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Safina makes her mark in Madrid

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:32

World No.1 Dinara Safina claimed her second major clay title in a row after outclassing Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-4 to win the Madrid Masters.

The Russian produced a display that confirmed her as a serious title contender when the French Open gets underway next week after shaking off what looked like a crisis of confidence earlier this season.

Since becoming world No.1 on April 20, Safina has a 14-1 record. Madrid marks her fifth final in eight tournaments in 2009, and her third in the last three weeks. She turned the tables on Svetlana Kuznetsova in Rome last week after losing to her in Stuttgart the week before.

“I dominated at the crucial times” – Safina

The 23-year-old opened up an early lead, breaking in games three and five as her greater experience shone through in the opening set. Wozniacki, who will become the first Danish player to break the world top ten on Monday, saved two set points before finally dropping the opener in just under 45 minutes.

There was no let-up for the teenager as Safina started the second set with a break, and fought through game eight, saving two break points. Wozniacki saved a match point on her own serve in the next game before Safina closed the match out a game later.

“I have nine more steps to go to reach my goal” – Wozniacki

“I was getting a bit tired by the end,” said Safina afterwards. “But I dominated at the crucial times. I was very dominant in the first set, in the second I had a chance at a double-break.”

Wozniacki, playing her fourth final of the season, admitted that she was still learning the ropes at the elite level of the women’s game, but is determined to reach the top herself.

“I’m going one step at a time,” she said. “I’m in the top ten so I have nine more steps to go to reach my goal.”

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