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Top seed plays defending champ in Slovenia final

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:38

Dinara Safina is a win away from her third title of the season after a comfortable – if not entirely impressive – 6-4 6-3 victory over Alberta Brianti in the semi-finals of the Slovenia Open.

The world No.1, who has also lost four finals this year, will face defending champion Sara Errani in the final after the Italian dispatched Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele 6-1 6-2 in Portoroz.

Both Voegele and Brianti were making her first appearances in the semi-finals of a WTA Tour event. But, while the Swiss 19-year-old let the occasion get to her, Brianti made Safina work for her victory, even if she couldn’t capitalise on the Russian’s 44 unforced errors.

In each set Safina stormed to a commanding lead, only to allow Brianti to break back. After a game that went to deuce 10 times Safina broke Brianti, only for the Italian to respond with a break to love against her illustrious opponent.

Nevertheless, after just over an hour and a half Safina was through to her seventh final of the year.

“I had a lot of chances to finish the match more easily,” Safina told reporters afterwards. “I think I slowed down at some important moments but overall I’m happy that I could win.”

In contrast Errani, who beat Anabel Medina Garrigues to win the title last year, has dropped just eight games on her way to a second final and a ninth victory at the event, with no defeats.

Having given up just two games in her quarter-final against wildcard Petra Martic, the Italian was almost as ruthless in the semis as she brushed Voegele aside 6-1 6-2.

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