Creature vs. Creature: Dinara Safina's Chance To Open Her Slam Kitty

Rohini IyerSenior Writer IJune 6, 2009

PARIS - JUNE 02:  Dinara Safina of Russia celebrates a point during the Women's Singles Quarter Final match against  on day ten of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 2, 2009 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

This edition of a creature vs. creature deals with the encounter for the ultimate quest that began a fortnight ago and will culminate with tears of joy for one, while the other will shed droplets over an agonisingly close miss-out.

This article is entirely from Dinara Safina's perspective—her opportunities and the threats to her chances at winning her maiden slam; Rob's article presents the chances of her fellow Russian finalist, Svetlana Kuznetsova.


Dinara Safina

Safina has come a long way just in a matter of year and should be proud of the ascension that she has made in the women's world of tennis, especially given it's highly unstable and what is now unofficially known "Henin-retired era."

And although, she herself is not that consistent, as much she might want herself to be her form so far this year has been nothing short of extra-ordinary; proving her mettle as a top pedigree player in spite of not winning the coveted slam making her all the more hungry to achieve the hitherto not gained.


Will Win If

Control of temper [please don't repeat what you did against Cibulkova] successfully mixed with her precise forehand shots could mark a difference to this match.

However, she has to remember to dominate right from the beginning forcing Kuznetsova to play shots, that given her almost surfacing injury problems, she will end up committing errors.

Her confidence also matters, for Kuznetsova isn't some untested first time finalist and Safina has to remember to never lose her "self-confidence" under any circumstances, however bleak they might look.


Will Lose If

Her shots sometimes spew at all places, except where they are supposed to land, especially when she tries to be overly aggressive trying to force her opponent to keep behind the baseline.

As a result, she ends up throwing break point chances at her opponent, in spite of playing very dedicatedly; if I could use a cricketing parlance, I could say that in spite of being a good runner between the wickets, she ends up getting run-out at every possible chance.

Kuznetsova, who is a good mover between the court to her favour could pose a problem for Safina, who though herself is a good shuffler, will face some debilitation given her superior height.

Additionally, her own mind set will act as a sore factor, if Kuznetsova takes an early lead at any point of the match.



The fellow country[wo]men factor can be easily overlooked in this all-Russian encounter, for when these two clash there won't be reminder of that one element and definitely there won't be any cutting of slack from either of the two players on the "Russian" account.


My Call

Safina looks lethally hungry like a vampire from the "Twilight" series and won't hesitate to debauch Svetlana, if she may have to; however Kuznetsova in her turn isn't anything short of a "Werewolf" from the same series and will try her level best out to fang her fellow Fed-Cup associate.

Personally, since Safina is my all time favourite when it comes to women's tennis and given her previous "hit-and-a-miss" scenario, it looks like Safina all the way in a closely fought three setter.