Safina Defeats Dokic, Zvonareva Up Next

Dinara Safina's serve was on target as she scored a 64 64 first round win over Jelena Dokic.

Published March 23, 2011 12:00

Safina Defeats Dokic, Zvonareva Up Next
Dinara Safina

MIAMI, FL, USA - Both had shown flashes of their former brilliance this year and in an all-star first round match at the Sony Ericsson Open, Dinara Safina was just too strong on the day, beating Jelena Dokic at night, 64 64.

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Safina, a quarterfinalist in Miami in 2008, and Dokic, a two-time quarterfinalist in 2001 and 2003, showed off powerful, pinpoint groundstrokes throughout the one-hour, 28-minute battle, but it was Safina who came out better at the tail end of each set, breaking serve at 4-all in both before comfortably serving them out. She ended each set off with an ace - she had five in total during the match.

"I was really pleased with my serve and showed I can serve not only double faults but also some aces," Safina said. "I'm really happy with the win today, especially because I missed this tournament last year. It was a good match too - she has been playing some really great tennis and has been on fire."

In Indian Wells, Safina made it to the fourth round - her first time winning three matches at a tournament since the Aussie Open 14 months earlier. "Slowly I'm starting to get some matches behind me. I'm still far from my best but we are working day by day and each win helps me get closer to where I want to be."

Next for Safina is No.3 seed Vera Zvonareva, who had a first round bye, as did all 32 seeds here. Although Zvonareva has won four of their last five meetings, Safina leads Zvonareva in their overall head-to-head series, 6-5.

"It will be tough but I have nothing to lose," Safina said. "I'll just go out there and enjoy it. Hopefully it will be a strong performance and I can pull off a win."

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Other winners as the first round wrapped up were Agnes Szavay, Timea Bacsinszky, Lourdes Domínguez Lino, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Angelique Kerber, Virginie Razzano and qualifiers Lucie Hradecka, Anastasiya Yakimova, Sania Mirza and Anna Tatishvili.

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