Dinara Safina is blessed with the same athletic genes
as her older brother, Marat Safin. She has also been cursed with his
inexplicable tendency to play sensationally well and then sensationally poorly.
But lately Safina (right) has been riding the biggest swell of her eight-year
career. In Berlin last month the 22-year-old Russian beat Justine Henin and
Serena Williams and won the title. In Paris on Monday she reached the
quarterfinals by upsetting top seed Maria Sharapova. Nearly six feet tall,
Safina clubs the ball from both sides and has a powerful serve. Asked about
this latest twist in her mercurial career, she's philosophical. "I hope
it's a new me," she says, chuckling. "God knows."