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Dinara Safina Desperate For French Open Validation
French Open "Paris Picks" - Day 15

By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Analyst, Posted: Saturday, June 6, 2009 3:11am PST USA
Dinara Safina Desperate For French Open Validation, The French Open, Roland Garros 2009, Lawn Tennis Magazine Paris--(lawntennis.org) Desperate to silence her critics with her first grand slam title, the world number one Dinara Safina of Russia will have her opportunity today at the French Open in the women's championship final versus the 7th seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova also of Russia.

Safina, the younger sister of the former world number one Marat

Dinara Safina of Russia
Lawn Tennis Magazine, The French Open, Roland Garros 2009 Lawn Tennis Magazine, The French Open, Roland Garros 2009
Maybe the 23 years old Safina selectively forgot that the 27 years old Williams won her first grand slam title ten years ago at the 1999 US Open at age 17?

Safin, could will most of her matches simply by hitting each of her groundstrokes as hard as possible, which she does oftentimes.

(1)Dinara Safina (RUS) vs. (7)Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
Her Lindsay Davenport-like aggressive baseline game has won her her last 16 matches in a row. And barring a major mental letdown, the Russian is favored to take her first grand slam title at Paris.

After losing to the former number one Serena Williams of the USA in straight sets at the US Open in September and then collapsing to Williams badly in January at the Australian Open final 6-0, 6-3, Safina explained I was just a ballboy on the court.

However after having won claycourt titles in Madrid and Rome while Williams lost four matches in a row while possibly continuing to suffer lingering effects from a spring leg injury, Safina took on another position saying that Williams had more experience than she did and let's see how many grand slams Safina would have by the time she'd reached Williams' age.

Maybe the 23 years old Safina selectively forgot that the 27 years old Williams won her first grand slam title ten years ago at the 1999 US Open at age 17? Williams in the decade since has split a large number of grand slams contested with her sister, the third ranked Venus Williams of the USA.

The Williams sisters, who have failed to play a large enough total tournaments per year to remain atop the WTA Tour rankings in recent years, have won the last three grand slams and have taken a combined 17 career singles grand slam titles.

I wanted to win so badly, Safina said following her semifinal win Thursday. I really want to win this tournament.

Safina leads Kuznetsova head to head 8-5 and split their claycourt meetings this spring 1-1 in the Rome and Stuttgart finals. Kuznetsova, who upset Serena Williams in three tough sets in the Paris quarterfinals, is the only WTA Tour player to defeat Safina on clay this year.

But following her runner-up finish last year in Paris, Safina will this year bring a more experienced and mature mentality into this year's final round.

If Kuznetsova can execute the topspin and variety in her game, she could fight off the power of the flat Safina groundstrokes. Although Safina I suspect has grown weary of being a bridesmaid and possesses the overpowering groundstrokes that could well lead her to victory.

Winner: Safina

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