There But for the Grace of God Goes Dinara

Minutes after barely surviving her first-round match, Dinara Safina admitted that her victory was, well, miraculous. “God knows,” she said when a reporter asked how she managed it. “Like, I mean, God knows how I pulled it out. Not me.”

It took divine intervention, perhaps, and also her mantra to go “just point-by-point…And not make a double fault.” She described her game as “a little bit ugly” (a bit of an understatement when she had more than two times as many errors as winners), but was hopeful and a bit Zen about what went wrong

“Well, I don’t know. I try to do something good, but when it doesn’t go good, then I go like too much into myself, what I’m doing right, wrong, instead of thinking more what I have to do with the ball...The positive — let’s say, worse it cannot be. It was already. So for now on it can be only better. I think that’s it.

Asked how she felt about her coach being so ostentatiously negative about her performance, she was coy: “Well, I guess I had to think what I’m doing wrong that he’s so negative.”