Sun, February 01, 2009
Sports > Tennis & Golf > Australian Open tennis tournament

Safina stays positive after bitter final loss at Australian Open

2009-01-31 13:28:48 GMT2009-01-31 21:28:48 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MELBOURNE, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Third seed Dinara Safina said she was trying to stay positive despite an embarrassingly lopsided final loss to American Serena Williams at the Australian Open on Saturday.

"I hope it's not the last one, I still have time. I'll go on the court now and practice. After every lose, I try to take what was good and what was wrong," said the 22-year-old Safina, who has yet to win a career Grand Slam.

"As for those mistakes that I've been doing, I just want to work as hard as I can to make sure that they will never happen again and my opponents will not have those easy points next time."

Williams, the second seed at the year's first major, came out on absolute fire against the Russian, needing little more than 20 minutes to claim the opening set at love. A dozen winners but only two unforced errors flew off the Williams racquet.

It was more of the same in the second set. Safina was able to get three games to love but Williams was always in control, breaking back twice to take the set after a missed Safina drop shot.

"I don't have much to say, I felt like I am a ball boy on the court today," Safina said.

"She played exactly the way she had to play and she was much more aggressive and she just was taking time out of me, so I didn't have that much time to put back myself onto the court. She didn't even let me to come into the match."

The Russian women's number one committed that she was unhappy with her serving, saying she was struggling with serve throughout the whole tournament.

"I don't know. I've been working on my serve. Everything was fine. But just suddenly, the double faults came out. Now I just have to go back, take a little time and hope to get everything back in the place."

Safina said Williams has proved she has what it takes to become the world number one, but added that Justine Henin, the Belgian who retired last May while still ranked No. 1, is the best player she has ever played against.

"For me Justine was best. I don't have anything against Serena, but I love the way Justine was playing. I love the way she was on the court and all these things. Just maybe I like Justine more."

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