Safina overwhelms Dementieva
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Safina overwhelms Dementieva

Safina extended her dream clay run with a 6-1, 6-1 thrashing of compatriot Dementieva to reach the quarter-finals.

india Updated: May 19, 2006 18:54 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Dinara Safina extended her dream clay run in Rome with a 6-1, 6-1 thrashing of out-gunned Russian compatriot Elena Dementieva to reach the quarter-finals for the first time on Friday.

The comprehensive defeat in 67 minutes at the Rome Masters left two-time Grand Slam finalist Dementieva gasping after a match where she committed 27 unforced errors, double-faulted seven times and was broken six times.

For Safina, the possibility of taking the title is looking extremely good after not having dropped a set this week. Her previous best in Rome was the second round.

The 19-year-old sister of Marat Safin will await a winner from fellow Russian and 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova or Swiss-Italian qualifying surprise packet Romina Oprandi, although Safina was pretty frank about which of the two she would be facing.

"I expect my next opponent to be Russian," said Safina after reaching her second semi-final of the season and first since early January.

"If it is Svetlana, it would mean there will be a Russian in the final."

Safina, winner of four career titles and ranked 19th, hopes her form holds up for two more matches at the Foro Italico.

"I want to continue this dream, why stop now," she said after winning her sixth career match at the tournament.

"I played a good match, it was solid, Maybe I was a little nervous in the last game, but I went for it anyway."

Safina claimed victory with 18 winners on her second match point, breaking Dementieva.

"I had expected a battle, but I know what she doesn't like and I gave it to her. I played my game today."

Russians are creating their own revolution on the WTA so far this season, claiming titles at all five of the elite Tier I events in 2006, with two trophies from Nadia Petrova and one each from Dementieva, Maria Sharapova and Kuznetsova.

First Published: May 19, 2006 18:54 IST