The story appears on

Page B13

September 26, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Safina aims to retain top rank

DINARA Safina, yet to validate her status as world No. 1 with a grand slam title, says she will not give up the top ranking without a fight.

The 23-year-old Russian promised to prove her point by defending her Pan Pacific Open crown in Tokyo next week following an early exit from the US Open.

"If someone steals it from me, I will shake their hand and say 'well done' but I won't give it up easily," she said at a Tokyo press conference yesterday, where she was introduced as 'Daniela' Safina.

Safina's status as No. 1 has been a sore point after she repeatedly failed to make the breakthrough in the four grand slams.

A shock defeat by Czech teenager Petra Kvitova in the third round in New York earlier this month raised the stakes still further, but Safina was in bullish mood in Tokyo.

"I played the best tennis of my life here last year," she said before the US$2 million event. "I plan to bring my best tennis again and give 100 percent to keep (the ranking)."

World No. 2 Serena Williams was a late withdrawal from Tokyo. The American has not contested a singles match since her angry rant at a lineswoman during her semifinal loss to eventual champion Kim Clijsters at the US Open.

In Seoul, defending champion Maria Kirilenko of Russia advanced to the Korea Open semifinals yesterday by beating countrywoman Vera Dushevina 7-5, 7-6 (5).

Kirilenko will next play Kimiko Date Krumm of Japan, who beat top-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4.

Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany also advanced to the semifinals, beating Chan Yung-jan of Chinese Taipei 6-0, 2-6, 7-5.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend