Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
The number one seed Dinara Safina keeps her eye on the ball as she returns a forehand at Roland Garros.
The number one seed Dinara Safina keeps her eye on the ball as she returns a forehand at Roland Garros.

Safina advances to the semi-finals

Top seed Dinara Safina comes from a set down to defeat 19-year-old Victoria Azarenka to reach the French Open semi-finals.

Top seed Dinara Safina came from a set down to defeat 19-year-old Victoria Azarenka and reach the French Open semi-finals. The Russian was given the runaround in the first set and was at one stage being held at 4-4 in the second, but recovered her poise to a 1-6 6-4 6-2 victory on the Philippe Chatrier court. She will play either Maria Sharapova or Dominika Cibulkova in the semi-finals and remains the title favourite after coming through her toughest match this tournament. Ninth seed Azarenka, playing her first grand-slam quarter-final, had beaten Safina at Indian Wells earlier this year and had also won three titles in 2009, in Brisbane, Memphis and Miami. She was therefore not overawed in the slightest and played an almost perfect first set, which lasted just 23 minutes.

Azarenka broke to 15 in the very first game and went 4-1 up when she grabbed a break on Safina's third service game. The Belarusian was prospering under blue skies, her length and nagging consistency troubling Safina, who dropped her serve again in game seven to hand Azarenka the set. Early in the second set, Safina suddenly found the form that had seen her lose just five games in her run to the quarters. She broke in the third and fifth games, and would have been given further encouragement when Azarenka slammed her racket down in disgust the moment she went 4-1 down. The teenager fought back superbly to make it 4-4 but Safina rallied again to break and then hold to take the set.

Azarenka dropped serve in the first game of the third set and the world No 1 Safina, who has yet to win a grand slam, finished the stronger to wrap up victory in an hour and 52 minutes. *PA Sport

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National