Safin knocked out of Nasdaq-100 Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Marat Safin lost 7-6 (6), 6-1 to Dominik Hrbaty in the third round of the Nasdaq-100 Open.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
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Marat Safin lost 7-6 (6), 6-1 to Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty in the third round of the Nasdaq-100 Open. The combustible Safin, ranked fourth, became progressively more discouraged as his match progressed. Safin committed 33 unforced errors and hit just 11 winners. Since earning his second Grand Slam title in January, Safin has played three tournaments and failed to put together back-to-back victories at any of them. Serena beats Peer Late March usually brings out the best in three-time defending champion Serena Williams, but she needed 90 minutes to beat 17-year-old Israeli qualifier Shahar Peer 6-3, 6-3. The scrappy Peer delighted the stadium crowd by repeatedly chasing down shots. On another humid afternoon, the top women were impressive. No. 1-seeded Amelie Mauresmo, No. 2 Maria Sharapova, No. 8 Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne all won in straight sets. No. 13-seeded Ivan Ljubicic, a hero in Croatia's Davis Cup victory over the United States three weeks ago, edged American Vince Spadea 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (3). Former No. 1-ranked Juan Carlos Ferrero reached the fourth round by sweeping Igor Andreev of Russia 6-4, 6-3. Fernando Verdasco, who eliminated No. 3 Andy Roddick, lost to fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-2. (AP)

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