Sunday March 6, 2011
Safina gains consolation by entering doubles final
KUALA LUMPUR: Former No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia may have failed to get past the second round of the BMW Malaysian Open singles competition, but she can at least take consolation at being in the final of the doubles event.
Safina partnered Kazakhtan’s Galina Voskoboeva to dump Shuko Aoyama of Japan and Taiwanese Chan Chin Wei 7-5, 6-4 in the semi-finals on Friday.
They will face the Thai-Australia combination of Noppawan Leertcheewakarn-Jessica Moore in the final.
Safina, who is hitting the comeback trail after a lacklustre season last year due to back injury, was delighted to be in the doubles final.
“Of course I’m happy to be in the final. It would have been better if I could be in the singles final ... but I’m just as happy,” said Safina.
She was the world No. 1 in 2009 but her ranking spiralled downwards after she missed most of last season.
In the Australian Open recently, Safina suffered a double bagel at the hands of eventual winner Kim Clijsters and it resulted in her dropping out of the top 100 for the first time to be ranked at No. 112.
“I’m treating the doubles match as part of my training to sharpen my game in the singles event. I think any competitive match is better than just practising on my own,” she said.
“I will go all out to win the doubles title because there’s nothing better than to end a tournament with a win.”
Safina and Voskoboeva showed good chemistry on court here although the last time they paired up was in a junior tournament 10 years ago. Voskoboeva said they were getting better in every match and that it was a good indication of their understanding on court.
“It has been a long while since we paired up but we have done okay this time. We won all the important points in our matches and have kept on improving,” said Voskoboeva.