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Monday, June 2, 2008

Sherapova Fails Against Safina

Hi friends,
Sharapova had struggled for form in her opening three matches and many tipped her fellow Russian to cause an upset.And after letting two set points slip by in the opener, Safina saved a match point in the second set before taking control of a tense decider. Safina fought back from 5-1 down in the final set to beat Sharapova at Roland Garros two years ago, but had not really built on that result until Berlin last month when she beat Justine Henin and Serena Williams in consecutive matches.

Sharapova, in contrast, came into the tournament as the new world number one but has never enjoyed clay and struggled desperately on serve in her early matches last week.In a tight first set Safina looked to have the edge but when Sharapova roared back from 6-4 down to take the tie-break, it seemed her champion's mentality would prove the difference.Safina broke at the start of the second before the rain came, but on the resumption Sharapova stepped up another gear.She swept through five straight games and got to match point on serve at 5-3, only to see Safina cling on with a blistering backhand.

That was to prove the turning point as the 13th seed forced another tie-break in which she recovered from 5-2 down to level.The momentum was with her in the decider and she did not waste it, breaking a tiring Sharapova in game six and clinching victory two games later on her second match point.

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