Safina shocks Mauresmo to win Paris title

13th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 13 (AFP) - Russian teenager Dinara Safina shocked second seed Amelie Mauresmo of France to claim her third career title at the USD 585,000 (EUR 454,000) Paris Indoor Open title here on Sunday.

PARIS, Feb 13 (AFP) - Russian teenager Dinara Safina shocked second seed Amelie Mauresmo of France to claim her third career title at the USD 585,000 (EUR 454,000) Paris Indoor Open title here on Sunday.

Safina, 18, sister of Australian Open champion Marat Safin, achieved the biggest win of her career at the expense of 25-year-old Mauresmo, the 2001 champion, and holder of 15 career titles.

The unseeded Russian came away 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 winner after 2hr 20min on court at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium to lift the winner's cheque of USD 93,000 (EUR 72,000).

"There's no doubt about it she deserved to win today," said Mauresmo, who had to settle for her third runner-up spot in Paris.

"I didn't play my best tennis today, service included. I should have taken my chances in the first set, but didn't, and once I lost my service early in the third set it was hard to get back," added the 25-year-old.

Safina avenged her 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 defeat to the world number four in their only previous meeting in the second round of the Australian Open last month.

The 47th-ranked Russian had bounced back from losing her opening service game, breaking her more experienced opponent three times in the first set which she wrapped up in just under an hour when 25-year-old Mauresmo double faulted.

But Mauresmo broke again in the opening game of the second set, and rushed to a 5-1 lead, to level proceedings 6-2 after 1hr 36min of play.

Safina broke in the fourth game of the third set for a 3-1 lead and broke again for 5-1. But signs of nerves set in and she lost her service game to love while serving for the match.

The Muscovite did not hesitate when serving again for the match, taking the tie after a long rally on her first match point.

Safina, a semi-finalist here last year, won her previous titles in lower tier events in Sopot in 2002 and Palermo in 2003.

It was Mauresmo's fourth Paris final, she was previously twice runner-up to Serena Williams in 1999 and 2003, but missed last year's event through injury.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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