Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Safina savors swift revenge over Svetlana

WORLD No. 1 Dinara Safina gained swift revenge over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Saturday, thrashing her fellow Russian 6-3, 6-2 to win the Italian Open in Rome in their second consecutive final meeting. Safina clinched a scrappy first set and ran away with the second to secure her 10th singles title, the first of 2009 after losing her third final of the year against Kuznetsova at the Porsche GP in Stuttgart last Sunday.

She is optimistic the victory will help her break her grand slam duck at the French Open which starts later this month.

"I'm feeling great," Safina told reporters when asked about her hopes for the French Open which is also played on clay like the Rome and Stuttgart tournaments.

"It gives me lots of confidence especially as the claycourt season started with one final and one title. Cannot be better," she added.

The two 23-year-olds, former finalists here, struggled for rhythm at the start. After an early trade of breaks Safina went 4-1 up but then helped former US Open champion Kuznetsova come back to 4-3 with a series of poor shots.

She broke serve again immediately and held her own with ease for the first time in the match to take the set, wrapping it up with a smash.

Safina then broke twice to stroll home in the second although Kuznetsova saved two match points before bowing out.

Kuznetsova was disappointed she made lots of mistakes after showing good form on the way to the final.

"It was a bit like Christmas today. I was giving away too many presents," said Kuznetsova.

Safina took over the top ranking on April 20, making her and older sibling Marat Safin the only brother-sister duo to have been No. 1 in tennis.

In Madrid, Elena Dementieva, bidding to capture her third trophy of the season, beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 6-1 in the Madrid Masters first round on Saturday.

The third-seeded Russian, who won titles in Auckland and Sydney in January, broke serve four times and next plays Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino or Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan.

France's Marion Bartoli, the 11th seed, was upset 6-7 (2), 2-6 by unseeded Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada while 15th-seeded Chinese Zheng Jie beat Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-4, 6-4.

Safina has a bye into the second round and will play Li Na, after the Chinese saw off Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 yesterday.

Rafael Nadal is the top seed on the men's side.


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