Dinara Safina couldn't stand to watch what unfolded during her fourth round battle in Melbourne and, no doubt, she wasn't the only one (count me in.)
The third seed fought against herself and Alize Cornet, coming back from 2-5 in the final set, saving two match points, and overcoming 52 unforced errors to defeat the plucky Frenchie 6-2, 2-6, 7-5. She faces a resurgent Jelena Dokic for a spot in the semifinals.
Dinara revealed her coach, Zjelko Krajan, had some tough words for his charge after escaping the fourth round:
He said if I play like this, you gonna leave home. He said it makes no point for him to sit there and seeing myself playing completely different from what I'm practicing. Practicing playing aggressive, hitting the balls ‑‑ from 10 times 10 I hit exactly where I need to hit aggressive.Tough love but true enough. And with Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic out of the top half of the draw, the pressure will be squarely on Dinara's broad shoulders to get through to her second Grand Slam final. Can she fight through her nerves and make good?
Come to the court and completely like just shadow is playing. Like, you know, Dinara is there, but just not me. So he's like, Okay, if you continue playing like this, I mean, it's better that I go home. I cannot tell you anything from sitting there. Because what I can tell you? You playing even more passive.
I mean, he's telling me at 5‑4, Hit the ball. I telling myself, Hit the ball, and just arm doesn't go because my mind is just stupid.
Regardless, it's good we'll still have Dinara after brother Marat retires to keep feeding us hilariously, self-depricating sound bites to pass the time. Phew.
(image via Getty)