The story appears on

Page A12

August 21, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Safina flops but no slip ups for Serena

WORLD No. 1 and holder Dinara Safina made an early exit from the Rogers Cup on Wednesday, shocked 6-3, 2-6, 4-6 in the second round by 39th ranked Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai.

There were no such slip ups from world No. 2 Serena Williams, however, as the Wimbledon and Australia Open champion rolled to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Kazakh qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova.

The two results set up the possibility of a spicy subplot to the US Open, where the debate over who should be women's No. 1 could be settled on court.

While Serena cannot overtake Safina with a victory in Toronto, a win would allow the American to slice a huge chunk off Safina's 1,004 point advantage, putting the Russian well within striking distance at Flushing Meadow.

Without a grand slam title on her resume, Safina has been forced to repeatedly defend her No. 1 status while Serena, who currently holds three grand slam titles, has been dismissive of the rankings system.

"I don't follow the rankings anymore, been there done that," said Serena, who held the No. 1 spot for 11 weeks earlier this year. "My motivation is to just go out there and play my best whether I'm No.1 or No. 100."


Safina, eight times a finalist this season including last week in Cincinnati, could not find her feet on the Canadian hardcourt and contributed to her own demise by serving up 17 double faults.

"Disaster," Safina, close to tears, told reporters. "It's not my serve, it's just my brain. I know exactly what I have to do but I am not using my brain.

"I just didn't take control of my head. I lost my temper. I had to slow down and I couldn't do the right things. I just went more and more crazy."

With third seed Venus Williams already out, the top half of the draw has opened up for two former No. 1s on the comeback trail, Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters.

Sharapova also served up 17 double faults but survived to book her place in the last 16 with a 6-3, 7-6 win over Austria's Sybille Bammer.

Clijsters, playing just her second event since coming out of a two-year retirement, battled to a 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 win over ninth seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

Fifth seed Jelena Jankovic, another former No. 1, also advanced with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Swiss Patty Schnyder.


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