Posts Tagged ‘Dinara Safina


Marion Bartoli humiliates Safina 6-0, 6-1 in Tasmania.

Dinara Safina’s woes continued as she was thrashed in the first round of the Moorilla Hobart International on Monday. Safina has slumped to 63rd in the rankings due to a combination of poor form and injury, ending last year with a 13-16 win/loss record. And 2011 did not get off to good start either for the Russian, who was beaten 6-0 6-1 by top seed Marion Bartoli in Hobart.

There was also bad news for compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ahead of the Australian Open, the second seed being forced to retire with a hip injury after losing the first set of her match 6-2 to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Third seed Tsvetana Pironkova also crashed out, losing in three sets to Peng Shuai of China, but fifth seed Klara Zakopalova and sixth seed Jarmila Groth advanced in straight sets. Britain’s Elena Baltacha beat Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3 6-3, while local favourite Alicia Molik justified her wild card with a 7-5 6-3 win over Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson.


Wickmayer, Watson score victories in Auckland.

Defending champion Yanina Wickmayer battled her way into the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland by beating former world number one Dinara Safina 6-3 6-7 (2/7) 6-1. The Belgian second seed was not at her best, but took advantage of some erratic moments from Safina, who suffered badly with injuries last season. She will next face German qualifier Sabine Lisicki, a 6-1 6-3 win over Florencia Molinero.

There were also wins for the eighth and ninth seeds, Sofia Arvidsson and Carla Suarez Navarro securing straight-set wins over Tamira Paszek and Romina Oprandi respectively. Suarez Navarro will next face Britain’s Heather Watson, a 6-1 6-1 winner over fellow qualifier Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, while there were also victoriues for Alize Cornet, Simona Halep and Greta Arn. The fourth and seventh seeds also secured comfortable progress.

Germany’s Julia Gorges beat Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-4 6-0, while Russia’s Elena Vesnina saw off local wild card Marina Erakovic 6-2 6-2.


Defending champion Wickmayer draws Safina in the 1st round of the ASB Classic.

The No.2 seed is Yanina Wickmayer, also the defending champion here. Wickmayer won her first 11 matches of the year last year, a run that included winning this title. She has a tough test in her opening match however, as she drew former No.1 Dinara Safina. The two have never played each other.

Maria Sharapova leads a packed field to Auckland in the very first week of the 2011 season. Sharapova, a former No.1 with three Grand Slam titles, including just across the water at the Australian Open in 2008, will be the No.1 seed, hoping to add to her career haul of 22 WTA titles. She opens against Carla Suárez Navarro, who could be trouble for the No.18-ranked Sharapova, given she has three Top 20 wins to her name (two of those came during the Australian season in 2009).

Svetlana Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam champion and former No.2, is the No.3 seed. Julia Goerges, Anastasija Sevastova, Kimiko Date-Krumm, Elena Vesnina and Sofia Arvidsson are seeded No.4 through No.8, with Date-Krumm in particular attracting attention, given she finished 2010 ranked in the 40s – while at the same time being in her 40s (she turned 40 in September).


Look for 2011 to be the year of the Russian Revolution on the WTA tour.

At year’s end Vera Zvonareva was the only Russian woman ranked in the top ten. For a decade the Russian women have dominated the Women’s game and often had as many as half of the top ten players on tour. The Russian tennis program, and the individual player’s ambition for a better life outside of their homeland, produced what seemed to be a never ending parade of super stars. Most of them are still playing. Some have been struck down by injury, while others have been adjusting to the pressures of just being on tour.

Elena Dementieva, a permanent fixture in the top ten has retired, but Zvonareva, Sharapova, Kuznetsova, Safina are very much alive and kicking. They are all top ten players, all capable of winning against any opponent on any given day, and if they remain healthy and rededicated they can once again dominate the WTA tour. They are all younger than the Williams sisters, Clijsters and Henin. They have experience, Grand Slam titles, Fed cup victories in their resumes, and are just too good to be ranked outside of the top ten.

Just behind this group is a collection of talented yougsters ready to step up and be ready to fill in if one of the ‘big guns’ falters. Kleybanova, Pavlyuchenkoca, Makarova, Kirilenko and Pironkova make up a battalion of competitive players who will once again make Russia the most powerful tennis nation.


“It was one of the worst years of my career,” blogs Dinara Safina.

Many things have happened and it feels like my life changed 180 degrees from being #2 in the world to #63. Starting with my injury, of course and everything that followed. Those were very tough moments for me but I want to thank my real fans who have always supported me!!

I am now in Buenos Aires, as I decided to take a long pre-season preparation time. I need it! Daily program consists of physical training (conditioning and back) but also tennis. I’m here with my mother. She is always with me when I’m practicing and soon my father will be coming as well, and even my brother. I am very happy to see them all again, as I miss them often during the year. Apart from practicing, me and my mother went to watch polo. The team that we’ve been supporting, Chapolefue, lost, but still it was a great match. For me they are the best. Thank you to Eduardo el “RUSO” for inviting me to his match. Then we went to visit Tandil. A small city from where tennis champions originated. It is a very beautiful city. I don’t remember when was the last time I did so much sightseeing! If you love cheese you would find Epoca de Queso a paradise.

I’m going be in Argentina till the end of the month and from here I’m going straight to Auckland. My first tournament in 2011 and I am looking forward to a new season! My wish is to be able to play a full year healthy and where I can work hard to come back!


Safina set to start her climb back to the top in Tasmania.

Dinara Safina of Russia is set to headline the Moorilla Hobart International next January. Currently ranked No.63 in the world, Safina is one of the highest profile players to compete at the tournament and will hope to reclaim the form that saw her become the world’s No.1 female player in April last year. Safina enjoyed her most successful season in 2009, with her powerful baseline game and serve leading her to the finals of the Australian Open against Serena Williams (USA) and French Open against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. She also reached the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open before retiring hurt against fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko due to a lower back injury. The same injury kept her out of action from February to April and forced her to withdraw from Wimbledon in June.

Moorilla Hobart International Tournament Director Michael Roberts was excited to welcome Safina as she prepares for the upcoming Australian Open. “Dinara is a great addition to the line up and a player of her calibre will certainly be in contention to take out the Moorilla Hobart International. “This time last year she was ranked No.2 in the world, so hopefully she can regain her place in the top 10 and make her mark in the coming year.” Safina’s achievements also include a Grand Slam tournament victory in women’s doubles at the US Open in 2008, a silver medal in women’s singles at the Beijing Olympics, and recognition as the first female player in history to defeat three reigning No.1 players in the same season.


Ivanovic and Zvonareva move on, but JJ and Safina both lose.

Vera Zvonareva made it through to round two with a hard-fought 6-4 7-6 (8/6) win over slumping former world number one Dinara Safina.

Number six seed and last year’s runners-up Agnieszka Radwanska lost 5-7 7-6 (7/3) 7-5 to Angelique Kerber, and number 11 Marion Bartoli went down 6-2 6-3 to another player to have topped the world rankings, Ana Ivanovic. “What a difference a week makes! Today I felt so much more comfortable on the court than I did against her in Tokyo,” said Ana. “I like the conditions here and it was a thrill to finally get to play a match on the stadium court, after twice coming here and having to withdraw. I’m happy with how I came back after going a break down and overall it was a very satisfying victory.”

There was a shock in second-round action with third seed Jelena Jankovic crashing out 4-6 6-2 6-2 to Serbian compatriot Bojana Jovanovski.


Dinara defeats Kirilenko 6-2, 6-3….could it be her new coach?

“Marat is fine, but he’s not really my coach. He’s in Moscow. Until yesterday, he’s been working with me for a week. So it was really nice for me because he’s never been a coach. He’s pretty tough. I really enjoyed so much and he really put so much desire and heart. From my side I was little bit surprised but he really enjoyed”

 “In New Haven just before US Open. Kirilenko then played better than me. The good thing in tennis is that every week there is a tournament. So I realized what I did wrong that day and I just tried to do this time better. And it did work for me today.

 For me, it was a big test in the US Open series because I played all the tournaments. And it was fine. It’s better. Sometimes it a little bit more stiff, sometimes a little bit better. Overall I can do everything. Thank God it’s a good sign. As to the posture, It can be your opinion, but I don’t feel any difference.”

“Obviously this year is almost finished. For me, like I said yesterday, it’s tournaments where I want to play best and get my shape and tennis back. I want to feel better that I can start the next year hopefully healthy and play the whole year. Hope to finish the year at least with a good feeling that I had a chance to compete.  Well, today I think I served better than yesterday. Day by day, one day something is working better, and the next day… Every day is different. I’m trying to get out the best I can in a day. Today my serves worked well. That’s the advantage. Maybe next day it’s not going to work. I have to find other keys to win the match. This is the game. You always have to find something that works better today.”


 It’s always nice when you come to the tournament and you have maybe a group of fans supporting you. At the end of the day we’re playing for them. We want that they together enjoy with us. We win, we say thanks to them. Sometimes you can be losing the match but if you feel somebody’s supporting you, it doesn’t let you down. Because of those supporters you try to find solutions. “OK, I’ll try to play for them.” You always try to give your 100% from your side. Without them, we don’t exist.


Another humiliating 1st round exit for Ivanovic in Korea.

Former world number one Ana Ivanovic crashed out, as the Serbian seventh seed was beaten 6-2 4-6 2-6 by Russian Vera Dushevina. 

I’m very disappointed,” said Ana. “After the first set I didn’t play well at all. She put me under pressure and didn’t make many mistakes so she deserved to win.

“It’s extra disappointing because I have been made to feel so welcome here. I really wish I could have gone a lot further.”

Top seed Nadia Petrova moved into the second round of the Korea Open with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory over Jarmila Groth of Australia in Seoul.

There was a something of a fixture backlog today after Tuesday’s programme was washed out.

However, the other leading seeds wasted little time in securing their progress.

Number two seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, from Russia, rattled off a straight-sets victory over Australian Anastasia Rodionova, while another Russian Maria Kirilenko, ranked third, defeated Urszula Radwanska of Poland 6-3 6-1.

Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, the number four seed, beat Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei 7-6 (7/3) 6-4.

Dinara Safina – the Russian ranked world number one in 2009 but given a wild card in Seoul as she battles a back injury which kept her out of Wimbledon – secured a 6-4 6-4 win over qualifier Simona Halep to also progress to the last 16.

Eighth seed Agnes Szavay, from Hungary, beat Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in straight sets to secure a second-round clash against British number one Elena Baltacha.


Ivanovic is thru with ease while Safina is ousted in round 1.

Dinara Safina bowed out at the first round of the US Open after losing in straight sets to Daniela Hantuchova.

Safina, who was top seed here last year, has been plagued by a back injury which has forced her to miss almost three months of the 2010 season – including Wimbledon – and is currently ranked 50th in the world.

The struggling Russian fought hard but her 24th seeded opponent from Slovakia managed to progress with a 6-3 6-4 victory at Flushing Meadows.

She will now meet Vania King, who came through her all-American clash against Christina McHale.

Meanwhile another former world number one looking to climb back up the rankings, Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic, enjoyed a 6-3 6-2 win over Ekaterina Makarova.

The 22-year-old topped the rankings heading into this event in 2008 having won the French Open earlier that same year, but is now ranked 40 following a dramatic slump in form.

Ivanovic will now face China’s Jie Zheng in the next round after the 21st seed overcame Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 7-6 (7-0) 7-6 (7-1).

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