Amazing Dinara Safina battles past excellent Venus Williams into Rome final


Magnificent Dinara Safina beat magnificent Venus Williams 6-7(3) 6-3 6-4 in a powerful battle of two hard-hitters and one of the best matches of the season, to reach the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. The semifinal lasted three hours and nine minutes, and I believe that tells enough.

The fourth-seeded Williams won the first set after a one hour and 10 minutes long fight. Safina had come back from a break down to level at 5-5, but lost in the tiebreak (isn’t it horrible when a player recovers from a bad situation only to lose in a tiebreak?). Nevertheless, Safina took the match to the third set. The decider was full of breaks, with Williams always coming back from behind, but as I said, always coming back, Safina never kept the lead for long. Finally, at 5-4 Safina was serving for the match and after saving some break points, the Russian world No.1 finally converted her third match point to beat the American.

It’s a real joy to watch Safina play when she has consistency, and against a great opponent such as Venus Williams, there’s nothing more you can ask for.

In-form Svetlana Kuznetsova, who ended her title drought in Stuttgart last week, reached her second consecutive final by defeating sixth seed Victoria Azarenka 6-2 6-4 in the semifinals. The seventh-seeded Kuznetsova will be Safina’s opponent in an all-Russian final in Rome.

As for world No.5 Venus Williams, she will retake the No.3 ranking on May 11. She hasn’t been ranked that high in six years.


  1. This will corrupt the Dina critics; ‘he Queen of Comeback’ will now be the reigning Queen of clay!

    давай Динара!

  2. It was a very good match. My only thing is this. I wish Dinara would stop relying on her coach so much. She is the NO. 1 player in the world, she needs to start learning to think for herself out on court. When it comes to the majors, where your career really counts, she will not be able to call on him to give advice during a match. I hate on-court coaching and really think it is a form of cheating. I hope the WTA gets rid of it because it serves no useful purpose. Dinara could not even figure out a way to beat Venus, who was playing on her worst surface, without having her coach whisper instructions in her ear after each changeover. It was the only aspect of this match that I hated.

  3. Despite coaching assistance, it was Dinara who executed the shots, took the risks and won the match, not Zeljko, nor the relative quality of performance from Venus ‘on her worst surface’. This is an universally acknowledged law; theoretical knowledge does not always necessarily mean successful practical application or more colloquially, anything is always easier said than done, and in the end, it was Dinara’s champion class and calibre ultimately accelerating her to the greatest victory in an epic semi final (against a player to whom she has never beaten) possibly this season. Do not disregard Dinara’s talent or capacity to ‘figure out a way to beat Venus’, evidently the first set was an extremely close tiebreaker, and Dinara has alreaady explained in past interviews that it was the confidence with which Zeljko instilled and reiterated for her which was more crucial. If you recall the Sydney International final against Dementieva where Dina won the second set rather easily, Zeljko had exchanged words before the third set including (audible) tactics etc., however an agigated Dinara did not actualise the guidance and therefore ultimately lost. Hence there must not be a general conclusion or assumption that on court coaching will always provide the player with an unfair advantage and the ultimate solution for it is still that player who will have to acknowledge, actualise and execute those shots and you could not deny Dina’s individual superb display of talent and excellence during that match.

  4. What a match!
    Venus was so magnanimous in defeat unlike Serena (sore loser)…She is truly an amazing champion…
    Hope to see Dinara winning Rome and Paris!


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