Safina beats Kuznetsova to win Rome title

Updated: 09 May 2009 16:07 IST

Top-ranked Dinara Safina won her first title of the year by routing fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Italian Open.

Safina beats Kuznetsova to win Rome title

Rome:

Top-ranked Dinara Safina won her first title of the year on Saturday by routing fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Italian Open.

Safina avenged a loss to Kuznetsova in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, last weekend. She had also lost two other finals this year, including the Australian Open.

"I'm really happy that today I won," she said.

Safina comfortably controlled a match where Kuznetsova committed 30 unforced errors, almost twice as many as her opponent.

"I think that (Kuznetsova) gave me many free points, she was not at her best today," said the 23-year-old Russian. "But she's not an easy opponent, especially on clay-court. I think I played really good today."

Safina closed out the first set with a smash after 43 minutes and won five straight games in the second as her opponent committed a string of unforced errors.

She converted her third match point, after saving two break points in the final game.

Safina, who ousted Venus Williams in the semifinals, had a shaky start to the tournament but her form improved along the way. She rallied from one set down in three straight matches before Saturday's final.

"Sometimes these kind of matches bring you into the game, because you have to bring something to win the match and I think yesterday's match gave me a lot of confidence," she said.

Safina took over the top ranking on April 20, making her and older sibling Marat Safin the only brother-sister duo to have been No. 1 in professional tennis.

Kuznetsova will climb one spot to No. 7 in next week's rankings.

Both players have also been runners-up in Rome, Safina three years ago and Kuznetsova in 2007.



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