Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kuznetsova and Safina go to the Tokyo final

It will be another all-Russian affair tomorrow in Tokyo, as Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina play for the Toray Pan Pacific Open title in Tokyo. Kuznetsova defeated her semifinal opponent, Katarina Srebotnik, 7-6, 6-2. Srebotnik was up 4-0 in the tiebreak, incidentally, but Kuznetsova was able to not only catch up, but finally surpass her.

The other semifinal score is a shocker: Safina defeated Nadia Petrova, 6-1, 6-0. I didn't see the match, so my first thought was that Petrova was injured. Apparently, she was not. Safina, who has struggled with her service game, hit seven aces, no double faults, had a 76 first serve percentage, and an 82 first serve percentage win. Needless to say, Petrova never saw a break chance, and the whole affair was over in fifty-two minutes. Yikes. This was Petrova's first loss to Safina; she had beaten her five other times.

This is Safina's seventh final of the season. If she can keep her service problems under control, she is headed toward something big.

The doubles final will be between number 2 seeds Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur and the unseeded team of Vania King and Nadia Petrova.

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