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Safina upstages Hingis at Australian Women's Hardcourt

Dinara Safina of Russia takes advantage of Martina Hingis' double fault in the last game to beat the Swiss star 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 12:55 IST

Dinara Safina of Russia took advantage of Martina Hingis' double fault in the last game to beat the Swiss star 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in the Australian Women's Hardcourt final on Saturdayat Royal Pines.

The top-seeded Hingis, who used this tournament last year as her comeback event and lost in the semifinals, double-faulted at 0-30 in the 12th game of the deciding set on Saturday to set up match point.

Safina, sister of ATP Tour veteran Marat Safin, won the 2-hour, 10-minute match on the next point.

"Everyone's going to have to watch her because she's going to be even better than her brother," Hingis said at the trophy presentations. Safina, 20, is six years younger than Marat Safin.

The second-seeded Safina lost the first set of her semi-final against Shahar Peer of Israel on Friday and trailed 5-1 in the second before staging a comeback that saw her win the second set tiebreaker 7-1 and the final set 6-1.

Safina, who saved 10 of 14 break points, let Hingis get back into the match in the third set.

Serving to go up 4-1, Safina had her service broken after trailing 0-40. But the Russian came right back to break Hingis' serve in the next game, giving Safina a 4-2 lead.

Four games later, and with both players having trouble with their serves, the set was tied 5-5. Safina held her serve through four deuces in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead before breaking Hingis in the next to take the title on a forehand winner.

It's the first time Safina has defeated Hingis in three attempts, including the Italian Open final in Rome in May of last year.

First Published: Jan 06, 2007 13:14 IST