Comeback kid Safina stuns Dementieva
Originally published on 26/02/10 11:01
Dinara Safina produced another amazing escape act at Roland Garros on Wednesday to move into her first grand slam singles semi-final.
The Russian 13th seed faced match point midway through the second set for the second successive match but hit back to stun fellow Russian Elena Dementieva 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-0 after more than two-and-a-half hours.
Her reward is a semi-final clash with fourth-seeded compatriot Svetlana Kuznetseva after she beat Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the days other womens quarter-final 7-5, 6-2.
For the second time this week, though, the day belongs to 22-year-old Safina.
The Russian, who showed her clay court credentials when she won the Tier 1 Berlin event in the run-up to the French Open, looked down and out when she trailed by a set and 5-2.
She saved a match point at 5-3 just as she did on her way to victory against Maria Sharapova in the fourth round then levelled the match by taking a tense tie-break 7-5.
There was only one winner from that moment as Safina raced through the final set without dropping a game.
During the afternoon of day 11 top seed Roger Federer booked his semi-final place with a four-set victory over Fernando Gonzalez.
The Chilean 24th seed started strongly, but once Federer found his range he was unstoppable during a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 success.
The world No.1, who needs the French Open title to complete a full set of grand slam trophies, has now reached an incredible 16 consecutive grand slam semi-finals.
Federer will have to cope with the whole of France against him on Friday, though, when he will take on surprise semi-finalist Gael Monfils in the last four.
The explosive young Frenchman ended the run of fifth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 late on Wednesday to reach his first grand slam semi.