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Rediff.com  » Sports » French Open: Safina stunned by Date Krumm

French Open: Safina stunned by Date Krumm

Last updated on: May 26, 2010 09:43 IST

Safina crashes out

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Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm stunned former world number one and last year's finalist Dinara Safina 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the first round of the French Open on Tuesday.

Date Krumm, 39, made her Roland Garros debut in 1989, when Safina was three, and with the victory became the second oldest player behind Britain's Virginia Wade to win a main draw women's singles match in Paris since the game turned professional.

The Japanese player struggled with a calf problem during the match and lost the first set in 36 minutes but Safina lost focus and Date Krumm prevailed after two hours and 34 minutes

"I am very sad for her, very happy for me. I just tried," Date Krumm said in a courtside interview.


Image: Date Krumm celebrates after beating Dinara Safina
Photographs: Reuters
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Rusty Henin finds her feet with a win

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Former champion Justine Henin made a rusty start on her return to Roland Garros on Tuesday before finally easing through her first-round match 6-4, 6-3 against Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova.

Henin, who last graced Court Philippe Chatrier three years ago when she won her fourth women's singles crown, struggled to match Pironkova's power in the early stages and her mesmeric backhand was far from firing on all cylinders.

A break in game eight of the opener gave her the impetus to take the first set in 47 minutes and though Pironkova kept the Henin serve under pressure throughout the second set the 22nd seed sealed victory after an hour and 29 minutes when the Bulgarian sprayed a backhand return wide.

She will face Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik or Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic for a place in the third round.


Image: Justine Henin beat Tsvetana Pironkova

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Roddick scrapes past Nieminen

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American Andy Roddick gritted his teeth and battled to a five-set victory over Jarkko Nieminen on Tuesday just when it looked as though his French Open campaign would be a shortlived affair.

The big-serving sixth seed, who has never been at home on slow European claycourts, came through 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 on a muggy afternoon at Roland Garros.

Roddick, hoping to build on his best showing here last year when he reached the fourth round, began strongly and cruised through the first set but left-hander Nieminen found his range and began to dictate the baseline rallies.

Nieminen came within two points of winning the match in the fourth set but Roddick dug deep to win a tiebreak 7-4 and regained control in the decider, punching the air after sealing victory.


Image: Andy Roddick returns to Nieminen

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Verdasco breezes past Kunitsyn

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Spaniard Fernando Verdasco peppered the court with his trademark forehand winners in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 win over Russian Igor Kunitsyn to book his place in the second round of the French Open on Tuesday.

The seventh seed received an indifferent reception from the locals after waving ironically at the crowd in the Nice final he lost to home favourite Richard Gasquet last Saturday.

Verdasco, who reached the final in the Monte Carlo Masters and won the Barcelona Open last month, was simply too strong for the world number 103.

He wrapped up the straightforward win when Kunitsyn sent a forehand long after one hour and 55 minutes to set up a meeting with American Michael Russell or France's Florent Serra.


Image: Fernando Verdasco

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Nadal back to familiar winning ways

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Four-time champion Rafa Nadal enjoyed a workout in the muggy Paris heat on Tuesday as he dispatched teenager Gianni Mina 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in the opening round of the French Open.

Nadal, who suffered his only defeat at Roland Garros in last year's fourth round, was rarely stretched by the 18-year-old French wildcard, and the hustling Mallorcan delighted the Court Suzanne Lenglen crowd to a trademark rampaging win.

Nadal extended his Paris career record to 32-1 when Mina sent a forehand ballooning over the baseline.

He now plays Argentine Horacio Zeballos for a place in the third round.


Image: Rafa Nadal

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Sharapova breezes into second round

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Former champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, fellow Spaniard David Ferrer and Australia's Lleyton Hewitt enjoyed more comfortable routes through while former World No 1 Maria Sharapova reached the second round just before a late-evening downpour.

Sharapova eased into the second round of the French Open with a 6-3, 6-2 win over fellow Russian Ksenia Pervak on Tuesday.

Barely bothered by a few drops of rain on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Sharapova, seeded 12th in Paris, was broken early in the opening set before turning on the power.

Sharapova, who won the Strasbourg warm-up tournament last Saturday, ended the contest after one hour and 20 minutes on her third match point.

She will face Belgian Kirsten Flipkens for a place in the third round.


Image: Maria Sharapova

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