on tightly in spite of the odds against it happening to someone in her athletic family? But what else do you expect in a sport where Miss Jankovic is soon to be the #1-ranked player?

enchantrezz
Aug 6th, 2008, 02:51 AM
Safina Becomes heavy favorite for Olympic Gold

Special report: 2008 Olympic Games (http://www.chinaview.cn/08olympics/index.htm)
BEIJING, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Russia's world No. 7 Dinara Safina has become a heavy favorite for the Beijing Olympic tennis event as she beat Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-1 to claim the Montreal Cup on Sunday and her second title in a row.
Safina, who is enjoying one of the most productive runs of her career, needed just one hour and eight minutes to beat unseeded Cibulkova. Last week, she claimed a WTA title in Los Angeles.
"I think my experience helped me a bit in the final, I'm sure Dominika's time will come soon though," an elated Safina told the WTA official website.
"It's the first time in my life I have won tournaments back-to-back, Usually I would win a tournament and the next week I would lose in the first round.
"So I was happy when I won the first match and then I was just taking it one match at a time."
Safina becomes the fourth player this season to win three Tour singles titles, following Maria Sharapova (Australian Open, Doha and Amelia Island), Serena Williams (Bangalore, Miami and Charleston) and Agnieszka Radwanska (Pattaya City, Istanbul and Eastbourne).
She has 28 wins and just three losses in the past three months. During that stretch she defeated nine players ranked in the top 10.
Safina will compete in the Olympic tennis event slated for Aug. 10-17 with compatriots Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elena Dementieva and Vera Zvonareva.
Russia has just lost world number four Maria Sharapova due to her shoulder injury.

enchantrezz
Aug 6th, 2008, 05:52 AM
July is Over, and the Olympics are Almost Here... do you know where your Russians are? by Todd Spiker



Since Venus Williams won her fifth Wimbledon title a month ago, the WTA tour has been little more than a hot mess.

With the travel needed for a player to maintain a presence on the "road trip" that is the U.S. Open Series, just a few weeks after two European slams were contested over such a short span of time, the WTA schedule is hardly amenable to the multiple appearances that the Powers That Be in tennis annually hope will stir up heightened interest in the sport during the latter stages of the North American summer (well, at least it's difficult for anyone without the initials J.J. to pull it off). This season, with the Olympics taking place on the other side of the world right in the middle of the North American season, just two weeks before the start of the Open itself in New York on August 25, things were even more scattershot than usual. As it turned out, most of the top players only put in cameo appearances (if even that, considering the three '08 slam winners have played a combined total of three matches since play ceased at SW19) on tour.

Venus and Davenport never played. Serena did, but was injured. Sharapova was already injured, but didn't find out about it until after she played one match (whoops, there goes the Supernova's Olympic and Open aspirations for this season). Ivanovic returned to her early-out pre-Roland Garros title self last week, while fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic played when she probably shouldn't have, possibly setting herself up for even more drama (for good and bad) over the next few weeks.

In the interim, a string of newbies (some Z-Team members, some not) managed to become first-time finalists, maiden titlists and Top 20ers when several of the draws were thinned. But one thing WAS consistent in a noteworthy way -- the play of Dinara Safina. Normally, that might not be a good thing for the Russian Cat, but ever since she ended Justine Henin's career in April on the clay in Berlin she's been as difficult an out as there is on the entire WTA landscape.

She won on clay in May (reaching the RG final), then carried things over to the grass in June (reaching another final). In July, she was unstoppable on hard courts. For the first time since she won her first career title at age 16 back in 2002, Safina is showing the talent, temperament and intelligence that she looked as if she might possess when she was among the first of the Russian Horde to make inroads on the tour. Back-to-back titles in L.A. and Montreal crowned her U.S. Open Series champ, and sends her to Beijing as the hottest player on tour.

2008 has been an unpredictable season, for sure. There have been four different #1 players and three different slam champions, and there's a good possibility that both those numbers could swell even more by the end of the season. Good luck determining who's going to be the "Player of the Year" come November.

**TOP PLAYERS** July-Aug
1. Dinara Safina, RUS
...eat your heart out, Marat.
2. Sara Errani, ITA
...she pulled a "mini-Safina," winning back-to-back titles on a smaller scale in Europe.
3. Cara Black & Liezel Huber, ZIM/USA
...I sure hope they can win in New York, so I can stop bringing up how they've won just about everything this season EXCEPT for a grand slam title.
4. Alize Cornet, FRA
...she threw everything against the wall in Budapest, and it finally stuck.
5. Aleksandra Wozniak, CAN
...what a novel concept: a Canadian WTA singles champion.
HM- Caroline Wozniacki, DEN & Pauline Parmentier, FRA
...C-Woz was one of four first-time champions over the past month, while Parmentier actually won her SECOND career title in less than a year. Really, she HAS won two titles. Look it up.

Dinayer
Aug 6th, 2008, 08:14 AM
thanks for the news :D

C. Drone
Aug 6th, 2008, 10:55 AM
D. SAFINA/S. Kuznetsova
2-6, 6-3, 6-2

An interview with: DINARA SAFINA

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. When the crowd was cheering for you, does it help you to come back?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think they were cheering for both. But I think they just wanted to have some more tennis. So even I was 2-0 down, they just wanted that match stays a little bit longer. I think they just help me to pump myself and give all what I have for them.

Q. What changed after that first set?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think first set she was just playing very good tennis. I still didn't speak with my coaches about maybe I was doing something wrong - not wrong, but maybe not enough. But then she was a break up, 2-Love. There she gave some I would say free points that made me to come back. After that, the match started to be close for both. I would say today, I mean, the luck was on my side.

Q. Did the warning for the unsportsmanlike conduct have any impact on you? You only lost three points after that.

DINARA SAFINA: Well, it's a fair one. First of all, I almost hit her head, and I almost hit the people. So if I would hit somebody on the stands, I would be suspended. But I was just very angry with, I don't know, like I'm trying my best, but still like something is missing. And I wanted just to explore my emotions. Okay, I went a little bit too much. That was too risky.

Q. Did that allow to you calm down?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I know that I cannot do more because second warning is penalty point. But actually after that I started to play better, so there was no need to maybe express more my emotions.

Q. Can you talk about your dropshot. You seem to be one of the few people who consistently does it.

DINARA SAFINA: Well, actually in the third set I overdo them because then she was already reading my dropshots when I would hit them. So that was actually a little bit wrong play. Well, I like to vary my game, to play fast and sometimes use the touch. So that's what I'm working because I know many players would not maybe expect when I have easy shot that I might use a dropshot because I also can hit the ball. So I just try to make them think.

Q. Why do you think so few women include that shot on a regular basis?

DINARA SAFINA: They don't include?

Q. Yes.

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I don't know. You have to ask them.

Q. Considering how well you've been playing for the last two months, when you enter a tournament, has your mindset changed at all as to your chances of winning and how you approach each opponent? Has your confidence level changed at all?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I just go on the court and I take every opponent hundred percent serious. As I always say, there is no easy opponents because everyone gonna give their hundred percent to beat me. I respect them all. I try to go on the court and give my hundred percent and let's see who's gonna be stronger that day.

---

the bolded part, just... :spit:

enchantrezz
Aug 6th, 2008, 11:00 AM
DINARA SAFINA: Well, it's a fair one. First of all, I almost hit her head, and I almost hit the people. So if I would hit somebody on the stands, I would be suspended. But I was just very angry with, I don't know, like I'm trying my best, but still like something is missing. And I wanted just to explore my emotions. Okay, I went a little bit too much. That was too risky.

Q. Did that allow to you calm down?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I know that I cannot do more because second warning is penalty point. But actually after that I started to play better, so there was no need to maybe express more my emotions.


---

the bolded part, just... :spit:

:haha::haha:its in the genes !!!

enchantrezz
Aug 7th, 2008, 03:56 PM
US Open Predictions: the Women By: D.K. Wilson 08/08/08


The Olympic Summer Games are serving as a break in the summer portion of both the ATP and WTA Tours. With that in mind, now is as good a time as any to give my US Open predictions and give some player analysis for both the men and the women.Maria Sharapova was the 2006 US Open women’s champion and is #3 in the world. However, Maria was forced out of the Rogers Cup with two strained tendons in her right shoulder after her first match in the Montreal tournament. The injury will force Sharapova to miss not only the Olympics but the Open as well.

This is not the first time Sharapova has had to take time off the tour with shoulder problems and the chronic nature of her injuries to that part of her body must be dealt with in full this time around. Persistent shoulder problems are nothing to play with for a tennis player and could cut her career short if she rushes her rehab or does not adequately strengthen the muscles in and around the area of the strained tendons.

Without Sharapova, who loves the quick US Open hardcourts, there are a host of women who have a chance to hoist the trophy at the tournament’s end.

Friday in the quarterfinals of the Roger’s Cup in Montreal, Jelena Jankovic squandered a 5-1 first set lead to Dominika Cibulkova. From that point on it appeared that the thought of becoming the world’s #1 with a victory against the #31 player forced Jankovic to choke mightily. Though this was match her fourth such opportunity to take over the top spot, Jankovic handled the chance poorly. The #2 player in the world won only two more games after that 5-1 lead and went away meekly to Cibulkova, 7-5 6-2.

Jelena is trying to overtake her Serbian countrywoman Ana Ivanovic for the top spot in the women’s game, and her next opportunity will be in Flushing Meadows, New York, the site of the US Open. Ivanovic, the Wimbledon finalist, took a month off after losing unexpectedly in the third round of Wimbledon to Jie Zheng of China and has appeared rusty since her return.

At the Rogers she looked erratic in her first match against Petra Kvitova but hung on to win, 6-3 4-6 6-3. Ivanovic had a difficult time closing out the match due to some shoddy and perhaps nervous footwork. As a result, her usually booming groundstrokes let her down. The Kvitova match was a portent for the future as Ivanovic was upset in her next match, a round of 16 loss to little-known Austrian Tamira Paszek, 6-2 1-6 6-2.

Now Ivanovic must go to Beijing and hope to get in enough match play there to regain her form from earlier in the season when she won the French Open title. The Flushing Meadows hardcourts should be kind to her big serve and equally big groundies. But Ivanovic will have to handle the pressure of being number one and having every player she faces give their best effort to have that upset of the world’s #1 as a notch in their belts.

Svetlana Kuznetsova is #4 in the world but has had an up and down 2008 campaign. Sveta’s best grand slam result was on clay at the French Open where she lost in the semis to Dinara Safina. Kuznetsova was a heavy favorite in that match and had a chance to move to number one with a win.

Safina crushed her, 6-3 6-2.

At the Rogers Cup Sveta advanced to the quarterfinals but was again taken down by Safina, 2-6 6-3 6-2. Kuznetsova is a former US Open winner (2004 over fellow Russian Elena Dementieva 6-3 7-5) and was last year’s runner-up to Justine Henin.

Two of the most dangerous players in the women’s Open draw are, of course, Venus and Serena Williams. Serena has played one tournament since her finals appearance at Wimbledon. Though she reached the semifinals in the Bank of the West Classic she was forced to withdraw with an injury top her left knee while in the midst of easily handling Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-2 3-1.

Serena won the Open in 1999, was a finalist in 2001 (to Venus), and won again in 2002 but has not gone farther than the quarterfinals in her other seven appearances at Flushing Meadows.

Serena can blow anyone off the court if she is serving well and is confident from the baseline. And while her shots explode through the court out of the reach of her opponents, she runs down shots that would be winners against anyone else.

Venus, on the other hand has stayed firmly in tennis’ background since winning her fifth Wimbledon. The new queen of the All-England Club has played consistently well at the US Open. She won consecutive Opens in 2000 and 2001, has been a finalist twice (including once to Serena), a semi-finalist three times, and a quarter-finalist once. Her worst outing at Flushing Meadows was a fourth round loss in 2004.

The 2008 Wimbledon champ is no doubt in the process of rejuvenating and gearing up for the Open. Venus and Serena will play both singles and doubles in Beijing, so practice will not be a problem for either sister (they also won the 2008 Wimbledon doubles title).

Venus will use her punishing backhand, her legs, and her ability to come to net and volley well to frustrate opponents in New York. Unlike most of the other women with an opportunity to go deep into the US Open draw, Williams can construct points with the goal of moving forward and ending those points at the net. This facet of her game makes her a favorite to add a third Open crown to her already crowded trophy case.

The final woman with a very real chance to win the US Open is a surprise. Dinara Safina, Marat’s little sister, is coming into her own as a tennis player. Safina was the French Open runner-up this year and has won two titles to date. A sign of her maturity was on display during her quarterfinal match against Svetlana Kuznetsova. Having won in Los Angeles the week before, Safina found herself down 6-2 2-0 to a confident playing Kuznetsova. From that point on Dinara lost only three games and blew Sveta off the court, 6-3 6-3 in the final two sets.

Safina has always been able to hit as hard as any woman on the tour, But now that she has replaced the baby fat with muscle and gained control over her fiery temperament to the point where she can use it to her advantage, she is as feared as anyone on the WTA Tour. Though her serve can be erratic it is big enough to get her out of trouble. She is matured and now thinks her way through points and matches, and has added variety to her power game. Safina can now hit a beautiful slice backhand and has an excellent drop shot at her disposal. Though she does not come to net often, when she does she usually ends the point with strong, proficient volleys.

It is apparent now that other women on the tour are clearly afraid to play Safina. If Dinara continues to play the type of resilient tennis she has so far this spring and summer, she will find herself ensconced in the top five in the world by next year’s Australian Open.

—————————

There are other dangerous floaters out there like Elena Dementieva (#6), Anna Chakvetadze (#9), and Marion Bartoli (#15), and Dominika Cibulkova (#20), but all of these women have flaws that are fatal enough to keep them from consideration as winners in Flushing Meadows.

In brief, Dementieva tends to falter in tight matches against top players. Chakvetadze does not have the firepower to match the game’s big hitters. For Bartoli to win there would have to be some upsets and her serve, which her coach-father seems to tinker with weekly, is too weak to hold up consistently against the best in the game. Cibulkova will fight, but like Chakvetadze she is not a big enough hitter to make it all the way through the tournament.
So, which woman will win? Any of them can but only three have a viable chance at the year’s final grand slam.

Jelena Jankovic has proven that she cannot at all handle the pressure of being #1 in the world, as she has squandered four easy opportunities at that spot. Though Jankovic has impeccable timing with her groundstrokes and is a good volleyer, she does not have the firepower on any shot to hurt any of the top women.

Additionally, opponents have grown used to Jankovic’s antics that used to rattle opponents during matches. The stalling between points, calling for a trainer just before an important service game for the opponent, moping around the court appearing ready to give up one point and fighting to the death the next, have grown old. More and more the luster has been removed from the learning to play in a swimming pool during a war Serbian players, in general, but particularly with Jankovic, who is quicker to conjure this image than her compatriots like Ivanovic, Jankop Tipsarevic, and Novak Djokavic (who does grate at his opponents’ nerves as well).

Right now Jelena has an equal chance of losing by the round of 16 as she does reaching the semifinals. And a player like that cannot last under the glare of New York.

Ana Ivanovic is at the top spot and is worse for wear because of it. Rather than grabbing the number one position and keeping it for some time, it is much more common for players to reach the pinnacle of the sports and then falter. The newfound off-court responsibilities and pressures to conduct more interviews and public appearances around the world take their toll on a player’s concentration. The fact that every player below a newly-minted #1 feels they can take advantage of a newbie to that position is also difficult to deal with.

Opponents who previously would roll over in a match once they got down a set and a break in the second set, suddenly never give up on the match. Opponents who were once closer competition-wise and might get nervous on big points suddenly play as if they have nothing to lose and go for and make shots they would previously never attempt.

So, not only does a player have to reach the #1 spot, they must also learn how to say no to the off-court push and pull. Simultaneously they must learn to focus every point and apply a beat down to every weaker opponent and be secure enough to play fearlessly against the opponents close in rank to them.

Though she may ultimately round into a solid #1, right now Ana Ivanovic is not quite strong enough mentally to do what it takes to deal with the singularly noisy and vociferous New York crowds, hold the many interviewers from around the world at bay, perhaps play the first match of the day under what can be brutally hot and humid weather conditions one day and play the last match of the night with an inebriated, unruly crowd in the stands the next, and fight through the U.S. Open draw.

No way, no how. Not right now for Ana.

So that leaves us with Venus, Serena, and Dinara. Though the Williams sisters will get most of their tuning up before the US Open in Beijing, they have proven that whatever play they get at the Olympics is all the practice they need before the year’s final grand slam event.
Both sister’s games are tailor-made for the Flushing Meadows hardcourts; big, flat groundstrokes that fly through the court, big serves that can get them out of trouble or render an opponent helpless, and both are able to move forward and volley proficiently.

Of the two, though, Venus is less prone to swings in emotion and is able to handle the comparative craziness of the event. From having to play a night match followed by a day match to the loud crowds, to the food smells that permeate the grounds, Venus handles them all with aplomb. Serena, on the other hand, has a history of allowing the environment to get the best of her. In other slams, a home country player is roundly supported by the home crowd.

Not to in New York.

Crowds there tend to root for whomever they please and always root for a long match. So if Serena is up a set and two breaks in the second set and her opponent begins to pick up her play, US Open fans will switch allegiances to the underdog in a heartbeat. And when this happens Serena can become rattled.

Of the two sisters, Serena has the better service motion technically and can depend on her serve more in tight spots. Venus can lose rhythm due to her elongated service motion and find herself missing first serves and hitting weak second serves at crucial times in a match. Venus, though, has a better transition game from the baseline to the net and is a better volleyer than Serena.

But all in all, if the sisters are on the opposite side of the draw from one another a repeat of the Wimbledon finals is a distinct possibility.

Finally, there is Dinara Safina, the hottest player on the WTA Tour. Safina has won consecutive tournaments and easily won the US Open Summer Series tour which will guarantee her at least $250,000 in bonus money depending on her finish at the Open (she will receive one million dollars in bonus money should she win the Open and $500,000 if she is the singles finalist).

Safina has proven to be a smart player with powerful enough groundstrokes to blow through opponents on the Flushing Meadows courts. The one drawback to Dinara’s game is her serve. When it is on it is one of the best in the women’s game. However, with her high ball toss, timing is essential to the success of Safina’s serves. When her timing is off as it often is square in the middle of a match, she can double fault three times in a game in a heartbeat. Against quality opponents like the Williams sisters a mental lapse like this can cost her a championship.

But Safina does have the game to take the Open title.

Her slice backhand seemed to improve match-to-match during the summer series. When she does come to net her volleys are crisp, she anticipates her opponent’s passing shots well, and with her 6′1″ frame (she is taller than her 5′11 1/2″ WTA Tour bio listing) and long arms her reach at net is matched only by Venus Williams.

Provided she is playing no more tournaments after the Olympics, Dinara should be able to recharge her batteries in plenty of time for the Open.

So which of these three women will take the title? I’m going to go with the summer’s hot player and pick Dinara Safina, at age 22, to break through and win her first grand slam tournament…

If her finals opponent is Serena.

At some point the US Open crowd will swing in favor of the Russian. And though Safina will have problems consistently holding her serve, Serena’s forehand is equally shaky at any given time during a match. Safina will get in just enough first serves to put pressure on Serena - and the crowd will make Williams break.

Now, if Safina faces Venus Williams I feel Venus will win her second slam of the year. The two women’s games are so similar that in the end it will come down to which one can get to more shots and is consistently more aggressive. And when push comes to shove Venus can run down more shots than Safina and is a better volleyer. And unlike her sister, Veuns’ groundstrokes tend to hold up better under pressure.

So there you have it. If Dinara Safina plays Serena Williams or any other player not named Venus in the finals, Safina wins. And if Venus Williams reaches the finals against anyone including Dinara, Venus wins.

Those are my picks for the women’s side of the US Open and I’m stickin’ by ‘em.

**D.K. Wilson is a freelance sports writer. He is better known on the internet as "DWil," and writes for Sports On My Mind (http://sportsonmymind.com/).

enchantrezz
Aug 7th, 2008, 04:01 PM
ATP Countrywide Classics, LA 08/07/08

"Before, she was the sister of the brother, but now, I'm the brother of the sister,”- Marat Safin

Dinayer
Aug 7th, 2008, 04:04 PM
thanks for the article :)

Dinayer
Aug 7th, 2008, 04:05 PM
ATP Countrywide Classics, LA 08/07/08

"Before, she was the sister of the brother, but now, I'm the brother of the sister,”- Marat Safin

:worship:

enchantrezz
Aug 7th, 2008, 05:23 PM
You're welcome :worship:
--------------------------------------------------

How Safina rose from under-achiever to potential world No.1

Dinara Safina has been something of an under-achiever in the world of tennis during her career – that is until now. The younger sister of multiple Grand Slam champion Marat Safin is in a period of renewed confidence and looks finally to be turning her potential into actual results.

Safina had a slow start to the 2008 campaign with a first-round defeat in Australia and failing to get past the third round in major tournaments in the Middle East. The 22-year-old Russian had to wait until the European clay court season to show her ability, winning the prestigious Berlin Ladies Open by defeating former world No.1s Serena Williams and Justine Henin before overcoming Russian rival Elena Dementieva in the final.

A few weeks later Safina increased her momentum even further with her appearance in the French Open final at Roland Garros. She had huge wins over Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova and was even more impressive in the way she handled the pressure and had a determined look about her.

Her powerful groundstrokes and huge serve unfortunately did not allow her to win her first Grand Slam as Ana Ivanovic proved too strong. But at least Safina had reduced the number of double faults on her serve and her play seemed like that of a champion rather than a top-20 player, where she has been for most of her young career.

Safina needed a big tournament to really take her forward in her tennis career and her results since have shown that 2008 is the year she will gain success on a par with her brother’s achievements.

Safina played well on the grass, reaching her third successive tournament final of the year at ’s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, before falling in the third round at Wimbledon to Israeli Shahar Peer. Many fans would have thought such a great run of form would have ended at this point and that she would have remained a decent top-20 player, but not this time.

Safina has shown great willpower at the start of the US hard court season, with tournament victories in Los Angeles and Montreal, defeating the likes of Jelena Jankovic, Kuznetsova and Victoria Azarenka on her way. She has set herself up nicely for a good shot at the Olympic title in Beijing and also the US Open in September.

She seems unafraid of the world’s best players and I think Safina could well challenge for the No.1 spot, which has been up for grabs since the retirement of Henin. She is less than 1,000 points behind the No.1 position and has earned 2,025 of her 2,800 ranking points this year over only the past couple of months, showing she is the most consistent player on the tour at the moment, and I can see her run of form continuing.

Safina has not got too many points to defend in the latter part of 2008 and very few in the beginning of next year so she really should be fighting for that top spot in the rankings and her new found mental toughness will help her to achieve this success.

For a long time Safina has failed to live up to expectations and Sharapova, Dementieva, Kuznetsova and Petrova have overshadowed the 22-year-old, but at last she looks like a girl on a mission – watch this space!

Source (http://www.sportingo.com/tennis/a9883_dinara-served-how-safina-rose-from-underachiever-potential-world-no):Chris Goldsmith
(http://www.sportingo.com/authors/chris-goldsmith)

enchantrezz
Aug 7th, 2008, 05:33 PM
:hearts: FLASHBACK:hearts:

Dinara Safina : Perfectionnist
(Interviewed by her brother Marat Safin)
[excerpt from a L'Equipe Interview during Kremlin Cup 2004 with Russia's top female players]



Marat Safin: Why are you so impatient? Why do you want everything immediately while you are just 17?

Dinara Safina: I love tennis too much. I love winning too much. I train myself hard. It's all I think about. So, I give everything to tennis and what I do is working. When I lose, I can't cope with it, it really makes me suffer. It's true that I'm only 17 but at this age, Martina Hingis was number one... And my temper is like that, when I want something, I need to have it.

M.S: What for example?
D.S: It's especially about tennis, about victories, about technical improvements... Anyway, nothing counts more than tennis.

M.S: And do you think it's good for you?
D.S: Yes because I love it. I want to give everything to tennis for the ten or twelve years I will play. Then I will move on to something else, I will have children, I will have another life.

M.S: But today, what do you like in this lifestyle as a professional tennis player? What really gives you pleasure?

D.S: Apart from winning matches, I like earning money. I really like to know that I can earn enough money to be able to live well for my whole life and buy whatever I want, whenever I want, without having to count my money. I'm reassured to think this, that I'll be able to spend money without having to count too much, and bring my children up without running out of anything. Apart from this, I don't really like travelling, I'm too scared of airplanes; it is the big black cloud over my life. And also defeats. Oh yes, there is something else that I like: the player's lounges. I love chatting with everybody, so I spend a lot of time there, and I talk, I talk...

M.S: Last question: What do you think of me?

D.S: You're my God! When you play, I love watching you. When you lose, I'm even sadder than when I lose. When you're hurt, I suffer. When you talk to me, I drink your words. When you come to see me playing, I'm beside myself with joy. I hate hearing or reading something bad about you. I know you are hard-working and that you do everything you can to be number one. For me, you have the biggest talent of any player and I don't have half of your talent. The only thing I have more of than you, is that I like working more than you do, I could be doing only this for 24 hours a day, and it's not your case, I know it. In any case, if you don't practice for 3 days, you're still as strong. If I miss one practice, I regress and I'm unhappy. It makes me cry, just like when I went to school and had bad marks. I want to do everything perfectly. Approximation makes me crazy.

Magdalena Anna
Aug 7th, 2008, 07:30 PM
D.S:] You're my God! When you play, I love watching you. When you lose, I'm even sadder than when I lose. When you're hurt, I suffer. When you talk to me, I drink your words. When you come to see me playing, I'm beside myself with joy. I hate hearing or reading something bad about you. I know you are hard-working and that you do everything you can to be number one ...

Dina is amaizing :hearts:
For me her wards is the most beautiful text I ever read, really :)

enchantrezz
Aug 10th, 2008, 03:19 AM
Women's field deep in Beijing by Matt Cronin, Special to FOXSports.com

Nadia Petrova is ranked No. 18 in the world, but she won't be striking fuzzy tennis balls at the Beijing Olympics because her nation, Russia, is so rich in talent that she missed the cut.

Instead, the 26-year-old and former No.3 is heading to Cincinnati to compete against a small yet talented field that includes former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo of France and former Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli.

Petrova, who competed in the 2004 Games in Athens and is a member of the Russian Fed Cup team, may not be competing in Beijing, but she has an opinion when it comes to picking who has the best shot to take home gold.

When asked to name five players with the best chance to win gold in Beijing, Petrova selected one Russian in her top 5 — Dinara Safina, the French Open finalist who just won back-to-back titles in L.A. and Montreal. The rest of her list included two Serbians — No. 1 Jelena Jankovic and No. 2 Ana Ivanovic — and Americans Venus and Serena Williams.

SAFINA: "Dinara looks so dominant — her facial expression has changed, her mental approach is different and she looks more grown up," said Petrova, whose mother Nadejda Ilina won the bronze medal at the Montreal Olympics in the 400m relay. "Reaching the French final really helped her confidence. Before she was just going to tournaments and trying to get as far as she could. Now, from what I've heard from her, she has the desire to become to No. 1 and has really set a goal for herself."

IVANOVIC: Petrova is not as enamored with the French Open champion Ivanovic's game and says it is going to be very difficult for the Serbian to impose herself as she's been unable to practice much due to a bad thumb injury.
The 20-year-old has been spectacular at times this year, but has also fallen into mini-slumps, unable to follow up her Parisian success with early exits at Wimbledon and Montreal. Petrova doesn't like Ivanovic's lack of a Plan B.
"She has big strokes, but I don't see much variety in her game," Petrova said. "Whenever something goes off, she's not able to control to the ball."

JANKOVIC: Petrova is a bit more impressed by Jankovic, who just became the first player in Sony Ericsson WTA Tour history to reach No. 1 without playing in a Grand Slam final. But she says that Jankovic's success is based more on her personal happiness than it is on pure ball striking.
"Jelena is very consistent and whenever she's playing she's going for every shot," said Petrova, who lost to Jankovic in L.A. "She's very focused from the baseline and she picks the right moments to go for her shots. As long as she's having fun, she's dangerous, but when she's kind of getting bored then it doesn't work anymore."

WILLIAMS SISTERS: Petrova readily acknowledges how dangerous the Williams sisters can be when healthy, but that's an open question in Beijing as both are coming off knee injuries.
Venus won the gold medal in singles in 2000, and she and Serena won the gold in doubles. But without having played a match on tour since winning her fifth Wimbledon title, Venus will have to round herself into form quickly. The seven-time Grand Slam champion has done so before, but given that she hasn't won a significant crown outside of Wimbledon since 2004 (Charleston on clay), her prospects are very much in doubt. In fact, Venus, a two-time U.S. Open champion, hasn't won a significant hard court tournament since Antwerp in 2003.
Serena is certainly gunning for Olympic gold and U.S. Open glory and told FOXSports.com a few weeks ago that her year won't be satisfactory without one of those titles. But she re-injured her chronically bad knee at Stanford and like her sister is very shaky when she has to play through pain.

THE REST OF THE FIELD: Somewhat surprisingly, Petrova didn't tab another one of her countrywomen, world No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova, as a player to watch. "She hasn't had great results recently, nothing outstanding," Petrova said. "For her it's a matter of will, but she can be dangerous if she has her mind on something."

Here's a few other medal hopefuls in stacked draw: No.5 and 2000 silver medalist Elena Dementieva, who plays the Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko in the opening round; No. 8 seed and teenager Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who faces Chan Yung-Jan; rising Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, who has shown terrific form as of late; and two other teens, Slovak Dominika Cibulkova — who reached the Montreal final — as well as Dane Caroline Wozniacki, who just won a tournament in Sweden on hard courts.

Dinayer
Aug 10th, 2008, 09:01 AM
thanks for the acticle, a love it :sobbing:

dinara is so cute :inlove:

enchantrezz
Aug 13th, 2008, 04:03 AM
The Future Is Now For Safina - 08/12/08

Perhaps we can stop using words like "promising" when it comes to players like Dinara Safina, enjoying now what you would call breakthrough seasons.

The nearly 6-foot, 155-pound Safina, like her up-and-down big brother, men's star Marat Safin, is a punisher of the ball, and has powered her way to a solid 40-13 record so far this year (after two rounds at the ongoing Olympic Games in Beijing), including three of her eight career titles and a current 12-match winning streak. She's rattled off 29 wins in her last 32 matches.

That's pretty hot.

Safina's first title of the year came in Berlin back in May, as she upended Elena Dementieva in an all-Russian clay-court finale. In her next event, Safina soared all the way into the final on the dirt at Roland Garros, only to lose to world No. 1 (at the time) Ana Ivanovic in her first-ever Grand Slam final. On her way to the title match, Safina saved match points in back-to- back matches on her way to upsetting reigning Aussie Open champ and fellow Russian Maria Sharapova in the fourth round and Dementieva in the quarters.

Following the French Open, Safina landed in another final, but was shocked by Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn in the title bout on a grass court in The Netherlands. En route to the final, Safina toppled her compatriot Dementieva, once again, in the semis.

Safina was a disappointing third-round loser (against capable Israeli Shahar Peer) at Wimbledon, but she promptly rebounded in her next tournament by capturing a hardcourt title in Los Angeles, and followed that up by corralling more hardware the following week on a hardcourt in Montreal. All this winning activity in North America produced a U.S. Open Series victory for Safina, which means she will double her prize money in New York. If Safina can win the title in Flushing, she would receive a record $2.5 million payout.

And when it comes to that precious Russian supremacy, Safina is a perfect 6-0, combined, against her fellow Top-10 countrywomen Kuznetsova (No. 3), Sharapova (No. 5) and Dementieva (No. 7) this year.

Safina opened 2008 ranked 15th in the world in singles and has shot up to No. 6, and she's ranked ninth on the planet in doubles, where she's also tallied eight career titles, including a pair this season.

Aside from an Olympic gold medal this week, the skyrocketing Safina has her sights set on the upcoming U.S. Open, where she'll be among the favorites. The powerful Muscovite reached the quarterfinals in New York two years ago, and made it to the fourth round there last year.

When you get right down to it, Safina appears to be headed toward an eventual Grand Slam title, which is something her former world No. 1 and two-time major titlist brother would know about. Safin is a former U.S. (2000) and Aussie Open champ (2005).

Did You Know?: Safina was the doubles titlist (alongside Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy) at last year's U.S. Open.

Source: The Sports Network (http://www.sportsnetwork.com/merge/tsnform.aspx?c=sportsnetwork&page=tennis-m/news/news.aspx?id=4171329)
Scott Riley, Tennis Editor

enchantrezz
Aug 17th, 2008, 02:42 PM
An old article but still very interesting :)

The little sisters complex

Their brother or sister have distinguished themselves on the professional tour. Now it's their turn as they try to follow in the same footsteps. That's not always easy.

Making a name for oneself. Being famous for one's own game, one's own style, one's own credit. Not talking about one's brother or sister in every single interview. This is the dream, the ultimate goal of these champions' sisters, who are often watched only for their family connection. They are Dinara Safina, Elke Clijters, Jaslyn Hewitt, Cara Black, and Michaella Krajicek. They are more or less precocious or talented, but all follow the brotherly footsteps, with difficulty controlling the inheritance. If tennis is often a family affair, not all the brothers and sisters have the chance to arrive on the tour at the same time. The case of Venus and Serena Williams, who lived theirs first successes in a tournament and in Grand Slam with only a difference of a few months, is still an exception.

As a result, the look on the younger sister is encumbered with the image of the older boy. For example, would we have been so interested in Dinara Safina's first victory, in July 2002 in Sopot, if she weren't the young sister of Marat Safin, winner of a Grand Slam tournament and former world # 1? "You're too much interested in her because she is my sister. But she is only sixteen. Let her progress at her own rhythm and don't turn her into a star before it's time. She is still a child." the elder Safin then said to the medias. One year later, Safina confirmed her status by imposing herself in Palermo last July. She is only seventeen but makes her ambitions obvious, which perplexes her brother, who is well known for his lack of anthusiasm. And now, the little sister, in a cross-interview, can give her views on her brother, mixing praise and critique. "You're my God! When you play, I love watching you. When you lose, I'm even sadder than when I lose. When you're hurt, I suffer. When you talk to me, I drink your words. When you come to see me playing, I'm beside myself with joy. For me you have the biggest talent of any player and I don't have half of your talent. The only thing I have more of than you, is that I like working more than you do, I could be doing only this for 24hours a day, and it's not your case, I know it."

The Russian's frankness and success are an exception. Dinara is making her way in life naturally, wanting to win everything and quickly, with the support of a family that has dedicated their life to tennis, a father who is the manager of a club in Moscow, a mother who is also her coach. Certainly, like her, some players gain their independence from their brother's results. For instance, Michaella Krajicek, Richard's half-sister, was world junior # 2, at only fifteen. If she doesn't have the same results, she has, for sure, the former Wimbledon winner's talent.

Cara Black doesn't seem to suffer much either from the comparison drawn between her and her brothers Wayne and especially Byron Black, former world # 22. # 1 in juniors in 1997, the Zimbabwean whose best WTA singles rank, world # 31, dates back to March 1999, has mostly excelled in doubles. The young woman was even # 3 in this field in November 2001. And the parallel drawn between her and her brothers is all the less heavy since they are often partners. Together with Wayne, expert in doubles too, she won Roland Garros mix doubles tournament in 2002.

But everything can get complicated very quickly. It's hard to bear mediocrity with such an excellent family example, especially if you have to be better than your sister. Elke Clijters is aware of this. Her elder sister, Kim, twenty years old, already has 20 titles and a world # 1 rank kept for twelve weeks. The Belgian youngest sister is two years younger, but has a much smaller accomplishment. No tournament victory, a # 431 rank at the end of 2003, two defeats in Fed Cup semi-finals this year versus the United States. At the same age, Kim already had a Grand Slam final to her credit. But the situation doesn't only presents disadvantages: "Everybody compares me to my sister. But on the other hand, there are advantages too, like getting wild-cards for some tournaments." admitted Elke. Kim offered an apartment and a car to her young sister, because Elke has a victory to her credit. Kim met Lleyton Hewitt thanks to her, during the Australian Open in 2000. She had asked her big sister to get an autograph of the Australian player for her. Almost four years later, the marriage of the Belgian lady and the Australian man is announced. Just a coincidence, Lleyton Hewitt has a little sister too. Jaslyn, twenty years old, is ranked # 541. Far away from the # 1rank that her brother, two years older than she, occupied for a long time. She has experienced some success as a junior, but the transition to senior is difficult. Jaslyn couldn't get a wild-card for the Australian Open 2004. Yet, like her brother, she won tournaments for young people at her beginnnings, and as she was one of Australia's most promising young tennis player, she already said at 16 that she wanted to be world # 1. For the moment she is in the shadow of her brother. And just like Elke, Michaella, Dinara or even Cara, only one thing can get her out of it: victory.

enchantrezz
Aug 17th, 2008, 02:51 PM
Another one :angel:

Australian Tennis Magazine – November 2002

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).

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.”

C. Drone
Aug 17th, 2008, 03:01 PM
BEIJING, CHINA

D. SAFINA/N. Li
7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had two matches yesterday and one match today. How did you survive all these very gruesome matches? How was the reaction from the crowd affecting you on today's game?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, how I survived? So I guess I survived because I could play.
Well, I just accepted they did this to me; that I had to play in less than 24 hours three matches. And maybe I was not really happy with what they did. I had a little bit anger, so I just put everything on tennis court, and I was just trying to stay focused and point by point.
I knew that the crowd would be against me. But I also accepted it because for me doesn't matter. I have my tennis coach and I don't care who is sitting there and who's clapping for who. I have my person next to me, and doesn't matter.

Q. How does this compare to reaching the final at Roland Garros?
DINARA SAFINA: I think this is more something else 'cause French Open, at least I had some -- like everything what was going on yesterday, that I had this, then I had doubles. I still out of this won my singles match. So it makes bigger.
But doesn't matter, French Open or Olympics, it's two such a big tournaments. It's nice because the first time in my life I'm playing Olympics, and I got a chance in the last moment to play singles. And I proved that for the medal.

Q. In that second set, down a break, obviously you're fighting very hard, but you're also getting frustrated at times in that second set. What got you through the match in the end?
DINARA SAFINA: Just desire to win. Okay, I'm controlling now much more my emotions. But still I was not so getting pissed. I was just getting angry on myself. I had to be aggressive. On some points, I was a little bit passive.
But it still was nothing because I was just pushing and forcing myself for to do more on tennis court.

Q. What is the difference between an Olympic tournament and a Grand Slam tournament?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I guess it's different 'cause it's once in four years, just make it like this. But actually I took it like it's a single tournament for me. I didn't really think it's like, let's say, Grand Slam. I just say, okay, it's another tournament. I must say draw is much tougher than somewhere else.
But, I don't know, Grand Slam and Olympics, of course if I would play in French Open, I play against a girl against France, it would be the same. They would all support this girl. Today was the same. I was playing the girl against from here. They were supporting. But it's also nice, some other fans, like Russian, they're coming and supporting me.
Maybe somewhere like in singles tournaments, there never be so many people and like supporting like each country. But here it's like you always have some people who is either cheering for them, either cheering for me.

Q. More or less Davis ambience?
DINARA SAFINA: Yeah. If I would play somebody else, it would be 50/50. Today it was maybe 80/20 or maybe more (laughter). I was trying to be polite.

Q. You look ahead now to the gold medal match against somebody you know very well, Elena Dementieva. Also there's the potential that Russia takes a gold, silver and bronze.
DINARA SAFINA: I will just cross my fingers that it's gonna be like this.

Q. You played three games in the last 24 hours. You won two of them. Maybe you are considered one of the toughest women in this tournament. How do you feel about that?
DINARA SAFINA: I already answered this question.

Q. What about your reaction to your opponent's game? What do you think of her play? The other day she beat Venus Williams. She looks like she's not as strong as she was in that game.
DINARA SAFINA: So you just want to say that I'm much worse than Venus Williams, that's why she can beat Venus and she can lose to me. That's what you're trying to say? I mean, I'm also player. I mean, she's a great player. But today maybe I was a little bit more lucky. She's a really good player. I don't know why you blaming her. I mean, she's a great player, I must say. Okay, it was like 50/50 match. She had some chances. She didn't took it. I took my chances. The score is 7-6, 7-5. It was very close. It was very fragile this match.
I guess I was a little bit luckier in this moment. I mean, if she would not be injured, she was really unlucky. Last year she doesn't play for six months. This year she started the season unbelievable. She was again unlucky. If she had been playing consistent for one year, you will see her in top 15 like this (snapping fingers)

---

oh, dear. :lol:

enchantrezz
Aug 17th, 2008, 04:15 PM
:haha:

enchantrezz
Aug 17th, 2008, 04:19 PM
Flashback ;)

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)

Nina.
Aug 18th, 2008, 06:42 PM
Interview after the final:


Dinara Safina

BEIJING, CHINA

E. DEMENTIEVA/D. Safina
3-6, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you kind of describe your emotions. I know disappointment would be one of them for losing the match. But silver medal, can you compare how that all mixes together?
DINARA SAFINA: I'm disappointed that I lost. But from the other hand, if I see things around, what I've done, still coming from States, winning two tournaments in a row, coming here, I didn't have even just one normal day off. I was -- I took straightaway from the flight from Montréal to Europe, from Europe to here. From all this scheduling, matches, doubles, singles, from what I done, I think I just can be proud of myself.
And it's sad that it's not the gold medal, but it doesn't matter because I think what I've done, not many girls can do it.

Q. Going back to the match, something seemed to go wrong from about 5-All. You were very close to winning at 5-All. Is that just the way it goes or did something actually go wrong? Maybe the double-fault at 6-5?
DINARA SAFINA: I guess I got a little bit tight at that moment. I had to maybe push a little bit more myself to be aggressive. But, I mean, also I was not the freshest today physically. So everything comes together also with the serve. I mean, to serve, you have to push yourself up, to jump up. And when the legs are a little bit slow, it just doesn't go.
So I don't want to even think, I know why I lost the match. I have to look forward for the next tournament.

Q. In the third set you were 4-1, and you seemed very, very tired at this moment. Is it true?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I mean, you can see, you know, I'm spending last week how many hours on the court. I'm not a machine, you know. I'm human being.
Of course, I mean, I tried to push myself. I think I can't be sad, because I did what I could do today. So I'm really -- of course, it's sad. But from other hand, even I surprised what I've done.

Q. Since February of this year you are working with a new coach. How important are the coaches in the silver medal and in general in your career right now, because you are winning tournaments and playing finals?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think Zeljko, he's one of the most important person in my life. What he did to me, like how he teach me to play and to control my emotions. I mean, I had many coaches, but they could not deal with this. He just changed me. I trust him fully. I think I trust him more than myself because he even tell me the things that I can do. When I start doing them, I've never even realized that I could ever do them.
With Dejan, he just helps me to show my game, that I'm a little bit fitter on the court, that I can play my game. But, I don't know, Zeljko, I have to thank God that I met him ever in my life.

Q. I know it's not a big surprise that the Russians would do well in tennis. What does it say that you went 1-2-3 here at the Olympics?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, it just shows how strong is the woman's tennis. I mean, you can see how many girls are in the top 10. Well, it's really nice that some of the girls, they had their chances and they use them. I think it's big thing for the Russia, that in Olympics it's all ours this year, this time.

Dinayer
Aug 18th, 2008, 07:37 PM
thanks :D

Amalgamate
Aug 23rd, 2008, 11:53 PM
US Open Interview

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Dinara Safina.


Q. Well, you have certainly come into the US Open as arguably one of the hottest players on the WTA Tour. If you can, talk about your level of confidence at this time.

DINARA SAFINA: Well, in the last 16 matches I lose only one match.


Q. That's good.

DINARA SAFINA: Actually, I feel very good coming here. See if I can continue to play good.


Q. What about this, the environment of the US Open? I mean, describe the environment here. Every Grand Slam has a different type of feel to it. Describe what it's like to play here at Flushing Meadows and your thoughts on that, please.

DINARA SAFINA: I don't know. Actually still I'm feeling okay. Sometimes getting closer I feel a little bit like this tension, you know, like Grand Slam.

But at the moment, you have so many tournaments in a row, so I just kind of lost those feelings. So at the moment I feel pretty calm. But in general, I mean, for me, this tournament is special because of my brother. That's why for me like coming here it's really always nice to come back here.


Q. Has he given you advice in terms of playing this particular tournament?

DINARA SAFINA: Not really. I don't know. For the last few months he's actually had success and doesn't follow me places.


Q. Give us your thoughts on the draw when you saw it come out on Thursday, potentially meeting Hantuchova in the fourth round.

DINARA SAFINA: I don't know that far. Thanks for telling me.


Q. How did you feel when you saw the draw come out?

DINARA SAFINA: Actually I look first round. I never look that far, because you just need to meet one player at a time. I don't know that I'm playing American girl, qualifier. So I just want to focus on my first‑round match and take it one match at a time.


Q. Can you give us your thoughts on winning the Olympic/US Open Series?

DINARA SAFINA: It's just coming too fast. I'm not used to it. If I was used to it I would say, Okay, I can think about it.

But at the moment, I just, I mean just coming too fast, everything, so I still cannot really take a breather and to realize what's going on. So I'm coming in and dreaming situation now.


Q. You've beaten 10 top 10s this year. Just in your opinion, are you playing the best tennis of your career, and is there any opponent out there that you have any concerns about?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I just go out there and, I don't know, I play my game, and it's working right now. I mean, of course I've been working and still I'm working to improve my shots to get better and better.

But somehow I started to go out there and started to believe I'm a player and I can compete with them. Maybe before it was missing this. And then I could not give them answers, but now I go out there and for their game I can always give them my answer, like my game.

I think that's what, it's the turning point. That's why I start to beat them.


Q. It really all started in Berlin. Do you think of yourself differently now than you did, say, in March or April?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, now, of course, like you believe much more ‑‑ I believe much more in myself and what I'm able to do. I don't know.

My coach thinks there's still like so many things we can work on and to get me even better to improve, so I'm just following him.


Q. For you, was there a breakthrough moment this year? I mean, was there a time when you felt like you really got over the hump and was able to compete at the highest level?

DINARA SAFINA: I think it was Berlin. I don't know, I just went there and I said, I just want to go out there and play my game. I said, I don't care if I win the match or lose, but I'll just do what my coach tells me and just go for the shots. Certainly it worked out, and why I was not doing this before? But I don't know. Maybe it had to come to this moment.

And now, of course, I think that was a really breakthrough because I beat really good players there.


Q. Usually before the US Open you're here in the US Open Series, but you just came from Beijing. Is that more difficult than previous years?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, maybe just for the jet lag that I was waking up four days in a row at 4:00 in the morning. That's all.

But on the other hand, I'm thinking this week actually it's good, because I came from Beijing and I have this week to practice, you know, to work on the things.

Just taking it a little bit easier, because after LA I came straight to Montreal. I had only one day off to practice. From Montreal I had to go to Beijing, and then also like in three days I had to find my best game.

At least now here I could take a little breather and now I can practice easier without rushing somewhere.


Q. You had a good rest period?

DINARA SAFINA: Yeah.


Q. Can you just talk about your Olympic experience? First Olympic medal, but how did you enjoy the whole time there, the Olympics, representing Russia?

DINARA SAFINA: At the beginning was tough, because it was ‑‑ I mean, still it's a singles tournament. It's not like Fed Cup. It was like so many people always around us.

I mean, Russia is like this person, this person, and for me, I could not find really myself. It was really too much.

But then I slowly, as I said, like I don't need any attention like from the team. I have my team. Like I have my tennis coach, and I don't need anybody else. And then slowly I found myself. But really to go to other sports, to do this, to go out, I really had no time.

I arrived on Thursday, I had Friday, Saturday, Sunday to practice. Then once the tournament started, there really was no chance to go and ‑‑ especially longer it was going, when you're starting matches at 4:00 in the afternoon, and then it's ‑‑ really no time.

Unfortunately I couldn't watch any other sports. Hopefully maybe in four years I can watch some other sports.

enchantrezz
Aug 24th, 2008, 03:03 AM
DINARA SAFINA: Actually, I feel very good coming here. See if I can continue to play good. But at the moment, you have so many tournaments in a row, so I just kind of lost those feelings. So at the moment I feel pretty calm. But in general, I mean, for me, this tournament is special because of my brother. That's why for me like coming here it's really always nice to come back here.

DINARA SAFINA: Actually I look first round. I never look that far, because you just need to meet one player at a time. I don't know that I'm playing American girl, qualifier. So I just want to focus on my first‑round match and take it one match at a time.

My coach thinks there's still like so many things we can work on and to get me even better to improve, so I'm just following him.


.

Wow, wow, and wow :eek:

I always loved the fact she is so close to her brother Marat :hearts:

And maybe we should follow Dinara and take it just one match at a time and not predict finals results :lol:

And OMG, her coach thinks she has still so many things to improve in her game , whats scary ( for the opponents and their fans :rolleyes:) is that atm Dinara is already the best in the tournament !!!:worship:

Dinayer
Aug 24th, 2008, 08:38 AM
Wow, wow, and wow :eek:

I always loved the fact she is so close to her brother Marat :hearts:

And maybe we should follow Dinara and take it just one match at a time and not predict finals results :lol:

And OMG, her coach thinks she has still so many things to improve in her game , whats scary ( for the opponents and their fans :rolleyes:) is that atm Dinara is already the best in the tournament !!!:worship:

Yes,

Go Dinara :bounce:

C. Drone
Aug 24th, 2008, 09:08 AM
...

Q. How did you feel when you saw the draw come out?

DINARA SAFINA: Actually I look first round. I never look that far, because you just need to meet one player at a time. I don't know that I'm playing American girl, qualifier. So I just want to focus on my first‑round match and take it one match at a time.

...

same question from the stupid reporters, and the same answer from the players. every year, every GS. it's quite boring. :lol:

enchantrezz
Aug 24th, 2008, 09:13 AM
From the latest Maxim interview/article of Anna Kournikova:

" I root for my friends Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova. I love to see them do well."

:angel:

Nina.
Aug 24th, 2008, 11:19 AM
same question from the stupid reporters, and the same answer from the players. every year, every GS. it's quite boring. :lol:

I know, but I never really believe it. Sure, you have to concentrate on the first round first. But I cannot believe that the players are not even looking on the whole draw for once when it's released...

enchantrezz
Aug 24th, 2008, 11:33 AM
Talking about one match at a time here's another article that might catch your attention..;)

Forget the Jersey girl, jet lag is Safina's biggest foe
BY DAVID WALDSTEIN

Sunday, August 24, 2008

NEW YORK -- Upper Saddle River's Kristie Haerim Ahn, who qualified for the main draw on Friday, unfortunately drew the hottest women's player in world in No. 6 Dinara Safina. The Russian has made the final in her past three tournaments, winning two of them. She said she didn't know much about Ahn, the 16-year old who has been equally as hot as Safina in the USTA Pro Circuit this summer.

"I know that I'm playing an American girl, qualifier," Safina said yesterday. "So I just want to focus on my first-round match and take it one match at a time."

If Ahn has one thing going for her it could be homecourt advantage. While she will be sleeping in her own bed the next few nights, the Russian Safina has been around the world and back again in just a couple of weeks. She played back-to-back-to-back in Los Angeles, Montreal (winning those two) and Beijing, where she lost to Elena Dementieva in the gold-medal match. It's sure to take some toll.

"Just from the jet lag I was waking up four days in a row at 4 o'clock in the morning," she said. But on the other hand I'm thinking this week is actually good, because I came from Beijing and I have this week to practice and work on things.

"Taking it a bit easier because after L.A. I came straight to Montreal. From Montreal I had to go to Beijing and in three days find my best game. At least here I can practice easier without rushing somewhere."

Ahn would be happy to get a night match against Safina, because that is when the jet lag can kick in. No. 2 Jelena Jankovic, who left China two days before Safina, talked about the difficulty.

"Oh, my gosh," she declared. "By the time it's like 7 or 8 o'clock in the evening I can't keep my eyes open. I'm trying to adjust, especially since I may have to play night matches here."

Safina won the U.S. Open Series this summer, which means she will be playing for an extra $1 million should she win the tournament.
__________________

Dinayer
Aug 24th, 2008, 11:51 AM
From the latest Maxim interview/article of Anna Kournikova:

" I root for my friends Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova. I love to see them do well."

:angel:

:lol: :hearts:

Amalgamate
Aug 24th, 2008, 05:59 PM
From the latest Maxim interview/article of Anna Kournikova:

" I root for my friends Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova. I love to see them do well."

:angel:

:hearts: Dinara keeps such good company!

sharapovarulz1
Aug 25th, 2008, 10:03 PM
From the latest Maxim interview/article of Anna Kournikova:

" I root for my friends Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova. I love to see them do well."

:angel:

Loving it :worship:

enchantrezz
Aug 26th, 2008, 02:55 AM
Keeping a watchful eye on the big-name players
- By Ravi Ubha
Special to ESPN

Editor's note: Each day at the U.S. Open, ESPN.com tracks the game's brightest stars throughout the day, lending an inside look at their daily matches, practices and routines.

Monday, Aug. 25

3:10 p.m.: Dinara Safina (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=246), sweat on her brow following a session on the fenced-in practice courts on Monday, was busy signing autographs for a small, yet vocal crowd assembled nearby who braved the stifling heat. In two weeks, she might be receiving much more attention.

After going 32-4 in her previous 36 matches and winning silver at the Olympics in Beijing, Safina justifiably entered the season's final major as one of the clear favorites. She became the first female player to beat three reigning world No. 1s in a season and wrapped up the U.S. Open Series crown early. Being healthy didn't hurt.

Her coach, Zeljko Krajan, whom she lavished praise on in China, is expecting big things. Safina is in the same quarter as injury-hit world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=200), and in the same half as the bashing Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, who are both recovering from knee injuries and quarterfinal exits at the Olympics.

Safina begins against U.S. qualifier Kristie Haerim Ahn, probably on Tuesday.
"It would be stupid to say I don't expect anything because she's the hottest player on the tour,'' said Krajan, a 29-year-old former Croatian pro. "At the Grand Slams it's very hard, two weeks of three sets. But she's been taking it match-by-match, and that's how the results have been coming.''

According to Krajan, Safina, unsurprisingly, was "exhausted'' post Beijing. She arrived in New York just under a week ago and is "getting it together now.''

Krajan saw immense potential when the duo began working together this season, though acknowledged Safina, now escaping big brother Marat Safin (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=433)'s shadow, "was in pretty bad shape mentally and physically.'' Whatever happens in New York, he insisted Safina, ranked seventh and seeded sixth due to the absence of fellow Russian Maria Sharapova (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=399), is here to stay.

"I don't think she can fade or drop lower,'' Krajan said. "She's playing good and has been having good results, but she still has a lot of room to improve. I can say she's not at 100 percent. She needs more time on her condition and to get stronger on court and more fit. She cannot go down. She's on the way up.''

enchantrezz
Aug 26th, 2008, 03:07 AM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/nytlogo153x23.gif (http://www.nytimes.com/)

Safina’s No Longer Just the Kid Sister By MICHAEL BRICK (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/michael_brick/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Published: August 24, 2008

She slumped into the room at a manic pace, head low, all gazes averted, 6 feet of tone and bone ducked into reverie with a P.D.A. in her left hand, tapping out last signals as if to deploy some sci-fi cloaking device. Keep it together, keep it together.

Tonight there would be questions about her temper, her rise on the global tennis (http://topics.nytimes.com/olympics/2008/tennis/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) stage, her efforts to contain the former in furtherance of the latter and, of course, the big daddy of them all, the great taboo, her older brother.

Now her cheeks were flushed. Her hair was wet. Her lips took the shape of a coin slot. She wore red high-waters, loose bracelets and a pink T-shirt declaring “Impossible is Nothing.”

“I would say,” announced Dinara Safina, 22, kid sister to the helplessly combustible Marat Safin (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/marat_safin/index.html?inline=nyt-per), “today luck was on my side.”

Funny how luck works. Sometimes you make it, and all that.

Just an hour earlier, Safina had lost a set to fourth-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/svetlana_kuznetsova/index.html?inline=nyt-per) in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Afterward, she threw a tennis ball to the court, watched it bounce and then, as if unable to stop herself, before an audience of 10,759, with the legacy of her brother’s spent promise as a backdrop, dropped back, opened up her powerful forehand and sent that nettlesome yellow projectile careering past her opponent’s head, over the advertising placards and right into the gallery of spectators. No one was harmed save Safina herself, who was chastised by the umpire.

But next came the part she would attribute to luck. At the moment when her brother, who once broke 50 rackets in a season, might have started looking for the bottom, Safina instead settled in to take the second set, then the third. Serving hard, hustling and deploying mesmerizing drop shots, she went on to win the tournament in authoritative fashion.

Her victory, picked up on the way to representing Russia at the Olympic Games, extended to 27-3 a streak started at the German Open in May. There she had beaten top-ranked Justine Henin (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/justine_henin/index.html?inline=nyt-per), who soon retired at 25. Had Henin seen a ghost? Such speculation made the rounds only as a joke, but Safina’s legend grew.

At Roland Garros, Safina knock out the newly top-ranked Maria Sharapova (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/maria_sharapova/index.html?inline=nyt-per), clearing a path to the final. As spring gave way to summer, she appeared in five championship matches on three different surfaces. She won two titles in two weeks, no mean feat in a brutal hardcourt season that felled several contenders.

Heading into the United States Open, she won 15 matches in a row before losing in the gold medal match to her countrywoman Elena Dementieva (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/elena_dementieva/index.html?inline=nyt-per) at the Beijing Olympics. The seventh-ranked Safina, widely regarded as a promising junior who had failed to flower, seemed poised to emerge as a real threat in a field diminished by injuries.

“Since clay-court season, Berlin, she’s playing amazing,” said Victoria Azarenka, who fell to Safina in the semifinals in Montreal. “I think she’s just playing like a No. 1 player in the world.”

There had been a time all this was expected of her. With the twin blessings of height and power and the mixed one of a prominent tennis family, Safina made the Wimbledon junior finals in 2001. As a teenager, she secured four WTA titles.

Then she started making mistakes. She hurt her back. She failed to gain traction in the Grand Slam tournaments. Her development lagged behind the prodigious pace set by her brother, a United States Open winner who was ranked No. 1 at age 20 in 2000 — and no one was quicker to point that out than her brother.

“She has to make a lot of changes to compete with the top players,” Safin told reporters in 2005. “To be able to do that, she needs to be a little bit grown-up woman.”

Oh, to be advised to grow up by Marat Safin. But his assessment was not without merit. Safina was out of shape, failing to concentrate and sinking into the darker mold that destiny had made ready.

“She was living in his shadow,” said Zeljko Krajan, her coach. “And she wants to do better than that, but this is a very big shadow to come out of.”

In April, Safina hired a new fitness coach, Dejan Vojnovic, who like Krajan is from Croatia. A former long jumper, Vojnovic prescribed a course of endurance, speed and agility training, working up to weight lifting (http://topics.nytimes.com/olympics/2008/weight_lifting/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier). All of Safina’s coaches counseled restraint on the court. And then some grand unknowable something propelled her onto the dominating run that has put the leading players in the world on notice.

“We’ve only started what I think she can be physically,” Vojnovic said.

In this charmed season, Safina’s serve has seemed to abide in the charged summer air while her entire frame tenses and then snaps closed like a trap. Her ground strokes quiver with power. Even her sense of discipline, the detail with the devil in it, has shown improvement. At a crucial moment in Montreal, she faulted away an advantage point only to roar alive on a second-serve ace.

But as she returns to the proving grounds of a Grand Slam event, Safina must still manage a tangled legacy.

“I had no choice but to become a tennis player, but I don’t mind being a tennis player,” she said.

In some ways, she has embraced her double-sided birthright. She has agreed to play mixed doubles with Safin for the first time at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia, next year.

Her brother, for his part, has taken to sending congratulatory text messages. He has stopped giving advice, at least publicly. Safina said he held back privately as well. General differences between men’s and women’s tennis rendered such advice unhelpful, she offered by way of explanation.

“Many times, I would say to my brother, ‘You have great things,’ and he’d say to me, ‘You have me as a brother, just enjoy tennis,’ ” she said. “I always wanted to be myself, and now finally the results are coming, and people can know me as Dinara Safina.” :)

Amalgamate
Aug 26th, 2008, 04:59 AM
Dinara :drool: Great read thanks!

Dinayer
Aug 26th, 2008, 08:45 AM
thanks :)

enchantrezz
Aug 26th, 2008, 02:32 PM
USA Today
Six in the mix: Race for women's No. 1 is wide open

NEW YORK — If it seems like the No. 1 ranking in women's tennis is a game of musical chairs in which no one stays seated at the end, take solace. The top slot is that up for grabs.

For the first time since the computer rankings were introduced in 1975, six women could emerge from the U.S. Open with the No. 1 position — a record number of contenders heading into a major, according to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.

Three players control their destiny: No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, No. 2 Jelena Jankovic and No. 3 Serena Williams. A win and they would leave New York peering down on the rest of the field.

No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 6 Dinara Safina and No. 7 Elena Dementieva need to win or reach the final and get help from others to claim the top spot. (No. 5 Maria Sharapova is injured and not in the mix).

Dementieva, the Olympic singles gold medalist, says it's obvious why the scramble to the top so tight. "Because Justine is not here anymore," the Russian says of former No. 1 Justine Henin.

Henin's abrupt retirement before the French Open and her decision to remove her name from the rankings is certainly a big factor, because the Belgian had a sizable points lead.
"Justine was so far ahead of everybody else that we wouldn't be talking about this if she was still playing," Fed Cup captain and TV commentator Mary Joe Fernandez says.
But it's more complicated than that.

Injuries have affected everyone from Ivanovic (thumb) to Serena and Venus Williams (knees) to Jankovic (knee). The rolling 52-week ranking system, in which points drop off from the same week the year before, coupled with a reconfigured calendar because of the Beijing Olympics created some unusual results.

Serbia's Jankovic, for instance, blew several chances to ascend to No. 1 then found herself atop the rankings Aug. 11 a week after losing in the quarterfinals at Montreal. On Aug. 18, compatriot Ivanovic reclaimed the top ranking without even playing a match and is now the U.S. Open's top seed.

"It's kind of weird that they're switching week to week with no tournaments," says former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, who defeated Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-4, 6-2 Monday to reach the second round.

2007 U.S. Open runner-up Kuznetsova points out that becoming a dominant No. 1 takes more than avoiding injuries or benefiting from quirks in the calendar.

"Even people who don't have injuries have mental ups and downs," says the 2004 U.S. Open winner from Russia, whose career high ranking is No. 2. "That's normal. The life we live is hard, it's lonely, traveling all the time — a lot of things affect you."

The upshot is that this year the top ranking already has been passed around five times among four players (Henin, Sharapova, Ivanovic and Jankovic). That is the most since the 2005 season, when two players swapped it five times.

The all-time high since the advent of computer rankings in 1975 was eight changes among four players in 2002 and eight swaps among three players in 1995. That record could be in jeopardy.

"The following months are going to be changing a lot like this," said Kuznetsova, who advanced to the second round by defeating Shuai Zhang of China 6-4, 6-2.

By comparison, Roger Federer's extraordinary 237-week reign at No. 1 that ended Aug. 18 coincided with 14 changes among the women.

For surging players such as Safina, the confluence of events presents a golden, and perhaps unforeseen, opportunity.

"I don't think she thought in a million years that all of a sudden she'd be in that position," Fernandez says of the French Open and Olympic finalist, who hit a career high of No. 6 two weeks ago.

For the half dozen in the hunt, the U.S. Open is now a more critical springboard to finishing the year atop the rankings.

"Whoever wins here will probably go on and play well in the fall and most likely end the year at No. 1," Fernandez says.

Whether all the back-and-forth is good also is a topic of debate.

Davenport, who is back at the Open as a 32-year-old mother, said it was "unfortunate" and perhaps "confusing" to fans unaware of the computer's workings.

"I think for the fans, they don't really know … who's No. 1 this week or is it a big deal now or not?" the three-time major winner from California says.

Kuznetsova, 23, disagrees.
"It's wide-open, and I think it's interesting," she said. "Now it's unpredictable, and it's a good chance for everybody."

sharapovarulz1
Aug 26th, 2008, 04:46 PM
Good read, thanks :)

watchdogfish
Aug 26th, 2008, 07:15 PM
Dinara on Marat :awww:

Q. What would you like to have about Marat, like tennis player or like human being?
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. 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 have this.

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.

sharapovarulz1
Aug 26th, 2008, 07:31 PM
Awww she says such nice things about Marat there! I love them both :D

Dinayer
Aug 26th, 2008, 11:31 PM
Awww she says such nice things about Marat there! I love them both :D

me too :hearts:

enchantrezz
Aug 27th, 2008, 12:38 AM
Usopen interview w Marat after 1st rd:

Q. Your sister was in here earlier after her win, and she talked about you actually have talked to her through the years about trying to learn from your...

MARAT SAFIN: My mistakes, yes. (laughter.)

Q. Can you just give us a couple minutes what you think of what she's done professionally so far this year in particular and maybe what her chances are?

MARAT SAFIN: I think if she will do everything opposite of what I've been doing throughout the years she will be No. 1 in the world for a long time. That's as simple as it is.

Q. As a brother, how proud of her are you?

MARAT SAFIN: Always, of course. I mean, she's doing so well, and she's very close to finish the year No. 1. She's playing well. Two tough finals in the French Open and Beijing, so I think the third one is here. She should take her chance.

It's a little too early to speak about it, but I think she deserved it. And the way she was working already this year, and the decision she made at the age of 22 for a girl, I think it's very tough one.

She made them, she's doing very well, and I think she deserved it. I think she's totally ready to win the first Grand Slam, so I think why not? I'm really proud of the way she's handling the pressure and the way she's handling herself.

I think it's ‑‑ and the way she's treating the people around her, I think it's amazing, so I'm really happy for her.

C. Drone
Aug 27th, 2008, 10:55 AM
round 1 post match interview (http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2008-08-26/200808261219774895771.html)

watch the video! ;)

Dinayer
Aug 27th, 2008, 11:14 AM
round 1 post match interview (http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2008-08-26/200808261219774895771.html)

watch the video! ;)

thanks :worship:

enchantrezz
Aug 28th, 2008, 12:53 AM
Kid sister a serious player By Bud Collins

NEW YORK - Tolstoy would have loved her. Count Leo Tolstoy, the Russian scribbler, would have loved this US Open, too, because he was one of the first tennis nuts in his country. Had his own tennis court. Played avidly. And, were he here, would be surrounded by strong-armed countrywomen.

Seventeen of them, for Lenin's sake, infiltrating, seeking the US Championship, for which only 15 Americans were eligible (but only two of them with a chance, Venus and Serena).

I think Tolstoy would have singled out 22-year-old Dinara Safina because she has the best story. Kid sister of the 2000 champion, Marat Safin. Shipped out from Moscow at age 12 to Spain. Strange country. Strange language. Knowing no one. Valencia, where the oranges come from - and good tennis players. Following the route of big brother Marat, she fit right in - "It wasn't hard," she says with a shrug - tuned up her game, and became a touring pro.

Mama, Raouza Islanova, a teaching professional, thought it would be character-building for her kids. She didn't want Marat's pals calling him a mama's boy if she continued coaching him. It worked for big brother and for little sister later (so being a 6-footer is "little"?).

"Forever, I'll always be his little sister," she says, leaning forward in her chair, auburn hair pulled back, hazel eyes gleaming. She has a dream "that would be the most amazing thing that can happen."

She means this family double: sister and brother holding majors. Never has happened. Marat has two, Australia 2005, plus the US.

Now is it her turn?

Well, this female US Open looks like a delightful mess that nobody can win. Or anybody. Extraordinarily, the No. 1 ranking, held shakily by Serb Ana Ivanovic, can be grabbed by any one of four others - whoever bags the title: No. 2 Jelena Jankovic, No. 3 Serena Williams, No. 6 Olympic champ Elena Dementieva, or No. 7 Safina. But don't forget No. 8 Venus Williams, ever a contender. (No. 5 Maria Sharapova is hurt. Defender Justine Henin has bugged out, leaving the rest to scrap for her crown.)

Tolstoy would pick Safina, as being much like the heroic Natasha in his "War and Peace," and he would forgive her for being unable to finish that book. Who has?

"But I tried," she says, and did read "Anna Karenina," whose heroine's serve was broken at the end.

As a player who tries, Safina has few equals. And lately she has outdone big brother, he 37 lengths behind at No. 44.

On a beautiful afternoon, the two of them served up a war and peace scenario. Dinara was on first, and felt so peaceful in beating an American 16-year-old, Kristie Ahn, 6-3, 6-4, she couldn't believe it. Usually, she says, she is "very tight, nervous," in starting a major. "It's better that way," she adds. "But I flew straight from China, so somehow slowly I got into this atmosphere."

China meant the Olympics, where she silver-medaled to compatriot Dementieva. For Safina, who delivered a memorable backhand down the line to snatch a match point from Sharapova on the way to the French final, the Beijing defeat was the lone loss in her last 17 starts. A powerful baseliner, she ran up a 15-match streak by winning Los Angeles and the Canadian Open en route to the narrowly lost Olympic final, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Later came the war as big brother cursed court officials while slipping past Floridian Vince Spadea, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

"If my sister does everything opposite me, she will be No. 1 for a long time," said Marat later, with a chuckle. He was No. 1 himself for a while in 2000.

We all know that the irrepressible Headless Horseman, who can laugh at himself, is at times truculent. It so happened that serving at 4-5, deuce, in the fourth set, he was called for a foot fault on the second serve, thus a double fault to set point. He sat down, refused to play, saying naughty things to the umpire and line judge who called it. The referee, Brian Early, appeared, insisted that he play. So they continued. Safin lost the next point, the set. "But I pulled myself together in the fifth," he says.

A plus, instead of sulking: Safin probably disappointed a few customers by not indulging in a specialty: racket obliteration. His long harangue to reporters amounted to, "They say rules are rules . . . stupid rules somebody made in, I don't know, 1850 . . . it's like talking to walls . . . you are supposed to be warned before being called a foot fault."

Wrong. He was issued a warning for audible obscenity (a beauty), and will be fined.

Anyway, Safina says, "the important thing in tennis is terenic - patience. You work so hard and nothing good happens. You have to be patient." She must tell Marat.

"Why so many of us [Russians] here?" she says. "We push each other while we're growing up."

"Sibling rivalry?" she says of big bro, six years the elder. "Never. He helped. If I would behave like a baby on the court, crying, he was always like, 'Come on, you have to grow up. You have to grow up in your mind.' "

She shakes her head, talking of passing him in the rankings. "Nothing changed. It doesn't need results. It's family. Doesn't matter. Jealousy? In our family, doesn't exist."

Did she watch Marat's match? "Oh, no, I get too tight. I don't watch unless I'm out of the tournament."

Tolstoy would have watched, looking for a fiery character he could model after Marat.

enchantrezz
Sep 2nd, 2008, 05:38 AM
Coach Krajan :worship:

The Star-Ledger Sports News Article:

How's this for a Knute Rockne speech? Zeljko Krajan, Dinara Safina's coach, told his exhausted player before she went on court that if she wanted to just go through the motions and tank the match, well, then, it was okay with him.

The result? Safina cruised to a 7-5, 6-0 victory over German Anna-Lena Groenefeld, breezing past the qualifier in 1 hour, 15 minutes.

"My coach said, 'Just go out there and if you want to just hit -- no, he say if you want you can tank," Safina said. "Well, once I go on court, I'm not going to tank."

Not even close, and now she will play the Italian Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals.

But before yesterday's match, Safina was in tears following her morning practice session, so distraught over her increasing fatigue. The No. 6 seed, who surged into the tournament after reaching the finals in six of her past seven tournaments, said she was on the verge of total exhaustion.

"Honestly, I didn't expect that I was going to win because I was just so exhausted," the Russian said. "After the warm-up I just started to cry. I said, 'I cannot push myself any more.' He said, 'We know you are not a machine.'"

Krajan also seemed to be weary of Safina's drama, at least according to her.

"He told me again, 'Just please don't show me any emotions, like these negative emotions,'" she recalled. "'If you want, don't show even positive. Just go on the court and do whatever you can this day. If it's 20 percent left from your body, give us 20 percent.'"

That's great stuff, reminiscent of Gene Hackman's character in "Hoosiers."

They should replay Krajan's speech on the scoreboard at Shea Stadium when anyone wants to get a rally going.

"Come on guys, just go out and tank if you want. It's okay with me. Go out there and give us 20 percent!"

Tatianadove
Sep 2nd, 2008, 07:39 AM
Dinara became the best sportsman of the August. 51.4 % viewer of russian chanel 'Sport' voted for her. Among other competitors were Elena Isinbayeva(gold medalist in pole vault), Pavel Pogrebnyak (FC Zenit), Anastasia Ermakova and Anastasia Davydova( gold medalists in synchronized swimming), Buivasar Saytiev (gld medalist in free-style wrestling), Alexey Tishchenko (gold medalist in boxing).
Congrats to Dinara! :)I hope at the end of the year she will win "the best sportsman of the year"

enchantrezz
Sep 2nd, 2008, 10:03 AM
Dinara became the best sportsman of the August. 51.4 % viewer of russian chanel 'Sport' voted for her. Among other competitors were Elena Isinbayeva(gold medalist in pole vault), Pavel Pogrebnyak (FC Zenit), Anastasia Ermakova and Anastasia Davydova( gold medalists in synchronized swimming), Buivasar Saytiev (gld medalist in free-style wrestling), Alexey Tishchenko (gold medalist in boxing).
Congrats to Dinara! :)I hope at the end of the year she will win "the best sportsman of the year"

Cool! What happened to Dementieva, she was the Gold Medalist..she wasnt voted by the viewers?

Safina must be more popular than her in Russia, I mean 51% vote, thats huge. And Im sure this would get a lot of reactions if posted in the GM thread , lol

Dinayer
Sep 2nd, 2008, 11:19 AM
Coach Krajan :worship:

The Star-Ledger Sports News Article:

How's this for a Knute Rockne speech? Zeljko Krajan, Dinara Safina's coach, told his exhausted player before she went on court that if she wanted to just go through the motions and tank the match, well, then, it was okay with him.

The result? Safina cruised to a 7-5, 6-0 victory over German Anna-Lena Groenefeld, breezing past the qualifier in 1 hour, 15 minutes.

"My coach said, 'Just go out there and if you want to just hit -- no, he say if you want you can tank," Safina said. "Well, once I go on court, I'm not going to tank."

Not even close, and now she will play the Italian Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals.

But before yesterday's match, Safina was in tears following her morning practice session, so distraught over her increasing fatigue. The No. 6 seed, who surged into the tournament after reaching the finals in six of her past seven tournaments, said she was on the verge of total exhaustion.

"Honestly, I didn't expect that I was going to win because I was just so exhausted," the Russian said. "After the warm-up I just started to cry. I said, 'I cannot push myself any more.' He said, 'We know you are not a machine.'"

Krajan also seemed to be weary of Safina's drama, at least according to her.

"He told me again, 'Just please don't show me any emotions, like these negative emotions,'" she recalled. "'If you want, don't show even positive. Just go on the court and do whatever you can this day. If it's 20 percent left from your body, give us 20 percent.'"

That's great stuff, reminiscent of Gene Hackman's character in "Hoosiers."

They should replay Krajan's speech on the scoreboard at Shea Stadium when anyone wants to get a rally going.

"Come on guys, just go out and tank if you want. It's okay with me. Go out there and give us 20 percent!"

:worship:

enchantrezz
Sep 2nd, 2008, 12:20 PM
Little sis making big headway on WTA Tour

NEW YORK -- Sibling rivalry can be a powerful dynamic, charged with all kinds of weird energy and profound emotions. Often -- setting Cain and Abel aside -- it's a good thing.

Sometimes, it can inspire greatness. Was it a really coincidence that three years after Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl and was named Most Valuable Player his younger brother Eli, the New York Giants' quarterback, equaled that accomplishment?

Is it mere chance that Dinara Safina (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=246) finds herself facing the plausible possibility of replicating her brother Marat Safin's incandescent breakthrough at the U.S. Open eight years ago?

"I think this would be my dream come true, the most amazing thing that can happen," Safina said earlier this week.

Safina is into the third round after Thursday's routine 6-4, 6-3 victory over Roberta Vinci (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=199) of Italy at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The 22-year-old Russian hasn't put together the ridiculous runs of Rafael Nadal (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=261), who has won 39 of his past 40 matches, or the 20-match streak of Juan Martin Del Potro (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=284). But in the unsettled world of women's tennis, she comes in with the most momentum, having won 17 of 18 matches.

Her breakthrough season, crowned by a finals appearance at the French Open, has already vaulted the siblings Safin/Safina to the top of the modern tennis hierarchy. A victory here would give her a career-first major title and, if things work out, the No. 1 ranking.

It could actually happen. Safina is one of six women with a chance to emerge with the top ranking. If she wins the tournament and Jelena Jankovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=312) fails to reach the final, Safina will mirror her brother's U.S. Open title and ascension to the No. 1 ranking.

Talk about your unlikely sibling symmetry.

On Thursday, Safina credited her coach, Zeljko Krajan, with teaching her to keep her roiling emotions -- a sometimes endearing family trait -- out of view.

"I would play the match and I would show [my emotions] to everybody," she said. "'You see? I'm trying hard, and it's just not going my way.' Then I would kind of show it to everybody.
"He would say, 'You don't need to show me. I can see it. And don't show to your opponent. Just go out there and do what you can.'"

Krajan started out as Safina's hitting partner and second coach last fall, but when Heinz Gunthardt couldn't devote his full attention to Safina, Krajan became her full-time traveling coach in February.

Safina clearly is fond of her brother, but Krajan admits he was a tough act to follow.

"He has great charisma -- people love him," Krajan said. "It was very tough growing up in that shadow, because his shadow is very big. Coming up in juniors people always said, 'Maybe she can do the same thing as Marat.'

"She struggled with it for years. It's always going to be there, but now it is changing. Before, it was, 'This is the sister of Marat.' Now, it's 'This is Dinara Safina.'"

Safina turned professional in 2000 at the age of 14. Within four years, she cracked the top 50 but idled there, making only incremental improvement. She had all the shots but too often she came up short in the thinking game. Most observers trace her new confidence back to Berlin in May when she ran the table, beating Justine Henin (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=398), Serena Williams (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=394) and, in the final, Elena Dementieva (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=377).

Krajan says her confidence level began to change a month earlier in Miami, when she beat Lindsay Davenport (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=400) in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals.

"She was a good player before this year, top 15, but the mental side was the weaker point," Krajan said. "Before she was not believing that she could win five, six matches at the level. Now she knows she can do this."

It all came together at the French Open, where she defeated Maria Sharapova (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=399), Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=379) and Dementieva -- all Russians, all top-10 players -- to reach the final. She lost in straight sets to Ana Ivanovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=200), but gained another magnitude of confidence.

"Somehow, I started going out there and started to believe I'm a player and I can compete with them," she explained. "Maybe before it was missing. Then, I could not give them answers, but now I go out there and for their game I can always give them my answer, my game."

Even though he's now ranked only No. 44 in the world, Safin has managed to overshadow his sister here, although a number of experts are picking her to win.

He ran afoul of the chair umpire in his first-round match after a disputed foot fault and was enormously entertaining in his postmatch news conference.

When asked about his sister, he said, "I think if she will do everything opposite of what I've been doing throughout the years, she will be No. 1 in the world for a long time. That's as simple as it is."

Safina was only 14 when Marat won his first Grand Slam, a startling, straight-sets destruction of Pete Sampras. She didn't see it; she was in Valencia, Spain, but without cable television. Later, she heard the result from friends.

"This tournament is special for me because of my brother," Safina said. "That's why for me, it's always nice to come back here."

If there is a new pressure at work on Safina, it wasn't evident on Thursday.

After her match she sat cross-legged, leaning against a wall outside the women's locker room. Safina had a phone in each hand and was actually working them both at the same time.

After her postmatch interview, she spotted her coach speaking with a reporter. Making the hush sign from behind, she gleefully snuck up on him, grabbed his shoulders and shrieked in his ear.

Krajan, who tried not to smile, shrugged, rolled his eyes and said, "So, as you can see, she's on a roll right now."

She's tired after a long run to the final at the Beijng Olympics, where she lost to Dementieva, and hasn't played particularly well in her first two matches. But with a level women's field that has seen no one separate herself from the peloton, Safina has as good a chance as anyone.

And if she wins? If she lifts her first Grand Slam trophy and earns the No. 1 ranking?

"I'm still the little sister," Safina said. "Doesn't matter. I think forever I'm going to be his little sister."

[I]Greg Garber is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

C. Drone
Sep 3rd, 2008, 10:49 PM
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. Are you pleased with the way you played today?

DINARA SAFINA: Oh, yeah. I think today maybe I can say finally I'm happy with myself, the way I played, because really I did what I had to do. I was aggressive on the court. I was following the balls every time. I think it was today finally I played my game.


Q. You're going to face somebody with the name Williams in the next round. We don't know which one. Neither one of them have lost a set in this tournament. Your thoughts on playing either Venus or Serena?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, it's going to be a big match. You know, they're both playing good. I don't know. I just want to focus again on myself and to give my 100% and see who's going to be stronger.


Q. You had an opportunity to play Serena on a number of occasions. You haven't played Venus, have you?

DINARA SAFINA: Never.


Q. What does she bring to a tennis match that is unique? I mean, what's unique about playing her?

DINARA SAFINA: Serena?


Q. Yeah.

DINARA SAFINA: Well, she's, first of all, great fighter, except that she's very dominant on the court. She tries to be as much aggressive as she can be. She obviously likes to put pressure on the players, so that's why it makes her a very tough opponent.


Q. I was talking to Nick Bollettieri, who has worked with both Venus and Serena the other day, and he says one of the distinctive things about them ‑ and it came from their father ‑ they were trained at a very young age that there's no such thing as a ball that is out of play. It's simply is not out of play. You must go get it. I mean, did you sense that playing Serena? Obviously you haven't played Venus. But Serena?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, of course, Serena, she always tries to ‑‑ she fights till the last ‑‑ until the ball bounce two times on her side. She moves very good, and she can hit the ball from any position on the court very hard.

So with her, you really have to be focused until I like I say, the ball bounce two times or she misses or you hit clearly a winner.

So that's why, with her, you know, you have to be alert every time.


Q. How much have you watched of Venus? You can't speak from the perspective of having played her. How much have you watched her? What do you think about the way she plays?

DINARA SAFINA: Maybe the only time I watched it was, like, really that I would watch on TV, it was in China when she played against two Chinese, because I knew the winner of us was playing against them.

So I was waiting for my match and they were playing, so kind of I was doing both things at the same time. I was watching them.

But not really that I would watch specific to see what she likes, what she doesn't like. I would just see what to expect from the player.


Q. Do you feel mentally fresh now? Are you able to put aside being tired?

DINARA SAFINA: Honestly, yes, I feel really like ‑‑ already yesterday I was practicing, and I had already a smile on the face. I was like, Okay, now I can play and move.

I think it was ‑‑ sometimes it comes this moment in the body that ‑‑ especially I had like tough match against Bacsinszky.

Next day I had day off, and then to play again I was ‑‑ because it was not easy matches. It was like more mentally that I had to pull the match again being down.

Then with Ahn it was not easy to come back. Then yesterday it was okay. I had to do what I had to do. I pulled these two matches, so now I can get only better so that slowly I'm getting back.


Q. So now that you have the experience this summer, when you get to this stage of the tournament, you almost see that the body's not so important anymore. It's more in the mind.

DINARA SAFINA: Yes. Most of the time the mind controls, but sometimes even the mind gets very tired of pushing every time yourself. So then this comes the moments that you really, like you say you don't care anymore.

But now I feel ‑‑ I'm feeling better.


Q. Do you think there might come a point in the semifinals ‑ obviously you'll play Serena or Venus, so the crowd will be with them ‑ where you'll feel nerves, or are you past that point now?

DINARA SAFINA: After being in China playing two times Chinese?


Q. It will never be like that again.

DINARA SAFINA: And also being in Israel, playing Israeli, it was even worse. So I think so. I guess. I mean, I hope the people will also cheer for me.

---
pwned. :lol:

enchantrezz
Sep 4th, 2008, 12:00 AM
Q. Do you think there might come a point in the semifinals ‑ obviously you'll play Serena or Venus, so the crowd will be with them ‑ where you'll feel nerves, or are you past that point now?

DINARA SAFINA: After being in China playing two times Chinese?


Q. It will never be like that again.

DINARA SAFINA: And also being in Israel, playing Israeli, it was even worse. So I think so. I guess. I mean, I hope the people will also cheer for me.



:lol:

Seriously, I think that experience was meant to be a preparation for what I think is about to happen in this Usopen. :angel:

enchantrezz
Sep 5th, 2008, 12:47 AM
Serena Williams, Dinara Safina Qualify for Season-Ending Championships

Serena Williams and Dinara Safina have officially qualified for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha.

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced the news on Thursday, just one day before the pair is scheduled to meet in the semifinals of the US Open.

The world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams from the 2008 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season will compete for the Championships title and a share of the record prize money of $4.45 million.

Sony Ericsson Championships debutante Safina and 2001 champion Williams join previously qualified Serbs Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic in the singles line-up. Williams earned 3,130 points and Safina earned 3,123 points in the Race to the Sony Ericsson Championships standings.

“I am delighted to have qualified again for the Sony Ericsson Championships,” said Serena Williams in a statement released by the Tour. “It’s always an honor to play at the year-end Championships, and I’m looking forward to playing in Doha where I can hopefully show my best tennis.”

This season, the 26-year-old American claimed three singles titles at the Canara Bank Bangalore Open in Bangalore, the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami and the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. She was runner-up at Wimbledon, where she fell to sister Venus in her 11th career Grand Slam singles final.

“I am really happy about qualifying for the Sony Ericsson Championships,” Safina said. “I think this is the goal for every player to reach the Championships at the end of the year and finally my dream has come true.”

Safina has played her best season to date, winning Tour singles titles at the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin, where she defeated World No. 1 Justine Henin, the East West Bank Classic presented by Herbalife in Los Angeles and at the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Montreal for her sixth, seventh and eighth career titles.

She reached her first Grand Slam singles final at Roland Garros, finished runner-up at the Ordina Open at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and was the singles silver medalist at the Beijing Olympics.
“I’m delighted that Serena and Dinara have both qualified for this year’s Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha,” said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.

“Dinara has had a fantastic run this year and absolutely deserves a spot in her first Sony Ericsson Championships. Serena is without doubt a true global icon and displaying wonderful tennis this season. Having both players showcase their talent in Doha will be great for tennis fans around the world.”

“We’re very pleased to see that Dinara and Serena have both qualified for the 2008 Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha,” said Aldo Liguori, Corporate Vice President and Head of Global Communications & PR at Sony Ericsson.

“They are both top seeds in the game and their considerable talent makes them fantastic ambassadors for women’s tennis. We’re sure they will make the season finale to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour one of the most exciting yet.”

Sony Ericsson Championships is scheduled to take place at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar, November 4-9, 2008.
__________________

enchantrezz
Sep 15th, 2008, 08:23 AM
hey everyone!
A poll is being conducted, hope you all can vote for Dina :kiss:
Russian Roulette title message (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=356830)

enchantrezz
Sep 15th, 2008, 10:55 AM
http://www.t-bm.ru/photos/journal/56/big.jpg

aww, can someone post the article , english translation please :angel:

Amazing, a silver medalist got the magazine's cover choice :)

enchantrezz
Sep 15th, 2008, 12:13 PM
CNNSI's Jon Wertheim on Dinara :

" Nice tournament by Dinara Safina, who made a run to the semis before meeting the Serena buzzsaw. And from the "withering self-assessment department," she earned fans for life with this gem: "I think I was behaving like a really spoiled girl on the court today. This I cannot permit myself playing in semifinal of Grand Slam. So I have to really learn from these things if I want to get better."

enchantrezz
Sep 15th, 2008, 05:03 PM
hey everyone!
A poll is being conducted, hope you all can vote for Dina :kiss:
Russian Roulette title message (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=356830)

bumped :angel:

enchantrezz
Sep 17th, 2008, 01:45 AM
hey everyone!
A poll is being conducted, hope you all can vote for Dina :kiss:
Russian Roulette title message (http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=356830)

i hope there will be more votes from some of you, guys.
Dina's trailing behind Lena and Masha :help:

Dinayer
Sep 17th, 2008, 09:23 AM
i hope there will be more votes from some of you, guys.
Dina's trailing behind Lena and Masha :help:

I voted :)

Tatianadove
Sep 17th, 2008, 09:25 AM
If u know russian :P you can ask Dinara on russian site http://www.greenmama.ru/nid/1925547/ (it's a site of one cosmetics firm). Dinara will be their next guest. I found there also interviews with Vera Z., Sveta and Masha S. But I don't have much time to translate them! :(

enchantrezz
Sep 17th, 2008, 01:03 PM
If u know russian :P you can ask Dinara on russian site http://www.greenmama.ru/nid/1925547/ (it's a site of one cosmetics firm). Dinara will be their next guest. I found there also interviews with Vera Z., Sveta and Masha S. But I don't have much time to translate them! :(

Aww...i dont know Russian :help:

enchantrezz
Sep 17th, 2008, 02:13 PM
Safina reaches Pan Pacific quarters

TOKYO: Russian fourth seed Dinara Safina became the first player to reach the quarter-finals when she whipped Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the Pan Pacific Open on Wednesday.

The Beijing Olympic silver medallist, making her Tokyo debut after receiving a first-round bye, struggled with her serve, hitting eight double faults before scoring a 6-3, 6-4 second round victory in 95 minutes.

Safina hit a double fault on break point to lose the fifth game of the first set, but she was never in serious danger throughout the match.

Cibulkova, who eliminated 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo on Tuesday, broke back once in the sixth game of the second set, but that was all she could do as Safina sealed her quarter-final place with her ninth ace.

"It was a pretty good match. She (Cibulkova) is not an easy opponent, and I think I played really solid today. I've had almost a week of practice on this surface. Its fast and it suits me. I struggled a little bit in the second set, but I'm really happy that I put out in two sets," said Safina, 22.

When she was asked about her eight double faults, she replied: "I just tried to focus on the next point. There is not much time to think about it."

PersephoneDisco
Sep 17th, 2008, 09:48 PM
im really annoyed with the toray pan pacific website(like the pink but thats it). where can i find post-match interviews at the tournament, is it on the website hidden underneath copious japanese characters? The website is really basic and slightly limiting for english speaking people (like moi). I think the US open website was amazing, post match interivews, highlight...*sighs*

so again thanks enchantrezz for your snippet

Tatianadove
Sep 18th, 2008, 05:01 PM
I've just read Qs on the site http://www.greenmama.ru/nid/1925547/ (look ^^^^). One girl asks Dina about what kind of animal she [Dinara] feels with her bf;):eek::lol: What will be Dinara's answer I wonder:drool::angel::lol:

PersephoneDisco
Sep 18th, 2008, 05:11 PM
If u know russian :P you can ask Dinara on russian site http://www.greenmama.ru/nid/1925547/ (it's a site of one cosmetics firm). Dinara will be their next guest. I found there also interviews with Vera Z., Sveta and Masha S. But I don't have much time to translate them! :(

oh now i'm intrigued. I think i'm gonna ask my dad to translate (maybe the masha one cos my dad 'likes her'..yawn* so Tatiana the interivew for DINARA will be on the site once all the fan questions come through?

Tatianadove
Sep 18th, 2008, 05:21 PM
oh now i'm intrigued. I think i'm gonna ask my dad to translate (maybe the masha one cos my dad 'likes her'..yawn* so Tatiana the interivew for DINARA will be on the site once all the fan questions come through?

I don't know exactly all the Qs or maybe only part of them will be answered by Dina but now only 14 ppl ask their Qs and all the Qs r so boring I should say.:help: I liked only one about animals and another about Dinara's attitude to sweets :)so I guess all fans Qs will be asked.:)

enchantrezz
Sep 19th, 2008, 03:03 PM
Trio of upsets mark Tokyo quarterfinals

TOKYO, Sept. 19 (UPI) --
Jelena Jankovic (http://www.upi.com/topic/Jelena_Jankovic/) and Elena Dementieva, two of the world's top four women tennis players, were defeated Friday at the $1.34 million Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

Jankovic, carrying the No. 2 ranking, was ousted by fifth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://www.upi.com/topic/Svetlana_Kuznetsova/), 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, while qualifier Katarina Srebotnik swept past Dementieva, ranked fourth, 6-3, 6-4, in Friday's quarterfinals at the Tier I hard-court tournament. A third upset of the day occurred when Nadia Petrova (http://www.upi.com/topic/Nadia_Petrova/) beat sixth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-3, 6-0.

Only fourth-seeded Dinara Safina escaped the upset bug, although she needed three sets and more than 2 1/2 hours in topping Kaia Kanepi, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2.

Jankovic's match took nearly as long as neither she nor Kuznetsova could grab a clear advantage. Kuznetsova took the match by breaking Jankovic's serve four of six times in the final set.

Saturday's semifinals pairs Kuznetsova against Srebotnik, who won two of the three meetings between the two, and Safina versus Petrova, who is 5-0 lifetime against Safina.

The Pan Pacific Open title, to be decided Sunday, is worth $196,900 to the winner.

PersephoneDisco
Sep 19th, 2008, 05:38 PM
i really wanna know what safina has to say about her performance today, an interview of her from today would be most insightful

enchantrezz
Sep 21st, 2008, 07:33 AM
Safina crushes Kuznetsova to claim Tokyo title

Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:43am BST

TOKYO (Reuters) - Fourth seed Dinara Safina overpowered fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1 6-3 to win the Pan Pacific Open title on Sunday.

After posting her fourth tournament victory of 2008, this year's French Open runner-up and U.S. Open semi-finalist is poised to rise to a career-high third in the world when Monday's rankings are published.

The triumph was also Safina's third Tier One title of the year following wins in Berlin and Montreal.

The 22-year-old came out with all guns blazing, breaking for a 3-1 lead with a lunging backhand volley before closing out the first set with a blistering ace.

Fifth seed Kuznetsova was unable to match her opponent's power as the contest progressed and Safina moved in for the kill when she whipped a forehand past the former U.S. Open champion to gain the decisive break in the fifth game of the second set.

Kuznetsova, who helped Russia retain their Fed Cup title in Spain last weekend, did not give up without one last throw of the dice but was left yelling out in frustration after missing a forehand that would have hauled her back to 4-4.

Safina wasted little time sealing the emphatic victory in the next game when a Kuznetsova drop shot floated wide.

enchantrezz
Sep 21st, 2008, 11:35 AM
a cute incident after Tokyo final ;)

As she walked off court, Safina pulled out her mobile phone and began exchanging text messages with her family, although not with big brother Marat Safin, the former men's number one.
"We haven't spoken for about two weeks," she said with a laugh.
"I was texting my mum. I know Marat's flying to Bangkok today. I guess he'll text me later to say 'Well done'."

PersephoneDisco
Sep 21st, 2008, 01:08 PM
Lol i thought she was texting her mum, marat isn't good on the whole congrats thing on a regular basis. Good luck for marat in Thailand!

Nina.
Sep 21st, 2008, 01:22 PM
This family is texting so much...do they ever call each other???

enchantrezz
Sep 21st, 2008, 01:32 PM
they are definitely mobile text addicts :lol:
I cant recall how many times ive read articles about them texting messages and photos of them very busy with their phones, lol!

But its nice to read that even if they haven talked that much at least she and Safin are still monitoring each other's schedules . :)

Dinayer
Sep 21st, 2008, 02:24 PM
a cute incident after Tokyo final ;)

As she walked off court, Safina pulled out her mobile phone and began exchanging text messages with her family, although not with big brother Marat Safin, the former men's number one.
"We haven't spoken for about two weeks," she said with a laugh.
"I was texting my mum. I know Marat's flying to Bangkok today. I guess he'll text me later to say 'Well done'."

Nice :)

enchantrezz
Sep 21st, 2008, 03:16 PM
WTA Wrap up for Tokyo Tournament
Sept 21, 2008

Safina Crushes Kuznetsova for Fourth Title of Season

TOKYO, Japan - From Europe to North America, the last several months have brought copious amounts of Sony Ericsson WTA Tour success for Dinara Safina. On Sunday she added Asia to her collection, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova to capture the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Japan.

Safina began the season with an 11-10 record, her best results being a pair of quarterfinal finishes; between May and the US Open she went 37-5, taking home titles at Berlin, Los Angeles and Montréal, and notching runner-up finishes at the French Open, 's-Hertogenbosch and the Olympics. Her only two pre-final losses came at Wimbledon (falling in the third round to Shahar Peer) and the US Open (falling in the semifinals to Serena Williams).

Tokyo brought Safina a fourth title on the season, although early on in the week she was definitely put to the test. Seeded No.4 and the recipient of a first round bye, she was pushed hard by Dominika Cibulkova in her opening match in the second round, battling for an hour and 35 minutes to beat the tenacious Slovak, 63 64; in the quarterfinals she spent nearly an hour more on court, needing two hours and 33 minutes to beat Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, 64 67(5) 62.

Safina was just getting started, however. She brought out her best during a 52-minute, 61 60 win over an unseeded Nadia Petrova - against whom she was 0-5 before this week - in the semifinals, and in the final she picked up her aggression even more, blasting 29 winners to rout a No.5-seeded Kuznetsova, 61 63.

"Playing Svetlana today, I knew I had to take my chances and be aggressive from the beginning; and it worked," Safina said. "My game just clicked after my match with Kanepi. My coach told me to stick to my game and it has worked. It has all been coming together. It's always nice to get a trophy, but the one here at the Toray Pan Pacific Open is very pretty and unique."

Kuznetsova, who arrived in Tokyo after helping Russia to its fourth Fed Cup title in the last five years over the weekend, had to be encouraged by her week. She upset top seed Jelena Jankovic in a quarterfinal thriller, 26 75 75, in a match watched by Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito; she also avenged summer losses, beating Li Na (whom she lost to at the Olympics) in the first round and Katarina Srebotnik (US Open) in the semifinals. But she fell to Safina for the third time in three attempts this year in the final; she is now also 0-4 this year in finals.

"I'm of course disappointed I lost in the final, but I have to stay positive because I had a good week in Tokyo," Kuznetsova said. "I came from Fed Cup, which was on clay, and arrived here later than usual, and still played solid tennis all week. Reaching the final was very important for my confidence. And Dinara played really well; she was the favorite going into this final and she delivered. She has been one of the best players since mid-season - she's fresher, more confident and an overall better player than in previous years."

Jankovic was arguably the most notable upset of the week, but No.2 seed Ana Ivanovic's second round dismissal by Petrova also dominated the headlines, wrapping up a somewhat disappointing summer for the Serb (she is 4-4 since winning Roland Garros and subsequently rising to No.1). With Dementieva also falling earlier than expected - to Srebotnik in the quarterfinals - Safina was the only Top 4 seed to reach their projected semifinal berth, and she ended up going all the way to the ninth Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title of her career.

The doubles final, which followed the singles final, pitted No.2-seeded duo Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur against unseeded team Petrova and Vania King. And it was the underdog pairing of King and Petrova that prevailed, beating the two-time Grand Slam-winning team of Raymond and Stosur in straight sets, 61 64. King and Petrova won their first title as a team; it was King's fifth individual Tour doubles title and Petrova's 14th.

enchantrezz
Sep 22nd, 2008, 10:46 AM
Safina tries to follow in brother's footsteps

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 13:19:00 09/22/2008

TOKYO -- Russia's Dinara Safina says she is striving to follow in the footsteps of her Grand Slam champion brother Marat, as she climbs up the rankings toward the top spot he once held on the men's tennis tour.

The 22-year-old Safina, who reached the French Open final and the US Open semi-finals this year, powered past her compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-3 to win the Pan Pacific Open here Sunday for her fourth WTA title of the season.

The victory lifted Safina to a career-high ranking of third in the world and marked her ninth tournament win since her first victory in 2002 at Sopot as a 16-year-old qualifier.

"I'm happy. I just want to continue and be happy, healthy and I'll push myself as hard as I can to get as far as I can," she told reporters after the Pan Pacific final.

"I just hope that this win here in Tokyo makes me more confident and I can just keep on going," she said.

Her brother, Marat Safin, won the US Open in 2000 and reached the top of the ATP rankings in November that year. The 28-year-old also won the Australian Open in 2005.
Safina's victory was her 41st in 46 matches, according to the WTA website, and her sixth against Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open champion, in 10 encounters.

"I'm just feeling great. I've been playing here this whole week the best tennis I've ever played," she said.

"It's obviously nice to hold a trophy in your hands. I never had this kind of trophy, so it makes it special."

Safina attributed her successes this season to her full trust in coach Zeljko Krajan.

"That's the only way, the only key to success. You have to trust somebody, because it's very difficult to make it to the top," said Safina.

"We have a very good relationship. We are very close friends," she said.

She also credited her fine performance in Tokyo to the loss of about six kilos (13 pounds).

“I was a little bit heavier before and it was difficult to compete with the top 10 players, because you have to be one step faster than they are and the direction has to be faster,” she said.

"For me, to make that step to get faster, I had to lose some weight. It's also kind of part of the preparation," she said.

Safina qualified for the season-ending elite championships in November in Doha, joining Serbian duo Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, US star Serena Williams and Russia's Elena Dementieva.

"I really was struggling so much for four years," she said. "I think this year is the time that finally I know what I was looking for."

enchantrezz
Sep 22nd, 2008, 01:11 PM
STREAKING RUSSIANS

Dinara Safina won her fourth Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title of the year by beating fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1 6-3 in the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Japan.

Since beginning the season with an 11-10 record, Safina has posted a 41-5 mark, reaching seven finals in nine events.

With the win she becomes only the fifth Russian to crack the top three in the rankings, joining Anatasia Myskina, Maria Sharapova, Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova.

It also was the fifth all-Russian WTA Tour final of the year.

Dinayer
Sep 22nd, 2008, 02:04 PM
congrats dinara :bigclap:

enchantrezz
Sep 23rd, 2008, 04:35 PM
Russian Supremacy by ESPN

Led by Dinara Safina, Russian women have won 15 titles in 2008.

In the topsy-turvy world of women's tennis, the emergence of Dinara Safina has been welcomed with open arms. But she's just one piece of a stalwart Russian regime that has quietly dominated the tour all season long.

Yes, it might be true that Maria Sharapova (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=399), currently on the tennis disabled list, was the only Russian woman to land a Grand Slam title this year when she went the distance in Australia. But while the remaining top prizes were picked up by others -- Ana Ivanovic (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=200) (French Open), Venus Williams (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=403) (Wimbledon) and Serena Williams (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=394) (U.S. Open) -- tennis fans should not be fooled: Russia still holds the reins of the women's game.

This week's tour results -- Dinara Safina (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=246) beating compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=379) in Tokyo and Vera Zvonareva (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=328)'s success in Guangzhou, China -- are just further indication of Russia's prolific tendencies. The country also dominates the Fed Cup, having won its fourth title in five years by upending host country Spain in the final two weeks ago.

Five of the top 10 players in the world are Russian: No. 3 Safina, No. 5 Elena Dementieva (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=377), No. 6 Sharapova, No. 7 Kuznetsova and No. 9 Zvonareva.

Of the 48 tournaments already played on the 2008 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour calendar, 15 have been won by Russian players -- that's nearly one-third of all the events. Safina has won four titles, reached her first Grand Slam final at the French and won the Olympic silver medal. Other Russians who have won multiple titles include Sharapova (3), Dementieva (2), Zvonareva (2) and Maria Kirilenko (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=237) (2).

Russia's closest rival for title supremacy this year is the United States, and the country lags far behind with seven titles -- four for Serena Williams, two for Lindsay Davenport (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/players/profile?playerId=400) and one for Venus Williams.

Tatianadove
Sep 24th, 2008, 03:13 PM
http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/305668 interview of Rausa Islanova. She says that Dinara's current sucess it's not sensation. Dinara always had wish, insistence and talent and only needed a good couch!
maybe some non-lazy russian speaker will translate full article for us?

enchantrezz
Sep 24th, 2008, 03:28 PM
http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/305668 interview of Rausa Islanova. She says that Dinara's current sucess it's not sensation. Dinara always had wish, insistence and talent and only needed a good couch!
maybe some non-lazy russian speaker will translate full article for us?

oh please :help::sad:

enchantrezz
Sep 24th, 2008, 04:11 PM
I tried reading the article using the online translation, :lol:

Seems like Russia considers Dinara a hero in the Olympics, were all convinced that the 'mad scheduling' in the tournament had worn her in the final, but will accept that her silver win is worth its weight in gold! Thats why she had won on results of voting of spectators of a telechannel "Sports" as the best sportsman of Russia in August . It all for some percent has outstripped football player Paul Pogrebnjaka in a mad ending of voting.

And how sweet it is that Marat when he was young asked his parents for a younger sibling so he can protect and take care of someone. So when Dinara was born , his mom said Marat was very happy :)

HRHoliviasmith
Sep 24th, 2008, 04:29 PM
I tried reading the article using the online translation, :lol:

Seems like Russia considers Dinara a hero in the Olympics, were all convinced that the 'mad scheduling' in the tournament had worn her in the final, but will accept that her silver win is worth its weight in gold! Thats why she had won on results of voting of spectators of a telechannel "Sports" as the best sportsman of Russia in August . It all for some percent has outstripped football player Paul Pogrebnjaka in a mad ending of voting.

And how sweet it is that Marat when he was young asked his parents for a younger sibling so he can protect and take care of someone. So when Dinara was born , his mom said Marat was very happy :)

awwwwwwwww.... you can tell this is the case from the pictures of when they were kids. they seem really close. :hearts:

and yes whatsherface lucked out. there is no way she should have beaten dinara. if only she hadn't played doubles.... :fiery:

enchantrezz
Sep 24th, 2008, 04:39 PM
awwwwwwwww.... you can tell this is the case from the pictures of when they were kids. they seem really close. :hearts:

and yes whatsherface lucked out. there is no way she should have beaten dinara. if only she hadn't played doubles.... :fiery:

interestingly, OG medalist was outvoted, or maybe she wasnt even voted :tape:

PersephoneDisco
Sep 24th, 2008, 06:08 PM
awwwwwww! seriously his love of his sister and family can overshadow the fact that he is such a casanova and has put tennis on the back burner for now

Tatianadove
Sep 24th, 2008, 06:19 PM
interestingly, OG medalist was outvoted, or maybe she wasnt even voted :tape:

do u mean Dementieva?:confused:

PersephoneDisco
Sep 24th, 2008, 06:26 PM
i'll ask my dad to translate and if we're lucky he'll do it!

Tatianadove
Sep 24th, 2008, 06:47 PM
i'll ask my dad to translate and if we're lucky he'll do it!

:worship:

enchantrezz
Sep 25th, 2008, 01:21 AM
i'll ask my dad to translate and if we're lucky he'll do it!


:hug:

enchantrezz
Sep 25th, 2008, 06:34 AM
Dinara's Red Pumps Posted 09/24/2008 @ 4 :10 PM

by Peter Bodo

Shortly after the US Open, Master Ace (I think it was) posted a comment expressing the hope that Steve Tignor or I would show a little Dinara (Safina) love during the Tokyo Pan-Pacific Open. I think I logged in with a flip comment about how Steve was otherwise occupied with our monthly closing deadlines for Tennis, and that I didn't have it in me to, as they say, "go there." It's funny, but there's nothing more dispiriting to a writer than a lack of inspiration. Give me a topic I'd like to write about, and I'll drop everything, roll up my sleeves, and churn out enough prose to drive any potential reader into a comatose state. But give me a specific subject, and if I'm not feeling it, I'll just groan and ask myself: How much of this poop can I crank out?

In all fairness to myself, the US Open tends to burn out someone who files stories daily. But I probably felt a twinge of guilt somewhere inside, and maybe the inkling of latent inspiration. After all, can anyone doubt that Safina is a lock for the WTA's Most Improved award?

I can't recall a recent makeover that's been as successful - and comprehensive - as the one Safina has undergone since mid-April. And while I find it hard to love her game, her record demands that I respect and accord it adequate recognition. What she's done with her tennis in the past five months has been nothing short of amazing.
Let's start with the fact that she's 22, an age at which most WTA players who have not made a big statement at a Grand Slam can almost be discounted as reliable, top-tier contenders. Oh, they may hit a torrid streak and bag a title, perhaps even two in a row, here or there. And while the bump may halve their ranking, or even propel them into the Top 10, the bump - like the one an American Presidential candidate gets following his nominating convention - tends to dissipate. It's too early to tell whether the leap Safina made this year will result in a counter-reaction, but it hasn't happened yet, which suggests it may happen not at all. Safina has been hot since mid-May, and she remains so as I write this.

Since April 20th, she's been in the final of seven of the nine events she's played (the exceptions are Wimbledon and the US Open), and unlike a few of the other recent hot streaks I can think of, it incorporated premium events in the gut of the season. In the last three majors of the year, she was a finalist (French Open), Round of 32 loser (Wimbledon, to Shahar Peer) and semifinalist (US Open, losing to Serena Williams). Last year, she never got past the fourth round.

Before the US Open semi, she was 20-1 in singles play on various surfaces. That's no mere "hot streak." That's taking the game to another level, to a degree that suggests she's a player transformed. One of the most difficult assignments in tennis, for a male or female player whose had to work his way up through the rankings as has Safina, is consoidating a place at or near the top instead of commuting in and out of the upper echelon.

We all know the reasons for Safina's outstanding play - a fitness regimen that has had obvious results, a re-dedication to maximizing her potential, and - we've heard this before, folks - a coach capable of inspiring her and, more importantly, whom she's capable of obeying. That would be Zeljko Krajan, the Croatian pro who ranked as high as no. 88 before he career was prematurely cut short by a shoulder injury. Just how the chemistry in a situation like this works remains somewhat mysterious, although not quite as mysterious as the degree to which a player with a track record as a temperamental and wildly inconsistent performer can remake herself into a champion.

My take: Krajan didn't change Safina; Safina transformed herself and put herself into a frame of mind and emotion in which a coach was able to penetrate the defenses and help deconstruct the last crumbling bricks in her wall of resistance. As always, being in the right place at the right time was a critical component in Krajan's success. When you ask Safina how her game has changed (in other words, when you ask "Why now?"), she says: "Well, I just go out there and, I don't know, I play my game, and it's working right now. I mean, of course I've been working and still I'm working to improve my shots to get better and better. But somehow I started to go out there and started to believe I'm a player, and I can compete with them (equal or better players). Maybe before it was missing this. And then I could not give them answers, but now I go out there and for their game I can always give them my answer, like my game. I think that's what, it's the turning point. That's why I start to beat them."

That Krajan has a way with Safina is also obvious. Following the warm-up before her round-of-16 match at the US Open, Safina broke down in tears. She told Krajan that she just couldn't push herself anymore - it was impossible. To which he replied (in Safina's words): "We know that you're not a machine. Just go out there and don't (do any) thinking. He told me again, just please, don't show me any emotions, like these negative emotions. If you want, don't show even positive. Just go on the court and do whatever you can this day. If it's 20% left from your body, just give this 20%. Don't use another percent just throwing the balls around and shouting. Whatever you have, just try to concentrate and put it into the game."

And Safina has a lot - groundstrokes that are the equivalent of heavy artillery, a heavy serve, a newfound mobility that will only get better now that she's also been working on her fitness with retired Croatian world-class sprinter, Dejan Vojnovic. Although it's tricky to generalize, in my experience Croatians seem, well, very grounded, self-effacing, and realistic. Those are good qualities to bring to the mix for a girl who has been cloaked in conflicting emotions and unrealistic demands and expectations as if they were badly mismatched articles of clothing. Krajan and company have taught her an important lesson that might have been borrowed from a fashion expert: get rid of the red pumps declaring your emotional neediness and dump the sequined jean-jacket that is your ability to hit winners (and make terrible errors). Pick something that matches your complexion, trim a few pounds here and there, and dress yourself in a game that enhances your assets in a solid, simple, and tasteful way.

It has paid off, so far. and Safina seems to be hearing instead of just listening. Her harsh self-evaluation after she lost the semifinal to Serena Williams at the US Open - on a day when the conditions were atrocious - underscores that. She said:
"Well, I think today I was feeling -- I mean, physically I was feeling better than previous days. This has nothing to do. But just I would say it's too bad from behaving side from my side. Yeah, maybe today was physically and mentally 80, but I spent 60 on being negative on the court, like shooting around and complaining about everything instead of spending 80% totally focused on just point by point. And this was -- I think I was behaving like a really spoiled girl on the court today. This I cannot permit myself playing in semifinal of Grand Slam. So I have to really learn from these things if I want to get better."

In other words, she stole back into the closet and tried on the red pumps again. But she realized it was a mistake. The next step for her will be the most difficult one: a win at a major. She'll have a great shot in Australia - if she can cleave to her fitness program during the holidays and brief off season. She couldn't ask for greater incentive: she's vying for leadership of a great generation of Russian players, and she could enter historic territory that has thus far been reserved for girls named Venus and Serena if she reaches no. 1 or wins a Grand Slam title. That is, Dinara and Marat Safin could become the only mixed gender siblings ever to win Grand Slam singles titles, or hold the top ranking.

Asked this summer if she'd overshadowed brother Marat, Safina answered like any good kid sister might: "I'm his sister. I always will be his sister."

But then she added, "To change this I have to get better results, because he has two Grand Slams. He was No. 1 in the world. I still can learn many things from him."

It's encouraging to know that she believes she can change the pecking order.

link: Tennis.com (http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2008/09/dinara.html)

PersephoneDisco
Sep 25th, 2008, 01:36 PM
my dad's gonna translate it, it seems like a very good interview nice and in depth. im gonna send it to him and hopefully i'll have it up tomorrow evening or early saturday! :)

enchantrezz
Sep 26th, 2008, 03:05 AM
my dad's gonna translate it, it seems like a very good interview nice and in depth. im gonna send it to him and hopefully i'll have it up tomorrow evening or early saturday! :)

:banana::banana::banana:

enchantrezz
Sep 30th, 2008, 06:37 AM
Tennis-Safina rebounds after she was on the verge of quitting

By Barry Wood

STUTTGART, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Dinara Safina was on the verge of quitting tennis in despair after a third-round defeat in Doha last February.

Fortunately her coach Zeljko Krajan convinced her she had the talent to succeed and the 22-year-old Russian has responded with a run of form that would have made her the envy of any of the great players of the past.

Since winning the German Open in Berlin with a win over Serena Williams and another over Justine Henin that sent the Belgian into retirement, Safina, younger sister of former world number one Marat Safin, has not looked back.

The Russian has reached the French Open and Beijing Olympics finals, the U.S. Open semi-finals and won titles in Los Angeles, Montreal and Tokyo.

She has won 42 of her last 47 matches, climbed to number three in the rankings, and could be number one by the end of the season.

That success contrasts starkly with her form at the beginning of the season, when she lost in the first round in Sydney, then to an opponent ranked 194 in the opening round of the Australian Open, followed by a Fed Cup match against Israel's Shahar Peer.

"At the beginning of the year it was really terrible," she told reporters at the Stuttgart Open. "I could already give up and say, 'Okay, I've had enough of this. I'll go and study or something'.

"Really, at the beginning of this year I was so deep in the hole I didn't know how to get out of there. I was completely lost. I was not enjoying. It wasn't that I stopped loving this game, but it was why do I have to suffer so much? I go on the court and nothing is going o, and it was really a disaster."

Krajan managed to instill the confidence Safina lacked.

"He had to because I was not really a very positive or confident person, and he had to repeat a million times a day that I can play tennis, that I can hit the ball, I can be good," she said.

"He was patient enough to repeat this, and finally I began to believe more in myself."

"I stayed patient and thought maybe I have to work harder and give myself time to get better. After this it started to pay off with my results."

"I think in the crucial moments I was suffering so much, so now, in the tough moments, I'm more positive and I'm like okay, I've been in worse moments so I'll get out of here. It's made me stronger."

enchantrezz
Sep 30th, 2008, 06:41 AM
Resurgent Safina's generous pledge


STUTTGART, Germany (AFP) — Russia's Dinara Safina vowed on Monday to hand over the prize of a brand-new Porsche sports car to her coach if she wins this week's WTA event in Stuttgart.

The world number three has had a good summer and is hoping to win her fifth title of the year having started her run by taking the Berlin Open title in May.

If she wins Sunday's final here, Safina says she will reward her Croatian coach Zeljko Krajan for his faith in her by handing over the keys to her prize of a brand-new Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabrio - worth 98,500 US dollars.

"Winning the Berlin Open in May was really the key to my tennis life," said the 22-year-old.

"I felt completely lost before that tournament.

"My performances on court were a disaster and I was on the verge of calling it quits.
"It is only due to my coach that I am still here.

"If someone asked me at the beginning of this year if I could finish the year in the top five, I would have burst out with laughter.

"But I have promised my coach that if I win a grand slam event I will buy him a Mercedes Car.

"I had that in my mind at the French Open and I wanted to win it for him, but I didn't - so now if I win the Porsche I will definitely give it to my coach - for sure."

enchantrezz
Sep 30th, 2008, 11:21 AM
"I had that in my mind at the French Open and I wanted to win it for him, but I didn't - so now if I win the Porsche I will definitely give it to my coach - for sure."


She's not gonna win with that kind of thinking, she should be careful of what she's saying , its not enough and its not even the right motivation ,imo, thats why she didnt win RG .
Im not taking anything away from Ana ( she ended up the better player actually ) but what im trying to say is, buy him that car RIGHT NOW and for sure she will do her best to get the title this weekend.

Compared to Dinara, Serena has a better motivation and seems to be more determined to win the title:
""I've been trying for so long to win the Porsche, it's about time to take that 911 home,"- Serena

PersephoneDisco
Sep 30th, 2008, 12:22 PM
hey guys, im gonna put up the article that i said my dad would translate later on when i have time but i thought i'd give u the heads up. My dad said he would have been paid £300 quid for his translating services (cos thats part of his job) cheeky;)

PersephoneDisco
Sep 30th, 2008, 12:32 PM
"I had that in my mind at the French Open and I wanted to win it for him, but I didn't - so now if I win the Porsche I will definitely give it to my coach - for sure."


She's not gonna win with that kind of thinking, she should be careful of what she's saying , its not enough and its not even the right motivation ,imo, thats why she didnt win RG .
Im not taking anything away from Ana ( she ended up the better player actually ) but what im trying to say is, buy him that car RIGHT NOW and for sure she will do her best to get the title this weekend.

Compared to Dinara, Serena has a better motivation and seems to be more determined to win the title:
""I've been trying for so long to win the Porsche, it's about time to take that 911 home,"- Serena


hmm i think that she lost the FO open because she was mentally exhausted from having to try and win matches after being match points down, i think that would be good motivation because she in her own opinion knows that she owes her success to her coach. Maybe if she bought that 911 for him now would take away the significance, it seems she really wants to please him by winning this title and giving him the car.

enchantrezz
Sep 30th, 2008, 12:50 PM
hey guys, im gonna put up the article that i said my dad would translate later on when i have time but i thought i'd give u the heads up. My dad said he would have been paid £300 quid for his translating services (cos thats part of his job) cheeky;)

Yay! cant wait to read the article :banana:
...we're so lucky you're dad's so kind :angel:

enchantrezz
Sep 30th, 2008, 12:52 PM
hmm i think that she lost the FO open because she was mentally exhausted from having to try and win matches after being match points down, i think that would be good motivation because she in her own opinion knows that she owes her success to her coach. Maybe if she bought that 911 for him now would take away the significance, it seems she really wants to please him by winning this title and giving him the car.

I really really hope you're right, girl, cos there's nothing more that i want than for her to win and be nearer to the top ranking :hearts:

PersephoneDisco
Sep 30th, 2008, 06:54 PM
I really really hope you're right, girl, cos there's nothing more that i want than for her to win and be nearer to the top ranking :hearts:

I went on the stuttgart website and read further into the interview and the last line from safina was something like my coach believe in me during the worst times, it is really obvious she trusts him and her feelings for her coach are all really lovely and positive and sincere. I don't know if this is right but tennis players aren't like regular people, what can she offer to her coach apart from winning titles, a pay rise or what seems normal to her, a portion of her prize money or in this case a really nice candy red car:devil:

PersephoneDisco
Sep 30th, 2008, 06:54 PM
Wow, this look a long time. Note to people, next time an important article thats in russian and needs to be translated and is SMALL IN LENGTH and the REAL :P russians that are too "lazy" to do it themselves, send them my way!
Hope you enjoy it!, i quite like dinara's mother she has a really great indiviual personality and isn't completely devoted to her childrens lives *cough dementieva's mother* only joking! Some things my dad couldn't translate cos he doesnt know tennis and which i couldn't help him understand cos i dont speak russian :angel:



Rauza Islanova: be patient my daughter!
Interview
The big tennis

The results of spectator voting of a TV channel "Sports" for the best sportsman of Russia in August became Dinara Safina. With some percent she has outstripped football player Paul Pogrebnjaka in a mad ending of voting. Dinara did not become champion of Beijing–on account of getting a silver Olympic medal. But who will remember mad chart Safina during the tournament and her heroic break in the ending contrary to the intrigues of organizers, who will understand that silver is worth its weight in gold! In front of Beijing, Dinara has won two tournaments successively in Los Angeles and Montreal; afterwards she reached the US Open and has now won Tokyo. Now Safina is the third best tennis player in the world and the best tennis player from Russia!
In the beginning of the year, after a start in the first circle of superiority of Australia and a number of failures in the European tournaments, similarly it seemed inconceivable. Now nobody will be surprised, if this year Safina will finish as the top ranked tennis player in the world. However, her mum Rauza Islanova tries not to think of it. Our correspondent has called her after Dinara’s victory in Tokyo.

« RISE DINARA – NOT SENSATION »

Dinara has won 41 of 46 of her last matches. With such a rise what is connected? There are different opinions …
– What if it’s not a secret? – Cheerfully asks again Rauza Mohammadjanova.

For example, Shamil Tarpashev considers that your daughter was very much helped by her new trainer Zeljko Krajan who has directed Dinara’s energy to the necessary channel, having ceased to give her mad work loads …
– Zeljko for a long time has been in command of Dinara – he has trained her. At once it was visible that Krajan approaches work very necessarily and competently. And here Heinz Guenthardt who trained my daughter did not do anything at all! With him she did not even carry out basic things. Such things happen with some instructors –they start to work with a star and think, that results will come by itself, and we shall get warm in the rays of glory. So it does not happen. Hans incorrectly distributed the work load, and according to Tarpishev he has not overtrained her but that she has been undertrained. With the arrival of Krajan my daughter still had previous coach on OFP(?),which has loaded on her the necessary volume of work.

The decision on change of the instructor accepted together?
– We have met, have sat with Dinara, and have discussed possible options. She thought to start work with Zeljko; I in this decision have supported her.
– Krajan in fact it is still very young …
– I have known him since he was 14 years old! He met Marat in youth tournaments – he is two years older than my son. I still remember then Zeljko was a judicious and mature boy.
– I did not doubt that he will consult a quality new personal trainer for her. Here not only experience is important, but also knowledge, and desire to work. Krajan has all these.

Such growth of results, victories at tier 1 tournaments for Dinara, what has somehow changed?
– Look, we have waited for all this! Waited already for a long time, several years ago when my daughter began to beat competitors from top 10, successfully played at tournaments of “the big helmet”. She has had always enough talent, desire and persistence too. About her diligence I am quiet. There was not a competent coach who would help her to act and implement these qualities. That is occurring now, is in fact not sensation, not rise of the green beginner. Dinara – quite a mature player to whom successes will be to her advantage.

« МАRАТ ALWAYS WANTED A YOUNGER LITTLE SISTER »

Could the tennis world have never known Marat Safin and Dinara Safina?
– Then they did not have a choice (laughing the mum of champions). I took the children with myself to work when they were little - you cannot leave them alone at home. They constantly watched, how other children trained, lived in the atmosphere of a tennis school. I did not insist on that, they had to start to play themselves, but they needed something to be engaged with! Sooner or later for Мarat and Dinara it was simply boring to sit on the sidelines and they asked to go on court. Since that moment their destiny also was defined. I did not doubt that he will consult a quality new personal trainer for her. Here not only experience is important, but also knowledge, and desire to work. Krajan has all these.


That means that you did not want to take the children to lessons and that it was not necessary? That to drag children on lessons with you it was not necessary?
– What you are talking about! Маrat and Dinara had fallen in love with tennis completely. Dinara, the truth, not at once, but when she had the first victories at children's tournaments, she had understood, that tennis is hers …

I have heard that Marat in his childhood as punishment was put to play sparring with little girls. Competing against his sister did not happen?
– They have a greater difference in age. Beside that my son had left early for Spain, and Dinara after that for some more years were engaged in Moscow (Spartak). Though, I remember, when she was absolutely small, at the older her brother looked with delight. Often she tried to imitate him both on court, and in life. She missed him very much, when Маrat went to Valencia. And about the punishments – there was no such thing, it is all inventions and ideas and fabrications.

Маrat was not angry with his little sister?
– He didn’t hit her over the head with his racket, if not you after this! (Islanova is laughing.) – In general, my son when he was absolutely small, he asked us very much to present him with a little brother or a little sister. He would have liked to take care of someone, someone to protect. So, when Dinara was born, Маrat was on the top of the world with happiness!

Dinara told in an interview that has tested the big disappointment when her older brother opened to her the truth about the Grandfather the Frost (Santa)...

– I do not remember to be honest. Well, he whispered to her about something before the New Year in her ear but to make her upset – he could not allow such a thing. In general we before Christmas holiday spoke to the children: Children send letters to the Grandfather the Frost! (Santa). They took cards and wrote what kind of presents they wanted. Obviously they gave them to us. In general, this happens in all families.

Yes what did you ask?
– Yes, what the children wanted? We gave skates to Marat. Remember, there were such small games hook-ups? They were only created just in the beginning of the nineties.

For Dinara, probably a doll?
– Certainly! And not only for New Year. We had a contract, that for each victory in tournament we bought to her a Barei(?). My daughter and the majority of her peers had a weakness for it. In general, we were poor then, money for everyone wasn't sufficient, but it is necessary to please and encourage children. I tell you this as a trainer.

Now the children have grown. They probably with gifts fill up …
– Yes, only with the wishes we do not write letters to them, – Rauza Mohammadjanova is smiling. They feel that it is necessary for them, they’re adults already. And in means that to dissemble, are not constrained. Маrat recently has presented a car to his dad.

What kind of present do you get or you want to have on 8th march (international woman day)?
– I choose presents for myself. I have a magic card, if you want something then I go to shop and pay for that. They pay, obviously Marat or Dinara pays for that. Simple as that. We see each other rarely; they don’t have time to give me presents personally.

«CHILDREN CHARGE US WITH ENERGY»
Sport occupies and requires plenty of time, it is time-consuming, what about Dinara, did she have problem at school?
– I hired for her a teacher at home; she was a wonderful woman and tried hard to give her a good teaching. Dinara learnt with pleasure and there wasn’t need to force her. For example there wasn’t any difference between Russian language and Maths subjects. Honestly, at the beginning she quiet did not like reading, but the teacher brought her love for books. She acted correctly and did not only follow the curriculum, but she gave her chance to play with adventure and thriller (detectives) books. There is a kind of literature – plane reading matter. Any kind of romantic story and for the sake of that you kill the time on a flight. Dinara in fact since her childhood have gone on different tournaments, here she reads them, and gradually she has fallen in love with books. Yes and then she read a thick book of Dostoevsky in one breath. However, her favourite author I will not name – she in this plan refers to, "omnivorous". (?)

When you sent the children to Spain, did you miss them very much?
– Well, with Dinara I went as well, so it was easier. And with Маrat we met on a regular basis. Then different visa type systems were in place – therefore it was necessary for him to come back every three months to Moscow to renew his documents. Plus we quite often went out. If there was a kind of Holiday – we gathered in Spain, to Valencia. Yes there were more days off to grasp – on Saturdays and Sundays especially when the son was ‘discharged’

A popular belief – Маrat has achieved success owing to his talent, and Dinara because of inherited diligence (meticulousness).
– I would not begin so precisely to figure out the reasons for their success. Dinara is also a talented girl. Simply from childhood boys and girls train differently. At our school it was like this– boys of 10 years old were still engaged in groups, girls were already kind of individuals. And there is their character, that the first grow more eccentric, and the second – rested and hardworking. Look at adult male tennis players and adult female tennis players – you will understand everything.
Have you ever argued with your spouse, who is Marat similar to and whom Dinara?
– What for? They are our children, our common happiness! Though they say that their character is more like their Dad.

Is it often possible to gather all of you as a family?
– Definitely not but at any opportunity we try to make it happen. Usually in the end of the season: my son and my daughter arrive in Moscow and they spend a lot of time with us.

– What do you prefer? – To drink tea in the kitchen having good conversations or to go out somewhere together?
– The second. There are places where my husband and I not always go but would like to go together, to a park or to a cinema. With children somehow it is more cheerful. They at heart are very lively and cheerful and they charge us energy.
« AFTER BEIJING I TOLD DINARA: THIS DEFEAT YOU SHOULD GO THROUGH »
Do you often travel with your daughter around the world?
– Here now I go to Stuttgart – I shall support her on the tournament which will start next week. But there is no need for my constant presence at her matches. Advice can be given by phone, and the trainer for Dinara has been for a long time someone else. Eventually for me there is my own private life, I have my husband with whom it would be desirable to spend more time with.
But you certainly would have gone to Beijing…
– Yes, if only someone would have called me. Shamil did not consider it necessary even to offer. I know, there were problems with accreditations, but with enough desire he could find a possibility to make it happen. Not all people who have gone to the Olympics in our national team were for her indispensable. However, this business is of the past …
There was no desire to strangle the Chinese organizers who had forced your daughter to lead three heavy matches in hardly more than for a day?
– Does it make a difference what kind of desire I had?! It doesn't matter I could do nothing. It said to go on court at one o'clock in the morning – you go and you play. On any tournament, not speaking already about Olympics, organizers build schemes and plans to help their own sportsmen. However, in Beijing it was totally obvious, but they have not broken any rules …
Did the Defeat in the final make Dinara strongly upset?
– For her it was uneasy to go through. Certainly, my daughter was ruined by tiredness. Well football players – there are 23 people in command and also you play maximum in two days on the third! And here you play alone own for yourself, and at times you spend on two matches six hours. But I have told Dinara: she should go through this defeat. Sport is such a thing – from defeats you cannot go anywhere or you will not get away with it. And such losses only harden your character.
Does Dinara always treat your advice with trepidation? What would you tell your daughter now when she experiences such a rise?
– Be patient. Endure and bear the pain, weariness, work loads, and this mad schedule. And to work further – how she loves it and how she will be able to do it.

Tatianadove
Sep 30th, 2008, 07:43 PM
:worship: to your dad and to you!
And to speak the truth I'm not lazy (ok, only a bit;)) but my knowledge of english leaves much to be desired:sad: and translations from russian to enflish r my weak point:help:

enchantrezz
Oct 1st, 2008, 08:01 AM
Thanks so much Maz and you Dad, too :worship:

I think it was worth translating it, the article was very informative and it tells us how close Marat and Dinara are to the family. :)

Irina123
Oct 1st, 2008, 08:16 AM
Just a little correction ;)
Then different visa type systems were in place – therefore it was necessary for him to come back every three months to Moscow to renew his documents.
:) Rausa talks about Marat here.

enchantrezz
Oct 1st, 2008, 08:32 AM
Brother and Sister Act - Marat Safin and Dinara Safina

Posted by Derek on September 30, 2008 / Australian Open tennis 2009

For a family to produce a single world class athlete is a rarity, but for a family to produce two is against all the odds. But it happened to the parents of Marat Safin and Dinara Safina. A Brother and Sister combination from Russian that has added controversy to the tennis scene. Marat the elder and winner of two Grand Slam events is the most misunderstood player on the ATP tour, while his kid sister, who has never played up to her potential in previous years, has had a dream season in 2008.

Safina is ranked much higher than her big brother at the moment, and I’ve no doubt she earned considerably more prize than he did in 2008. She played in 5 consecutive finals in seven tournaments leading up to the US Open, where she virtually collapsed from exhaustion in her match against Serena.

Marat a naturally gifted player who plays as effortlessly as any player in history, has suffered from a series of nagging injuries throughout his career. He made it all the way to the top, but did not remain as number 1 for more than a few months. On court he tries hard to keep his feelings in check but many times his frustrations boil over and he slams yet another racket into the ground. Marat is a big guy, not built like the conventional tennis player, and he puts a lot of stress on his legs, ankles and knee joints. As he is quoted as saying, “I’m forever making a come back, right now I’m on my fifth.”

Safina is also an emotional player who wears her young heart on her sleeve. She is often guilty of screaming at herself after a poor shot and has been on the verge of tears a few times. She confesses that she acted like a spoilt child in her match against Serena, and is embarrassed by her outbursts. “I’ll learn from the experience”, she says, “I have to if I want to be number 1.” At 22 years of age Safina may have the most potential of any of the ‘new’ girls on the tour. Much like her brother her talent comes naturally, and she often surprises herself with some of the shots she makes. She has all the attributes to be number 1, she’s tall, a good server, she’s quick around the court, and she has determination.

Both Brother and Sister are expecting to play in Melbourne at the Australian Open 2009, where Marat won the first of his 2 Grand Slam Titles. Safina who won the Silver medal in Beijing says she’s eager to match Marat’s achievements by winning her first major tournament. Maybe Australia will be the place for her to come of age.

Nina.
Oct 1st, 2008, 10:11 AM
Great read, thank you so much, Maz :worship: :hug:

PersephoneDisco
Oct 1st, 2008, 11:14 AM
Just a little correction ;)

:) Rausa talks about Marat here.


ooo cheers i've edited it now! in russian to english all the names were translated REALLY oddly!

any other wrong bits of translation please tell me and ill correct it!

Hey,Wyna i thought as a newbie here i'd do something to get in the good books and affections of the senior members like yourself! :)

i thought it was quite amazing rauza knew krajan as a young boy and see remembered his attributes! It really showed how they are a loving and very close family despite 'mad schedule' hehe

Tatianadove
Oct 1st, 2008, 05:43 PM
I've just read Myskina's new imterview.:) She says she supports Dinara cause Dinara is her friend, they were growing together and Dinara is just very good person. link for full interview http://www.sports.ru/tennis/5855896.html (in russian of course;):angel:)
also she says that Dinara had a slump at the beginning of the year which was connected with her previous team but then Dinara worked hard and now she deserved everything she achieved.And finally Nastya thinks that Dianara is the main favourite to win Kremlin Cup!:worship:

Nina.
Oct 1st, 2008, 05:50 PM
Hey,Wyna i thought as a newbie here i'd do something to get in the good books and affections of the senior members like yourself! :)


Smart move. You definitely suceeded with that :)

I've just read Myskina's new imterview.:) She says she supports Dinara cause Dinara is her friend, they were growing together and Dinara is just very good person. link for full interview http://www.sports.ru/tennis/5855896.html (in russian of course;):angel:)
also she says that Dinara had a slump at the beginning of the year which was connected with her previous team but then Dinara worked hard and now she deserved everything she achieved.And finally Nastya thinks that Dianara is the main favourite to win Kremlin Cup!:worship:

It's nice to hear Myskina saying these things about Dinara. Myskina was coached by Dinara's mom early, wasn't she? So they must know each other for a long time.

Tatianadove
Oct 1st, 2008, 06:00 PM
It's nice to hear Myskina saying these things about Dinara. Myskina was coached by Dinara's mom early, wasn't she? So they must know each other for a long time.

Yeah, she was :)

enchantrezz
Oct 2nd, 2008, 01:57 AM
I've just read Myskina's new imterview.:) She says she supports Dinara cause Dinara is her friend, they were growing together and Dinara is just very good person. link for full interview http://www.sports.ru/tennis/5855896.html (in russian of course;):angel:)
also she says that Dinara had a slump at the beginning of the year which was connected with her previous team but then Dinara worked hard and now she deserved everything she achieved.And finally Nastya thinks that Dianara is the main favourite to win Kremlin Cup!:worship:

This is really nice of Myskina to say that considering she is also friends with the other top Russian players. But it seems like other players are also acknowledging Safina's recent form... Petrova and Sveta have also said that Safina is the best Russian player and can be number 1 soon.

enchantrezz
Oct 2nd, 2008, 02:03 AM
Kremlin Cup may put Safina on Top !

- Australian Open Tennis October 1, 2008

All eyes will be on the Kremlin Cup that begins on Saturday October 4th. in Moscow. At least all those eyes that are particularly interested in Womens tennis, and the competition to see who finishes the season as the Number 1 player.

The ladies draw includes all the top players, 19 out of the top 20, the only missing name is that of Maria Sharapova who is still recovering from her shoulder injury. Both Williams sisters are travelling to Moscow for this tournament. Serena reached the final in 2007 where she was beaten by defending champion Elena Dementieva.

The Russian women players play better at home in front of their own fans, and this years tournament is shaping up as the best in years. The Kremlin Cup is not a Grand Slam event by a long shot, the total prize money is a scant $2.4 million, but this years interest in the ladies game has reached a peak of interest and could decide which one finishes the season on top. Interestingly the lady winner takes home $197,000 and the men’s winner $171,000!

Dinara Safina who has now made it all the way to Number 3 in the world, the highest ranked Russian player in the competition, might cap off her incredible season with another win, for a total of 4 in 2008, and become the best in her profession. If she does she would equal the feat of her brother Marat Safin as being the best player in the world.

She will be under enormous pressure from the home crowd to perform her best, and with such a strong field she will have to play back to back tough matches throughout the week. Three Russian ladies swept the medals at the Beijing Olympics, Elena Dementieva won gold, Dinara Safina won Silver and Vera Zvonareva won Bronze. They will be honoured for their performances during the opening ceremonies, and Dementieva who also has a shot at the top ranking position with a victory, might just produce the best tennis of her career and successfully defend her title.

But let’s not forget the Williams sisters. As the current number 1, Serena has to considered the favourite and is seeded first. She played exceptionally well at home at the US Open, easily beating all her competitors except for Venus who she beat in two tie breaker sets. Will Dinara meet Serena again in Moscow, and can she find another level in her game to do better than she has in the past? It stacks up to be the best tournament of the year for the women, and the eventual winner will have the confidence needed to continue on into 2009 and the Australian Open in Melbourne.

enchantrezz
Oct 3rd, 2008, 05:18 PM
"I had that in my mind at the French Open and I wanted to win it for him, but I didn't - so now if I win the Porsche I will definitely give it to my coach - for sure."


She's not gonna win with that kind of thinking, she should be careful of what she's saying , its not enough and its not even the right motivation ,imo, thats why she didnt win RG .
Im not taking anything away from Ana ( she ended up the better player actually ) but what im trying to say is, buy him that car RIGHT NOW and for sure she will do her best to get the title this weekend.



Have I jinxed her ??:tape:

C. Drone
Oct 3rd, 2008, 05:26 PM
Have I jinxed her ??:tape:

no.
the interviews mean nothing.
and btw Serena lost in the 1st round, so...

enchantrezz
Oct 4th, 2008, 12:50 AM
Friday, October 3, 2008

Venus too much for Safina (http://womenwhoserve.blogspot.com/2008/10/venus-too-much-for-safina.html)

Dinara Safina could never quite get in the right position to take the momentum in her quarterfinal against Venus Williams today in Stuttgart. Williams was on fire, and the sometimes-shaky forehand was just fine, thank you very much. Corina Morariu, commentator on Tennis Channel, pointed out that Safina was playing the court like a fast court when, in reality, it was very slow. Her failure to move into the ball, said Morariu, kept her from taking control of any part of the match.

Beyond that, if Williams continues to play at this level, it will be difficult for anyone to beat her.

Williams def. Safina, 6-4, 6-2

enchantrezz
Oct 4th, 2008, 12:59 AM
Hmp!!! :(

Im still not happy she lost to Venus easily :banghead:

Bad, bad , bad Safina , never, ever promise anything big like buying your coach a car IF you win the title. Its not working !!!
If she really means it, then why wait for a GS or a big title, buy him that car Right Now :drive:

enchantrezz
Oct 6th, 2008, 10:14 AM
Kremlin Cup
06.10.2008
The leaders of the ladies’ tournament meet the press


Dinara Safina (the second seed of the “Kremlin Cup”-2008), Elena Dementieva (3) and Ana Ivanovic (4) met today with the accredited journalists during the All access hour and answered their questions.

The organizers of the ladies’ event which according to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour classification is a tier 1 tournament, hold such events regularly to facilitate communication between the media and the leading tennis players of the women’s Tour.

Dinayer
Oct 6th, 2008, 12:02 PM
Hmp!!! :(

Im still not happy she lost to Venus easily :banghead:

Bad, bad , bad Safina , never, ever promise anything big like buying your coach a car IF you win the title. Its not working !!!If she really means it, then why wait for a GS or a big title, buy him that car Right Now :drive:

yes :lol:

Tatianadove
Oct 7th, 2008, 05:24 PM
07.10.2008 Safina and Mauresmo prefer Whirlpool

Whirlpool company taught a culinary lesson at its booth at the VIP area of the “Kremlin Cup” with the participation all of the ladies’ event players Dinara Safina and Amelie Mauresmo. Guided by an experienced chef the two players cooked two very tasty fish meals using state-of -the art processors manufactured by the world famous producer of kitchen and home electronics. The numerous tournament guests who attended the culinary clinic tasted the meals and highly appreciated the work of the two players and Whirlpool equipment.
http://kremlincup.ru/db/news/564

PersephoneDisco
Oct 11th, 2008, 10:49 PM
Oooo look what i found on BBC SPORT after her defeat in Moscow. - I so agree with Safina!
Safina warns of possible boycott
Safina has enjoyed her most successful year on the tour in 2008

Dinara Safina has warned of a possible WTA Tour boycott by leading players over changes to the schedule.

The Russian, who will rise to a career-high ranking of two in the world on Monday, said players are unhappy with the WTA's '2009 Roadmap Calendar'.

"If they don't listen to what we have to say we might even choose to boycott the new tour," said Safina.

She added: "No one seems to understand which tournaments you can play and which you can't."

The new schedule aims to give players a "healthier calendar" with a longer off-season and less changes of surface.

It will see 26 tier one and tier two events combined into 20 Premiere tournaments, with players committed to play in at least 10.

Four £2.6m tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing will be mandatory for all players who qualify.



Below the mandatory events will be five £1.2m events in Canada, Dubai, Rome, Cincinnati and Tokyo, of which the top-ranked players must play at least four.

The WTA has committed to having at least seven of the world's top 10 players at each of these events. Players will complete their schedules by competing in at least one or two £400,000 events.

"They said the leading players would have to play in designated tournaments while lower-ranked players would be able to enter any event they like," said Safina after losing to fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Saturday.

"There's no logic in that at all. What if all the top players choose to enter the same tournament? What will the WTA do then? We want to know. There are a lot of grey areas."

Former US Open champion and world number two, Svetlana Kuznetsova, agreed with her compatriot.

"I was told only two players from the top 10 could enter a smaller tournament like the Kremlin Cup next year," said the current world number seven.

"What if Jelena Jankovic and Serena or Venus (Williams) want to play here?

"Then all the top Russian players, and there are five of us in the top 10, will not be able to play in their home tournament. That's nonsense."

enchantrezz
Oct 12th, 2008, 01:51 AM
Its about time someone speaks up from the top players.

Dinara seems to be a good leader , no one has been vocal about the road map as she is right now ;)

Reuters:
Safina, who will rise to a career-high number two when the new rankings are released on Monday, said the leading players will get together at next month's season-ending WTA Championships in Doha to share their concerns. WTA officials were not available for comment.

C. Drone
Oct 12th, 2008, 09:04 AM
They're right.
Go girl, rock the world! Kick that stupid CEO's ass! :angel:

...the leading players will get together at next month's season-ending WTA Championships in Doha to share their concerns.
so, shopping? :lol:

PersephoneDisco
Oct 12th, 2008, 11:07 AM
im glad its safina cos we all know she won' take no shit but maybe the reason why shes so vocal is that she is no.2 the WHOLE schedule will involve her rather than when she was a 'lowly' no.15. But lets hope there is a boycott cos i love DRAMA!
haha

so, shopping? - i know! i somehow don't see a political sit in happening, you know JJ is gonna stand up and say wait does that mean i cant go to any WTA-related parties -ARGH!

enchantrezz
Oct 13th, 2008, 12:31 PM
Russian women dominate WTA top 10 rankings

MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - Five Russian tennis players are in the top 10 of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ratings published on Monday.

Serbia's Jelena Jankovic, who won the Kremlin Cup tournament in Moscow on Sunday, heads the rankings with Russia's Dinara Safina, 22, moving up to second place to become only the fourth Russian woman to reach the top two since the rankings started 33 years ago.

Third place is taken by U.S. Open champion Serena Williams.

Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva moved down a place to fifth, while her compatriot Maria Sharapova was a non-mover in sixth, along with Svetlana Kuznetsova in seventh. But Kremlin Cup finalist 24-year-old, Vera Zvonareva, who beat second-placed Safina in the semifinals, moved up a place to eighth, her highest career ranking.

Two other Russian players are sitting just outside the top ten with Anna Chakvetadze, 21, in 12th place and Nadezhda Petrova, 26, moving up to 13th.

Nina.
Oct 13th, 2008, 02:41 PM
It's good to see the players speak their minds. I also think that these restrictions are stupid. I really don't mind the new mandatory events, but why do they have to change the Tier system?

enchantrezz
Oct 15th, 2008, 12:18 AM
Larry Scott, Dinara Safina Settle Tour Boycott Issue (http://www.onthebaseline.com/2008/10/14/larry-scott-dinara-safina-settle-tour-boycott-issue/)


World number two Dinara Safina has backed away from her Tour boycott threat, which she made after being misinformed about tournament entrance rules for 2009.

Russia’s highest ranked player was concerned that under the new Roadmap plan, she could be deemed ineligible to compete in Moscow’s Kremlin Cup.

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour cleared up the issue by confirming that according to the new rules, the Kremlin Cup will have an unlimited field of top players.

“Dinara was misinformed when she stated that the Kremlin Cup in Moscow was going to have a limited player commitment in 2009,” said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott in comments reported by the AFP.

“It is in fact one of five tournaments which falls the week immediately before a Grand Slam or the Sony Ericsson Championships that will have unlimited player commitment, meaning any number of top 10 players can play the event. We have since spoken with Dinara and clarified this detail.”

Safina was mistakenly under the impression that only a limited number of top ten players would be allowed to compete.

“I was given the wrong information and now understand that the Kremlin Cup in Moscow can receive an unlimited number of top players,” said Safina.

“I support the direction the Tour is taking - especially as it relates to steps taken to create a healthier calendar for top players - though I of course want to wait and see how the Roadmap develops before coming to final opinions on the many reforms that will part of the new system.”

“I do hope that I and other top players will have an opportunity to sit with the Tour leadership in the coming weeks to discuss certain elements of the Roadmap where I think there is still room for improvement.”

The best tennis players in the world will converge next month in Doha at the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships.

enchantrezz
Oct 15th, 2008, 01:30 AM
Dinara and Marat (http://mvn.com/tennis/2008/10/14/dinara-and-marat/)

by Lexa Lee for MVN , Oct 14, 2008

Before Dinara got her act together, she didn’t get much air time, and she wasn’t very impressive when she did. A hard hitter, yeah, but too emotional, erratic, and not very fit. But after putting her nose to the grindstone, shedding the necessary pounds, and just slogging away, she’s had an incredible year and is a genuine contender for #1. She still has serving yips and bouts of erratic play during matches, but most of the time she fights through them and manages to control her emotions and keep her eyes on the prize.

Dinara and her bro Marat are both emotional players, but with Marat it’s usually negative, and he ends up busting his sticks, throwing himself around in frustration, and just being silly. He’s been losing too early too often for a few years because he can’t get over that side of himself. When he has his head on straight and just concentrates on playing, it’s splendid. I just don’t understand what keeps him from doing that more often. He just lost in the final of the Kremlin Cup - but he did get to the final this time, while his sister lost in the semis (and not graciously). It’s not often Marat gets farther than she does anymore.

Marat has been Dinara’s role model, but she was bright enough to learn that oncourt histrionics weren’t helping his game or hers. She’s gotten pretty good at channeling her passion into playing the next point. What I especially like about Dinara is her fierceness, whether it’s her intense young expression, the way she walks - which is almost a stalk, or how she screams “Come on!” with such fury. Roger does it infrequently, but with a certain nobility, I think. Lleyton Hewitt’s, I’ve always hated because it sounds like a five-year old screeching.

At 22, Dinara isn’t that young by tennis standards, but she still has a young-girl quality about her., even if she’s a 6′2” amazon; when you’re that tall and strong you can be very intimidating, but Dinara wears a pigtail with pink elastic bands, has girlish features, and is modest and self-effacing when she’s being interviewed. There’s something endearing about that.

Still, I’d like to see apparel makers come out with designs that make these tall bodies look more impressive and powerful rather than girly. And I’d like to see the guys lose that dorky white socks with black shoes look, yuck. Unless they’re trying to look like 5-year olds.

HRHoliviasmith
Oct 15th, 2008, 01:49 AM
Larry Scott, Dinara Safina Settle Tour Boycott Issue (http://www.onthebaseline.com/2008/10/14/larry-scott-dinara-safina-settle-tour-boycott-issue/)


World number two Dinara Safina has backed away from her Tour boycott threat, which she made after being misinformed about tournament entrance rules for 2009.

Russia’s highest ranked player was concerned that under the new Roadmap plan, she could be deemed ineligible to compete in Moscow’s Kremlin Cup.

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour cleared up the issue by confirming that according to the new rules, the Kremlin Cup will have an unlimited field of top players.

“Dinara was misinformed when she stated that the Kremlin Cup in Moscow was going to have a limited player commitment in 2009,” said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott in comments reported by the AFP.

“It is in fact one of five tournaments which falls the week immediately before a Grand Slam or the Sony Ericsson Championships that will have unlimited player commitment, meaning any number of top 10 players can play the event. We have since spoken with Dinara and clarified this detail.”

Safina was mistakenly under the impression that only a limited number of top ten players would be allowed to compete.

“I was given the wrong information and now understand that the Kremlin Cup in Moscow can receive an unlimited number of top players,” said Safina.

“I support the direction the Tour is taking - especially as it relates to steps taken to create a healthier calendar for top players - though I of course want to wait and see how the Roadmap develops before coming to final opinions on the many reforms that will part of the new system.”

“I do hope that I and other top players will have an opportunity to sit with the Tour leadership in the coming weeks to discuss certain elements of the Roadmap where I think there is still room for improvement.”
The best tennis players in the world will converge next month in Doha at the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships.

dinara really said this? if so, was it translated from russian? :lol:

HRHoliviasmith
Oct 15th, 2008, 01:51 AM
dinara is 6'2"...i knew it!

enchantrezz
Oct 15th, 2008, 02:27 AM
dinara really said this? if so, was it translated from russian? :lol:

Lol, im not sure but anyway here's the link ;)

Article (http://www.onthebaseline.com/2008/10/14/larry-scott-dinara-safina-settle-tour-boycott-issue/)

HRHoliviasmith
Oct 15th, 2008, 02:35 AM
Lol, im not sure but anyway here's the link ;)

Article (http://www.onthebaseline.com/2008/10/14/larry-scott-dinara-safina-settle-tour-boycott-issue/)

no i don't doubt that it's a real article. i'm just saying it doesn't "sound" like dinara. the english is too perfect. i think it was written by the WTA PR dept.

enchantrezz
Oct 15th, 2008, 04:45 AM
Dina's Personal Interests:

* Favorite sport : Football - Real Madrid
* Favorite color : black
* Favorite flowers : rose
* Favorite food : Russian, Italian et Japanese
* Favorite hobbies : cinema, reading and listening to music
* Tennis ambition : "Try to do all my best"

camilia
Oct 15th, 2008, 11:23 AM
no i don't doubt that it's a real article. i'm just saying it doesn't "sound" like dinara. the english is too perfect. i think it was written by the WTA PR dept.

Maybe the Language fairy visited her and now she speaks perfect English :angel:

or maybe it was really translated from Russian:lol:

enchantrezz
Oct 15th, 2008, 12:55 PM
Here's a part of Dinara's interview after her semifinal match:

"I want to forget the 1st set. I came out on court lost. In a 2nd set I had chances, but could not compose myself. And that's unforgivable when you play someone in such a great form as Vera. I am just a little tired physically. Maybe I'll have to think about cutting down number of tournaments next season...I don't really want to play in the rest of tournaments before Doha, I will better train in Europe for a couple weeks.

On Monday I will become world #2. It's fantastic, because I started this season terribly. But now I have a chance to finish the season #1. I will try to achieve that."

enchantrezz
Oct 15th, 2008, 01:22 PM
This has been posted on Marat's forum :

Here's something "extra" on that article when our Russian tennis players visited president Medvedev, I thought it was very cute http://maratsafin.freeforums.org/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Waiting for president Medvedev, Marat was sitting in a waiting room next to the one where Russian President was to meet the players.
Sister Dinara joined Marat on a sofa, and, like at home, put her head on her brother's shoulder. But that sweet family picture did not last long - reporters found them http://maratsafin.freeforums.org/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Dinara, after Kremlin Cup, you became #2 in a world..

Dinara: There is one last step left to make, but it is the most difficult one in my career. I think my brother will give me an advice on how to do that, because Marat was at the very top...

Tatianadove
Oct 15th, 2008, 05:35 PM
This has been posted on Marat's forum :

Here's something "extra" on that article when our Russian tennis players visited president Medvedev, I thought it was very cute http://maratsafin.freeforums.org/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Waiting for president Medvedev, Marat was sitting in a waiting room next to the one where Russian President was to meet the players.
Sister Dinara joined Marat on a sofa, and, like at home, put her head on her brother's shoulder. But that sweet family picture did not last long - reporters found them http://maratsafin.freeforums.org/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Dinara, after Kremlin Cup, you became #2 in a world..

Dinara: There is one last step left to make, but it is the most difficult one in my career. I think my brother will give me an advice on how to do that, because Marat was at the very top...
:hearts: it was so cute I think!

Tatianadove
Oct 15th, 2008, 05:38 PM
Maybe the Language fairy visited her and now she speaks perfect English :angel:

or maybe it was really translated from Russian:lol:

yeah! she said this in russian to russian sport journalists!

PersephoneDisco
Oct 15th, 2008, 06:44 PM
She speaks really good russian (that sounds stupid) as in like how english people speak the queens english you know, she sounds very educated and well versed in getting her point coherently across. Im glad the whole boycott thing got sorted out cos the whole possibility of no russian top players playing in KC was ABSURD! it just shows the confusing small print of the new roadmap system...

PersephoneDisco
Oct 15th, 2008, 06:52 PM
This has been posted on Marat's forum :

Here's something "extra" on that article when our Russian tennis players visited president Medvedev, I thought it was very cute http://maratsafin.freeforums.org/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Waiting for president Medvedev, Marat was sitting in a waiting room next to the one where Russian President was to meet the players.
Sister Dinara joined Marat on a sofa, and, like at home, put her head on her brother's shoulder. But that sweet family picture did not last long - reporters found them http://maratsafin.freeforums.org/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Dinara, after Kremlin Cup, you became #2 in a world..

Dinara: There is one last step left to make, but it is the most difficult one in my career. I think my brother will give me an advice on how to do that, because Marat was at the very top...

I think they are so incredibly close its unbelievable, i dont even like my younger annoying brother half as much as that!:fiery:
When marat was asked the question of how close are they he sort of had a long pause and said well sort of, but i think cos they have so much respect for each other and are apart from each other when they do see each other in their home setting of moscow, its just so adorably cute! They are soo my fav sibling pair of all!:worship:

HRHoliviasmith
Oct 15th, 2008, 07:35 PM
This has been posted on Marat's forum :

Here's something "extra" on that article when our Russian tennis players visited president Medvedev, I thought it was very cute http://maratsafin.freeforums.org/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Waiting for president Medvedev, Marat was sitting in a waiting room next to the one where Russian President was to meet the players.
Sister Dinara joined Marat on a sofa, and, like at home, put her head on her brother's shoulder. But that sweet family picture did not last long - reporters found them http://maratsafin.freeforums.org/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif
Dinara, after Kremlin Cup, you became #2 in a world..

Dinara: There is one last step left to make, but it is the most difficult one in my career. I think my brother will give me an advice on how to do that, because Marat was at the very top...

awwwwwww.....i would have looooooved to see a picture of that. :hearts: instead we're bombarded with images of marat and that bimbo.:fiery:

PersephoneDisco
Oct 15th, 2008, 07:46 PM
lol who knows dinara puts her head on marats shoulders when at home?? :lol:

god id stab myself in the eyes if i have to see 'the bimbo' again but i value my eyesight too much to go through with it

C. Drone
Oct 17th, 2008, 07:17 PM
Dina's Personal Interests:

* Favorite sport : Football - Real Madrid

Nnnnoooooooo! :sobbing:

Viva Atlético! :bounce:

Dinayer
Oct 17th, 2008, 08:07 PM
Nnnnoooooooo! :sobbing:

Viva Atlético! :bounce:

Atleti :banana:

PersephoneDisco
Oct 17th, 2008, 08:43 PM
haha noo! chelsea!!!
ill blame it due to the spanish training :angel:

Dinayer
Oct 17th, 2008, 09:12 PM
haha noo! chelsea!!!
ill blame it due to the spanish training :angel:

chelsea :hearts:

I love chelsea :hearts:

PersephoneDisco
Oct 17th, 2008, 09:48 PM
pepi, could i love you anymore? :angel:

Dinayer
Oct 18th, 2008, 09:21 PM
pepi, could i love you anymore? :angel:

:angel:

PersephoneDisco
Oct 30th, 2008, 12:06 AM
October 29, 2008



© Getty Images
Championships Profile: Dinara Safina


DOHA, Qatar - Dinara Safina didn't just shift gears in 2008; she graduated to a whole new league. Although the Russian's natural talent was never in doubt - how could it be, with former world No.1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Marat for a brother - the mental side of her game had sometimes let her down. But that all changed on a spring day in Berlin, when a patient and composed Safina upset the world's best player, Justine Henin, in the third round. Henin duly announced her retirement while Safina went on to beat Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva to claim her first Tier I title.

Since then, "Marat's little sister" has been busy proving her exploits that week were no fluke. Although the 22-year-old would finish the main playing season with a far-from-shabby win-loss record of 55-17; her figures from Berlin onwards are rather more telling: 45-7; more than enough to ensure the Russian qualified for the Sony Ericsson Championships for the first time in her career.

New-model Safina's first test post-Berlin was the French Open, where she marched all the way to her first Grand Slam final as the No.13 seed, collecting the scalps of Maria Sharapova, who had replaced Henin as No.1, Dementieva and Svetlana Kuznetsova before falling to Ana Ivanovic in the championship match.

In the ensuing five months, Safina lost just two matches that, on paper at least, might be considered an upset. The first was at the hands of Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn in the final of the Ordina Open, a grasscourt event held in the Netherlands as a lead-in to Wimbledon. The second came at Wimbledon itself, with a third round loss to fellow seed Shahar Peer, after an epic match that left both players on the point of collapse.

That disappointment failed to snap the magic as Safina crossed the Atlantic to the hardcourts of North America. As the jostling for position at the top of the rankings heated up, Safina beat Jelena Jankovic in the semis at Los Angeles, then Flavia Pennetta in the final, for a second title of the year; the following week a second Tier I title was collected at the Rogers Cup in Montréal. At the Olympics, Safina again beat Jankovic on her way to the final, where it took a particularly determined Dementieva to stop her. Safina nonetheless went home with a silver medal - something her brother doesn't have.

Notwithstanding a semifinal loss to Vera Zvonareva at Moscow, since the Olympics it has taken a Williams sister to stop Safina in her tracks, and there is never shame in that. In Safina's first US Open semifinal she fell to Serena - clearly a woman on a mission that week. At Stuttgart, Safina played Venus - perhaps surprisingly, for the first time - and the American won in straight sets. But Safina won the third Tier I title of her year and career at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, easily beating Kuznetsova in the final, for another 430 Championships Race points.

Indeed, as far as Race to Doha points go, winning a Tier I tournament rates about the same as reaching the semis of a Slam, which earns a player 450 points. Not only did Safina's three Tier I victories earn her 1,290 points out of her eventual total of 3,832, she was also the most successful player at that level; Jankovic won two, at Rome and Moscow; Serena also won two, at Miami and Charleston.

Safina's qualification for Doha was announced at the same time as Serena's, after both had reached the semis at Flushing Meadows. As Serena had 3,130 points, seven more than the Russian, Safina was technically the fourth to make the cut. But by the time the Race had ended she was easily in second place behind Jankovic, on 3,823 points.

"I am really happy about qualifying for the Sony Ericsson Championships," Safina said at the time. "I think this is the goal for every player, to reach the Championships at the end of the year, and finally my dream has come true."

In May she was ranked No.14, but she arrives at Doha as the world No.2. She can't catch Jankovic this week, but she can set the scene for even greater achievements in 2009. It is worth noting that the old Safina lost in the first round at both Sydney and the Australian Open last January, so she has little in the way of points to defend early in the New Year. And who knows, a certain Marat may yet come to be known as "Dinara's older brother."

enchantrezz
Oct 30th, 2008, 10:59 AM
great article, love it! thanks for posting it Maz :hearts:

And who knows, a certain Marat may yet come to be known as "Dinara's older brother."

To me Safina has yet to achieve something really BIG in order to surpass her brother's popularity and impact in tennis as a whole.

PersephoneDisco
Oct 30th, 2008, 11:05 AM
I agree as well, i just think that the writer is really looking forward to what she COULD achieve, you know they did write ' who knows' - and thats the question right there!

Im really looking forward to Doha, more than any other year because of Dinara, im really looking forward to Shanghai and im well excited its coming to the 02 arena in London next year!!!!- you know what i'll be up to!
what are the chances YEC will be hosted in England any time soon?

Only 5 more days to go...!

enchantrezz
Oct 30th, 2008, 11:16 AM
Me too!
I really love it that she is the first to arrive , first to practice on the tennis court in Doha. I really admire her attitude in her career, smthing I wish Marat can learn from.

I hope and pray Safina will get the beginner's luck in this Championships and bring home the trophy. * fingers crossed *

PersephoneDisco
Oct 30th, 2008, 11:25 AM
Great minds think alike!
I just don't want the great form to end any time soon! Im praying and hoping too and touching wood when i talk about her winning Doha *knock on wood*!
Beginners luck is an incredible thing (i remember i won loads of poker chips when i played poker for the VERY first time, then i left to get food and then the good luck was finished!)

Cmon the Safinator!

enchantrezz
Nov 6th, 2008, 11:22 PM
SONY ERICSSON CHAMPIONSHIPS (http://www.asapsports.com/show_events.php?category=7&year=2008&title=SONY+ERICSSON+CHAMPIONSHIPS)

November 3, 2008
Dinara Safina (http://www.asapsports.com/show_player.php?id=12026)


DOHA, QATAR

THE MODERATOR: Now joining us we have the world No. 2 ranked player, Dinara Safina, who will be making her debut at the Sony Ericsson Championships this week. Dinara has a 55-17 record, including a 45-7 win/loss record since May. Earlier in the year she ranked number 17, and went on to win titles at Stuttgart, L.A., Montreal and Tokyo, as well as --

DINARA SAFINA: Berlin.

THE MODERATOR: And Berlin, sorry. And her first career Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. She climbed all the way up to No. 2 becoming the second Russian woman to do so. And at this time we'll turn it over to questions for Dinara in English.

Q. Was Berlin especially important? Is that where things started to turn around for you?

DINARA SAFINA: No, because in Stuttgart, and I had never won Stuttgart, that's why I couldn't play Berlin. But I would say, yeah, Stuttgart was a turning point of my career this year.

Q. Can you say a little bit more about how and why the turning point occurred and why it occurred then?

DINARA SAFINA: It's hard, if I would know why, I guess I would do it much earlier, and not at the age of 22.

Well, I guess it was the time. And just everything clicked that week. I don't know. Just once I stepped there from the first match I was playing my good tennis, and just day-by-day I was just better and better. And every match I was believing more and more in myself.

Finally, I had those wins that I think I was missing them, and I need them to for my own confidence to see that I can play, I can compete with the Top 10 players, and I also can be there. So I think it was just a break.

Q. Did the speed of your rise from outside the Top 10 to No. 2 in the world surprise even yourself? Were you amazed at how quickly it all happened for you?

DINARA SAFINA: It happened really like so fast. We just came really like a week after, I was going higher and higher in the rankings. It was really unbelievable. And every Monday it was coming out like, okay, Top 10. Okay, number 9, number 8, 7, 6, 5, and it was going up and up. And I really I think it was good that I had all the tournaments in a row so I can't have time to think what's going on. It was like in my dream I'm going and going.

Q. Do you think you can now go to No. 1?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, this year, no.

Q. No, but soon?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I'll do my best to get there. I'll work hard. I know that I have the potential to be there. It's just a matter of being healthy, and giving my best day by day, and everything is possible.

Q. What has been such a successful season for you, what's been your biggest challenge?

DINARA SAFINA: I guess biggest challenge is to challenge with myself. When I play on the court and I just focus with only myself, and just I see only the ball when I play. But sometimes some enemies go in my mind. Then I'm complaining not only with the opponent, but also with the enemies in my brain. So I guess for me, the biggest challenge is myself.

Q. What do you do to try to help that and improve that focus? Are there ways that you train your mind or preparation you do to feel better?

DINARA SAFINA: What do you mean to feel better?

Q. You said sometimes you don't always see the (indiscernible). How do you improve your focus?

DINARA SAFINA: That's part of the practice, so I just, I don't know, because that's how it goes. If the practice is tough, in the matches are never as tough as in the practices. Because if you work really hard in practice, the matches are always going to be there, so that's what we're trying to do. To have a very tough practice, and in the match it never comes to this point where it can get tough. So we're trying to really do the practice.

Q. Since this is your debut tournament, how much hungry are you to win this one? Are you ready to go all out?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, if I would not be ready to go all out, I would not be here. So if I'm here, it means that I'm ready to go.

Q. You sounded a bit like your brother when he was talking about finding someone inside you. Do you talk a lot with your brother about tennis and about controlling your own emotions and things like that?

DINARA SAFINA: Not really that we talk a lot about this. We sometimes he gives me some advices, but it's -- he's a little bit different than me, so it's for me sometimes it's tough to get his opinion, his view.

So, as I said, I have my team, my tennis coach. It's his job to take care of these things (smiling).

Q. Can you explain a little bit more which sort of challenge do you do? Because not many of us play tennis at your level, and we don't understand exactly what is in your mind.

DINARA SAFINA: Well, it's just becoming too tough on myself. I like to have everything perfect sometimes. When it's a little bit not so good, I start to like to complain. So this makes me not start to not playing with the ball, but I start to play with the crowd.

If somebody screams and I think, Oh, why is he supporting the other player and not me? So sometimes it has nothing to do with the tennis, it's just something outside that to annoy me. But this I have to deal with myself.

Q. Your first time at this event, and I don't know, the round robin is a different kind of format. Have you thought about how you can deal with losing a match but still being in the tournament? It must be a strange feeling?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think it's something new for me. I've never played this kind of groups, but I think it's good. You always have a chance. Not in a tournament where you lose, and you start to maybe it's a little tougher mentally that maybe next day you still have to play.
On the other hand, it's also another challenge. For me, it's going to be a new experience. Whatever happens, the next day is another day, and I have another chance to win the match. So I think it's going to be different for me. I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. Jelena's going to finish the year No. 1, but do you think she's the player of the year or is that an honor someone else should get?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, it's obviously she deserves it because she played the whole year very high and consistent level. But, on the other hand, you can also say that Serena she didn't play as many tournaments as Jelena and Maria and Venus.

So if they would play the same amount of tournaments, maybe it would be different. But I don't know. But I think she is from the rest of the players she's the most consistent player and she really played at a high level the whole year, so she really deserves it.

Q. You were the first to arrive here. Did you see the excitement building up over these days? Do you think the locals, like for example, female players in Qatar will be helped by this tournament?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, I think it's nice to bring to this kind of country this kind of big events. The kids they can see us playing and it can motivate them. So I think it's going to be something new. Because I know here the most popular sports are athletics and football, so I guess after this tournament some kids may start to get interested in tennis.

Q. You said that sometimes Marat has given you some advice. Can you tell us what some of that advice was?

DINARA SAFINA: He would just tell me that if you see that you're starting to get emotional just ask for a towel. I said, What? I have to ask every five seconds for a towel. No, he's like, go, walk around. Don't think about this. Think about something else. I said, Yes, this I know.
But sometimes it's what I say, it's basic advice. Something somebody else would tell you. Go in there and get a bit angry, just step back a little bit. Take your time. But something more little was missing that now I found, so.

Q. What is the biggest difference from going 15 or 16 in the world to No. 2? What is the biggest change or best thing about that?

DINARA SAFINA: The biggest change? I guess the whole game changed by me. I became much more aggressive on the court, and I started to go much more for my shots where before maybe I was holding back a little bit. It's just to get there you have to use all your 100% every day. So I guess it's just a little bit different game. Just much harder, stronger to get there.

Q. Do you enjoy what comes with that? With people knowing you more now? And more attention?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, that's what I'm playing for. I think that was my goal. I had to get known as myself, not the sister of Marat. That's what I was playing for.

Q. Does the fact that you're now ranked No. 2 in the world give you great relief when you play those in the Top 7 or 8 that are ranked below you and used to be ranked above you?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, actually I can't say that all the Top 10 is very close. So, yes, I'm No. 2, but I came there because I beat all the players who are below me. But still, every opponent is very tough.

It doesn't matter that I'm No. 2. I can go on the court and play number 8 in the world and give my 50%, no, not at all. If I want to compete against her, I still have to give my 100%.
So it's still doesn't matter how high you're ranked, you still have to respect them and still have to give your 100%.

Q. I read the other day you made some comments about the road map next year. Are you unhappy with some of the changes that have been placed on the players for next year?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, overall if you look at the calendar, it looks very good the way it is, and the way the week's based and how much time we have off-season also between the tournaments. We always have time to prepare very good for the tournaments.
But there is just some small things that we maybe a little bit not agree. But we had a meeting yesterday, and now I think we're going to have again meeting after the tournament finish just to clear all misunderstandings that we have. I think, but overall, I think it looks pretty good.

Q. What are the points that you find problematic?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, as the meeting was closed doors, so it stays there in that room.

Q. Do you think Justine didn't take her decision in may, this quality of the top could be boastful, anyway?

DINARA SAFINA: What do you mean? If Justine was still here.

Q. If Justine was still here, would this quality in the first positions be possible?

DINARA SAFINA: I mean, for me, in my opinion, I mean, Justine was such a big player, so I think it would not be so easy to get to No. 1 spot if she would still be there. For me, I see her still I see her a very big player. She was the player like for me the best. So she just gives us a chance to take her spot (smiling).

Q. Given that you might have five very hard matches in a short space of time this week, has your preparation for the championships been different than for the other tournaments?

DINARA SAFINA: Different? Not really. Just it's another tournament, you know. Not try to really think. I mean, what is different? It's still the same players, you know. It's another tournament.

Yes, it's Top 8 players, but still you have to focus on yourself. You cannot think about other players. But this I have to change completely my game. No, no, it's wrong completely. I have to have my game, and I have to play my game. That's how you got to the top player.
The first one who starts to dominate, to show her game is the one who wins. It's just you have to even focus more on yourself.

Q. So your preparation won't be different?

DINARA SAFINA: Well, it's short time. I had ten days. It's not really where you can make the whole off season in five weeks to say, yes, I've been running marathons, I've been doing weightlifting. It's ten days.

You just try to put you as sharp as you can and as well-rested. Just put all the things together. But still, it's too short time to base something.

PersephoneDisco
Nov 7th, 2008, 12:50 PM
hmm she would be a psychologist's dream!
Im still pissed at how bad she played..oh well Krajan time to do your magic!

C. Drone
Nov 7th, 2008, 04:29 PM
DINARA SAFINA: I guess biggest challenge is to challenge with myself. When I play on the court and I just focus with only myself, and just I see only the ball when I play. But sometimes [B]some enemies go in my mind. Then I'm complaining not only with the opponent, but also with the enemies in my brain. So I guess for me, the biggest challenge is myself.
"I'm completely fine, the voices told me too." :lol:

DINARA SAFINA: The biggest change? I guess the whole game changed by me. I became much more aggressive on the court, and I started to go much more for my shots where before maybe I was holding back a little bit. It's just to get there you have to use all your 100% every day. So I guess it's just a little bit different game. Just much harder, stronger to get there.

apparently worked perfectly. :kiss:

PersephoneDisco
Nov 7th, 2008, 04:34 PM
lol norbert i told ya she would be a psychologists dream to analyse!

enemies in her head???? :lol:

C. Drone
Nov 7th, 2008, 05:06 PM
there is no psychoguy, who could fight against the Safin demons. :haha:

Esther
Nov 9th, 2008, 07:10 PM
http://de.tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2mrzdbk&s=4


Interview with an german tennis magazine... I will translate it tomorrow:)

PersephoneDisco
Nov 9th, 2008, 07:50 PM
thanks esther!

camilia
Nov 10th, 2008, 01:38 PM
http://de.tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2mrzdbk&s=4


Interview with an german tennis magazine... I will translate it tomorrow:)

thanks :)

Esther
Nov 10th, 2008, 08:24 PM
Sorry, today i had no time. I will try it tomorrow. :p

enchantrezz
Nov 17th, 2008, 10:41 AM
Accdg. to another latest Russian poll:

Who do you think is the best Russian tennis player in 2008?

Dinara Safina - 296 (47%) :)
Vera Zvonareva - 133 (21%)
Elena Dementieva - 129 (20%)
Maria Sharapova - 45 (7%)
Maria Kirilenko - 8 (1%)
Anna Chakvetadze - 5 (1%)
Nadezhda Petrova - 5 (1%)
Svetlana Kuznetsova - 3 (0%)
Another tennisistka - 7 (1%)
Total - 631 (100%)

Interestingly, Vera gathered more votes than Elena. But what amazes me is the fact that Dinara is so popular in Russia., and so well liked compared to the other players.

PersephoneDisco
Nov 17th, 2008, 12:05 PM
I think it is cos of the Marat Factor i mean he is a national treasure, there is nothing more, Russia would love than to have a player from their country that is the best in their field of sport which is a VERY good one.

47% is a HUGE majority considering her opponent was Vera and she only got 20%

enchantrezz
Nov 17th, 2008, 12:08 PM
Two Russian articles, one an interview with Marat (http://news.sport-express.ru/online/ntext/26/nl265279.html) and the other with Dinara. (http://versia.ru/articles/2008/nov/10/dinara_safina)

Well, according to Google :rolleyes: here's what it means so if anyone can translate it better it will be highly appreciated.;)

Marat interview:

- But, apparently, great for experienced sister Dinara, which was eventually Games silver winner?

- Yes, of course. It turned out much better than I have. Cool, that at least one representative of our family distinguished in the Olympics. So it is very, very happy for a sister. It is a pity only that the organizers of the Olympics have failed to make so that everything was against Dinara. However, this is sport, where every interest. Therefore, something like, especially when it became clear that for medals will have to deal with Chinese worthwhile to expect.

- No justice, to some extent triumphed. For example, it Dinar Safina, many fans believed the main character Olympics.

- This is too nice. I think Dinara is all appreciated and understood. But her success also makes very hard. Indeed, earlier this year she had recessions, then all more or less leveled, but at some point had accumulated some tiredness - not every body could withstand such pressures. But in the past four months, Dinara proved better the results, while showing great tennis. To ensure that it succeeded this year - the silver at the Olympics, the finale of "Roland Garros", the second place in the ranking of the curtain season - by force is not for everyone.


Dinara Article:

Dinara Safina: The popularity of Marat I do not want

This season, she broke into the elite of world tennis, like fire, thunder indiscriminately and recognized leaders of the rating, and «strong serednyakov», that another year or two ago, carried itself, and certainly, certainly, players «second-and third-line» . Not surprisingly, journalists and fans once stopped calling her «sister of Marat Safin», and, increasingly, once a leading player men's team Russia velichayut «brother Dinara».

Indeed, this year it has proven to everyone that at the Tennis dynasties Safin-Islanovyh is not just mom Rauza Muhamedzhanovna, more than 40 years ago played in the junior final «Roland Garros», and son, Marat, winning two Grand Slam tournaments.

During the current season Dinara won four major tournaments, and even if there is ever a career on her account only nine titles. She played in the finals of the Olympics, which won by its countrywoman Elena Dementieva. She also, incidentally, has defeated Safina in the last match of the year concluded on the Doha final championship WTA. This tournament altogether for a rossiyanki very badly - it ceded in all three meetings.

However, in 2008 still became Dinara without doubt outstanding.


-Dinara, is the Silver medal in Olympic Games in Beijing - your main achievement of the season? Or something you put above?

- In my opinion, «Roland Garros», participated in the final of the tournament is the main achievement. Silver medal is also a great achievement. Moreover, the spring success came just in time - after a series of unsuccessful tournaments in the beginning of the year. And I can safely say that at the Olympics, I was riding a very different - not even one that won the May tournament in Berlin and reached the finals «Roland Garros» ...

- In Paris, all noted that, despite the defeat, you do not look too much upset. It turns out that a defeat could incur a charge of positive emotions?

- You know, the main outcome of the tournament in Paris for me was that during the «Roland Garros» have seen the fruits of the work that I do with the coach. It is pafosno sounds, but it is after such tournaments and matches have the confidence that you are doing right. And there are further incentives to continue the work, for training to improve the game.

- Does this mean that you are now better feel what you want to work?

- In my opinion, the main problem for high-level athlete is his psychological state. You can play with one hand, with his legs or back injury, but if the head is not all right - never dobeshsya result. To achieve this it is very difficult, everyone their secrets, has recently emerged, they and I have. Just do not ask about them, do not tell: rival also read newspapers. (Smiles.)

- Specialists say that you have recently paid much attention to style, drawing the game ...

- Home - the game should deliver fun and the audience, and herself. If you just drive the ball and think that all this is over quickly, there are bound to be problems. Do not hide, sometimes for me it is. Sometimes even that want to play beautifully and Sopernica operates strictly limit, and willy-nilly to switch to sound, but not too zrelischnuyu game. But I hope that the times have passed when someone Anyway I could dictate the course of the game. I often teach the game. Including because you want to show the fans a beautiful tennis.

- Recently you manage it all the more. But at the Olympic pedestal of honor in Beijing, you cry. These were tears of resentment and frustration at the fate of its game?

- Yes, those were tears of resentment. But not for someone on your own. Yet I was confident that I can win. Unfortunately, this also was his finale. In doing so, more often that I zlyus. And scream, and obzyvayu a variety of words. Do not cry. But in Beijing, when we went up on a pedestal, something down ...

- Women tennisistki have something often cry. You - an exception?

- I have too often, because I am an emotional person. Especially as I said earlier companion teammates, and then I suddenly noticed herself - when poplachesh, recover much faster.

- Well, this is no secret: psychologists generally believe that a woman cries, to become stronger ...

- This is absolutely true! But I would add that a woman becomes calmer and stronger.

- Maybe it makes sense not to weep after a day before key matches?

- (Ulybaetsya.) It is necessary to try, but so far I have this does not happen. Perhaps because the lead themselves, make a fit which is easier than to start grieve.

- You said that often berate themselves aloud. And what exactly do you shout between the points?

- The Secret! (Smiles.) just happens that it is very serious words with itself talking ... But the recent much less often that I say imagine how all bad. Think positively have to, because every game can be won.

- A general emotional surges Interesting often happen? And if so, help them, or vice versa?

- Everything is very simple: if the positive emotions, it certainly helps. A negative - how can they help? If you tell yourself: «I feel bad», then, finally, you can fall ill. The same, and in tennis. But, you know, lately I have increasingly been able to get rid of the status of «spoiled girls». To restrain their emotions, not to give them will need a shiny head. If they are released will no longer stop. Perhaps lost in the finals I have not had a fresh head, and I allowed myself to the fact that it was unacceptable to play at this level.

- The season came to an end. In general, you're happy with the results?

- And that - was a great year! (Ulybaetsya.) I found their game, here come the results of the past could only dream of. But that is the final step to Grand Slam titles, must learn to restrain their emotions.

- So, despite the defeat in the final match in Paris and Beijing, you are ready to accept this year's best career?

- Of course! Especially considering how poorly the season started. There was a time when I thought I did not find a way out of the situation. Game discord, I have not felt the ball, and sometimes did not know what to do at Corti. Then I decided at a crucial step - to part with one of the coaches. And it probably was the right decision in my career. I was able to quickly and with little loss out of the emotional hole, and somehow unnoticed had success ...

- And you, in turn, have become calmer, and your emotions - less show ...

- Externally, probably so. But internally - I am always in a position to a boil. Maybe I just learned how little control the emotions. While it still does not get every day. But while I know that became stronger mentally. Although a difficult situation racket still can score in the corner of court ...

- Well, what about - is identified with Safin ...

- What can you do, genes! (Smiles.)

- I do now in your family Tennis new leader. Now Marat often referred to as «brother Dinara», yet even in the past year, you almost always have been «sister of Marat»?


- And now, I think that today I am much more «sister of Marat», he - «my brother». And so will be until at Dinara not happen great victories. Marat was the first number of world ranking, he won two Grand slams. And I still have what he has to learn. Although not hide, I always wanted to play no worse than Marat. But that be as popular as it is, I never dreamed of. It is simply not mine, I'm not too fond be in the spotlight. If it is, of course, is not associated with victories Interesting ...

enchantrezz
Nov 17th, 2008, 12:14 PM
I think it is cos of the Marat Factor i mean he is a national treasure, there is nothing more, Russia would love than to have a player from their country that is the best in their field of sport which is a VERY good one.

47% is a HUGE majority considering her opponent was Vera and she only got 20%

Yeah, and also Sharapova won AO, reached # 1 this year, and Dmentieva won Olympic Gold.
Many, many Russians considered Dinara as the heroine in the Beijing Olympics.

PersephoneDisco
Nov 17th, 2008, 12:22 PM
I think the fact that the doubles scheduling was ABSOLUTELY F******* RUBBISH, the russians feel hard done by even though the winner was always going to be a russian. I think the Russian people fell in love with Dinara because she finally worked and achieved what the nation expected of her and thought that Elena won because of the poor scheduling not against an opponent that was 100% mentally and physically fit. I think the russians think that Elena should have achieved more in her career, and i don't think she will ever win a GS.

enchantrezz
Nov 17th, 2008, 12:32 PM
http://img.championat.ru/news/i/l/12268372991787917371foto.jpg

The Russian sweep was totally unexpected and a rare feat indeed :worship:
To me this must be the proudest moment and highest achievement for Russian tennis and I dont think this will ever happen again for a long time.

Irina123
Nov 17th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Interestingly, Vera gathered more votes than Elena. But what amazes me is the fact that Dinara is so popular in Russia., and so well liked compared to the other players.
Dinara IS the best russian player in 2008 by all facts and by far. So the result of this poll is expected. As for so well liked, we shouldn't have illusions. Tennis is not so popular in Russia, and no tennis player is actually really widely liked by average russians (I mean not tennis fans). The question was not who is your favorite player it was who is the best player. The ones who voted are tennis fans and they know very well who was the best russian in 2008. ;)

camilia
Nov 17th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Well, we like Russian players and I love Dinara, Marat and Dima :angel:

enchantrezz
Nov 17th, 2008, 02:33 PM
Thanks for clarifying , Irina :)
I love Dinara and Marat the most not only among the Russian players but also on the Tour.
Elena demented is the least player I like :lol:

enchantrezz
Nov 18th, 2008, 12:36 PM
Google translated :)

Rauza Islanova: from Marat and Dinara all get (http://www.championat.ru/tennis/news-158510.html)

Mom of famous tennis players Marat Safin and Dinara Rauza Islanova, the best coach in Russia in 2008, in an interview with the correspondent Chempionat.ru "Daniel Salnikovym could not hide the emotion:

"I feel joy and pride, because my work, my mind and my love does not have been wasted. You understand - all parents invest in their children, but sometimes fails. Thank God that my children are received."

PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 12:42 PM
awwwww! she's had to coach her children! not many normal parents do that!
im sure it was very hard for her to make her children view her efforts as being for the best and to view her as their coach and not their mother for a couple of hours a day. To see all the effort and investment working out and making her children be the best is im sure one of the best things mama rauza and any mother would want to feel. Awwwww i love mama rauza!

Dinayer
Nov 18th, 2008, 12:47 PM
I love mama Rauza too :hearts:

Tatianadove
Nov 18th, 2008, 12:56 PM
Everybody loves mama Rauza! :)

camilia
Nov 18th, 2008, 03:05 PM
Everybody loves mama Rauza! :)

She gave us Marat and Dinara, what more can we ask for :yeah:

PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 03:09 PM
hehe Camilia, touche ;)

Irina123
Nov 18th, 2008, 03:19 PM
from Rausa'a interview (2006)
I want to stay a mother for him and Dinara and not to be a coach who is always telling something. They want to sit with me quietly, to relax, so that I would pity them, and cuddle them. I try not to talk about tennis with them. But if they ask for advice I of course can give them some, maybe I give more advice to Dinara. But with Marat I want to talk about other things.
:)

enchantrezz
Nov 18th, 2008, 03:24 PM
" ..maybe I give more advice to Dinara. But with Marat I want to talk about other things."

maybe like, his girlfriends?? :tape:

PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 03:24 PM
My friends mother is a tennis coach and she teaches my friend/her daughter and she would always make sure that her daughter would know its coaching time and put boundaries like to not call her mum so Rauza's way of teaching is very different than.
I wonder what she would discuss with Marat..;) poor dinara suffering for her tennis then while Marat was living the high life!

Irina123
Nov 18th, 2008, 03:26 PM
My friends mother is a tennis coach and she teach my friend and she would always make sure that her daughter would know its coaching time and put boundaries like to not call her mum so Rauza's way of teaching is very different than.
This interview is from 2006 not from 1996 :p Rausa stopped to be their coach long time ago. She's just a mom for them now. But she was very strict and demanding when she coached the kids ;)

PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 03:33 PM
ahh, yeh so normal coaching for Rauza then, i clearly need to wear my glasses when im reading the posts!

watchdogfish
Nov 18th, 2008, 03:35 PM
Rausa's in this clip of Marat from when he was 14 years old :lol: :awww:
What does she say when she's crying at 0:52?

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PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 04:05 PM
Okay, my lovely mum translated the vid for us.
Marat went to a hotel in NY because of a TV show after winning US open.
His mum trained students and marat was always with him because she didnt want to leave him at home with his dad who loved football (which may have meant he would have prefered footie over tennis). If he didnt do tennis he would have wanted to be an actor as it sounded interesting. He was 6 when he held his first raqcuet, when he was 14 he went to spain and his future was set out in the beginning stages. He like the sun, cars(which he liked to drive fast in racing tracks) and the lovely beaches in valenica, his fave football team is spartak moscow, when he was young he was shy and embarrassed of cameras and is still now as well. He had to pay tax for winning the US open and no one heard from his mouth if he was gonna change his nationality and play for another country, but he is obviously a russian player ;)
His mum was crying over the fact that she missed him very much and worried about him- awwwwwwwwwww

Irina123
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:17 PM
His mum trained students and marat was always with him because she didnt want to leave him at home with his dad who loved football (which may have meant he would have prefered footie over tennis).
a bit wrong:) "She didn't want to leave him alone at home. (his dad wasn't at home as well) Marat's love for football comes from his dad."

PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:26 PM
ahhh got you, my mum thought she didnt want to leave marat with his dad cos he would not prioritise tennis. My mum is very self conscience of her russian as she cant read or write but my dad is completely fluent in russian and can read and write. I dont think she was very happy knowing there are native russians on this board that can see if shes made a mistake :lol:

Irina123
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:31 PM
Rausa was on russian tv channel tonight. She said Dinara had left already to Valencia and started her preparation for next season :)

PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:35 PM
ooh which channel was it? ive got satellite you see ;)
wow, that was quick!
But then Valencia has its sun,sand and sea so its a holiday and its work!
thanks irina!

Irina123
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:41 PM
ooh which channel was it? ive got satellite you see ;)
NTV+ tennis

PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:55 PM
cheers!

Dinayer
Nov 18th, 2008, 07:04 PM
Valencia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG :sobbing:
she is in spain :sobbing:

PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 07:07 PM
i would KILL to be in a hot country regardless if it meant i had to do some sort of work...
Aww Valencia, its like their second home

Dinayer
Nov 18th, 2008, 07:13 PM
I want to go to Valencia!!!

:sobbing:

PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 07:18 PM
you're telling me pepi.
This morning the radio said 'brace yourselves for the weekend as artic winds and artic temperatures are forecast' - ARGH!!! im not going out for anything, maybe dinara but thats it ;)

HRHoliviasmith
Nov 18th, 2008, 07:44 PM
Rausa was on russian tv channel tonight. She said Dinara had left already to Valencia and started her preparation for next season :)


I really wish Dinara would take some time to rest. go on vacation like her brother.

Dinayer
Nov 18th, 2008, 07:49 PM
Oh Maz :hug:

thats why Dina loves spain :cool:

PersephoneDisco
Nov 18th, 2008, 08:34 PM
I really wish Dinara would take some time to rest. go on vacation like her brother.

Dinara is such a workaholic, she wants to always prove she deserves to be up there with the best. I think another week holiday would be good rather than straight to training.:)

enchantrezz
Nov 21st, 2008, 03:05 AM
Rausa was on russian tv channel tonight. She said Dinara had left already to Valencia and started her preparation for next season :)

Oh, And Marat flew home to Moscow from Miami yesterday 19th November. He enjoyed his vacation. - from his official site.

enchantrezz
Nov 21st, 2008, 03:06 AM
THE BEST OF 2008

MEN'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Andy Murray

WOMEN'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Dinara Safina

MEN'S MATCH OF THE YEAR: Nadal v Federer, Wimbledon final

WOMEN'S MATCH OF THE YEAR: Safina v Sharapova, French Open fourth round

http://www.sportinglife.com/tennis/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=tennis/08/11/19/TENNIS_Column.html

enchantrezz
Nov 21st, 2008, 03:08 AM
I really wish Dinara would take some time to rest. go on vacation like her brother.

spending time with Krajan is her vacation, i guess :lol:

camilia
Nov 21st, 2008, 09:11 AM
i would KILL to be in a hot country regardless if it meant i had to do some sort of work...
Aww Valencia, its like their second home

At this time of the year, hot countries aren't hot, actually the weather will be great for you but for me,It's a little cold:angel:

camilia
Nov 21st, 2008, 09:14 AM
THE BEST OF 2008

MEN'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Andy Murray

WOMEN'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Dinara Safina

MEN'S MATCH OF THE YEAR: Nadal v Federer, Wimbledon final

WOMEN'S MATCH OF THE YEAR: Safina v Sharapova, French Open fourth round

http://www.sportinglife.com/tennis/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=tennis/08/11/19/TENNIS_Column.html

Dinara is the best :yeah:

PersephoneDisco
Nov 21st, 2008, 11:40 AM
At this time of the year, hot countries aren't hot, actually the weather will be great for you but for me,It's a little cold:angel:

the weather in england cami????:eek: its gonna be awful! You live in the middle east cami, i think you've got the best of it. At least it may snow during the weekend and that cheers me up:)

PersephoneDisco
Nov 21st, 2008, 11:41 AM
Dinara is the best :yeah:

i like this poll, i like it alot;)

camilia
Nov 21st, 2008, 12:19 PM
the weather in england cami????:eek: its gonna be awful! You live in the middle east cami, i think you've got the best of it. At least it may snow during the weekend and that cheers me up:)

You are right we have nice weather for few months and then we start burning :lol:
But at least we the sun, all the time :lol:

PersephoneDisco
Nov 21st, 2008, 12:43 PM
cami, you didnt need to say 'we have the sun, ALL THE TIME' :sobbing:
but im really sensitive to temperature so maybe not too hot but around about 26 degrees, thats the best..aahh

camilia
Nov 21st, 2008, 12:59 PM
cami, you didnt need to say 'we have the sun, ALL THE TIME' :sobbing:
but im really sensitive to temperature so maybe not too hot but around about 26 degrees, thats the best..aahh

26 :eek: no the summer here goes as high as 50:(

enchantrezz
Nov 21st, 2008, 01:03 PM
Rausa's interview from championat.ru, translated by Natasha from Marat's OS forum:


Q: Raisa, congratulations on a double trophy, because not only you got a trophy of the best tennis coach of Russia 2008, but Dinara got one too. What are you feeling right now?

A: Joy & pride, because my hard work, my attention & my love were not wasted. All parents are trying to give their children the best, but sometimes results don’t come. Thank god, my children achieved a lot.


Q: What did Dinara feel when she was congratulated?

A: She said the right words, that her mom & dad were with her. There many moments when she couldn’t do what she was capable of. But I always told her – patience..And now, I tell her: Dinara, you became #3 in a world, it will be harder. Be patient, you have a lot of work ahead. If you have patience, you will achieve more, if not – that’s it. And, discipline is very important. It can’t be any other way..

Q: You children, Marat & Dinara – are very sincere people. Does that hurt them in such a tough sport as tennis?

A: No, they, like the rest of our family, don’t like fake. In our house we are always honest & sincere. I don’t like fake people or fake things. Sometimes, my children want more attention, more pretty words..But I call things as I see them..

Q: Dinara has been through a lot to reach the top. Why do you think it happened this season?

A: There were a lot of coaches that put her down. She is our child, and we always supported her. Each player is an individual, and I tried to bring her best qualities. Some coaches “destroyed” her, and she could not deal with that. Now she has a coach that understands her & who showed her what she can do, that she is a Player

Q: Did you ever want to interfere when you child was not treated right, and show that you know better what to do & how to do it?

A: Of course, I helped both Marat & Dinara as a coach, but sometimes, I wanted to be their mom. That’s why those tears, and heads down…Only a parent can feel that, not a coach. In those moments, it was important to be a support for them. When they understood, I was showing my coaching skills.

Q: Your children often say that they congratulate each other one their victories, support each other. Are they really that close & worry so much about each other?

A: It runs in a family. I fight for my children like a hawk, and they do the same for each other. They have their own love for each other, and understanding…Their love - is probably mine & my husband’s love for each other. Their love means a lot.

Q: Many fans of your son can’t wait to see “old” Marat on court..

A: You know, it’s hard to get back that “old” level of play. Like everyone says, he has a talent, but he needs motivation. He doesn’t have motivation. He wants something else, to do something in another area. Maybe, like his dad – businessman. He has done everything for tennis. Now it’s hard to show something in tennis at his age. And he, probably, open the road for Dinara. She was a bit in his shadow. Now he moved a little, and gave a chance for her talent to open up.

Q: Is working with Gumy helping Marat?

A: Gumy is a very good psychologist. He understands that a player is hard to handle (deal with) at that age.
I don’t know, maybe it will work out in a future. But, it’s hard for Marat & it is harder for me – that if he stops playing…I understand that it is hard for him to show good results, and be somewhere in a back (meaning ranking) is hard for him as well. Also, because he is always asked questions about Dinara. He, probably, doesn’t take it very well, and it is better for him to find himself in another area, and open the way for Dinara. And, he will be a great adviser & help for her.

Q: Many people say that Marat is a team player, and say that he plays well in doubles. Maybe he should continue playing as a double player?

A: No, it’s not for him, he is not a double player, he was just helping. Yes, he played well, but he’s got enough talent to open himself up in another area. I used to tell him: “Tennis is a jump board for your flight”. Maybe in another area he can show something.

Q: Looking back, do you think Marat had a good career?

A: Who was thinking about that at 12 when I sent him to Spain…And who was thinking about that at 13 & 14?
Nobody. So, now I think that he achieved the maximum he could. Let others prove the rest, if they think it is not enough for Marat…

enchantrezz
Nov 21st, 2008, 01:42 PM
From Tennis.com

3. DINARA SAFINA

BOTTOM LINE: - Win-loss record until start of Berlin: 11-10
Record since (and including) Berlin: 44-10


Whatever the magic spell that swept over Dinara Safina in Berlin, it produced one of the most astonishing overnight transformations in recent tennis memory.

Until that event, Safina had endured a miserable early 2008, at one point suffering through a four-match losing streak that spanned six weeks. But starting in Berlin, Safina won 41 of 46 matches, slowing down only at the very end of the season. The run included titles at Berlin, Los Angeles, and Tokyo; her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros; and a 15-match winning streak that ended in the Olympic final.

Safina’s stellar summer was even more remarkable given that she had never before won more than one title in a season. What changed?

“If I would know why, I guess I would do it much earlier, and not at the age of 22,” Safina said recently when asked about the reversal of fortune she experienced in Berlin. “I guess it was time. Just everything clicked that week.”

She credits coach Zeljko Krajan with giving her self-belief and has promised him a Mercedes if she achieves her next goal: winning a Grand Slam title.

Her emergence as one of the game’s top players has brought a whole new level of pressure, though Safina has so far not seemed fazed. After all, as the younger sister of Marat Safin, she has long been subjected to scrutiny and high expectations.

Physically, however, the demands of all that extra winning seemed to catch up with Safina towards the end of the year. She won just seven matches after the U.S. Open, and failed to take a single set at the season-ending championships in Doha, where she finished 0-3.

Adjusting her schedule according to her new stature in the game will be key to sustaining her level next year.

To-do list: Don’t put the genie back in the bottle

Dinayer
Nov 21st, 2008, 03:20 PM
Enchantrezz :worship:

Dinara deserves all this and more!!!

:)

Dinayer
Nov 21st, 2008, 03:22 PM
Rausa's interview from championat.ru, translated by Natasha from Marat's OS forum:

Q: What did Dinara feel when she was congratulated?

A: She said the right words, that her mom & dad were with her. There many moments when she couldn’t do what she was capable of. But I always told her – patience..And now, I tell her: Dinara, you became #3 in a world, it will be harder. Be patient, you have a lot of work ahead. If you have patience, you will achieve more, if not – that’s it. And, discipline is very important. It can’t be any other way..


:worship: :worship:

camilia
Nov 21st, 2008, 04:44 PM
Thanks enchantrezz and of course thanks to Natasha :)

PersephoneDisco
Nov 21st, 2008, 04:56 PM
wow thansk for the articles and translations enchantrezz!
mama rauza sounds like my mother, she told me yesterday that she would live without her husband than without us, her children. So rather ironic Mama rauza sounds the same, she is a 'hawk' :)

camilia
Nov 21st, 2008, 05:13 PM
wow thansk for the articles and translations enchantrezz!
mama rauza sounds like my mother, she told me yesterday that she would live without her husband than without us, her children. So rather ironic Mama rauza sounds the same, she is a 'hawk' :)

all mothers are like this Maz, at least I hope so:)

PersephoneDisco
Nov 21st, 2008, 05:15 PM
yeh i never thought my mum would be like that, kinda suprised me, in a good way. Me and my mum are very headstrong so we hate each other one day and then laugh about it the next.

enchantrezz
Nov 24th, 2008, 03:09 AM
A Blog:

The 2008 season--a look back at a strange year (http://womenwhoserve.blogspot.com/2008/11/2008-season-look-back-at-strange-year.html)

All of these happenings--good and bad--would be enough to make 2008 memorable. But there was more. Much more. Here are my top 10, in ascending order:

..2. Safina provides thrills beyond anyone's expectations.

I will always think of 2008 as the year of Safina. The talented Russian, who had never quite been able to put all of her skills together, put them together this year so dramatically that she was the most exciting player on the tour. It started in Berlin, where she not only beat world number 1 Justine Henin (and Elena Dementieva and Serena Williams), but played thrilling, come-from-behind tennis repeatedly, to win the title. Safina then went on to play the same kind of heart-stopping tennis at the French Open, eventually developing mental fatigue and falling in the final to a very in-form Ana Ivanovic. So many times this season, Safina looked certain to lose a match, and she would turn it around, providing tremendous excitement for fans, but perhaps a bit too much for herself. (At one point, when she was down a set and a couple of breaks in a match, commentator Mary Carillo, speaking of Safina's opponent, quipped, "Ah, Safina has her right where she wants her.") Safina went on to win the U.S. Open Series by taking both Los Angeles and Montreal, and she also won in Tokyo, and claimed a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics. Injury (and a determined Shahar Peer) took her out of Wimbledon, and fatigue--perhaps more mental than physical--did her in at both the U.S. Open and the Sony Ericsson Championships. Nevertheless, Safina's 2008 rise was both delightful and very impressive.

http://womenwhoserve.blogspot.com/2008/11/2008-season-look-back-at-strange-year.html

PersephoneDisco
Nov 24th, 2008, 07:24 AM
Great post! Its rather cute i think you would agree makes me smile like a little girl. It should be no.1:-D btw what was no. 1?

enchantrezz
Nov 24th, 2008, 07:27 AM
Great post! Its rather cute i think you would agree makes me smile like a little girl. It should be no.1:-D btw what was no. 1?

1. Justine Henin retires.

PersephoneDisco
Nov 24th, 2008, 07:34 AM
See i must be the only person who was not sad when she retired. I actually hated her, i love the ws far too much you see

enchantrezz
Nov 24th, 2008, 10:57 AM
See i must be the only person who was not sad when she retired. I actually hated her, i love the ws far too much you see

Lol! I dont hate her but I was not a fan either. Daniela was my favorite among their generation, and then Dinara came along...:)

enchantrezz
Dec 8th, 2008, 04:21 AM
Tennis Channel Blogger James LaRosa Answers Seven Silly Questions

KFJ: If you were able to choose a current tennis player, one male and one female to star in a reality series, which players would you choose and why?

JL: I'd cast Dinara Safina and Marat Safin in a show where they had to find dates for each other, all while doing circus stunts. And Mary Murphy from "So You Think You Can Dance" would have to be a judge.

:worship:

Link (http://globalvillagetennisnews.com/2008/12/05/seven-silly-questions-for--tennis-channel-blogger-james-larosa.aspx?ref=rss)

camilia
Dec 8th, 2008, 09:04 AM
Tennis Channel Blogger James LaRosa Answers Seven Silly Questions

KFJ: If you were able to choose a current tennis player, one male and one female to star in a reality series, which players would you choose and why?

JL: I'd cast Dinara Safina and Marat Safin in a show where they had to find dates for each other, all while doing circus stunts. And Mary Murphy from "So You Think You Can Dance" would have to be a judge.

:worship:

Link (http://globalvillagetennisnews.com/2008/12/05/seven-silly-questions-for--tennis-channel-blogger-james-larosa.aspx?ref=rss)




hopefully we will be able to see a different type of circus involving both of them at the same side of the net :yeah:

PersephoneDisco
Dec 8th, 2008, 01:11 PM
This James LaRosa actually makes sense even though it is to answer 'seven silly questions'!
That would be amazing to watch though, the two playing matchmaker to each other! :haha:

enchantrezz
Dec 30th, 2008, 09:50 AM
Hopman Cup the launch pad as Safina’s targets No.1 spot


The world’s third best female tennis player will use the upcoming Hopman Cup in Perth as a springboard to launch her assault on the No.1 ranking.

Dinara Safina says reaching the top spot is her ultimate goal for 2009 and that competing in the mixed teams event with older brother Marat Safin is the perfect way to warm up for the challenge.

To reach No.1, Safina must overtake powerful American Serena Williams and unseat top-ranked Serb Jelena Jankovic.

“It’s a very high goal, you know, and I just want to focus on my game and play my game,” Safina said.

“If I be able to do this then the result will come. It is (my goal) for this year.

“I had a good off-season. I was practising hard and actually I’m really looking forward to starting the matches because that’s what it’s about – not about the practice, it’s about the matches.”

While several weeks practising in Spain haven’t quite prepared her for the heat of Perth, 21-year-old Safina believes she is fitter than at the same time last year.

“I think it’s completely different coming here this year than (when) I came here last year,” Safina said.

“I just want to do better this year and I’m really excited.”

Safina will team up with her brother for the first time at the week-long Perth event, which runs from January 3-9 at the Burswood Dome, and is looking forward to the prospect of winning matches side by side with her sibling.

“It’s great, I think it was my dream to play together with my brother one time and I always wanted to come here and play together,” Safina said.

“This time I was lucky that they invited us to play and I hope it’s going to be fun for us and for the crowd who’s going to come to watch and support us.

“I know he’s won one match here so I hope maybe he can win with me one match.”

Although the brother-sister combination has not been able to practise together very often, Safina already expects Marat will be in charge in the mixed doubles.

“He’s still older than me so I think he’s going to be the boss on the court,” Safina said.


PERTH
SHAYNE HOPE

Tatianadove
Dec 30th, 2008, 10:08 AM
YEAH!!!!! Dinara is in SF of the russian sports award "Best sportsmen of the year" She beat Sharapova in their pair (12 sportsmen where every one wwas sportsman of the month build 6 pairs and to reach SF they must gain more votes in pair) Dinara won with 51,8 % of votes.
http://news.sportbox.ru/Vidy_sporta/Sport/Zolotoy-piedestal-Safina-operedila-SHarapovu

camilia
Dec 30th, 2008, 11:03 AM
Go Dina :dance:

PersephoneDisco
Dec 30th, 2008, 01:42 PM
YEAH!!!!! Dinara is in SF of the russian sports award "Best sportsmen of the year" She beat Sharapova in their pair (12 sportsmen where every one wwas sportsman of the month build 6 pairs and to reach SF they must gain more votes in pair) Dinara won with 51,8 % of votes.
http://news.sportbox.ru/Vidy_sporta/Sport/Zolotoy-piedestal-Safina-operedila-SHarapovu

WOW!:bounce::bounce::bounce:
She is fast becoming the hottest ticket in Russia (Well Tati would know)!!!!!
Sharapova eh:p :fiery::angel::lol:

Tatianadove
Dec 30th, 2008, 06:29 PM
In SF Dinara's competitor is Elena Isinbaeva. Now it will be hard to reach final for Dina cause Lena beat Alexander Ovechkin to be in SF.

PersephoneDisco
Dec 30th, 2008, 06:43 PM
In SF Dinara's competitor is Elena Isinbaeva. Now it will be hard to reach final for Dina cause Lena beat Alexander Ovechkin to be in SF.

Oh Dinara didn't win it overall?, sorry I didn't read it properly. Hmm I'd vote for Elena too, she's one of my favorite athletes and sooo beautiful!

Tatianadove
Dec 30th, 2008, 06:58 PM
now Lena leads with with 50,3 % of votes

PersephoneDisco
Dec 30th, 2008, 07:08 PM
Eeek, well whoever wins I'll be happy as long as they go on and win the final ;)

Tatianadove
Dec 30th, 2008, 07:16 PM
Dina is in Final!! She won with 50,1 % of votes!!!!!!:bounce:

PersephoneDisco
Dec 30th, 2008, 07:22 PM
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
that was unexpected! Dinara the new it girl of russia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now the final baby!!!!!!!!11 :bounce:

Tatianadove
Dec 30th, 2008, 07:39 PM
In Final her competitors will be Svetlana Sleptsova (biathlet, most popular name of this winter (btw she is in my avi, the left girl ;) )and Iliya Kovalchuk (or maybe another biathlet maxim Chudov but I think it'll be hockey player). So u can see it will be really hard! but impossible is possible for our Dina!:)

PersephoneDisco
Dec 30th, 2008, 08:23 PM
Exactly Tati, Dinara to win? Why the hell not? :lol:

Tatianadove
Dec 31st, 2008, 09:00 AM
Dina will be the 3d . Now she has only 10 % of votes :( but in these company of great sportsmen it's a good result!!!

PersephoneDisco
Dec 31st, 2008, 09:27 AM
Well Done Dinara!

Tatianadove
Dec 31st, 2008, 09:50 AM
Ilia Kovalchuk won. Dinara with 7,5 % of votes is the 3d! :) Well done Dina! to be in Final is also good achievement!!!!

PersephoneDisco
Dec 31st, 2008, 10:15 AM
Considering tennis is not a popular sport in Russia and sport in general is so important, for Dinara to be 3rd is indeed a GREAT achievement! Dinara we love you!!!! :inlove: You're always no.1 to us! :lol:

Dinayer
Dec 31st, 2008, 10:41 AM
Dina :inlove::inlove: :inlove:

Congrats :bounce:

camilia
Dec 31st, 2008, 01:39 PM
Third place again, well, she's our number one :)

PersephoneDisco
Dec 31st, 2008, 05:49 PM
And that's all that matters ;)

camilia
Jan 1st, 2009, 04:46 AM
The orignal link was posted by wolviebabe in Marat's forum, but for some reason, the link doesn't show here!

Nadal, Venus Top Players in 2008 Poll;
Sexiest? The Eyes Have It: Ana, Marat for Fourth Straight Year
Radwanska, Wozniacki Tie for Newcomers; Del Potro Wins In Landslide;
Murray, Safina Most Improved; Gasquet, Vaidisova Busts
******************** readers are nothing if they are not consistent. See their votes at the bottom of this page.

For the fourth straight year, Serbian siren Ana Ivanovic and Russian lady-killer Marat Safin were voted the Sexiest Player of the Year, edging Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal respectively in the 2008 ******************** poll.
However, the muscular Spaniard Nadal, who won two Grand Slams this year at Roland Garros and Wimbledon and finished the year at No. 1, overwhelmed his chief rival, Roger Federer for male Player of the Year honors, winning 91.2% of the vote.

Ivanovic, who won her maiden Slam title at the French Open, didn’t fair nearly as well in women’s Player of the Year honors, surprisingly finishing with a skimpy 2.7% and in a tie for fourth with Olympic gold medallist Elena Dementieva.

American and five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams grabbed the honor with 52.2%, overcoming No. 1 Jelena Jankovic and US Open champion Serena Williams. Venus was the only player to have won two of the Big Six tournaments (the four Slams, the Olympics and the Sony Ericsson Champions-Doha), winning the year-end Championships for the first time in her stellar career.

The male Newcomer of the Year went to young Argentine sensation Juan Martin Del Potro (88.%), the 20-year-old who had a major breakthrough this past summer when he won four consecutive ATP titles. No one was even close as Ernests Gulbis was second with only 7.1%.
For the first time in poll history, two players tied for an honor when teens Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark each grabbed 42.5 percent of the vote in the women’s Newcomer category. The 10th-ranked Radwanska, the youngest member of the Top 10 at age 19, won three titles this year, while the 18-year-old Wozniacki also won three crowns and finished at No. 12.

The Most Improved Player awards on the men’s side went to Scotland’s Andy Murray, who won two Masters Series crown this year and reached the US Open final. Murray took 43.3% of the vote to edge France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (31%), who reached the Australian Open final and won his first Masters Series shield.

Russia’s Dinara Safina (94.7%) crushed the competition for Most Improved woman. No. 3 Safina’s stellar spring and summer run, which included three titles, a visit to her first major final at Roland Garros and an Olympic silver medal, sealed the deal.
Russia’s steady Nikolay Davydenko and Venus Williams won Veteran of the Year awards, while Wimbledon came up huge in the Match of the Year categories, as the historic Nadal v. Federer final and the Williams sisters’ final round clash were selected. For the match dubbed "greatest match ever" by many commentators, the Nadal v. Federer match drew 88.5%, overwhelming but not historically dominant.

Busts of the Year when to the talented Czech Nicole Vaidisova, who has fallen from a career-high No. 7 ranking to No. 41 and failed to win a 2008 title, and France’s Richard Gasquet, another onetime No. 7 and a '07 Wimbledon semifinalist who fell to No. 25 and was also title-less.

How Sexy? The Eyes Have It
Always the most popular category, fans rushed in to vote for the year’s Sexiest Players and despite a number of new entries, Ivanovic and Safin reigned supreme again.

Ivanovic, who has done a ton more photo shoots this year in order to broaden her image, won 42.5% to 20.4% from Sharapova, the world’s wealthiest and most well-known women’s athlete. Another Russian, Maria Kirilenko, finished with 14.2%, while Serena and Russian Elena Vesnina grabbed 6.2 percent respectively.

The 28-year-old Safin, who has been discussing retirement, didn’t garner as many votes as Ivanovic did, but still managed to win 31.9% to 20.4% from Nadal and 12.4% from American Andy Roddick, who is engaged to swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker.

PersephoneDisco
Jan 1st, 2009, 08:23 AM
Merci, Cami! :hug:

Tully
Jan 1st, 2009, 08:27 AM
Video from Perth http://www.foxsports.com.au/tennis/video/0,,Tennis%20news_10447,00.html

camilia
Jan 1st, 2009, 08:48 AM
It says it's only available for viewers in Australia :(

PersephoneDisco
Jan 1st, 2009, 09:13 AM
And it's not on the american site so I could view it. Oh well, at least there will be an influx of pictures,videos and interviews soon ;)

camilia
Jan 1st, 2009, 09:24 AM
Yah, this month we hadn't enough of those ;)

Dinayer
Jan 1st, 2009, 10:34 AM
thanks Cami :hug:

enchantrezz
Jan 4th, 2009, 08:34 PM
Transcript - Dinara Safina, Marat Safin (Russia)
4/01/2009

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ROB CASEY (Assistant Tournament Director)

DINARA SAFINA (Russia)
MARAT SAFIN (Russia)

(Rob) Thank you ladies and gentlemen.

Marat, congratulations on your win. What’s it like to be back in Perth and playing at the Hopman?

(Marat) Oh thank you very much. It’s all a pleasure. Especially when we have a great companion and family team. Especially with my sister this time. So I couldn’t refuse the offer and I got to play with her. Especially the first time. And especially here. You know it’s a very nice atmosphere. Easy going tournament. And everybody’s enjoying, there’s a lot of people watching. So it’s nice to play. Especially it’s the first tournament, and the first tournament is indoors. So it’s not really rough and you can practise here and outdoors. It’s a really pleasant atmosphere.

It’s pretty much straight off the plane and onto the courts. How are you feeling physically?

(Marat) Well, struggling a little bit. I’ve been flying forever and we arrived very late last night. So I’ll keep on practising a lot. Yes, and yes we warmed up a little bit today, and I actually played my match. And of course it’s tough to play your best tennis, especially when you are just flying for such a long time. It’s difficult to move, difficult to serve, difficult to basically whole thing. Just too complicated to play and to play good tennis.

There’s been a lot of talk about, you know, possible retirement. So what sort of motivation are you carrying into this year then?

(Marat) Well, just it’s probably going to be my last year this year for sure. Because I’m moving to my new life, so I’m not quite sure, that’s why I’m playing. It’s easy for me to play, play good tennis. So hopefully I can enjoy it, and get me some great results.

What do you have lined up?

(Marat) Huh?

After your tennis career?

(Marat) Well, I leave it, I leave it up to me. You know I don’t wanna speak really about it, and just my bosses they know about it. And I wanna do it this way. You’ll see, you’ll see me.

Is this time probably your last time on the tour?

(Marat) Yeah most, most probably yes.

Marat, can we ask you how you damaged your eyes? Or how you got…

(Marat) Working hard. Practising hard.

You indicated that there were some problems in Moscow, or…

(Marat) Yeah well, just some small problem that I wasn’t, I wasn’t in the right place at the right time. So let’s put it at that.

Did you win the fight?

(Marat) Ah yes. I won the fight.

Marat, we see your thumb is injured as well. Was that injured in the same incident?

(Marat) Yep.

And is that ok? Did that…

(Marat) I’m, I’m good. I’m ok.

How long ago did the incident happen?

(Marat) A week ago.

How are you feeling out on the court? Does it affect your vision at all?

(Marat) No, I won my match. I didn’t play for two months, so I think it’s pretty good. It’s a pretty good match. [pause] Any questions for my sister?

Just, sorry Marat, one more on yourself. This will be your last Australian Open, obviously a tournament that you’ve won. How, what sort of a chance do you give yourself there, especially with the good preparation here if you continue to do well this week?

(Marat) Well, we’ll see. You know it’s still two weeks to go and I need to prepare myself a little bit more. And I’m still looking forward to play well there. And I’m looking forward to have a good draw. It’s very poor in there, and a couple of, two, a couple after two rounds I would prefer to play over there with somebody who can give me some pace and so I can get used to the courts and the conditions. And then afterwards there’s third round, third round would be already I can play with somebody, play a tough one. But first rounds I would love to be easy, to have easy. As any other player for sure.

Obviously you’ve shown us a real bit of what you can still do. With a farewell year on tour this year, are you capable of winning another grand slam?

(Marat) Well, it’s complicated. Too many players are playing well. Andy Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, Federer. So I’m not looking, I’m not really looking into doing some great things. But I don’t want to have any pressure on myself. And I wanna just enjoy it, and escape it. I don’t care what the results are going to be. I just wanna have, wanna have fun.

Knowing that it’s your last year on the tour, is that a good thing? It just takes all the pressure off and you can…

(Marat) Yeah, it’s much easier then, then when you have someone expects anything from you. So, so I think it’s much easier to play this way and I hope, that’s why I was saying, that hopefully I can have our best results this year. Because there’s no pressure.

Will you miss the game at all?

(Marat) Not really.

So, you’ve just had enough?

(Marat) I’m okay. I like to play, but I like to enjoy my life and also I’m not really crazy about it. So I just, I’m having fun right now.

Dinara, after having such a successful year last year, what are you hoping to pull from the Australian summer, to get out of it to set you up for this year?

(Dinara) Well, as I didn’t have a great start last year. Especially as I have nothing to defend, I just want to, to play my game and get as far as I can in Sydney and Melbourne in the upcoming tournaments.

And with Marat saying that he’s pretty much playing just to get a chance to play with you, what does that mean to you?

(Dinara) Well, I think I’ve said it already many times. Because it’s kind of a dream to play with him together, and I was like always looking forward to playing here together. And, you know, it came true so hopefully we can enjoy it together and have fun.

How are you finding all the new attention on you, with the new pressure of being one of the top ranking women in the world?

(Dinara) I don’t know. I…

(Marat) I would love to be her, be in her shoes, that’s for sure. So I think she’s, she’s having fun. She will not recognise it but she, she is having fun. For sure.

Dinara, this is your first Hopman Cup. Has Marat told you much about it over the years?

(Dinara) No, actually we try not to talk about tennis. So not really, but we speak about this, no.