Safina crashes out of Pan Pacific Open

Updated: 28 September 2009 08:45 IST

World number one and defending champion Dinara Safina crashed out of the Pan Pacific Open on Monday at the hands of qualifier Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan.

Safina crashes out of Pan Pacific Open

Tokyo : World number one Dinara Safina tumbled out of the Pan Pacific Open on Monday at the hands of unheralded teenage qualifier Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan.

Chang, ranked a lowly 132 in the world, saw off the defending champion, who received a first-round bye with the other top seven seeds, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-5 to leave the Russian star down and out.

"It is disappointing that I didn't play the way I should play in the match. Although I still turned the match around, I had lots of chances in the third set but I just let it go," Safina said.

"I think she played great tennis, I just didn't do my tennis on court. She was always on the ball, she was always in her comfort zone. I never threw her out of her comfort zone so it was my fault."

Chang, 18, who beat Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in the first round, hit an array of lightning service returns as she chalked up a shock 3-0 lead in the opening set.

Safina clawed back and managed to force a tie-break, but she was unable to clinch the set.

The 23-year-old again fell behind 0-2 in the second set, but hit some winners from the baseline to put the match even at one set apiece.

Chang came back from a service break down twice in the final set and took a 6-5 and 0-40 lead on the Russian's service in the 12th game.

Chang mis-fired a backhand on her first two match points, but Safina's forehand went long on the third to finish off the match in two hours, 44 minutes.

In first-round action, 14th seed Marion Bartoli of France beat Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 6-0, while 12th seed Samantha Stosur of Australia prevailed over American Alexa Glatch 7-5, 6-0.

China's Zheng Jie defeated Indian star Sania Mirza 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

Topics : Tennis
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