Aus Open: Safina into fourth round

Updated: 23 January 2009 17:14 IST

Dinara Safina reached the fourth round for the first time in seven trips to the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Kaia Kanepi of Estonia on Friday.

Aus Open: Safina into fourth round

Melbourne:

Olympic silver medalist Dinara Safina reached the fourth round for the first time in seven trips to the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Kaia Kanepi of Estonia on Friday.

The 22-year-old Russian took 4-1 leads in each set and ousted the 25th-seeded Kanepi in 66 minutes.

"There's a first time for everything. Twice I lost in the third round," she said. "I was like this today: 'That is the third time. Should be the luckiest one.'"

She broke into the top 10 last year for the first time and credits having a full-time coach and trainer for the rise.

Third-seeded Safina is yet to win a Grand Slam singles title, although she reached the French Open final last year before losing to Ana Ivanovic of Serbia.

She also lost the Olympic gold medal match to fellow Russian Elena Dementieva _ an outcome repeated last week in the Sydney International final.

Fellow Russians Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova are also in the fourth round.

No. 7 Zvonareva beat Italy's Sara Errani 6-4, 6-1 and No. 10 Petrova advanced when Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva retired with back pain after losing the first set 6-1.

Safina planned to rest and return to Rod Laver Arena later Friday to watch older brother, Marat Safin, play second-ranked Roger Federer.

"Well, I hope on center court with winning, I hope he can close the same way I win today," she said.

Safin, who beat Federer in the semifinals before winning the 2005 Australian title, looms as an obstacle to Federer's quest to equal Pete Sampras' 14 Grand Slam singles titles.

Eighth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3, 7-5.

The 20-year-old del Potro, the only Argentine man still in the draw of the nine who started the tournament, won the Auckland title coming into Melbourne and is on a seven-match winning streak.

He had to retire with the injuries in the second round in his only two preview trips to the Australian Open.

No. 19 Marin Cilic of Croatia had an upset 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 11 David Ferrer of Spain.

Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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