27 Aug 2008

Safin and Ivanovic survive scares at Flushing Meadows

9:13 am on 27 August 2008

There's been another first round scare for a top player at tennis's US Open with Russia's Marat Safin needing five sets to beat the America Vince Spadea in two hours and 40 minutes.

Earlier the women's Ana Ivanovic scraped past Vera Dushevina of Russia in three sets 6-1 4-6 6-4.

The Serbian, chasing her first US Open title, lost her way late in the second set in but bounced back to clinch victory in just over two hours.

The French Open champion, who missed the Olympics with a right thumb injury, cruised through the first set and led 4-2 in the second before her game unravelled.

World number 57 Dushevina forced a decider and saved two match points but the top seed finally prevailed to set up a clash with Julie Coin of France, who beat Australian Casey Dellacqua in two tiebreakers.

In other women's action the Wimbledon conqueror of New Zealand's Marina Erakovic fared only slightly better than Erakovic did yesterday.

Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand took Colombia's Mariana Duque to three sets before going down 0-6 6-3 6-2.

The Russian Dinara Safina also beat the American Kristie Ahn in straight sets.