Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Safina reaches Pan Pacific quarters

Sept 17, 2008

TOKYO: Russian fourth seed Dinara Safina became the first player to reach the quarter-finals when she whipped Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the Pan Pacific Open on Wednesday.

The Beijing Olympic silver medallist, making her Tokyo debut after receiving a first-round bye, struggled with her serve, hitting eight double faults before scoring a 6-3, 6-4 second round victory in 95 minutes.

Safina hit a double fault on break point to lose the fifth game of the first set, but she was never in serious danger throughout the match.

Cibulkova, who eliminated 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo on Tuesday, broke back once in the sixth game of the second set, but that was all she could do as Safina sealed her quarter-final place with her ninth ace.

"It was a pretty good match. She (Cibulkova) is not an easy opponent, and I think I played really solid today. I've had almost a week of practice on this surface. Its fast and it suits me. I struggled a little bit in the second set, but I'm really happy that I put out in two sets," said Safina, 22.

When she was asked about her eight double faults, she replied: "I just tried to focus on the next point. There is not much time to think about it."

Source: AFP