Safarova, Petrova send top seeds spinning out
While Czech Republic's Safarova stunned top seed Henin, Russia's Petrova edged home favourite Mauresmowhile to reach final of WTA Paris Indoor Open.india Updated: Feb 11, 2007 17:23 IST
The Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova stunned top seed Justine Henin 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to reach the final of the 600,000-dollar WTA Paris Indoor Open.
In today's final, she will take on Russia's Nadia Petrova, the fourth seed, who edged home favourite Amelie Mauresmo 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9/7).
The unseeded 20-year-old Safarova continued her stunning run in Paris with a dogged and battling performance to come from behind in both sets against the Belgian world number two.
That win completed a third straight success against top 10 players in this tournament.
"I'm so happy to have won. It was a difficult match but I felt good on court and just tried to do as well as I could," said Safarova.
"If you had asked me before the tournament whether I expected to beat them and be in the final, then I would have said no. But I was hoping to."
Henin held a 5-2 lead in the first set and also had two set points but she could not convert on either and was eventually taken to a tie-break. Safarova held her nerve to snatch that 7-5 and take the ascendancy.
"I didn't feel too good today and felt more tired than yesterday and less at ease," said Henin.
"Even when I was winning I didn't feel like I was playing well. She took her chances and played her match."
Henin did not buckle, though, and broke in the fifth game of the second set before holding serve for a 4-2 lead.
However, fresh from confidence-boosting victories against fifth-seeded compatriot Niclole Vaidisova and Russian third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the previous two rounds, Safarova upped her approach and Henin was left helpless.