Dinara Safina moved back to the top of the world rankings on Monday, and insisted she has given up worrying about her critics who are adamant that the Russian is unworthy of being world number one.
Still without a Grand Slam title, the Russian deposed 11-time major winner Serena Williams to begin her 26th week on top of the standings in 2009.
“I don’t care anymore. They can say whatever they want,” said the 23-year-old ahead of the season-ending WTA Championships which start here on Tuesday.
“I have been in three Grand Slam finals and I’ve been in two semis. It’s there. Last year I was winning every tournament and they were asking me why I’m not number one.
“This year I became No. 1, there is no Grand Slam. Every day is going to be something. It’s not that I don’t want to win a Grand Slam. But I guess I need to work a little bit more, improve some things, to make me stronger to deal with this.”
As well as the glaring absence of a major title from her CV, Safina has also crumbled when the Grand Slam exposure was at its sharpest.
She won just three games in her Australian Open final loss to Williams, was beaten again in straight sets by compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova in the French Open title match before a third-round loss to Petra Kvitova in the US Open.
Just as damaging was her 6-1, 6-0 loss to Venus Williams in the Wimbledon semi-finals, a defeat which again illustrated her mental frailities.
“Some things I’m like this, I’m too open. It’s very bad, I know,” she admitted.
“Many people don’t even have to say how I feel, I can show them. This thing I have to learn. I think I have improved compared to how I was before.
“But you’re not robot that you play hundred percent.” — AFP