Safina betters brother’s mark at French Open

June 6th, 2008 - 12:08 am ICT by IANS  

Paris, June 5 (DPA) Russian Dinara Safina won one for the family, bettering her big brother Marat’s best showing at the French Open with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova Thursday to reach the final. The winner of the all-Russian showdown will face off Saturday against one of two Serbs as second seed Ana Ivanovic and number three Jelena Jankovic clash later.

Safina had escaped with victories in her last two matches in trying conditions, twice coming from a set down.

But it was smooth sailing for the Russian against her fourth-seeded compatriot, the 2006 finalist.

“At 5-2 (0-30) in the second I got a little tight,” the first-time finalist said after blotting the perfect set record of Kuznetsova at this edition.

“I told myself to play aggressive or I would be going home, I had to force myself.”

The 13th seed steadied in the game, advancing into the biggest match of her career as Kuznetsova sailed a return long to end the contest after just under 90 minutes.

Safina converted on five of her seven break points while 2004 US Open winner Kuznetsova managed only six of 11.

“I won in two sets, that’s strange for me,” said Safina, who tuned up for Paris with a Berlin title last month., “I’m happy, I really played well today.”

Safina said that after surpassing the semi-final achieved by her former world number one brother at Roland Garros in 2002: “I’m doing this for all of our family.

“It feels amazing, I didn’t expect to get to the final. I just took it day by day.

“When you don’t think about it, the results just come.”

Safina’s win marked her third over a top ten Russian opponent in Paris after knocking out number one Maria Sharapova and number eight Elena Dementieva.

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