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Russia seize advantage in singles

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:21

Safin drew first blood for the visitors with victory over Victor Crivoi in the opening rubber in Sibiu.

The opening set was a tightly-fought affair but after Safin edged the tie-break he did not look back, prevailing 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 6-4.

The two-time grand slam champion admitted it had not been the prettiest of matches but he was delighted to get Andrei Pavel’s team off to a positive start.

“It took me a long time to get used to the balls,” he told www.daviscup.com. “It was not until the third set that I felt completely comfortable.

“Together with the fast court surface, this was not a beautiful tennis match and the points went by very quickly.”

Youzhny found the going even more straightforward against Victor Hanescu, romping to a 6-4 6-2 6-4 win.

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