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Venus Williams, Dinara Safina Stuttgart Showdown Set

By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Thursday, October 2, 2008 2:30pm PST USA
Venus Williams, Dinara Safina Stuttgart Quarterfinal Showdown Set, Lawn Tennis Magazine STUTTGART--( Venus Williams of the USA and Dinara Safina of Russia both won their second round matches today to set up a dream quarterfinal which is scheduled to be shown live on the Tennis Channel Friday in the USA at 10:00am EST USA.

Williams rebounded from a break down at 1-3 in set one to defeat Kateryna Bondarenko of the Ukraine 6-4, 6-2. She hit 12 aces in the 66 minute long match.

“She played really well,” Williams said. “She had an early break

Venus Williams and Dinara Safina | Photos by Thomas Kienzle/AP
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart, Germany, Lawn Tennis Magazine
Williams could encounter several problems beating Safina who is 24-2 in her last five tournaments, including a title win last week in Tokyo.

and I needed to break her back. I felt comfortable on the court.”

In her second round match today, Safina had somewhat of a tougher time but still advanced by beating the qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).

“I didn’t play at my best. I was going for my shots even if I was missing some,” Safina said.

Williams has never played Safina before.

Williams' sister and world number one Serena Williams, whose game is similar to Venus', leads Safina head to head 4-1 and defeated Safina last month at the US Open semifinals 6-3, 6-2. At the US Open, extreme winds from a tropical storm prevented Safina from executing much of her game and drew many errors from both players.

Safina, ranked 3rd, has been one of the hottest players of the WTA Tour this year as she has won four titles, but has failed to turn that success into titles at the major tournaments. Safina finished as finalist at both the French Open and the Olympics and as semifinalist at the US Open.

Williams, ranked 8th in part due to her limited WTA Tour schedule, by contrast has not won any WTA Tour tournaments this year, but took her fifth Wimbledon singles title in July.

Safina, the younger sister of former world number one Marat Safin, is competing in her first indoor tournament of the year this week. Williams lost her opening round match at Memphis in three sets to qualifier Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in her only prior indoor tournament this year.

Williams could encounter several problems beating Safina who is 24-2 in her last five tournaments, including a title win last week in Tokyo. Both players are aggressive baseline players, but Safina has played more consistently than Williams the last several months.

Williams will look to keep points short and attack with her serve, volleys and backhand. Both players can turn in many unforced errors, and I think the player who hits more winners will win.

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