Thursday, January 8, 2009

Safin Duo to Face Slovak Republic in Hopman Cup Final

The Safins have finally managed to win a mixed doubles match together at the exhibition Hopman Cup in Perth, when they defeated French duo, Gilles Simon and Alize Cornet, 6-4, 6-3, to clinch a crucial point for Russia and seal the tie against France, 2-1.

Safin siblings, Marat and Dinara, had won their previous two ties over Taipei and Italy; however they hadn’t been able to win their mixed doubles match in either tie, a feat which they finally accomplished against France on Thursday, earning Russia a spot in the final against the Slovak Republic, represented by Dominik Hrbaty and the impressive Dominika Cibulkova.

Both nations have reached the final with a 3-0 record in their round robin matches, with the Slovaks triumphing over Germany, Australia and the USA.

Safina on teaming with her brother, who is playing his last season of professional tennis:

"It was good getting through, or it could have been the first and last time we played together."

Hrbaty on playing Safin:

"We have a great friendship... We practice a lot together...We played so many matches, I think we are seven-all... I beat him a couple of times when he was number one... I know he can play really well and he knows also that I'm a tough competitor and I won't give him a free one."

The final in Perth takes place on Friday at 6pm, AWST.

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