Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thrill Ride gets off to an early start

Why pull your antics in the spring or summer when you can dive right into the season with them on display? Though she didn't wait until the usual third set to make a sudden, heart-stopping comeback, Dinara Safina nevertheless made a big one today in Sydney. Down 0-5 in her first set against Agnieszka Radwanska, 2nd seed Safina found a way to level it at 5-all.

It didn't come easily. Radwanska served for the set at 5-4, but Safina broke her. However, it took Safina 7 set points to finally get a 7-5 first set score. She held a match point in the 10th game of the second set, but couldn't convert it; she won that set 6-4. Radwanska, for her part, is still missing a vital element--a decent serve, though the rest of her game is impressive.

3rd seed Svetlana Kuznetsova was upset by Dominika Cibulkova, 7-5, 6-2.

Top seed Serena Williams had a much easier time of it, defeating Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-1, 6-2. Martinez Sanchez, though she frequently served quite well in this match, seemed a bit sluggish, and her shot selection was off. Williams, for the most part, looked great.

Excessive double-faulting continued. Victoria Azarenka and Kimiko Date Krumm committed 9 apiece, and Elena Dementieva commited 12.

In doubles, 3rd seeds Alisa Kleybanova and Francesca Schiavone were upset by Laura Granville and Abigail Spears.

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