Sixteen Remain In Toronto

Kim Clijsters made the cut at the Rogers Cup but world No.1 Dinara Safina did not.

Published August 19, 2009 11:59


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TORONTO, Canada - The odds were heavily in her favor but world No.1 Dinara Safina couldn't close the deal on Wednesday, falling to world No.39 Aravane Rezai, 36 62 64, in her Toronto opener.  Toronto: Wednesday Highlights

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Safina, the champion here last year and top seed this year, won a routine first set then went awry from there, particularly on her serve, getting broken three times in the second set and four times in the third. While her powerful game started dialing back, Rezai picked hers up, especially on her backhand down the line, which produced a winner on match point at 5-4 in the third set.

"I'm very happy. It's the first time I've beaten a No.1. I took revenge for the French Open - she beat me at home, and I really wanted to win this match," said Rezai, whose only previous Top 10 win came in 2007 against a No.2-ranked Maria Sharapova. "I've prepared all week, all year, all my career to beat the best player in the world. Today is a really big step for me."

"It's a disaster. I'm really disappointed. But, there's a big tournament in two weeks. Hopefully tomorrow will be better and I can start getting ready for the US Open," Safina told reporters afterwards. "I knew exactly what I had to do today but I just wasn't using my brain. I wasn't doing the things my coach was telling me to do. It was just bad, and I'm disappointed with myself."

Safina wasn't the only upset victim as the second round wrapped up: No.8 seed Caroline Wozniacki lost nine games in a row from 5-2 up in the first set en route to losing to Zheng Jie, 75 63; No.9 seed Victoria Azarenka rallied from 4-1 down in the second set to push it to a third but still fell to Kim Clijsters, 75 46 61; No.11 seed Ana Ivanovic led 63 53 but wound up falling to qualifier Lucie Safarova in three sets, 36 75 63; No.12 seed Flavia Pennetta lost to Virginie Razzano, 63 61; and No.16 seed Dominika Cibulkova blew six match points to fall to Alisa Kleybanova, 61 46 76(4).  Highlights: Clijsters vs. Azarenka

"Even after being up in that second set and losing it, I just focused on what got me there, what got me leading in the match," Clijsters said. "I just wanted to keep doing whatever was working in the third set. Victoria stepped it up today and at times I was playing too defensively; it was up to me to take those first chances, try to serve and return well, and try to look for those angles from the beginning. I'm very happy to win today."  Interview: Kim Clijsters

No.2 seed Serena Williams, No.4 seed Elena Dementieva, No.5 seed Jelena Jankovic, No.7 seed Vera Zvonareva and No.14 seed Agnieszka Radwanska all advanced to the third round in straight sets, relatively untroubled.

Winners in matches between unseeded players were Alona Bondarenko, Shahar Peer and finally Maria Sharapova, who beat Sybille Bammer, 63 76(5), despite hitting 17 double faults.  Highlights: Sharapova vs. Bammer 

"I'm actually having a competition with myself to see how many errors and double faults I can make and still win the match in two sets. It's interesting," Sharapova joked. "The more I was out there today, the worse I was playing. I'm not sure if it was her game or something else, but I certainly need to step it up. But it's great to win playing like that."  Interview: Maria Sharapova

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