Montreal Rogers Cup photo diary: Safina steps up


Originally published on: 26/02/10 14:31

Probably the hottest player on the WTA tour right now will face the Rogers Cup giant-killer when Dinara Safina and Dominika Cibulkova meet in the Montreal final.

See what our man in Montreal made of the semi-final action at the Rogers Cup

Safina beat No.11 seed Victoria Azarenka 6-0 2-6 6-3 to set up the clash with the unseeded Slovakian.

“Safina’s playing like the number one player in the world” – Victoria Azarenka

Although Cibulkova has made a habit of upsetting the form book in Montreal, Safina look so comfortable with her game that she doesn’t need to worry about who is on the other side of the net.

“She’s a very tough opponent, she proved that this week,” Safina said, after backing up her victory in Los Angeles last week with an appearance in the final here.

“She beat some very good players. But it’s another match. I just want to focus on myself, playing my game, being aggressive and let’s see who’s going to be stronger Sunday.”

“She’s been playing amazing since the clay court season,” Azarenka said. “She’s playing like the number one player in the world.”

Yet despite the plaudits flooding in, Safina does not believe she is ready to start talking about top spot just yet.

“It’s still so far away,” she said. “If I would be, like, top five, I would have maybe 200 points between us. But it’s still a big difference in the points. At the moment I’m not focusing on that because it’s still really far away. If it will get closer, then I might think about it.”

At one point it appeared Safina would finish her match before Cibulkova as she raced to take the first set 6-0 with her booming serve making light work of the Belarussian.

But in the second set that serve deserted her, and Azarenka took advantage to take the set 6-2 and claw her way back into the match.

Again in the third set, Safina charged out to a 5-1 lead. Azarenka briefly fought back to make it 5-3 before Safina served out the match, ending it with an ace.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.