Dinara Toughs It Out
Published April 29, 2010 12:00
STUTTGART, Germany - Dinara Safina's first match back after a three month injury lay-off wasn't clean but like the fighter she has always been she made it through, beating Agnes Szavay at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
Safina, seeded No.2 with a first round bye, drew Szavay in the second round. Szavay had been a giant-killer in the past, beating eight Top 10 players in her young career - including two wins over world No.3s. Facing the No.3-ranked Safina she came out on fire, storming out to 4-1 on the strength of two breaks; Safina fought back and took the set in a tie-break, but Szavay retaliated.
"There was no reason to panic for me," Safina said about losing the second set. "She won 12 points in a row. I just needed to put two balls in the court."
That's when Safina turned into the player who spent 26 weeks at No.1 last year, taking the third set at love. She won, 76(5) 36 60.
"It's nice to win easily but it's also good to have a tough match," Safina said. "At least I'm back on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Some people would have fear after such a long time injured but I had no fear. I was moving okay."
Things will definitely get tougher for Safina, as up next is Shahar Peer, who has won their last three meetings. Peer is also in form this week, taking out another seed - No.5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska - in the previous round.