Safina crashes out of French Open in first round

Updated: 25 May 2010 16:36 IST

Russian ninth seed and former world number one Dinara Safina crashed out in the French Open first round after losing 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 to Japanese veteran Kimiko Da

Safina crashes out of French Open in first round

Paris:

Russian ninth seed and former world number one Dinara Safina crashed out in the French Open first round after losing 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 to Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm here on Tuesday.

"dsafina.jpg"Date Krumm, 39, became the second oldest winner of a Roland Garros match after Virginia Wade and will face Australian wild card Jarmila Groth in the second round.

Safina, a beaten finalist here in 2008 and 2009, took the first set but Date Krumm stuck to her task and claimed victory on her first match point when the Russian sent a lazy backhand well beyond the baseline.

"Three weeks ago I injured my calf and to play against Safina on (Court) Suzanne Lenglen, I was already happy just to be here," said Date Krumm, who needed treatment on her calf at 4-2 down in the third set.

"I tried my best and proved to myself what I can do. I'm very sorry for her but very happy to win," added the player who was a semi-finalist here in 1995.

Safina has reached the Roland Garros final at the last two tournaments but was beaten in straight sets on both occasions, by Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in 2008 and then by compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova last year.

A serious lower back problem has forced her out of several tournaments this year, including the Australian Open, and she has slipped down the world rankings to ninth after occupying top spot for 26 weeks in 2009.

Safina took the first set in 36 minutes, winning 78 percent of the points on her first serve but hitting just one winner.

She then broke early in the second set to open up a 2-0 lead but Date Krumm repeatedly put her under pressure and Safina let out a wild howl after double-faulting in the eighth game as the Japanese levelled for 4-4.

Date Krumm claimed the set to level the match and the decider followed a similar fashion, with the Japanese again falling a break down before fighting back to 4-4, despite requiring treatment on her right calf.

The veteran's fightback continued as she opened up a 6-5 lead and Safina offered her a helping hand into round two with a succession of loose shots at precisely the wrong moment.



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