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Ferg
Sep 29th, 2008, 08:58 PM
Dinara Safina has admitted that she was on the verge of quitting tennis 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 US 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 said 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. It wasn't that I stopped loving this game, but it was why do I have to suffer so much? I'd go on the court and nothing is going on, 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."

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."

Ciarán
Sep 29th, 2008, 08:59 PM
Thak GOD she didnt:worship:

schorsch
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:02 PM
thats jj's line :ras:

her coach - damn fine job and deserves that car :worship:

but since she stole jj's line, jj will hopefully steal her porsche and give it to sneki :ras: :angel:

:haha:

dane
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:03 PM
nice article. Dinara :awww:
and Krajan :bowdown:

Slutati
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:08 PM
She's fucking her coach, it's so obvious

schorsch
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:10 PM
Honestly slutati thats what I thought, too. :haha:
Sex&Love -> relaxation -> happier -> not so tense and down -> results
The way she looked and smiled at him. Her uber-girly behaviour and dressing.
But apparently he has got a gf.

iPatty
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:11 PM
I suppose without Zeljko I would have enjoyed 2008 about twenty percent of what I do now. :lol:

Thanks for posting.

Warrior
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:11 PM
Marat also 'almost quit' before he had a breakthrough.

Broken Racquet
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:12 PM
What a great season for Safina.
She definitely deserves the title of "The Player of 2008".

Serenita
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:24 PM
i'm so glad that she didn't!

Mikey B
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:31 PM
wow, didnt know that!! interesting stuff.. and makes you really admire what shes doing right now.. i'd be really shocked if she didnt win a slam next year, and id be even more shocked if she didnt remain a top five player for the next few years, when she wins a slam i wonder if carlos will add her to the sharapova and williams list?? coz i think she's up there already...

Miss Atomic Bomb
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:40 PM
Good for her .

Harvs
Sep 29th, 2008, 10:01 PM
every player in the game seems to have "almost quit" at one point.. lol

Noctis
Sep 29th, 2008, 10:10 PM
Shes Great Before Poeple saying Horrible things:ras: Now
in your face

doujyr
Sep 29th, 2008, 10:15 PM
elena d nearly quit spring 2007 when she had that injury i think?

HRHoliviasmith
Sep 29th, 2008, 10:27 PM
She's fucking her coach, it's so obvious

you know i've wondered the same thing....

but that's my girl and as long as he's helping her get the job done and she's of age, so be it. :hearts:

now why can't that radek character have a similar effect on nicole v.?

Bosco123
Sep 29th, 2008, 10:39 PM
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.

"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."

I remember when Kim finally won her first grand slam after having a perfect summer with a new coach , he got a bonus of about 8000$, boy, that Dinara is generous. :hearts:

QUEENLINDSAY
Sep 29th, 2008, 10:39 PM
winning that car for me is just wrong kind of motivation.
She should be motivated by a more important thing that is important to her and not to his coach.

court70
Sep 29th, 2008, 10:39 PM
What's it with all these darn tennis players that when they start doing well they always come out with this statement "I almost quit" crap.

Direwolf
Sep 29th, 2008, 10:42 PM
Henin almost quit
when she was losing badly..


oh wait.. she did..!!

Dawson.
Sep 29th, 2008, 10:50 PM
its funny how many players say they "almost quit" after coming out of a slump and start playing great tennis :scratch:

V-MAC
Sep 29th, 2008, 11:38 PM
God this "I almost quit" talk has become such a tennis cliche :yawn:
This is why I have so much respect for Jelena Dokic. After crashing down the rankings, she could have most definitely quit but instead she's been slugging it out in itf tournaments. Now that is dedication :worship:

FoxyliciousKhat
Sep 29th, 2008, 11:38 PM
What's it with all these darn tennis players that when they start doing well they always come out with this statement "I almost quit" crap.

its funny how many players say they "almost quit" after coming out of a slump and start playing great tennis :scratch:


ROFL, that's what I thought too. I was like hmmmmm don't they all say this? Still credit to Dinara and her coach and the great year she's having.

Foxy

KournikovaFan91
Sep 29th, 2008, 11:41 PM
lol well AnnaK just quit when she slipped down the rankings :lol:

but yeah like all these players allegedly wanted to quit which is unlikely

Uranium
Sep 30th, 2008, 12:18 AM
God this "I almost quit" talk has become such a tennis cliche :yawn:
This is why I have so much respect for Jelena Dokic. After crashing down the rankings, she could have most definitely quit but instead she's been slugging it out in itf tournaments. Now that is dedication :worship:

:worship:
2009=Year of the Dokic:p

Did she talk about her Doha loss? Losing to Vera isn't that bad, but the next week losing to Chakvetadze is:help::help::help:

Marshmallow
Sep 30th, 2008, 12:44 AM
God this "I almost quit" talk has become such a tennis cliche :yawn:
This is why I have so much respect for Jelena Dokic. After crashing down the rankings, she could have most definitely quit but instead she's been slugging it out in itf tournaments. Now that is dedication :worship:


:lol: You took the words right out of me mouth, AND the emoticon. The line is tired!

AstiCinzano
Sep 30th, 2008, 12:49 AM
But apparently he has got a gf.
Oh noes, really? Poor Dinara, but maybe the huge friggin' crush she's got on him is enough for her because all this?

The way she looked and smiled at him. Her uber-girly behaviour and dressing.
Is so totally true. :lol:

Optima
Sep 30th, 2008, 01:00 AM
:shrug:

Jelena really did almost quit. Rome 2006 was supposed to be her last tournament if I'm not mistaken.

Tennisstar86
Sep 30th, 2008, 01:18 AM
What is with all these girls and talkin about how they almost quit right before they started playing well....?

Malva
Sep 30th, 2008, 02:28 AM
She has won 42 of her last 47 matches

This is a true measure of her achievement this year. Stunning!

OsloErik
Sep 30th, 2008, 02:30 AM
What is with all these girls and talkin about how they almost quit right before they started playing well....?

Well...all these girls being the two? I can completely understand it. Two years ago, Safina was a top tenner entirely on talent and very little on hard work. In mid-February, that talent was getting her nowhere. She loses four matches in a row, including two to a player in a dreadful slump (Peer), and after having a solid Fall, to start the year on such a rough note is very disheartening. Add to it that Safina has never been (before this Spring, at least) a positive person. And she had the financial resources to do other things with her life.

Bottom line, tennis wasn't making her happy. She had lost that love for it that keeps you going. Fortunately for us, her coach helped her find that again. And you know, when you steel yourself to do one last big push, you can do a lot more than you'd think. And it snowballs from there.

Jankovic, too. She'd won 3 of her last 20 matches. That's a horrible run. To end your year on such a rough note, after hitting your career high months earlier, and then start even worse? I don't think I would stick with it, especially if I were in school and having fun with other things. It's fortunate for all of us that they didn't quit, but it's an understandable impulse. You can have trouble remembering why you play in the first place, and it's hard to get out of that situation.

Asif_Nawaz
Sep 30th, 2008, 06:23 AM
not buying it. 11-10 is not anywhere near 1-7. 11-10 is pretty satisfactory. When jelena said this, i actually believed it because when she played her matches in the first half 2006 i saw so much frustration and demotivation. Dina probably found a guy who wanted her and that sent her over the moon.

doujyr
Sep 30th, 2008, 09:34 AM
This is a true measure of her achievement this year. Stunning!


agreed. not enough credit being given for this. remember when kim had a similar run in 2005 and everyone was raving about it? this run is better i think.

$uricate
Sep 30th, 2008, 10:52 AM
I would have almost quit too in her position.

I mean, a top 20 ranking, please who gives a damn :rolleyes:

This is really disrespectful to all the struggling players out there who never even make the top 100 and dont give up.

bijoux
Nov 13th, 2008, 03:15 PM
She's fucking her coach, it's so obvious


Sex&Love -> relaxation -> happier -> not so tense and down -> results
The way she looked and smiled at him. Her uber-girly behaviour and dressing.


Yes.

:bounce: :hearts: :bounce: :hearts:

LxsasDSyXj0

Mashafaaaaan
Nov 13th, 2008, 03:23 PM
That's not true, all players says thats, even Jankovic said that, Zvonareva too.:rolleyes:

HRHoliviasmith
Nov 13th, 2008, 03:26 PM
elena d nearly quit spring 2007 when she had that injury i think?

nearly? darn.

OsloErik
Nov 13th, 2008, 11:25 PM
That's not true, all players says thats, even Jankovic said that, Zvonareva too.:rolleyes:

Again, "all" being three players?

SIN DIOS NI LEY
Nov 13th, 2008, 11:39 PM
Her brother should quit the sport in my opinion

I read somewhere he is thinking about it at least. If you are bagelled by Monaco on indoors , that is something you should do

HRHoliviasmith
Nov 14th, 2008, 01:19 AM
Her brother should quit the sport in my opinion

I read somewhere he is thinking about it at least. If you are bagelled by Monaco on indoors , that is something you should do

welcome back :hearts:

he's ranked 29, so should 30 and up quit as well? :lol:

OsloErik
Nov 14th, 2008, 01:31 AM
he's ranked 29, so should 30 and up quit as well? :lol:

Don't mind him, he's got issues.

But in fairness, Safin is a 2x slam winner. Being ranked #29 has to be hard on him. Of course, he's mercurial enough to make another stab at a slam run, but it's got to be hard to go slogging through day after day when you know how good you once played. Mauresmo and Hewitt are probably feeling the same thing. Davenport, too, although she's got enough maternal hormones in her that I doubt anything will ever make her feel bad.

SIN DIOS NI LEY
Nov 14th, 2008, 01:54 PM
welcome back :hearts:

he's ranked 29, so should 30 and up quit as well? :lol:

Come on , if you are losing week after week vs legends of the game like Golubev , Monaco on indoors (:spit:) , Bobby Reynolds (:spit: x 1000) , Robin Haase , Denis Gremelmayr , Fabio Fonigni , Igor Kunytsin and a long etc of clowns , you should retire

Dominic
Nov 14th, 2008, 04:45 PM
Damn! so close!

Serenita
Nov 14th, 2008, 05:03 PM
I'm so glad she didn't!!!

fatty sausage
Nov 14th, 2008, 06:49 PM
"go study or something"

yeah right. sure try working 9-5 for a month and then she would be crying to go back and play tennis.

esquímaux
Nov 16th, 2008, 08:24 PM
Wow. Crazy how things work out sometimes. Now look atcha babe :D