Ruthless Safina slices to another easy Paris win

May 31st, 2009 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, May 31 (DPA) Top seed Dinara Safina continued her destructive march in the French Open tennis Sunday, dashing the hopes of local girl Aravane Rezai 6-1, 6-0, to reach the quarter-finals.
The defeat of the Frenchwoman leaves only Virginie Razzano to defend French pride in this edition.

In four matches in the first week, Russian world number one Safina has lost merely five games as she works to solidify her top ranking.

“Overall, I’m trying to dominate, because there is no other chance for me. I’m not a roadrunner player, otherwise it’s going to be long match.

“Since I became number one, I think I’m playing better and better,” said the winner. “It feels good getting into the quarter-finals like this.

“In Australia, I don’t know how many hours I spent before I reached the quarters. I’m feeling very good right now.”

Safina fired 16 winners and broke Rezai, ranked 57th, five times in their first career meeting. That fell just short of the Paris record of four games achieved by Mary Pierce into the 1994 quarters.

“I’m trying to really focus on what I have to do exactly, you know. I’m trying to be very professional. I take one point at a time, I don’t waste my energy.”

The top seed could face a replay of the 2008 final if Serb Ana Ivanovic wins her later match against Miami champion Victoria Azarenka, the eighth seed from Belarus.

Safina went through in just 53 minutes, her only danger coming from a pair of Rezai break points early in the contest.

Slovak Dominika Cibulkova reached the first Grand Slam quarter-final of her career, following up on an Australian Open fourth round as she defeated Agnes Szavay of Hungary 6-2, 6-4.

In the men’s fourth round, Chilean 12th seed Fernando Gonzalez hammered Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 in another one-way encounter as the tournament moves towards the business end of the fortnight.

“This year I’ve been playing in a really good level,” said the three-time Paris quarter-finalist. “I think I’ve play good every match, almost every match.

“I’m enjoying every time I go on to the court and every time I go into practise. I think that’s really important for me.”

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