Lawn Tennis
Rafael Nadal, Dinara Safina Coming Up Roses
By Ken Miller, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Sunday, July 27, 2008 9:10am CST USA
Rafael Nadal, Dinara Safina Coming Up Roses
Photos by Frank Gunn/AP and Jonathan Moore/Getty
TORONTO/LOS ANGELES ( of tennis' biggest hitters continued their recent winning streaks in semifinal action Saturday night, as Rafael Nadal of Spain and Dinara Safina of Russia both advanced to championship finals for today.

2nd ranked Nadal took the spotlight earlier this week at the Rogers Cup at Toronto after world number one Roger Federer

"I dont think about the hardcourt season or US Open or Olympics, I think about Toronto.

of Switzerland as well as top Americans Andy Roddick and James Blake all were upset victims.

Saturday's win was Nadal's 28th match win in a row and places him closer to a probable jump to the world number one ranking after the Olympics in three weeks. Included in Nadal's impressive win streak are title victories at the French Open and Wimbledon. In the semifinals Nadal defeated Britian's Andy Murray 7-6(7-2), 6-3 and faces Nicolas Kiefer of Germany in today's final at 1:30pm local time.

My only expectation is to try and play a good match tomorrow, and if possible win the title, Nadal told reporters Saturday. I said when I arrive here I dont think about number one, I dont think about the hardcourt season or US Open or Olympics, I think about Toronto.

Before winning Wimbledon this year, Nadal had won at the French Open the last four years. The lefthander has never lost a match at the French Open.

9th ranked Safina, the younger sister of former world number one player Marat Safin, powered her way into the French Open final last month and last night defeated would be world number one Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 7-6(7-3), 6-1 with a mix of aggressive groundstrokes, consistent play and improved fitness. A title win today would have awarded the 2nd ranked Jankovic the world's number one ranking despite her never having reached a grand slam final.

Its just clicked, said Safina. Im trusting and listening to (my coach and trainer). I know its the right way every time I step on court.

In today's final at the East West Bank Classic at Los Angeles at 2:00pm local time, Safina meets Flavia Pennetta of Italy.

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