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World No.1 Dinara Safina passed her first difficult challenge to keep on track for her first French Open title.
Safina, the new No.1, finished the stronger to post a 1-6 6-4 6-2 victory over Victoria Azarenka on a sun-kissed Philippe Chatrier court but admitted that things could have been very different.
Azarenka played a near-flawless first set, the Belorussian running Safina on both wings with perfect placement and consistency.
The 19 year-old, who was playing in her first quarter-final, started to tense up in the second set and the errors started coming in.
At 4-4 in the second set, the talented Azarenka still looked to be on the way to a great shock.
“She definitely stepped it up and played some good points at key moments, which I have to give her credit for.”
“At 4-4 in the second set, I didn’t really do anything with my game, which I should have. I just have to learn to play better in these moments. It’s all experience.”
Safina will meet 20th seed Dominika Cibulkova who demolished comeback queen Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-2.