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Top seed Safina edges closer to world number one spot

TOP seed Dinara Safina took a step closer to becoming the world number one yesterday when she beat American Jill Craybas 7-5 6-4 in the fourth round of the WTA event in Indian Wells.

The Russian again struggled for top form but saw off the world No 102 in two tight sets to advance to a quarter-final against eighth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

Fourth seed Vera Zvonareva and ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki will meet in another quarter-final after straight-set victories.

Craybas had upset Serbian Jelena Dokic and 16th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain on her way to the fourth round and showed plenty of spirit against Safina.

Safina, who will replace Serena Williams at the top of the rankings should she reach the final, let slip an early lead but broke in the 11th game and served out for the opening set.

In the second set, Craybas recovered an early break to level at 4-4, but Safina broke in the next game and then held her nerve to take her place in the last eight.

Azarenka edged out unseeded Israeli Shahar Peer 7-5 6-4 while Zvonareva continued her smooth progress with a 6-4 6-4 win over China's Li Na.

Ninth seed Wozniacki overcame Urszula Radwanska of Poland 7-5 6-3 to set up the clash with Zvonareva, who has not dropped a set during the tournament, but said she was determined not get carried away.

"There are going to be some mistakes and I'm going to make them probably over and over again," she said.

"It's tennis. It's the game. But I accept this and I'm just trying to concentrate on the next point and try and take it one point at a time."


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